Monday, September 8, 2014

Gigi goes to Kindergarten

And so we've entered into a new chapter of life!  Giovanna started her first year of Kindergarten at the Emerson Waldorf School last week, and so far, I think things are going as well as could be hoped for.  Last night when I tucked her into bed she said, "I wish I could just be at school already!"

Kindergarten at Emerson Waldorf is a half day affair, so she eats lunch with her pals and then I pick her up.  The first few days she was definitely exhausted when I came to get her - I was hoping she would play on the playground so that I could get connection time with the other parents, but she was very ready to go home.  In her classroom there are 4, 5 and 6 year olds mixed together, and 8 out of the 12 are on the older end of the spectrum and will be aging up into 1st grade next year.  I think it stretched her to keep all of her little emotions together for an entire four hours!  Luckily, by day three she was relaxed and ready to play after school with her friends.  

Gigi's transition to school was aided by a good roll-out of fun events.  Prior to the first day of school, we had some good playdates with a few friends in her class, I organized a playdate for new families at the school playground, and the school organized a number of potlucks and a puppet show for the Kindergarten families.  On day 1, Gigi saw many familiar faces and jumped right in!  I left her and her little friend Olympia peeling carrots in preparation for their snack that day.

Here she is on Day 1, in front of her Kindergarten doors with her lunch, and in front of her cubby.  The kids play outside for a good chunk of time every day, rain, or pouring rain, or shine, so rain boots and jackets are kept in this little space with her name on it.

Our sending Gigi to Emerson Waldorf School has generated a lot of interest from friends and strangers who ask where Gigi is going to school.  It must be confusing that we are paying a private school tuition for a non-academic Kindergarten setting that is not about prepping her for college at age 4, but that is exactly what we are doing!  And I think that most people who visit a Waldorf Kindergarten see why - it is everything homey and lovely about childhood - play, work, recitation, helping and a wholesome environment.  (HERE is a good comparison of Waldorf and Montessori Kindergarten settings, since everybody asks how they are similar or different).  

And finally, a glimpse of school through Gigi's eyes.

Me: What have you enjoyed about the Emerson Waldorf School?
Gigi: Playing and eating lunch.

Me: What have you learned at school from your teacher?
Gigi: Some verses and poems.

Me: Who do you like to play with at school?
Gigi: Olympia and Serena, and Danielle.

Me: What has been your favorite snack so far?
Gigi: Porridge and the bread (they make it themselves).

Me: What do you wish was different at school?
Gigi: I wish we could cook in the kitchen instead of at the table in our room.

Me: What kind of person is your teacher Miss Robin?
Gigi: A nice person and a sharing person. 

But someone is a little sad about Gigi starting school.  Every day Orion gets a little pouty face and says, "I want Gigi!".  We're still adjusting to our routine without her...

Monday, September 1, 2014

Summer this Year

Now that we're just a day away from Gigi starting at the Emerson Waldorf School, summer feels officially over.  I don't know that there were a lot of summer events that will be seared into my brain because of their stunning and memorable nature, but we spent ample time outdoors, socialized, and as a family we have done a bit of growing up.  Our transition (finally) from being a student household to a working household is huge, but we also bought a mini-van, enrolled our daughter in Kindergarten, made a will with an attorney and completed the corresponding documents, bought a fireproof/waterproof box for said documents and our treasured items in our home, systematically de-junked many corners of our house, completed numerous other projects that have been on the back burner for years, and got our finances in order.  There are still some projects that we've only touched on but a lot has been accomplished and we feel good about it.

A few of the fun things we did this summer, besides our trip to DC, were horseback riding for the first time...

Camping with friends...

And celebrating the beginning of summer with some Waldorf families, with a bonfire and little boats that the kids made.  We lit tea candles and sailed the boats out into the lake...

We also enjoyed cooling off on the hot days...

And endless hours of playing at the park.  

Good bye summer!  It's been real.