Our First Week of School
I’ve seen some Facebook updates of sad parents sending their kids off to school. While I can kind of understand, I have to say that for us the first week of school has been a much-anticipated event and answer to prayer for all of us.
For us, the first week of school means much needed help with teaching and training our kids, a healthy dose of social interaction for Grace, intellectual stimulation for Grace and Bekah, and a place for Grace and Bekah to belong and contribute. Grace got to meet a few of her classmates during orientation and was excited to meet the rest of them. She has three great teachers, including, due to some circumstances, the principal! And she has also been invited to her first birthday party! A dream come true for her.
We’re still struggling from everything that has happened over the past year and dealing with growth that had occurred in school in Atlanta that has now been reversed, so it’s not as if everything is perfect. We are, however, optimistic that with some hard work we will make some progress.
I (Bekah) was also happy to begin school again. I realized that it’s been seven years since I’ve had a first day of school as a teacher soit’s a little strange, but good. From the moment we walked onto campus the first time in February we’ve felt good about the atmosphere of the school.
As I was perusing the website to find out more about the school I was excited to see that their vision for the type of students they hoped to graduate matched what I was attempting to do with Grace and the curriculum items I had chosen for her last year. The website portrayed a desire to instill in students the ability to see things from a biblical worldview, to examine issues and problems from various perspectives, to develop a multicultural awareness of the world and the skills to communicate and interact in such an environment, and, above all, to develop a vibrant relationship with the Father and an intimate understanding of Jesus’ death and resurrection. After orientation and the first week I continue to sense this even more from the staff and administration. And, best of all from my perspective, the teachers, administration, and students are from 3o something different countries!
Jon has also decided that 21 years of school and 5 years of training isn’t enough and has also gone back to school. This time it is to learn Amharic. He has begun Amharic lessons at the language school down the road from our house and is busy pointing to pictures as they tell him and his classmates a bunch of vocabulary words. (Their philosophy of language learning includes a “silent time” during the first three weeks where students listen to the sounds of the language and don’t worry about producing anything.) He is in class half days, so he’s able to be home more with Hannah, easing the transition to having Grace and me gone all day. (Sorry, no first day picture of him but he pretty much looks the same.)
It is really sweet to see how excited Hannah and Grace are to see each other when we get home at the end of the day. And Grace desperately wants Hannah to be able to come to her school whenever possible and for her school to be Hannah’s school also. Next year that should definitely be possible.