Thursday, August 27, 2009

Nervous but excited

Joni is officially enrolled in kindergarten here.  I am extremely nervous, but also very excited.  Round-trip, it will be a 1 mile walk, twice a day.

Cons: it feels like very long hours for someone so young.  She will be there from 7:30 - 1:30.  It is also 6 DAYS A WEEK!  Who has school 6 days a week?  She'll be going Sunday through Friday (remember, our Sabbath here is on Saturday).  We finally met with the teacher briefly and she doesn't speak a lick of English.  We had previously assumed that she would because it seems like most people with a higher education speak English.  But no.  I think this will make the initial transition much more difficult for Joni.

Pros: she will pick up an entire second language.  From what we understand, she will almost immediately pick up basic vocabulary, and will be virtually fluent by December.  Even though she doesn't turn 5 until the end of October, she has seemed ready for school for a long time now.  She has a very strong desire to learn AND to socialize.  We have also been told that any learning she does here in Hebrew, will only enhance how well she learns when she gets back to school in the states.  Any skills she learns here will transfer over to English.  That's amazing to me.

We have a get-to-know-you meeting on Monday night, and then she starts school on Tuesday morning.  

It gives me butterflies just thinking about it.  I always assumed that starting my oldest child in school would be a weird transition, but I never expected to do it in a foreign country.

I'll post pictures and an update after her first day.  Tom is worried that Joni will have a meltdown when the reality of not understanding a single word sinks in, and the teacher won't be able to call and talk to me because we wouldn't understand each other.  I don't think it will be nearly that bad.  I think Joni will be frustrated but excited. 

I guess we'll see who is right.


Shane and Geana said...

Alright, so I thought that first grad was about the hardest thing I've done so far (besides the whole heart thing ;), but that would be SCARY. She is a tuff gal and I am sure will adjust well, but 6 hours a day for such a little girl, wow. I think the hardest part of having a child in school is the getting them there in the morning. You are going to have to leave very early to walk, not to mention getting her hair fixed, fed and out the door by that time. Having boys seems so much easier in the getting ready aspect, for sure.

Good luck I hope all goes well.

Jared and Tara said...

good luck! that's very exciting. i'm sure it will be an adjustment for everyone, but i'm sure she'll do great. keep us updated! we'll keep her in our prayers. :)

Elisabeth said...

woah, that's a serious school schedule. Joni is going to be smarter than any other kid when she gets back here to the states. It'll be fun for her and Tom to chat together in I suppose you and Jackson have to learn it next! j/k Maybe when she's fluent, she can translate for you while you shop- that'll be great! I'm sure she'll adjust well and eventually love school in Jerusalem. Congratulations Amy, this is a huge step in your sweet family. :)

Devon said...

WOW! How exciting! Joni will pick Hebrew up lickety-split. How fun!! it is a rigorous schedule, though. Keep us updated!!

Brooke Stoneman said...

You'd never know you were nervous - you are so good at keeping it cool :)

Chad and Kristine said...

I would be nervous too. I'm sure she will do great! Savannah is on week three of kindergarten and loves it but says it is too long and wants a break (8:15-3p). SHe really looks fwd to the weekend. It would be hard to tell her she only gets one day. But to have her know a second language that would be awesome!! Good luck to Joni.