Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Up in the mornin' and out to school

...So we've been busy lately, what with life and all, and ... the final countdown. The final countdown, that is, to our wee little man Peter's first day of school, which is now just a week away. Peter turns 5 years old on Wednesday, and under the New Zealand school system, he goes to school the following Monday. Yikes!

PhotobucketWe're in the whirlwind of emotion that comes with this transition -- our baby, what happened, how did we get to school days already? It's total cliche, but good lord, the days do move, don't they? Peter is ready for it, of course -- he knows his letters and numbers, loves to learn about everything from dinosaurs to space to pirates. Everyone thinks their kid is the smartest in the world, of course, but we hope our boy flourishes in the wild world of the education system.

And for me, it's a big slap upside the head as his experience will be very different than my primary-school days in California 30 (urk) years ago. There are lots of differences in the NZ system (such as the whole starting when you turn 5, rather than at the start of the next school year). Most kids in NZ schools wear uniforms, for one (and look at our lad in his new uniform!!) The curriculum will be different, I'm sure -- the Maori language is taught pretty heavily, for one.

Peter will also be in a very different environment than the small California mountain town I grew up in. His school is quite a little United Nations -- a mix of white, Maori, Asian, Indian, Pacific Islander. We had his first school visit last week, and in his class of a dozen or so kids, there is one other white or Pakeha girl so far. We were visiting with a couple other parents whose kids are about to start -- and you had one from Sri Lanka, one from Tonga, one half-Samoan... Auckland really is a melting pot, by gum, and it'll be interesting for Peter growing up some here.

I'm a bit freaked and scared about the big transition, but heck, kids are kids and this school has a good assessment report. But it's a big day next Monday -- the first day of the rest of Peter's life!

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