Why I love public education

Well, I love our school at least!

Just had a meeting with Squishy’s school principal, about what we can do (together) to prevent him from disengaging in the classroom. Kindy has been fun, but he doesn’t love school like I had hoped he would, and I decided to be proactive about working with the school before he starts year 1.

And I’m so glad I did. Our principal gets where I am coming from, and understands that this isn’t about academic achievement, it’s about engagement, and a love of learning. She’s arranged for Squish to have an assessment by the school counsellor, so that hopefully will give us some direction for how to enrich his school experience next year.

We both agree that acceleration (skipping a grade) isn’t appropriate for a kid this young, but that there is more we can be doing to support him.


– from my iPhone


In the last week of school holidays, Squishy and I went into the city for the day. While we were there, we wandered into a big bookshop and bought a book. The 13 Storey Treehouse caught my eye because it is a “chapter” book, but it has loads of illustrations, so the amount of text per page builds quite slowly – the first chapter has very little text.

So I gave it to him last Monday night, to read as he was going to bed. He resisted vociferously, until I showed him how many pictures it had, and he agreed to give it a go. I presumed that he had read a bit and put it down, because I didn’t hear any more until Wednesday, when he said, “Mama, I can’t wait to get to chapter 10”. Luckily I was driving, so I didn’t fall off my chair. Apparently there was no special reason to get to chapter 10, other than he was enjoying the book so much, and wanted to read more.

He then said he was worried about what he was going to read after he finished this book. I looked – he was over half way through the book (in two days!). So I promised to talk to the school librarian about letting him borrow big kids books. She told me about The 26 Storey Treehouse and The 39 Storey Treehouse. So I ordered those and picked them up on Friday.

As of right now, he is 3/4 of the way through The 26 Storey Treehouse.

He’s got the bug. The reading addiction that got many a shy nerdy kid through the early years of being “different” and not fitting in anywhere. My boy has got protection. The metaphorical shield of access, not only to his own imagination, but to entire worlds, galaxies of infinite adventure and fun.

I couldn’t be more proud of him.