First and Last

The first day of school, 2014-15.

The first day of school, 2014-15.

We’ve successfully made it through another school year. B finished up 5th grade, G finished 2nd, O finished 1st grade, and Q completed his final year at our much-loved farm school.  It’s the end of an era.

Although this year was much the same as the one that preceded it — all the kids in the same schools they’d been in the year before, just a grade older — it truly is the last year of familiarity for us for a long while.

last day of school, 2014-15.

last day of school, 2014-15.

It’s startling, the difference that nine months can make.

This summer will be one of changes, adventures, and the start to a new era in our family life.  And when school starts in the fall, we’ll be living in a new home in a different country.  And school will most definitely not be the same.

In England school starts at age 4 so the grade levels there are a year ahead of ours.  G will skip from 2nd grade to Year 4, and O will jump from 1st grade to Year 3.  And Q, my baby, will skip kindergarten entirely and head into the British Year 1. They’ll still be with kids their same age, they’ll just jump ahead numerically.

B won’t ever attend another year of elementary school.  If we stayed in America, she’d be heading to 6th grade this fall for her final year of elementary school.  But with the move, and the slight disconnect between American grade levels and British grade levels, she’ll be moving into a “senior school” this fall that houses kids from age 11 through graduation.  It’s hard to imagine my tiny little daughter in the same school as 17 year old kids preparing to graduate, but that’s what will happen come September.

Sometimes I’m sad when I think about the fact that we’ll never walk Q through the neighborhood to drop him off at our familiar school to start kindergarten.  Or when I think of B missing out on so many 6th grade events — being the oldest kids in the school, the 6th graders here have lots of fun “final” events to look forward to before they make the jump to middle school. 

But then I think about how much they’ll learn and grow just from being exposed to a different way of doing things, and I’m not sad at all.  I’m so excited to see what lays ahead.

“Often when you think you are at the end of something, you are at the beginning of something else.” –Fred Rogers

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