Reasons 1347 & 1348

Daisy goes to our local Primary School in the village. It’s teeny tiny, with just 35 kids there, but they are the most delightful group of children I’ve ever come across. Because the classes are so small they all play together – the Kinders with the year 5 kids, all included, all together. Some are from families that have done the same as us and moved down here from Sydney, and some are ‘proper’ locals with Dairy farms. At Assembly each morning they all line up and sing the National Anthem. Every day. Both verses. At the moment they have the chance for one child from K-2 and then one from 3-6 sing the opening two lines of each verse. Solo. Could you think of anything more terrifying? They are so eager to have a chance – desperate to have a turn. The little trembling solo voice brings tears to my eyes each time I hear it but the beaming smile afterwards fills your soul up with happiness. Imagine feeling safe and secure and confident of non judgement from your peers? Imagine just wanting to have a go? What a wonderful thing!

This is her playground. Grass. Rolling hills. Veggie patches. A playground. I’m not even trying to make it sound more romantic than it really is. It’s that good.

And at the moment they have two visitors here from one of the kid’s farms – two little calves. One 1 month old, the other just 2 weeks.

Each day two kids have to feed them in the morning and afternoon and today it was Daisy’s turn.

The fact that she is getting this as part of her education makes me giddy. Sure the move down here to an amazing house that we could never afford otherwise, or have a garden, or have as much precious time together as a family are wonderful…but the fact that we have given our kids this as their childhood only reaffirms that this is the best thing we ever did.

Ever.

Comments

  1. beautiful, and what an awesome EDUCATION they are getting at that beautiful school.

  2. That’s so nice. I’d love for my kids to have that sort of interaction with animals and nature and all that jazz.

  3. feebeecakes says:

    Lordy Beth – please start posting the latest domain.com.au ads…I am there! If you don’t get a contract as an ambassador for the Southern Highlands, I will eat my hat!

  4. Anonymous says:

    “Hear, Hear” We have just bought a small property in rural Victoria, I can’t wait to do the same, the local primary has 40 kids. I simply can’t wait!!!!!
    Cheers
    KT

  5. I hear you. I never want to move from here, ever.

  6. How wonderful – just what childhood should be.. Do you have good options for high school in your region?

  7. oh my word that looks bloody divine. i’ve dreamed my whole career of teaching in a little school like that, but i think i’m destined to stay in the 8-foot-barbed-wire fence variety for a while :)sarah

  8. Ahhh, just lovely! We have the country school in the city here at our little infants school. Just a smidgen bigger than your K-6, on about a 5 acre block – so much room to play, explore and grow. I love the sound of your school too!

  9. Traci Sparkle Devlin says:

    This just made me cry! LOVE IT!

  10. SO amazing beth. I love that you see the fruits of your decision daily. How affirming.

    plus you got new hair today, so it’s a win win

    xo em

  11. My kids have started at a 2 teacher school this year and we could never go back to the city now. It is everything we want for our kids, both in terms if our values and the kind of lifestyle. It is great when your choices are validated like that.

  12. Absolutely the best thing you ever did! What an idyllic childhood, lucky kids. We live in a little town, but the kids school has over 600 kids in it! (Lots of families living on rural properties)
    I think the idea of such a small tight knit school sounds terrific. And you get to enjoy the cute little calves too! Lucky.
    Rach x

  13. So lovely!

  14. Small schools for Primary School are awesome. We had 36 kids in ours and everyone loved everyone…well…most of the time ;-)

  15. I moved back to NZ from London when pregnant with my wee man who is now 3.5 years. I’m so pleased we did even though I miss our London life. He has started at our local country kindy. They have chickens and use lots of natural resources. And get this! Instead of using playdough they play with bread dough that they then bake! He loves going – it makes the leaving London so worth it.

  16. Jane Mayall says:

    We live 30 mins south of Toowoomba in Qld and for the last 2.5 years I was driving in and out of town to give my children what I thought was a “good education,” at a private school…crazily driving past several small schools. Last term it (finally!!) dawned on me that what I was doing was completely ridiculous and moved them to a small school half the distance. Honestly it has been the best decision and I would echo all your sentiments in this excellent post :) I love the sense of community, freedom and calmnesss that only a small school can provide. Thank you Beth :))

  17. We have “country kids” and love it as much as you. Our school is much bigger – 260 – but still fabulous. I giggled at the calves – in lambing season there is a purpose built pen for lambs that come to school during the day. Staff with farms bring their babies in and the kids love it.

  18. You fucken GO Babymac – Jonnie and I feel the same way although we weren’t as brave as you and only got as far as the Shire from the Eastern Suburbs! But our kids have a MASSIVE tree to play in and hang off and swing off and a beautiful garden and a lovely school 5 doors away and we have a teeny boat and we can afford (sort of!)an actual HOUSE not a tiny flat. You know?? xo

  19. I know how you feel. My son (and soon daughter) go to a tiny country school with just 19 kids :). I went to the same school when I was a kid (don’t know how, but here I am back here), and we just love it. It’s like a family – they all play together, and if there are problems, they have to sort them out, because there is no other kids to go and play with. Just like the workplace when they grow up ;). Lucky us!

  20. Just wow – every time I read a post about how awesome the life is for you out of the city I am envious to the nth degree. But also incredibly happy that you have found your little piece of paradise – and are able to share this with your kids. Every moment like this just reaffirms that you’ve made the right choice. And I love hearing about it because it makes me think that maybe I can do it one day too!

  21. I am so happy for your family that you have landed in such a wonderful place!

    I had the itchiest feet earlier this year and was about to pack the house up and move somewhere, anywhere.
    But I seem to have settled now and have realised that where we are is pretty darn good!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Lucky Daisy and Harper. I taught for a few weeks in a country school just like theirs last school term and it was just the same…like one big happy family. It felt just like being on the set of ‘A Country Practice’ everyday! (For those of us old enough to remember this Aussie TV series.) Country life is wonderful and well done you for taking that big step into the unknown…your stories show that it has well and truly paid off! Annie M

  23. Anonymous says:

    Fills me with joy whenever I read your posts! Today i read with smile and a little tear of happiness for your beautiful family!
    I pine for something similar for my family!

  24. I swear kids these days are so much more confident than I ever was at school. They jump at the chance to do ANYTHING in front of the class which was always my worst nightmare!

    I love that there are only 35 kids at Daisy’s school… the school I teach at has 20-30 kids to a class and about 25 classes altogether! No rolling hills or farm animals at my school – Daisy’s a lucky girl!

    xx

  25. So beautiful, what an idyllic little school. Gorgeous pics lady xo

  26. I had (naively) thought that I was probably the only dairy farmer who knew of you. Foolish. I know.
    In total agreement that family country life is full of amazing opportunities. Wouldn’t have it any other way for mine. Jac (blissfully dairy farming in Victoria)

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