SOFS

School’s Out For Summer. So sang the less-attractive-than-you-might-think female vocalist, Alice Cooper.

It’s been a long, long year, with highs and lows throughout, but (and staan terug because this is one of those proud dad posts) I’m a very proud dad today. Again.

Earlier in the week at the primary school prize-giving, our daughter got awards for her academic performance and overall effort. Add this to a Grade 2 singing exam triumph and a ‘best in the category’ Eisteddfod performance earlier in the year and she’s done really well.

And then today, the boy, fresh from representing the school at the Regional and International Science Fairs, came out with certificates for effort in Maths, improvement in History, Art and Design & Technology and excellence in ICT. He’s done brilliantly, especially after a little dip in term 2.

And just in the last few minutes, I’ve received a faultless end of year report for the girl and right now, I’m feeling pretty good about what we’ve raised here.

I’m looking forward to more academic (and other) successes next year, but first – finally – I think they’re both due a well-deserved holiday.

Decisions, decisions

A quick change of plans for the day this morning as the guy who was coming to help us out in the garden today tacitly announced that he had decided to get drunk last night rather than help us out in the garden today.

I think we’ve all had that “drink now or work tomorrow?” decision to make at some stage in our lives, and I’m quite sure that most readers here have – even if they’re only willing to quietly admit it to themselves – come down on either side at least once. I know I have. Sometimes I have tried to come down on both sides, but that’s not pleasant for anybody the following day.

It did leave us with a fair amount more work to do in the garden though, although ironically, we also have a bit more beer money for tonight. What goes around and all that…*

Anyway, the garden is looking better after a quick makeover and haircut and the neighbourhood What is Up? group has been pinged for suitable replacement garden assistance for the future (this wasn’t the first time our guy chose to fall on that side of the fence).

It’s been a wonderful few weeks over the festive season and holiday, but Real Life™ begins again tomorrow with a return to work, school, gym and all the hustle and bustle of term 1. I have high hopes that the kids will fly this year – 2018 ended on such a high for them.

I guess it all comes down to making the right decisions.

 

* hence me tagging this with the BLF category.

The last week

The last week of any school term is always fairly hectic. The last week of the last term is something way beyond that. Exam results coming in left, right and centre, a prizegiving here or there, the inevitable Christmas concert, a charity civvies day, an activity day, a class party and a last-minute test of parental organisation by giving each child a different finishing time at school on each day.

I nearly left one at school today. Oops.

Is it just me, or are things really more stressful this time around than in previous years? I feel like we never got chance to “reset” our lives going into 2018 and we’re suffering the consequences now.

It’s all rather exhausting – a fact demonstrated by the beagle here:

Actually, this was taken after yesterday’s SPCA Wiggle Waggle Walkathon. It might only have been 4km, but when you’ve got four legs to power instead of two and you’re wearing a fur coat, it can be quite tough.

However, this will likely be my position (ok, not necessarily under the trampoline, but still…) come the end of the week.

Merit

Props to the Boy Wonder for his hard work at school of late.

The school has a merit/demerit system, whereby good behaviour and achievements (for example) are rewarded with points, while being naughty or being late to class (for example) will lose you points. Each week, the scores are totted up and those with the highest scores are celebrated in school assembly. Good for them.

Here’s my son’s chart for this week so far:

1 point for his simple, but effective Science project. Good.
1 point for “excellent” work in French. Bien.

And 2 points for calmly capturing and removing a decent-sized Cape Skink (Trachylepis capensis) while all around him in his History class were losing their heads. Awesome.

I’m happy to say that my kids have no issues with any of the harmless local wildlife:

…and (equally importantly) a healthy respect for the dangerous stuff.

There’s more to schooling than just academic achievement, and I’m really proud that in a class of 20+ screaming kids (and 1 screaming teacher?), my boy was the one who kept his cool and helped out. And saved the skink, as well.

Nice work.

Best Line from an Educational Psychologist in 2018

(So far, anyway.)

We went along to the High School introduction evening yesterday. It included details of how they were going to teach our high school child, some information about the school camps, and a talk by a local educational psychologist.

Lot of the stuff she said made a lot of sense to me and the assembled parents of pre-teens. But then she came out with this quote, and it was perfect:

I was talking to a group of parents of toddlers yesterday.
I love to talk to parents of toddlers: there’s still so much hope!

We all laughed. But then… actually… ouch.