In September 2011, when Benny was 3 and Joa was 1, we joined with 5 other families and set up Buddies Home School. We wanted a place for our children to grow and learn and thrive together. We wanted to give them a stepping stone between mother's knee and pre-school. Little did we know just what a success it would be. Last Wednesday was our last Buddies session for the summer and for Joa and I, our last session ever as he will be starting pre-school in September.
We had a lovely session, very loose and informal playing in the glorious sunshine in Flo's garden. The children played boats with a cardboard box and blankets, running to and fro, narrating the story of their game, negotiating taking turns of the front of the box or the slide.
We also celebrated Joa's and Jacob's 4th Birthdays, what better than a Buddies session with 2 cakes and fruit pizzas!!
It was great for Benny when his hearing was at it's worst and he found communication difficult. He would really have struggled in a formal pre-school, but Buddies was perfect for him, giving him all the advantages of pre-school activities, but also 6 lovely mama's who really knew and understood him to patiently listen to what he was trying to say.
Joa has also been celebrated as he grew, and the wild monkey that he is was never quashed. He had the freedom and space to be the child he is never having to fit in to a pre-school setting. But he is ready for pre-school now and so it is time for us to move on.
I have been so grateful to be a part of Buddies too, not just for the huge benefits for the children, but also because I knew no matter what, even when times were at their hardest, I would have a time and a space to ask for and receive support from my friends. I have formed special and lovely friendships by working together with these women and I am so grateful for each and everyone of them. I am so grateful for every cup of coffee, for every smile, for every hug and ear to listen.
Juno magazine. I am so proud of our group and I hope that through this blog and through the article that other families may be inspired to start something themselves.
If you have any questions about setting up your own home kindergarten group you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org.