Crèche course to getting your kid into school

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Crèche course to getting your kid into school

Five years ago we handed in an application to the closest and the most recommended school in our area ...

Journalist

I’ve been waiting for this month for over five years ... and it is finally here. Short, too. It isn’t a leap year this one, the month of reckoning.
This month-ish five years ago, we handed in an application to the closest and the most recommended school in our area.
At the time, our first child was still learning to breastfeed, but we were worrying about university entrance and life goals.
We even delayed our year of enrolment. For one, we were lucky enough to have a child born on December 27 so the admission age is a grey area. But to be honest, the 2019 waiting list was shorter, by about 100 sprogs.
Being warned that even number four on the waiting list was still precarious, we took our #19.If you didn’t know, preference for entry to “the class of Grade R 2019” is first given to siblings and children of alumni, families in the nearby church congregation and the slightest DNA link to the old tree in the quad (that is a joke, please don’t penalise us).
In the meanwhile, we signed the school up on our grocery rewards programme, kept in touch every year, liked the Facebook page, went for tours and met parents who were also hoping to “get in”. Of course, we can unfriend them if they do and we don’t ,and vice versa, because ... why?
So we wait, anxiously as February marches on. (Only 28 days this year, dammit.)
My husband and I ask each other if “they’ve called yet”, every day, with furrowed brows.The call, I must inform you, is not an assurance that we got in, but that we are in with a chance. After five years of nurturing, enrolment fee and underhanded sucking up.
The chance means that we get to go to an interview.“What is an interview, mama?” our little girl asks, and she happens to be the smartest, most talented child ever, as every mother’s child is.
Unbeknownst to her, she has been preparing since she was two.
We siphoned interview questions from any friends, family, Montessori teachers who had come into contact with others who “got in”.
What are rhyming words? The Cat in the Hat made a quick appearance after that.How many dinosaurs can you name and which is a herbivore? We googled, and learnt a lot too.
Can you sing? Can you dance? Can you count to 400 and do long-division, Miss Five-year-old?
All to get into a class where the lesson plan entails morning ring, clapping and puzzles. Perhaps she will learn to write their name, not in all-caps.
Meanwhile, a colleague who has been through it all, talks about how her children cannot handle the anxiety around an English oral that is happening in three weeks. Another is called in to school because his son is in tears after he came second in the grade.
Yet another got flowers to celebrate their child getting into crèche, aged 18 months.
Maybe we should try getting into therapy before we try getting into preschool?

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