School Story

Today was the day we probably committed to Nairobi in a real way – the day I committed to making things work somehow with no plan for failure.  It has been a rough few days.   I am far more involved in getting Guled hooked into things than I am getting myself hooked in.  Yes, that is in fact a preposition (or adverb) at the END of a sentence.  You have to know the rules to break them properly.   In any event……

There were three things that motivated me strongly to make this move out of my life and into the unknown, and two of those things were directly related to my son.  First, he needs to have access to and know his dad.  I can’t control that journey at all.   Second, he needs to get connected into his life and his education in a school.  THAT I have some control over.   I have great hope here. 

Guled has searched far and wide to find a school that feels like a good fit.   He has settled on Nairobi International School, a small international school north of us using the British curriculum.  He will wear a suit and tie Monday, Friday and all important outings like the UN Ambassador program (I am incidentally stupidly jealous about this one and would love to teach so I am able to do this with them!).  He can wear a polo/khaki combo the other days.  He will reportedly catch a bus in the morning at 6:00 – 6:30 am.   For homeschoolers, this routine is daunting and intimidating.  Well, ok, for a homeschool mom it is these things, but to a kid who has been ready to go to a “real boy’s school” for the last year, this can only be the most exciting of times, pregnant with possibilities.  He is ready for September 4th TODAY.  I love that.

His friend Will accompanied him to the initial school visit a few weeks ago, and both boys were captivated by the energy and vitality of the Senior School campus.  I was too.  The ½ Olympic swimming pool is crystal blue, the grounds well-kept and intimate with fruit trees producing edible fruit, the rooms airy and open, the science labs properly equipped at each table, the art room’s décor made of student-produced pieces with French doors leading out onto a balcony, the gym small but well equipped, and the music room with student designed and painted depictions of famous musicians worldwide from different eras and musical genres.  The staff and administrators were helpful, articulate and blissfully lacking in sugary sweet salesmanship.      

Guled took a placement exam the other day and we’ve decided that for his sake, he should only skip up one grade.  The British “maths” curriculum goes into Algebra II before geometry so Guled will have to do some careful catch up now and then be reviewing in 9th grade geometry.  He was shooting to be a senior this year so that he could go to senior Prom.  Ah my son, you will wait! 

Frankly, all of us adults are gravely concerned about something though.  His handwriting.  Yup.  He is a mess!  He cut his teeth on a computer keyboard and at age 4 or 5 gave me grief about having to learn handwriting when his generation had computers!  Yes, well son, now it will catch up with you… unless you can talk the entire school administration and the UK education system into seeing things your way. 

I was able to get the video linked to a youtube account I think.  http://youtu.be/fzeu3NSH86M 

But the uniform has him feeling super GQ about himself……and of course I’m a touch overwhelmed by it myself.    

2 thoughts on “School Story

  1. Maybe he inherited the rotten handwriting from me. I still remember the arguments with dad and teachers over it — I was perfectly happy learning calligraphy, but didn’t see the point of having handwriting that was more than legible. Nowadays it isn’t even that without great care. 😉

    Enjoy your new school, Guled!

    • haha! He sounds JUST like you on this issue!!! But alas, the Brits require that he have decent handwriting…. for now anyway… until he talks them out of it.

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