It’s fair to say that I’ve had my doubts and misgivings about how ready Max was for school. He’s always seemed young for his age, and I was concerned that the emphasis on reading and writing would turn him off of learning full stop. If it was up to me, I think I’d have kept him home with me forever!
But something changed my mind last week.
It was a tiny moment in the grand scheme of things. I’ve been making a big effort to give Max some short one-to-one time where he gets to choose the activity. He chose a Lego set, which we’d built together once before, and I noticed back then just how much direction Max needed to keep him referring to the instructions, rather than losing focus and charging ahead with how he felt it should all fit together.
But this time was different. I noticed that he was very focussed on the instructions, so I held back and let him take the lead in building. And I was more and more stunned as I watched him complete the whole thing, step by step, all on his own.
Max has always been a little puzzler, so Lego has been a hugely popular choice for him for a while, but having the discipline to follow the instructions is a new one for him, and one that I have to credit school with teaching him.
And in that moment I realised just how good school is going to be for Max. He might not embrace the reading or writing side of things, but the focus that he’s learning, the ability to sit down and complete a task, that is what will give him the foundation to explore the things he truly loves; learning how things work, how things fit together, and how to fix something. These are the skills that will allow him to shine.
As much as I’ve struggled with the concept of school, and as much as I miss him, watching my little boy manage to complete this whole Lego set all by himself made me just well up with pride and realise that, homework aside, school might not be that bad after all.