I’ve taken the decision to keep my daughter off school one day a week

Although my youngest started school this September, we took the slightly controversial decision (with the school’s agreement) to keep her off one day a week and today is our first ‘Funtime Friday’!
I've taken the decision to keep my daughter off school one day a week 110920Chess is a July baby so has only just turned 4. With three older siblings to mimic, her language and maths are both well established, and it’s fair to say that academically she is absolutely ready for school full time. But…
Today we have been to the Butterfly Farm. Chess already knows her basic colours so instead of purple and blue, we talked about violet, lilac, mauve and turquoise. We counted butterflies, we talked about the symmetry in their wings and what they liked to eat – sweet things! We agreed that given the chance, butterflies would love malteasers! We talked about how they were all different which led to a discussion about how humans are all different and that’s what helps make us all special.
We went on the big wheel (I was a little scared but Chess held my hand and told me to be brave!) and we talked about the shape of the wheel, the pods and the buildings as both 2D and 3D shapes.
We fed the ducks and talked about what they would like to eat and how the swans almost ran across the water before taking off.
We ate ice cream. We could have talked about how it was made, the ingredients and how the flavours are added – but we didn’t. Chess asked to come inside my coat so we simply snuggled and enjoyed the moment.
None of this is what she would have specifically learnt at school today – and no question she has missed out on that learning. But she learnt. Lots. And more than that, the emotional and well being benefits of us getting this 1:1 time (for both her and me) are immeasurable.
To have taken the decision to keep Chess off school one day a week has been a big one. I of course worry that she’ll fall behind her peers and I am also mindful that the practicalities of me keeping her off has a knock on effect for her teachers. But even after we have had just one ‘Funtime Friday’, I am more confident than ever that this decision is the right one for Chess right now.
We will play each week by ear. If she gets to a point where I or her teachers feel that her being out of school is having a negative impact on her, we will of course reconsider. But for now, it’s absolutely right. And more than that, it’s absolutely wonderful too.
Have a great weekend everyone!
Love Sallly & Chess x

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