Sunday, August 26, 2007

The First Day of First Grade

Tori started first grade this week with lots of smiles. With everything a little more familiar this year (ie. the big tour bus that picks her up from our apartment complex, the long flights of stairs at her school), Tori had a smooth send off. The twins and I, however, were just as emotional as the previous year. With some crying throughout the morning, we all put on our game faces by the afternoon. Adam and Royce very sweetly always request that anything fun we are going to do be saved for when Tori gets home from school.

This year Tori is in Miss Yoo's first grade class at the Hong Kong International School. She has a number of friends from last year in the class, not to mention two new girls so far known only as the blonde girl and the curly haired girl. Tori loves going to Miss Yoo's class and has told us all the books Miss Yoo has in her book nook. So far, no homework, though we have been told it is coming. Tori is in a class of 20 kids on the 5th floor of her school. She has recess on the 7th floor "roof" playground. The school actually has 15 stories but classrooms only on the first 7 floors. It is a huge school with lots and lots of steps but this year Tori handles it far better than I do!

We thought the issue this year would be that grade one stays at school an hour longer than the kindergarteners do. Not only does Tori not complain, she loves that last hour of the day which is math. In addition to the usual subjects of reading, writing and math, Tori also has PE, Chinese, Religion, Art, Music and Guidance (sort of social awareness) on a revolving basis. So far, this year math and the monkey bars are Tori's favorite subjects.

In the apartment complex where we live, many expatriate families go away for the entire summer, giving the whole place a sort of college town in summer feel. This past week the families have started to return. The common starter conversations are "where did you go for summer holidays?" and "who is your child's teacher?" Adam and Royce usually answer for me, yelling out the Eiffel Tower for our summer vacation. For Tori's teacher, Adam and Royce yell out any random letter of the alphabet. At first confused, I realized that Miss Yoo's name sounds like the letter "u" to their ears and their grasp of the alphabet is a little spotty. Well, soon enough Adam and Royce will start preschool too....and study that alphabet a little harder.


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