Guess what my wife and I have been up to this week? Correct. We have indeed been wandering into each other in a sleep deprived haze at around 3.16am every morning. But on this occasion, that’s not actually the answer I am looking for. Oh no. The answer I am actually looking for is: “You’ve been on a bunch of school visits in a bid to try and get your heads round where on Earth you are going to send your son when he reaches school age.”
Bingo! That’s exactly what we’ve been doing, folks. And talking of bingo, along with making me realise just how clever today’s kids are, teaching me what an adverb is, and giving me an idea of the best house of education for my little man, these school visits have inspired me to create a fun, new parenting game.
It’s called School Visit Bingo, and it’s an extremely uncomplicated, eight-step activity that works like so…
How to play
- Have a child (I appreciate this seems like an obvious starting point, but it’s a funny old world and this is the internet and all that).
- Arrange a school visit or open day appointment.
- Print out the School Visit Bingo card I’ve positioned at the top of this article.
- Stow it safely in your pocket.
- Sneak it past security (read: the middle-aged receptionist).
- Take it out of your pocket.
- Tick off every entry that emerges from the mouth of the head teacher/tour giver.
- Shout “Bingo!” if you manage to complete card (important note: if you complete the card at a school you might actually want to send your child too, feel free to swap excited wailing for a more socially acceptable option – e.g a smug grin and mini fist pump).
And then what? Then the game is over and it’s time to go home and argue about whether Jaffa Cakes are cakes or biscuits. Not really. It’s actually time for you to start discussing whether the school you’ve just seen is a good fit for your child.
A massive learning opportunity
Given my son has just turned two, I imagined this would be quite difficult to do, but it’s amazing what my wife and I have managed to glean from these visits. Like? Like… …this school’s kids are pretty robotic and dull; this school’s facilities haven’t been updated in years; there are way more boys than girls at this school; this school’s teachers seem pretty old school; there are no hot lunches on offer at this school; this school has a greater focus on play; this school is really hard to get to on public transport… …the list really does go on and on and on.
Well, what are you waiting for? Don’t just sit there acting like this article hasn’t changed your life. Get up, get on the blower and begin arranging visits to the schools your son or daughter might end up attending.
If your lucky, this list will consist of one or two schools. If you’re not, it might consist of ten or 20. But either way, your will learn loads, you will get to play my awesome School Visit Bingo game and, if you go to a school that’s really pulling out all the stops to impress prospective parents, you might get some free wine or soup.
Yes, you read that last bit correctly.