Oh, hey there KINDERGARTEN!
Like most moms out there, I’ve found myself in disbelief over the past few days. How did this happen? How did we get here? I SWEAR I was just swaddling her! But, despite my disbelief, we dropped Emma Vance off at elementary school this morning! She’s a kindergartener!
I have to say I’m extremely proud and surprised that I shed exactly ZERO tears this morning. Frankly, everything required a lot of effort — from getting everyone up and out the door, to making sure E.V. was uniformed and equipped properly (haha), to navigating the car pool line (ugh), to making our way through the halls to her new classroom — so I didn’t really have time to be sad. And when we reached the door to her classroom, E.V. was as happy as could be, smiling and eager. We watched from the threshold as she hung up her backpack and while Cricket delivered her lunchbox. (By the way, the teacher was delighted to see Cricket and asked her in French, “Are you three?” to which Cricket replied, “Oui!” Huh? Ryan and I looked at each other with wide eyes and dropped jaws. I guess she’s been paying attention!)
Speaking of French, a note on school choice: WHOA. I seriously felt like we were determining our children’s entire futures in deciding on an elementary school. I started last December with touring our public school, our preschool’s kindergarten program, charter schools and private schools. I was overwhelmed by the options, but I figured that when I was in the right place, I’d just know what decision to make. Nope.
Touring all sorts of schools only confused me more, and I didn’t get the for-sure feeling that I had expected. After much debate, prayer, conversation and thought, though, I decided to send Emma Vance to International Charter School of Atlanta. (Honestly the thing that sealed the deal for me was that I perused the website for the millionth time in the final hours of my decision making, and ICSA was featuring a story about having a French artist come to the school for a day. It was totally up the Shove family’s alley!) ICSA is a state charter language immersion school close to our home, and we had a couple friends who attended and loved it. Emma Vance was accepted (through a lottery) to the French track, and I just felt like it was a now-or-never opportunity. So we chose “now!” For kindergarten, E.V. will spend 80% of her day learning in French. Lunch, recess, P.E. and music will all be in English. Plus she’ll have an actual English class with traditional reading and writing of course. I’m still nervous about how this whole immersion thing will work for a child who knows zero French, but I’ve been assured by many other families that some sort of “magic” just happens a few weeks into school. Fingers crossed!
And a note to all the lovely moms out there who protect their children from being known on the internet, I totally get it. However, since E.V.’s uniform is emblazoned with ICSA — and since she (and eventually Cricket) will be wearing it daily for the next handful of years — I figured that avoiding divulging her school name would be nearly impossible. So there’s that, in case you were alarmed. And, as for the debate on whether uniforms are preferable or not, I’m still on the fence. It was so sad this morning not to have a special outfit picked out, but also so easy. I’ll weigh in on that subject once we have a little more time under our belts. ;)
Happy First Day of School, ICSAers + Emma Vance!