It’s October already. Not only that, it’s almost mid-October. I like October; it was the month that my son was born back in ’05. I’m getting a bit side-tracked.
Fucking October! Already, it’ll soon be Christmas.
We find out if Karta has done enough to pass his 11+ Kent test this week. It feels like my next move is hanging on the result of this test.
If he has passed, then it gives him the option of attending a grammar school if he so desires. I think a lot of that decision will depend on what his pass mark might be. If he passes by a long way, then I’ll be reassured that he will have the capacity to do well in a grammar environment. I hear that they pile on the work and expect total commitment from the pupil. That’s not Karta. He’s clever, bright and inquisitive; but maybe not academic enough. If he only just scrapes through then, I think Rhona and I will seriously have to think about not putting him forward. If that happens, then we have a couple of other options that we can consider.
None of the standard secondary schools in the area feels right to me. Going along to the open evenings and listening to the sales pitches from the various head teachers all feels a bit, well, false. I get the feeling they’re not telling you the whole truth and that your child will become another brick in the wall.
There’s only one secondary non-grammar school in Thanet that we’d consider sending Karta to; it will probably be the only school that we put on the application form next week. Karta likes it, so that’s a good omen. Our other options are to home school or to try to find a way to get Karta into our local Steiner School.
Either of these options could place a considerable strain on us as a family, either financially or mentally. People say to me that I should have faith in the schools around here and that Karta will be okay. But they don’t know him the way we do. He’s at his best when he can learn things in a creative way that’s relevant to him, not in a classroom with 30 other kids and teachers that have little or no time to spend with him on an individual basis. So the latter options seem to be better.
So assuming that we decide to send our son to the Steiner school, we would have to find the fees to pay for his education for the next seven years or so. That means finding an additional £700 per month, which in and of itself shouldn’t be too hard to do. I’ll need to up my game and find some paid work or get a grip on selling my skills to people that might be interested in buying them.
My skill-set is quite big. I’m a trained and qualified photographer, a writer, a graphic designer, a website builder; I do PR, I make digital art, I have CAD qualifications, I manage social media channels, and I blog about things that interest me. But for some reason, I find it hard to get people to take me seriously enough to pay me what I’m worth. What I’m worth is probably a lot more than the £700 per month that I need to get my son into a great school, and to keep him there until he turns 18.
My biggest problem is that I find it difficult just to put the blinkers on and work for the man. I need to work for myself, being creative and enjoying the work that I do.
£700 per month.
That’s seven small websites, seven promotional headshots, four ad designs, three logo designs and a couple of photoshoots. What would be nice would be to get paid for writing about stuff. I’ll write about or photograph anything, as long as I have some creative control in what I’m producing.
There’s nothing worse than trying to work for someone that doesn’t care about who I am as a creative person. These people and companies want to pay peanuts too, surely if they recoil at the quote I give them, they should just go elsewhere.
I’m available for hire, but you’ve got to want what I do, and the way that I do it.
If on the other hand, we decide to home-school our son, I would need to curtail my working ambitions and throw myself into being a teacher. That would mean having a structure to our days and putting all of my energy into educating him. The consensus seems to be that we’d need to be doing at least three hours of learning per day. The good thing is that we can decide what Karta would like to learn about on a daily basis. I’m happy to do this; I believe that we could both get something out of home-schooling.
The school issue is one of the linchpins in how we move forward as a family. Getting that right will impact every decision that we make for the foreseeable future. I still have a grand plan, a place that I want to get my family to at some time in the future.
It involves happiness and contentment, nothing more and nothing less.
It is my succession plan.