29 January 2013

New Frontiers

Grace's rocket to the Moon

Grace starts school this week.  It is a new frontier for her, but not entirely unchartered territory.   The whole school routine is so familiar to her, having watched her two older sisters make their way through it over the past four years.  There are moments of anxiety (getting sent to the principal looms large which is kind of a joke, given the relaxed nature of the school she is attending), but she is otherwise largely unfazed by this particular milestone.   She'll dutifully agree that she is looking forward to it, when questioned by grown ups, but I am not convinced that she feels either excitement or dread.  It is simply something that is going to happen, in the way that things do, when you are five.

I know I will miss her on the days I am home without her. She and Lily are a tight little unit when their big sisters are not around and I expect that starting school will see some change in that, as she moves into a different world, makes school friends and perhaps has less time for three year old play.

Lily starts three-year-old kinder too, and though it will only be two three-hour sessions, I have some significant doubts about how ready she is. My other girls have all been near the oldest in their classes while Lily will be one of the younger ones, with all the consequential 'younger' behaviour: still not great about sharing; inclined to resolve issues by going the whack; more than willing to scream to get her own way. I guess three-year-old kinder teachers are used to all that. Anyway I've always thought that the point of three-year-old kinder is for kids to learn how to be out in the world with other kids without their parents mediating every encounter. Forget alphabets and numbers, there are far more important lessons.

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