It's back to school week across the region, and parents and kids alike are experiencing bouts of excitement, anxiety, dread, and relief.
Yesterday was Hailey's first day of full time preschool. She goes to a french preschool, so there are elements of unease for me because she can't always understand everything that is going on, but it's not a totally new situation for her, because she was there last year for two half days a week. She also already knew her teacher because she had subbed for a week last year, and four kids from her class are with her this year, including a close friend. However, 8-5:30 is a much longer day than before. Yesterday morning was a breeze; she was so excited about her first day that she slipped on her indoor shoes and took off for the toys and friends. This morning her little friend wasn't at school, so she was reluctant for us to leave. When we picked her up yesterday, she came out with her face all painted like a butterfly. Apparently at around 4 when some of the parents started showing up, she got upset that her parents weren't there. One of the teachers had their little facepainting kit with them and made her feel better.
I've been talking to friends who are very anxious for their grade primary kids going to school for the first time. It's hard to leave them when you aren't sure how they will make out. It was nice taking Hailey to a place that she was familiar with, and I think it worked out well introducing her to school gradually. She will go to primary at the same school next year, and it's likely that she will already know most of the kids and her teacher too. It helps to ease some of that when we are asking her to be in an environment where the language is different. Even though we read in french and she knows a lot of french words, she is still far from fluent and struggles throughout the day. The teachers are great though, and they make sure she understands what is going on (the program is designed for kids who do not speak french at home but who are going into an exclusively french environment).