The week before term-break didn’t really feel like Charli’s first week at school. It felt more like a ‘taster’ before a two-week break of reflection and wondering about the future. I had so many vivid dreams of my childhood and schooling, as well as a few strange ones of being within Charli’s body in her own school playground interacting with her peers!
This morning we woke to blue skies and warm temperatures – which always seems to make everything easier – especially when venturing forth on a new path. The mood in the house was high. Charli was excited and Sophie was happy too – knowing I had a busy day planned for her.
We arrived at school in plenty of time for a quick play before the bell-rang. Charli tends to sprint to the mat at the sound of the bell, but Sophie and I grabbed her for a quick hug and kiss. She was really excited to see her ‘peg’ next to a good Kindi friend and quickly sat on the mat with her friend and a big smile on her face. I left her with not an inch of sadness; just full of pride and happiness to see her asserting her independence in an environment which seems to strive to really nurture a sense of self.
Sophie and I went down to Lyall Bay to soak up the sun and meet up with ‘the locals’ at the beach-side cafe, before heading to the library for ‘Story Time’. Sophie LOVES this and I find it a highlight of my week. Charli never coped well with ‘story time’ – it wasn’t until she was nearly four that she felt comfortable with a large group. Nevertheless, Charli and I had plenty of happy times at the library together – just reading in our own time and in our own space.
After stocking up on books and learning our Moari colours we set off to the swimming pool for Sophie’s first swim lesson! Sophie is quite happy in the water, but doesn’t like to put her face under and is a little hesitant of splashes. Unlike big sister – who has pearl diver’s genes, sitting on the bottom the pool at two and giving all the lifeguards a big headache! Though I did start lessons with Charli when she was barely out of the womb – so the whole underwater thing was sort of intuitive to her and never had to be learned as such! Anyway, now that Charli’s at school I have the opportunity to develop Sophie’s water-confidence. The lesson went really well and I was really impressed with the teacher’s ability to encourage water confidence in a group of 2 year olds! All of the children had a moment when they didn’t want to ‘co-operate’, but the teacher managed to turn them around and get them participating again. After the lesson we spent an hour playing in the Splash Pool, before making a move to the changing rooms and readying ourselves for the school pickup!
We’re picking Charli up at 2pm this week (instead of 3pm) and today we arrived a little late to see her totally engrossed in work. Her teacher noticed us first and met me with a huge, reassuring smile. Charli loved her first proper day and was full of positive chatter this evening. She’s already teaching Sophie and I new games and songs from school. Charli’s daily reading home-work is a delight to share with Sophie. Charli confidently reads her books to us with no need for assistance. She is going to thrive and long may the happiness continue! She’s also been noticed for her strong mathematical ability (must get that from Dan!) and is being given more challenging work-sheets.
I have been warned that mid-term the new-entrants get a little tired and not want to go to school, but they soon push through it and are then fully integrated and feel established in their surroundings. I’ll be lining up some rewards mid-term to work on to get her through to the end of term. We’ve found putting coins in a jar and transferring them, individually, to another jar on account of good behaviour works really well. When all the coins are transferred she can purchase that special something she really wants. She’s currently saving up for a scooter (as the school has ‘scoot to school’ days every Tuesday – and the children are also free to ride them at morning tea and lunch!). She’s REALLY excited about this!
Go Charli! We are so proud of you and really wish you every happiness in your school life! Of course, we are always here to pick up the pieces when things get tough too – but we know you’re so independent that you”ll want to work things out in your own time! I do remember my own school years and my memories are so happy (though I do recall the odd occasion when I thought no one understood me too – and that’s all part and parcel of growing up and life’s rich tapestry!).
Good luck free-spirit! Learn, grow and never lose your sense of self and strength of mind.