The school year in Australia goes from the end of January to the beginning of December. Our four year old will start Kindergarten in January, which is nine months earlier than he would have been in Kindergarten in the U.S. Most of the schools in our area are single-sex schools. This week we visited an all-boys school. I had a good feeling about the place from the first time I spoke to them (vs. my nearly constant feeling of being an ignorant American jackass in the eyes of most Australians), so that was an excellent start.
Night before going to the school:
I tell my 3 & 4 years old boys, "Tomorrow morning we are going to visit a big boy school. We are going to talk with a nice lady and it's going to be so fun. Daddy is coming too!"
Morning of our interview at the school:
I interrupt the usual hallway-relay-race-antics and pull aside Captain Chaos (the 3 year old)to tell/bribe him about the gingerbread cookie he is going to get if he "uses his listening ears" when we go to the school today.
When we got to the school it looked something like the picture below, blazer and necktie uniforms are the norm here. I would send my kids there just to see them in that uniform-- seriously, imagine a/my five year old in that get-up.
We were fifteen minutes early and Super Nice School Lady greeted us and immediately showed us to her office, which was great for us since we normally have about a 30 minute window before our boys' poor little bodies are overtaken by evil spirits... and the clock was ticking.
Our four year old took over and answered all the questions for us. I barely even noticed that Captain Chaos (the three year old) had left the room, ventured into the hallway, and dragged my husband with him. I look out there and yes, my husband was allowing him to stand on top of chairs and dance like a stripper, awesome. Did I mention the school was church affiliated?
One of the last getting to know you questions was regarding where each of us had been born. The four year continued doling out the answers, and told her that he and his brother were both born in Texas.
As soon as the word "Texas" came out of his mouth, she nearly jumped out of her seat with excitement. She told us that she LOVES Texas--and it was fantastic because we do too, and we loved her. She was one of the nicest people we've met in Australia.
Before we could say "Don't squat with yer spurs on!" she had twirled around and whipped out a book called the Texas Alphabet. It looked like Four Year Old Genius had pushed her magic button and sent her into some type of Texas related orgasm right before our eyes.
The story is, her sister is married to a Texan and she goes to Texas a lot. She even has a "Texas room" in her house. She started talking Aggies and Lornhorns-- which I'm almost sure are college sport teams.
She wrapped up the meeting telling us that we should receive an "offer letter" within the next few weeks and she's really looking forward to having two Texan boys at her school.
I felt like I had won the lottery, it's nice to walk away feeling like your kids are going to be at a school with people you like and who really seem to care. I'm feeling extraordinarily relieved.