Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Waiting for school

Back in the dim and distant past of my childhood, I started school about a month from my fifth birthday. I was a little older than Lena is now; two months shy of her fifth birthday. In the UK where I grew up, children start school at the beginning of the year before they turn five, in my case, being born in October, that was just before my birthday. Over here in New Zealand, they start on their fifth birthday, which is what Lena will do.

I can see advantages to both ways, if we'd been in the UK, Lena would already be at school and would have started last September. It probably wouldn't bother her to be honest, I'm sure that she'd be quite happy about that, but I can't help but feel that four and a half is just a bit too young. The problem with waiting until you are five to start, as they do over here, is that Lena will be starting school on her own. That in itself isn't so much of a problem, but it does mean that at the moment she is waiting to join her friends at school.

Lena has been keen to start school for quite a while now, she wants to be the same as her big brothers and go to the school that they go to. The last few months though, this desire to start school has grown and grown. It's not just that she want's to go herself, but as it gets closer, more and more of her friends are moving on from playcentre and daycare to start school themselves. We've had tears on quite a few occasions, when friends that she's spent the last two years with, move on to a different school than she will go to, and she won't be seeing them again. She's now the oldest child at playcentre and the oldest at daycare.

Of course for me, the next two months are going to fly by and before I know what's happening, my little girl will be a big school girl. But for Lena, that can't happen soon enough. It only seems five minutes since Mahe was starting, actually, in all honesty, it's only ten minutes since Kai started school, but in two months time I'm going to have three of my four children going to school. I'm not sure quite how that happened.