September 2, 2014

grade one: the french journey begins

Today the little girl who made me a mum started first grade. 

For the last couple of days we've been dealing with some nervousness on her part as she has prepared for a bit of a change. After two years at one school, this year Lady M started at a new elementary school becuase she has begun french immersion. 100% of her studies this year will be in French which will be a big change, but I'm so excited for her to learn another language. 

Calvin was a french immersion student, studying in that stream from grade one through high school graduation. I was an immersion kid too, but I started later with it, in grade 7. I figure I'll be able to help Lady M with her homework through until about grade 6(!) while her bilingual daddy will have her covered much further along her academic journey!

After waking up this morning declaring that she wasn't going to school, I brushed the comment off with very little discussion, and she happily carried on with her morning routine. Our little 5-year-old got dressed in her new outfit, put her lunch and pencil case (yay for school supply shopping for the first time!!) in her Hello Kitty backpack, laced up her Converse and we were set. After snapping a slew of pictures on our front lawn, we set off.

The french school is about a 10-minute drive and we chatted on our way. When we arrived she was still chatty, but once we got around to the playground and reality started setting in, she began clinging a little bit more closely to my leg. 

Out on the playground, the two grade one teachers began to call attendance for their classes, and we soon learned Lady M was in the second class. All of the kids began to line up in front of their new teacher and my little girl pressed a little closer into my left leg, the nerves clearly taking over. Thankfully her teacher noticed this, and asked her if she wanted to join her right at the front of the line, and my little mini-me jumped at that opportunity. Her teacher was holding some flowers, and when she asked Lady M if she could carry them inside for her, her happiness was apparent. She marched inside the school with her new classmates, looked back and gave me a huge smile. Tears filled my eyes, of course, but all that mattered was that my baby girl was happy. 

She goes to the after school program, and when I got there to pick her up, her after-school teacher commented "it's like she's been in my program forever!" Clearly Lady M had fit right in and was having fun with the other kids, which is all a parent wants to hear. 

We decided to walk down the hall so she could show me where her classroom is. As it turns out, her teacher was still there so we got to say hello. Her teacher let me know that Lady M had a great day, telling me she was very bright, and extremely participatory. Hooray! 

My morning tears had long since dried up, but I felt a huge amount of relief seeing her so happy at the end of day one. We can definitely declare the first day of grade one, and french immersion, a great success!

Now in 365 days I have to prepare myself to send my littlest lady to her first day of kindergarten...I may as well stock up on the waterproof mascara now...