After the usual summer scramble to keep the kids occupied in camps, daycare, or at home, both are now back in school. Archer is completing his second week of school (and has filled all the squares in his homemade two-week chart with the number of good as golds received). Cady Gray started this past Tuesday; she's going to the preschool affiliated with my university's early childhood education degree program, and she's attending full time, all day five days a week.
Neither of our kids have ever suffered from trepidation going to school. We've managed to convince them that they're going to love it, and then they just do. I'm so glad Cady Gray is going full time this year, because she needs those social skills and comfort with routine to go along with the academics she already has. (Two nights ago she read to me the entirety of The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid Of Anything -- which is securely at her reading level -- and on the way to school this morning she figured out 12+29.)
Next year she'll be going to kindergarten, just slipping past the new birth date requirements by the skin of her teeth, and because she shares her brother's precociousness but not his social impairments, I wish I could skip right there so that she'll start being challenged that much sooner. (In terms of what I've seen of the curriculum in Archer's classes, and in terms of Cady Gray's current writing, spelling, reading, and math skills, it would take some of his second-grade sentence writing and story comprehension assignments to stretch her.)
But I know that this year will be an education in the nature of school -- in sitting still, working together, taking turns, all those skills that can only be honed by practice. I don't want to look past all the moments of discovery she can have in that setting by being too eager to move on to the big leagues.
On the first day ...
We walked to school together.
She put her things in her cubby.
The jungle gym proved immediately irresistible.
But don't send me off without a smile and a goodbye kiss, sweetie.