Wednesday, August 26, 2009

And They're Off!!

Sniff sniff. I am really sad to see Leila and Kara go off to school this morning. I have so enjoyed my summer off with them. Yes, some days were hectic and I had my fair share of being frazzled, but I loved all of our summer outings and time spent together. I am so glad Kara got to enjoy a nice summer at home before heading off to school.

I cannot begin to tell you how much sleep I lost over deciding which grade to put Kara in. Sixth grade was not even a consideration for us, although that is where most 11-year olds headed this morning. We felt she needed to learn far more than English before she went into a middle school environment. (Please, no negative comments. This is a very personal decision.) We felt our decision lied between fourth and fifth grade. As of about two weeks ago, we finally came to a decision and chose fourth grade and I was finally at peace. I really felt it was the right choice for Kara currently, although there are certainly pros and cons to both options. However, on Monday afternoon, I had a one-hour meeting with the school principal, two ESL teachers and the head of pupil services and together, we determined that fifth grade would be a better fit. It was a great learning experience for me to sit with all of them and discuss the different class personalities, teaching support and Kara's individual service plan (ISP). I only wish we had done it weeks earlier, as I have stressed greatly over this difficult decision. So, without further adieu, allow me to introduce you to my 2nd and 5th grader....

Back2School 2009 (1 of 1)-2

Of course, Mia's gotta get in there!

Back2School 2009 (1 of 1)

And they are off!! Kara's first official ride on a school bus. Back2School 2009 (1 of 1)-5

We love our bus driver and he's a personal friend of ours, so it was nice that Kara had the opportunity to meet him before this morning. And Leila promised to sit by her and help her get to where she needed to go. (Although Kara has already done two tours of the school and knows how to get to her classroom.) It's so great that they can do this together.

20 comments:

LaLa said...

Oh, I hope they both have a GREAT day!!! It really depends on when the cut off is for schools..Annslee will turn 11 in Oct of 5th grade so sounds like Kara will be just right..move here : ) ha ha

LOVE the shots and of course Mia needed to jump in. I am amazed at how well Kara has just blended right in : )

Donna said...

They all look so cute and sassy! It amazes me how quickly kids assimilate into a new culture, language, etc.

Donna
Our blog: Double Happiness!

Lilly said...

Just by reading your blog about Kara, she seem to be an intelligent girl and will not waste time getting caught up and learning english. Please don't let her chinese slip out, someday she may want to visit China and her roots. I know I do. Good job mom!

Jill said...

oh, are they adorable or what????? I am just AMAZED at how laid back and comfortable Kara looks!
I can't wait to hear how her first day goes!
Hugs, Jill

JG said...

Beautiful girls! Once she gets her English down, I'm sure she'll shoot right back up the grades! She's a smart, articulate girl (in Chinese, from the letters you've shared). Congrats on surviving the first day!

Stacy said...

I bet you can hardly wait for them to get home and hear about their days!!! I can't wait to hear either:) Let us know!

Jboo said...

Such sweet girls! Best wishes for a great school year for those two and Mia too!

Janet

Sherri and Todd said...

Wow, school already! I just love the pictures as always, your blog in one of my favorite to look at!! I love the picture of them standing by the bus, nice shot Mom. You can see just how comfortable Kara is being home.
Good luck to them both this school year.

Fliss and Mike Adventures said...

I think you made a good choice in dropping her a few grades then what she would... let her get her feet wet so to speak... she will be fine I am sure... hugs to you...

Marla said...

Oh my word, they are so cute! I'm sure Kara is going to do great, we had Jacey do kindergarten twice (well, one and a half times actually since she came home right in the middle of the year) and she's doing great. She doesn't mind at all that she's a bit older than her classmates, in fact, she brags that she'll get to drive before they do (Lord help me).

Hope your cuties have a great year!

Norah said...

Marissa is 9 and supposed to be in 4th grade. She is in second instead. It worked best for us. She is on the same emotional level as her peers and the same size too! They would not let her take the bus last year. They felt she was not ready. This year she is. She is so excited! I can't wait to hear how the first day of school went!

a Tonggu Momma said...

I am so happy for your family. I know everyone will have a GREAT year... and just know that in some states, Kara would fit right in. My nephew just turned 12 last week and is starting the sixth grade. He moved to Maryland from Indiana, where the cut-off was July 30.

Ashley said...

Oh how I low to see the girls heading off to school. My students started on Monday and I think I have a good class this year. My school is in a challenging area, but I am up for it:) I am so glad that you are at peace with your decision about Kara - although if I taught at your school I might have voted for 4th only in hopes I could have taught her:)

Thank you so, so very much for your kind comment. Things are pretty rough right now and I think the hardest part is that I am in Baltimore and she is in Buffalo. She had a pretty serious procedure on Monday and is still dealing with some side effects and complications. Please keep us in your prayers:)

Blessings dear friend and know how much your words help, Ashley

Faith Hope Love Photography said...

Great!! Hope they had a good day!!

Terry said...

What a great group of pictures~I love them all! Your Mia, is just so cute! I am sure that all of your girls will have a great school year and I'm sure Kara will do wonderfully! I think you made a good choice ~ she will do great!

Can't wait to hear about how well they are doing!

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

I hope the first few days of school were a success!! The girls look adorable in their sassy little outfits!

Sounds like Kara has a wonderful group of teachers offerring their support and guidance!

enjoy your weekend!

Lisa

Cammie said...

Wow! What big decisions!

I can't believe how tall your 2nd grader is! Crazy!

I hope they both have very successful years!

Doug said...

My wife and I can definitely relate with the school decision.
We brought our 13-year-old son home in March. Technically he should be in the 7th grade but he is quite small for his age and spoke no English at the time. There was no way we were putting him in middle school.
He just finished his first week in the 6th grade and did quite well.

Doug
Henderson Home Online

Joe and Jane said...

So glad they have each other on the big day! And glad that you're at peace with your decision! (I know I'm stressing about when to send Jia to kindergarten due to her birthday, and truthfully she'll likely do fine either year.) Enjoy the rest of the summer weather!

redmaryjanes said...

Wow, the last time I saw Kara was in Guangzhou. Your girls look wonderful and I just know that they are going to have a very positive year of fun and learning.