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Reminiscing on the First Day of School

Ahhhh… back to school time! The sidewalks were lined with boys and girls excited to attend their first day of a new school year. It was apparent this morning that something had changed from the Friday before – last week it was a 2 minute drive to drop off Jaylen, today that time more than quadrupled as busy parents were also lined up, in traffic that is. I was one of those parents.

My world changed a few months ago when we enrolled my son in Montessori School. I guess over the summer it’s not really called “school,” it’s more like summer camp. While we got up and headed to the same location we have for the past two months, something was obviously different. I dressed my little man in his school uniform colours for the first time – burgundy on top, khaki on bottom – and we got ready for what would officially be his first ever day of school, at a little more than 2 years old. Now, you might be thinking, “ummm… aren’t you jumping the

gun a bit? I mean, you’re sending your kid to full-time school at 2?” Yes, yes I am, for a reason that’s three-fold, 1. Because I want him to have the best of the best, and that includes a stellar education. 2. Because he showed an interest in learning and I want to encourage that. 3. Because I need to take him somewhere throughout the day while I’m running my Noble Empire (aka my 3 businesses), and what better place than one that will give him a great head start in life!

For those reading this blog who have known me since my days in school, it might shock you to read this post gushing about academics. After all, I was that high school kid who skipped 36 days of school each semester and whisked through my courses with little to no effort, but it wasn’t just high school…I never really cared much for school growing up. Maybe it was a rebellion thing, maybe it was just a lack of interest, the verdict is still out on that one.

Without sounding too full of myself or anything, I was always one of the “smart kids.” My parents and teachers recognized my intelligence at a young age. I remember in Grade 4 being singled out to join an extracurricular group of students who were gifted, but I can’t remember being too thrilled about it. In Grade 6, something similar happened where I got to join a program that ventured to an entirely different school a few days each month where we seemingly explored things outside the standard curriculum, like learning to make guacamole. In Grade 7, after goofing off for the first half of the school year, I won the Most Improved Student award when I finally decided to show ‘em what I was made of. What can I say…I’ve always been blessed with a high IQ, I just haven’t always cared to use it.

I had what it took to go far in academics, but that was the last thing on my mind. I didn’t place a high value on education, mostly because I felt that half of what was being taught would be useless to my future (the verdict is still out on that one too). I’m the kind of person who likes to be both challenged and entertained by something I’m interested in, and school didn’t quite cut it (with a few exceptions – get me into a computer or photography class and there was no stopping me).

Looking back, I really took for granted all those opportunities for learning and growth, something I place a high importance on now in my adulthood. Would I have listened back then if someone had tried to change my mind? Hell no! Remember that whole rebellion thing? Exactly! I was determined to do things my own way, and more often than not growing up it was the half-assed way.

Fast forward 13 or so years and I’m seriously debating on whether or not to go back to University to do my Bachelor of Commerce… oh how the times have changed. As a Mom, I plan to encourage my son to get a good education, but also keep in mind that we aren’t all challenged by the conventional way of learning. That’s why I really like both the Montessori and Reggio-Inspired programs, because they take into account what children are interested in and cultivate educational growth from there.

I now know the value of education, but I also know there’s no one right way to achieve it – some go to college or university after high school and know exactly what they want to do for the rest of their lives, and then there are others like me – college drop outs that end up making a living out of what they dropped out of school for, but then decide to go to university at age 33. As my son starts his first day of another 16+ years of school, I will keep that in the back of my mind.

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