Monday, January 20, 2014

Finding A School In London - We Found One!

The kids survived their first week in British Public Schools.  Well, Oldest Kiddo survived.  Youngest Kiddo developed a fever on Thursday night.  I was really surprised that he got sick since.  In the last eight weeks they've been all over the city, been breathed & coughed on, and touched every railing and pole on transportation that they should have Superman immunity.  I guess nothing is immune to the germfest that is a five-year-old classroom.  By Saturday morning he was back to himself, eating everything he could to make up for the missed meals.

Starting school has not been without it's own set of frustration and annoyances along the way.  Back in October I shared my take on how you apply for schools.  Since we applied after the school year started, our process was a little different, but you get the idea that it's a pain in the arse.  Our house is on the border of another school council (for ease of understanding we will call it a district).  I applied for schools in our district and in the neighboring district.  We have a school that is approximately 20 houses away, and dreamed that it would be amazing to be offered a place for both kids.

I applied before Christmas, and I knew I would not hear anything until the first of the year.  In January I received an offer in the post for Youngest Kiddo at a school about a mile away.  An email to the district revealed that Oldest Kiddo would be offered a spot at the school by the house.  That was a bummer for us because we really wanted them at the same school.  A week ago Thursday, Matt received a call from the Head Teacher in the neighboring district for a school just over a mile away to offer both kids a spot.  Since the kids have been out of school since mid-November we jumped at the chance for them to start school together on Monday.

We met with the Head Teacher, and she took us on a tour of the school to meet the teachers.  Before we left we purchased the uniforms and did a little happy dance all the way home that they were going to school.

On Monday morning the kids were elated to go to school.  They got ready in record time, and they happily walked the distance to school.  I'll admit that I got a little teary when I walked away from the school; these two kids have been my shadow 24/7 for the last eight weeks.  The tears quickly dissipated when I reveled in the peace while I enjoyed a latte and pain au chocolat at the coffee shop.

When I arrived home the post man had just delivered the day's mail.  In the day's mail was an offer for both kids at the school by the house.  Are you kidding me?  What happened to the offer the district sent me last week for Youngest Kiddo to go to another school?  I was beyond angry at this moment.  Over the weekend I came to terms that the trip to school would be just over one mile each way.  We'd have to leave for school 30-40 minutes before the bell to make sure Mr. Short Legs could make the trip.  Now my district can change their mind and make a different offer?!

We could take the kids out of their current school and place them by the house.  I've already bought the uniform shirts, but the school by the house requires the same pants and shoes.  Ugh, but they could not stop talking about how much fun they had on their first day.  Oldest Kiddo even says she made a friend.  The pros & cons continued.

Ultimately we decided to keep them at the first school.  This school is rated higher than the school by the house.  To give the kids some additional sleep time, we can take the bus to and from if they so choose.  I look at the walk each day as a free gym membership.  Plus the location is super convenient to the shops I need to visit several times a week since my refrigerator is miniscule.

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