What really happens this side of the Cattle Grid: Blog #4

Dear Parents,

Albert Einstein once said, “Time flies when you are having fun”; and this must surely be the case when living at HZG, as we are just about to finish our seventh week of the first term! Next thing you will know, we will be planning our Christmas lunch – which should be a BBQ by the way…the children love the idea of my standing in the cold, braai-ing (the South African word for a BBQ) for Christmas lunch.

As fun as it is to be together at school, it can also be full-on and, at time, exhausting for the children. Whilst learning valuable skills, such as prioritising their time and organising their lives – how to juggle activities, prep and the all-important free time, they also need to learn how to look after themselves. I don’t just mean physically, I mean mentally; wellbeing is a much talked about word these days, but never has it been so relevant than in 2020. We talk to the children about the importance of taking time out and looking after oneself, especially when the term rolls on and the dark and cold weather closes in on us.

And this brings me to exeats, half terms, and holidays. As parents ourselves, we often want to hit the ground running on day 1, wanting to make the most of our children being home and possibly organise a trip to the cinema, a morning of shopping, a big meal, a movie night at home, a Sunday walk and of course, unpacking the kit and tidying bedrooms – but this does not always work for tired children at the end of a time at school.

We need to appreciate that our children need a slower pace of life when they return home to us. For many of them, all they want to do is cuddle with their pet, lie on the sofa, spend some time on a screen, (and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing), and be served! They do so incredibly well with us at HZG, and you should all be extremely proud of the independent, self-reliant, and able children that you have helped create. But this can be exhausting…and we need to remember that they are very young too. They need time to do nothing and be alone if they choose to be – as they are always with others when boarding.

I must also add at this time, that we always emphasise that they need to be good company at home – that you (and their siblings) have all missed them and that they need to engage, be helpful and smiley…and help with the dishes! As with most things in life, a compromise is good and being empathetic is essential.

To this end, I wish you and your lovely children a safe, restful and fulfilling break and we look forward to seeing you all in two weeks’ time. God bless and travel safely. 

Mr Schreiber


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