My eldest child became of Compulsory School Age when she was 5 years and 4 months old. So the forms arrived to apply for her school place recommending she start aged 4 years and 4 months, in reception, which was when almost all her friends did. My next child is therefore due to start school, according to the recommendations, when she is 4 years and 2 weeks old.
She's not legally obliged to until 5 years 2 weeks, of course.
I've been avoiding reading a lot of the politics and recent revelations about how badly the current system is failing very young children, because it doesn't affect me, but today I happened to see a few articles about it (while my children were busy being first Real Mammoths, then Kittens, and at one point Mothers, which involved a lot of dancing and singing) and I realised that among other things, I am comparing my success as a home educating parent against my academic achievements at [a given child's age]. This is totally unreasonable, because neither of my children are me. Though uncannily like in short-tempered moments, perhaps. But definitely not me, nonetheless.
And so in real life, it's quite likely that they are no better and no worse at whatever it is that gets measured than the children who have been in school all this time. Certainly when their school-friends meet up and they compare abilities I haven't noticed my children losing any My Talent's Bigger Than Your Talent competitions. And they are world-class Real Furry Mammoths.
Perhaps I can, now that the house is tidier again, take some deep breaths, write up a report or two for my own comfort and convenience ("For your own comfort and convenience please do not sit on the grass," etc) and maybe get a couple of folders to store their work or copies thereof. And then I can go back to normal again and do the stuff we want to do. We have a lot of cash register roll to colour in, when I find somewhere selling it one roll at a time.
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