A Senior Class Parent

I find I need to mark in some way the end of our time in The Children’s House after spending 7 years in the school. I was very cautious about choosing the primary school that matched the needs of my two daughters as having home schooled them for a short while I wanted to ensure we chose a school that would support self directed learning and nurture the growing self esteem of a six year old and support the individuality of each child and also allow me as a parent to have some involvement in the school and be open to discuss any challenges that might arise. The Children’s House with its Montessori system fulfilled all the above needs we had as a family and more besides and we became part of a community that supported all of us as individuals and also where we made life long friends.

I felt the most important school choice was that of the right primary school, these early years are where the foundations of the future are laid down and the right school and parenting will provide the children with the tools to deal with future situations and challenges that arise in their life.

I think I was not alone in being concerned about the small numbers in the school and the possible shortage of peers for my girls and also how would they make the transition to a bigger environment of a secondary school. With this in mind when the girls were 5 and 7 I moved them to a large national school that had just opened with in walking distance to our house , we live in Dun Laoghaire so the commute was a factor. My eldest daughter kept asking to return to the Children’s House despite having a large number of peers. play dates and party invitations. She loved the Montessori system of learning and actually began to

hide her abilities and knowledge in many subjects in the new school as she was being called brainy box as she was so much further ahead, so she moderated her learning to fit in with the rest of the class and began to lose the love of learning she showed in the C House. We moved her back after Christmas and it took her about six weeks to return to the passion she had always shown. My other daughter returned after a year and we still feel as parents it has been one of the best decisions we made.

Having lots of peers becomes more important in secondary school, building self esteem I feel is a priority in these early years and then they can handle all the situations that will naturally arise in teenage years. As the children move into the 9 to 12 class they become more and more involved in decision making, in resolving disputes and in organising trips and this gives them great confidence to deal with situations that arise especially in secondary school and in life.

My daughters are now in first and third year of St Andrews College with approx 160 students in each year so how did they make the transition? It was seamless, they both acted as if they won the lotto!!!! They were so ready to be in a bigger environment they were so well prepared that it was a pleasure to watch them take on this new challenge so confidently and enjoy it. Academically they are thriving, they also show great leadership skills and are natural mediators if conflict arises and I put this down to having been allowed opportunities to develop these skills in the C house though I can imagine this provided challenges at times for their teachers !!!! I also want to say before finishing that when challenges arose or communication issues needed addressing the door was always open to me as a parent to discuss my concerns with the teachers and I did do this when I needed to clarify anything I was unsure about regarding my daughters well being and this was definitely a factor in the time in the C house being such a happy one.

I also thank the school for allowing me as a parent to be involved in projects in the school as doing some work with the children was a greater benefit to me than to them.

I wish you all well with your future time in the C House and I look forward to many visits back over the future years.