Working from home has a range of gifts and not having the dreaded commute is one of the biggest gifts of all.
Being able to start work a bit later than being forced to be at my desk at 9 am means I do the school run's most mornings.
It's a simple thing, but something that before I quit my job six months ago just wouldn't happen. On the main, I would be stuck in the traffic or being at my desk opening up a ton of emails that really had nothing to do with me.
Now its one of my favourite times of the day. I get to walk hand in hand, chase, run, scoot or ride my bike side by side with my son. We get to chat about the day, answer and ask questions about anything that has caught his attention.
We counted the number of sewers and drains in the pavement on our journey the other day. Well I say counted, we got to 27 before Duke lost patience and decided that there were more than 37 million to come. Did we need to know how many drains there are in a five minute journey? No, but I love the way his mind works. I see this as an absolute privilege to have this time.
One of the other benefits is that I've started to make friends with some of the other mums and staff at the school.
They have welcomed me rather that looking at me like I'm a weirdo. Men at the school gate isn't such a stand-out sight at is was when I was a kid.
In the 70's, dads in the playground were rarer than hens-teeth. The only other men we saw where the one's in dirty rain-mac's that we were told to keep away from and 'Charly says' we shouldn't speak to.
It was during one of these chat's that I was handed a letter that said that parent's were invited to help out on a upcoming school-trip.
The trip location, the beach. So here's the question, did I want to hangout with a load of 3 & 4 year old and go have a rampage on the seaside? Well not rampage as such but help take the school to the beach. I was right, where do I sign?
Seeing how your kids interact with their classmates it's amazing. Just like when you go to work, you become a different person to the one you are when you at home. Would it be the same with your kids I wondered?
Inspired by the principles of the Forest School and the Kindergartens of Denmark/Norway. The team behind 'Beach School' have embarked on a project where the experiences are open-ended and allow the kids become more secure and confident.
According to the bumph - "Taking the kids out of the classroom and giving them the opportunity to revisit the same area of the beach over a four week period. This allows each child to develop their interests over over several weeks.
We have observed over time that children seem to be more communicative and use more complex language when outdoors time. Parents are encouraged to accompany their children and to see how children benefit from experiential learning and how they play such a crucial role in supporting their child's development".
So one morning last week off we set like a troop of small fireworks. Four 'growed-ups' and six of the nicest funniest little 'Yet to growed -up's' all in matching waterproofs. The kids obviously, not the growed-up's that would have been a bit weird. Although I was supplied a very fetching luminous jacket, that made me feel like someone with a great deal of responsibility.
The next 2.5 hours were spent splashing, digging, giggling, paddling, exploring and dinosaur bone uncovering.
Pulling small welli-boots out of soggy sandpits, running, having fishing nets plonked on my head, jumping and having simply just a wonderful time.
Kids that age have an incredible imaginations, spirits and a sense of adventure that just spending time in their company makes the world a better place.