When I went to collect her I started chatting with another mum who lives on our road. She asked me which school my daughter went to, as it obviously wasn't the local primary that her daughter went to. There were some raised eyebrows when I said the name of a posh, private school until I explained that I work there. ("That's okay then" said the expression on her face)
"So, what else does your daughter do?" she asked.
At first I didn't understand the question, I nearly answered "plays out, reads her books, paints, bakes, etc" but then I twigged - she meant, "What other activities does she do?"
"Just Rainbows", I said, "She's only just five and she needs to go to bed at about 6.30pm""Sarah does, but she does something every day" and she proceeded to reel off a list of Rainbows, Football, Swimming, French Lessons and Dancing.
"Oh, she's quite busy then" I said, trying to maintain a pleasant smile and hoping it wasn't a grimace.
"Well, otherwise she gets bored" she said.
"So what's wrong with getting bored and learning how to amuse yourself?" I thought.
I know this is the same topic I published on Saturday, but I can't believe I had this conversation this evening after what happened on Friday. I also can't believe I've been oblivious to it happening around me. It must be because I'm not one of the mums at the school gate at 3.25pm so I haven't had these conversations before now. At last, one advantage of being a Working Mum!
I thought Reception children did their reading and went to bed! How naiive I was!
At work today I mentioned this phenomenon of filling your child's every waking moment with an organised activity and one of my colleagues made an interesting point:
"Those are the children you try to teach that can't sit still and concentrate on their work on their own; they want to be directed every minute"
Interesting theory; if they never have time on their own, how do they become independent learners?
Could she be right?
Could she be right?