Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Great Balancing Act

Summer's coming to an end. Kids summer camps are coming to an end too.

Then they go back to school ... well sort of...

Chris is going into grade 3 and will (obviously) be there all day.

Alex and Sam will be going half-days and will be going on opposite halves of the day. It just happened to turn out that way...

I guess it's all part of the "progressive", left-leaning thinking out here. Kids under the age of 6 are apparently not supposed to be in full-day school / care. I thought it was odd in Ontario, but compared to the 'States, Canadians seem to really cling to the idea that coddling their children at home is the best thing.

I definitely agree that spending a lot of time with your kids creates a great bond and has some unbelieveable satisfaction for parents and kids, but I think there's a point where some time apart benefits children as well. I've seen quite a few children here (of course, none of our friends' children!) who don't have adequate social skills when with other children and who also have a very low educational baseline.

There were children entering grade 1 in Chris's class who barely knew their ABC's and basic mathematics! Chris was starting to read Harry Potter and had begun basic division shortly after starting grade 1!

I look at Alex and he's entering kindergarten knowing how to read and do some basic addition and subtraction. Sam's has a year to go before entering kindergarten and she's already reading four-letter word stories!

I don't know what it is, but it seems as though Canadians don't have a very high expectation of what kids are able to achieve with not much effort. We're not, by any means, partents who push their kids or pressure them to participate / excel in activities at any cost.

But I digress...

I look at the kids' schedule and then at what I'm trying to do ... set up a new business, make contacts, land some gigs and score/complete jobs - in the midst of drop-offs and entertaining/mentoring/caring for two pre-school/kindergarteners...

Sam and Alex can be self-sufficient at times, but not in blocks of two-three hours during the days. We'll figure something out ...