Wednesday, August 06, 2008

School Daze

**How can she possibly be old even for school?! Wasn't I just feeding her bottles and mashed carrots?**

Caitlin started 1/2 day afternoon Kindergarten on Tuesday!

She is going to a public charter school that emphasizes multiculturalism and bilingual education. She is in the Spanish program since we figured that would be the most beneficial for living where we do. The school also offers Mandarin and French. The first 90 minutes of class are in English and the rest of the time instruction is given in Spanish. It's a very demanding curriculum (so we've heard) which is what we wanted for Caitlin, we wanted her to be challenged. Her class is also small, only 12 students which allows the teacher to provide some one-on-one attention as needed.

Anyway, Ben took the day off on Tuesday so that he could be there to send Caitlin off. She showed almost no fear when we got to her classroom and started to play with the puzzles and other interactive games on the teacher's bookcase. Caitlin made friends with one little girl during the open house and they stuck together like glue when we arrived. I think it was harder on us to leave her than it was for her. She gave each of us a hug and quickly resumed her playing.

We took some pictures at the school as well as at home after she was all decked out in her uniform and back pack. Oh my goodness, did she ever looks so grown up! When we got back to the car, knowing that she was happy & safe at school, Ben and I both had ourselves a cry. Our baby has grown up.

We were early to pick up Caitlin in the afternoon (we were told 3pm but school is released at 3:30pm) so we sat on the grass in front of the school and waited for Caitlin's class to be led out by her teacher. Caitlin was first in line and as soon as she saw Ben, she made a beeline for him--completely ignoring her teacher's instruction to stay in line. As hard as it was for him not to pick her up and give her a big hug, Ben made her get back in line until her teacher released the class. Then, she came running again! She had a big smile on her face and reported that she had a great time at school and that she listened to her teacher (except for that one time). Her class had art that day and Caitlin drew a very cute picture. She did tell us that she was starving because we didn't pack her a snack (we didn't know if they had snack time--oops!) and we promised that she could have a snack at home.

At home, I grilled her on what she had learned in school and she began signing a song in Spanish that asks someone how they are doing. I was very impressed for the first day of school! I hope that she will continue to grow and thrive in this school. She certainly seems to like it so far.

No homework yet, but we are expecting 10 minutes a night on top of reading 15 minutes per night. Since she is not in full day like we were hoping, I am also going to supplement her studies with some workbook, just to make sure that she is on par.

With school came a new routine of earlier bedtimes, early lunch and school drop off and pick up. So far, we are managing and adapting quite well, but it does seem like we're on the go a lot.


Mary said...

What an eventful day you all had - but especially of course Caitie. A classroom of 12 students sounds like an amazing place to be.

Starting immediately with an intimate study (usage) of a foreign language - Spanish in Caitie's case - seems like such a good idea. My grandkids didn't have this option in their elementary education.

Happy school days to Caitie with her curriculum and making new friends - as she has already.

Lyla said...

I think Caitlin is going to love school. She seems like a social butterfly and I imagine she'll do quite well with her classes. How exciting!

Judy said...

Congrats on getting to the Big K! Wow, you guys start school early - we still have a couple more weeks of summer (and heat and heat and some more heat) before the school bell rings!


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