I always ask myself this question – When was the last time you did something for the first time?
Few more days and our little one will brave the world of kindergarten and with that, are a lot of “firsts” not only for her but for our family. This is one of the many level-up stages of our parenting journey.
We couldn’t be any prouder.
I, personally don’t know what to feel now that she is going on her own without us for more than 3 hours. She’ll be riding the school bus. I know a lot of parents feel the same way too – happy and nervous. Witnessed that during the school orientation. The same questions inside my head being asked by fellow parents too. Tons of “what-ifs” are running inside my head. But like what my husband told me – eventually, we have to let her go and so that she can be herself – guidance and support are what she needs and so that’s what we are going to give.
Ellie is going to kindergarten. How did we prepare her and ourselves for this milestone?
Being an expat family we have to consider a lot of things when it comes to her education (just like the other aspects of our lives). We asked friends – parents like us that we know personally so that they can share with us their experiences and weigh the options. We also checked the school fees, travel time and the environment. We surveyed different schools and what are the reviews about each one.
Unlike in the Philippines – schools here in the UAE have limited slots specially for new students even in KG 1 and 2. Before her entrance exam/ assessment we made sure that she knows her personal information, the Alphabet, count at least 1-20, identify basic colours, patterns and tracing, write her name and the Alphabet.
We included her in some decisions to keep the excitement. We allowed her to choose her shoes and her lunch kit and she even plans for her school snacks. And not because we’re here overseas mean that we just spend and splurge to our heart’s content. We also need to be wise when it comes to our purchases. Mahal mabuhay dito and hindi kami mayaman. Deals or buy one take one and even the 50- 70% off from good quality brands is a great way to start. For her school stuff – thanks to her Aunt for buying almost everything (socks to the handkerchief, clips to undergarments) that she needs during her vacation in the Philippines. Iba pa din yun nakasanayan na brand. How I wish she can have a National Bookstore experience too.
We begin to tell her our experiences when we’re still students – good and bad, most of them funny – as examples of what she needs to do inside the classroom and other situations.
We also gave her a heads-up about bullying – one of my fears as a parent, and what she needs to do about it just in case. As early as now we are implementing a “no-secrets” policy. No matter how small or little the detail she needs to tell us – at least at this stage.
Right now – we are still practising her reading skills – spelling and phonics. we bought books for her and some apps that can also help her. I know that she’ll eventually read on her own but it’s always better that she begins to learn it at home. We just started to adjust her sleeping time – and it happens to be a success. It was a bit difficult at first because we are used to sleeping late.
Right now, I am looking for recipes and snack ideas for her baon. Those kawaii bento ideas are cute (thanks, Pinterest!), BUT knowing her eating habits I know that she’ll not eat them. I need to work around her food preferences and eventually try to introduce more healthy meal choices. So if you know recipes that are perfect for kindergartner feel free to share it with me.
We are praying for this journey – that she’ll always be safe and that she’ll learn a lot from the lessons and experiences. This will definitely be one of the many memorable firsts in our family’s journey. Our little girl is not as little anymore but she will be our baby forever (clingy mom alert!).
Now, I know the feeling. We know the feeling. The days are really long… but the years are short.
How’s your little one/s first day in school?