Back when our kids were in school our eldest son – a gentle, caring soul – gave his mum a much tighter hug than he normally would when he got home one day. With slightly teary eyes he said:
“Mummy, my teacher…I think she was trying to be nice because I was lonely at lunchtime…she said I didn’t have to worry because she was a bit like my mum now…I’m with her more than you, even, and she would look after me…and I guess that’s nice, but…I want to be with you more!”
After fixing the teary eyes with a mummy-made hot chocolate, we reflected:
Taking out any pre-school care time, most children will spend 13 years in school.
There are, on average, 180 school days per year.
Each of those days will require at least 6 hours inside school grounds.
That’s 1,080 hours per year and over 14,000 across a child’s school career.
Our son’s teacher had a point. And while I know her heart was in the right place, hearing that line was like a punch to the stomach. We’ve always valued togetherness as a family – exploring, learning, experiencing, playing, discovering – and the thought of spending 14,000 hours less on all that?
No thank you, that’s not for us.