Unlike in Delaware, there is no cut-off date for starting school. New Zealand public schools admit children once they turn 5 (although parents can wait until their children are 6, if preferred). This means that there are new classes put together throughout the school year as needed by enrollment.
In Delaware, Calvin’s birthday (late October) means he won’t start kindergarten until fall 2016, but kiwi kids typically start Year 0 (like US kindergarten) right after they turn 5. Then they start Year 1 in February with the start of the new school year. We decided to go ahead with that option, so now Calvin is–for 5 weeks, anyway–a primary school student!
Last Friday Calvin celebrated his last day at Montana ELC and then this week he started as an Ilam student. He was so excited, having had two school visits! One of his friends from Montana is actually in the class Calvin would be joining, so he even already knew a familiar face.
Calvin’s teacher, herself a mom of four, welcomed him into the group, and Calvin seems like he’s settling in well.
On the first day, Charlotte really thought that she could just walk Calvin to school without me. I mean, it is only 200 meters away, right around the corner and not requiring them to cross any streets, but really?!
I told them that yes, I really did need to help make sure Calvin arrived safely at his classroom. When we got there, he gave me a hug and kiss and then didn’t even look back.
That afternoon at 3, Calvin happily burst out of his classroom, grinning and sweaty (it was a hot day!). Charlotte bustled over from her room, and we met Evelyn (whose school is just down the block) on the playground. I could see that Calvin was tired but he was also very happy from his day.
Cal’s teacher reported that he was a great student and really funny (!), and that he is settling in well to the class.
And just like that, I have two elementary school students and a middle schooler. Today, Day 2, I watched Charlotte and Calvin walk out the door together, off to school, hand in hand.