Monday, January 9, 2012

A little then and now

Posting about Kira's first day of school here in America, it dawned on me that I don't think I ever talked much about the school that she was in.

800 kids in once school. 80 kids per classroom. Uniforms. Kids walk 1 1/2-2 miles to get to the school. (Uphill both ways.... kidding....sort of.)

Now that you saw the "now" with the last post, here's the "then".

kira's classroom

random signs all over the walls. africa and their signs. :)

this was the attendance board for the entire school

kira saying good-bye to her teacher.


just taking it easy on the school grounds during lunch break.

First day of School!

Kira had attended school in Uganda, and had just started Primary 2 when we got there. (Primary 2 is about the equivalent of American first grade.) We were unsure what grade we would enroll her in here at home. We finally decided that because of the language barrier alone, and all that first graders know here (and especially because most first graders would be fairly solid readers half way through the year), we decided to place her in Kindergarten. We wanted her to be home for a while before sending her off to school, and we are thankful for that choice. It really helped her and us all connect with one another, and also prepare her a bit through language, security, and schedule before sending her off during the days.

The big day finally came! Kira was beyond excited. She tells us she enjoyed school in Uganda, and was very excited to go here. Her response was cute when we told her she would be in Kindergarten. She piped up and said, "I in P2"! She didn't hold too tightly to her previous grade level, she was just excited to go.  She is in afternoon kindergarten, and on her first day, all morning long kept asking if it was time to leave yet. We finally headed out the door and she could not stop grinning from ear to ear. She was skipping and singing and shooting me the happiest little glances I've ever seen her give. I stayed with her for about 15 minutes, and it was obvious that she was going to be more than okay, and that I was free to leave. There was one little girl who was so very welcoming to her, which I'm very thankful for. At the end of the day, she came running up to me with the same grin on her face. She had had a wonderful first day! YAY! And every day since, about 30 minutes after breakfast, she begins asking if it is lunch time ... she knows that school comes right after lunch. :)

I'm so thankful for yet another smooth transition for her here in this strange land. I'm thankful that she felt secure to leave our little nest and know we were returning for her. I'm thankful that she truly has a love of learning, and that adventurous spirit of hers.

Oh...and she's smart! We had received a list of 40 sight words that the kids had learned so far. We had Christmas break to begin studying them. (Remember, Kira is still learning all of our strange English words (like their, they're and there). She has not really begun to read yet. Some sounds here, especially vowel sounds, are very different to her.) They tested her on the sight words on her very first day. The teacher was impressed and proud to report to me that Kira got an 85% !

Anyway....enough story telling. The pictures, as always, tell a better story than I could!

so we begin the 15 minute walk to school. compared to the mile and a half she used to have to go to get to school, i think she didn't mind. :)

we got there early, so kira had plenty of time to try out the playground equipment.

sitting on the alphabet rug first thing. kira took her spot and joined right in on the topic of the day - Your favorite Christmas present! (She told the class about the new puzzle she got.)

"really mom, you don't have to stay." :)

the kids move from rug time to "movement". super cute. kira joined right in with the crazy dancing and motions!

after school she spotted Eden waiting for us. she ran to her sister with such joy.

walking home with the girls.