Tomorrow is Will’s very first day of school.
Billy and I are a mix of emotions over tomorrow. Will is excited to meet new kids to play with, and we’re looking forward to seeing his Spanish vocabulary increase exponentially. But at the same time, it’s the beginning of a whole new rhythm for our family and something about it feels like our little boy is growing up so quickly!
Since we’re south of the Equator and seasons are flipped, the school year starts at the beginning of March and ends right before Christmas. That means ‘summer break’ is primarily in January-February and then there is a 2-week break at the end of July/beginning of August (mid- school year) that coincides with Peruvian independence holidays.
We mentioned the school search at one point last year when we moved back to Lima. Before doing much investigating, Billy and I thought that we would enroll Will in a preschool program that would meet 3 half-days a week – something similar to what we would find in the States – and then after a couple years he’d start school for kindergarten. In October, after talking with some friends here about Will starting school, we quickly realized that there was no such program and that we needed to figure something out ASAP if Will was going to start in the coming school year, March 2020! We didn’t want to wait too long to enroll him because we find value in the socialization of school and know that is where Will will get a strong foundation of Spanish language since we primarily speak English at home.
We began scouring school websites in Lima looking for options for where to send Will. Unfortunately, for where we live in Lima, we don’t have a public school option. We have always felt strongly about making sure Will is prepared to go to college (whether it be in Peru or in the States) and that he is able to fluently speak, read and write in both English and Spanish. Apart from a quality bilingual education, we needed to make sure the school was close enough to where we currently live so we’re not spending 45-60+ minutes each way in traffic to get there!
As we researched and set up school visits, we discovered that preschool is a little different here than in the States – it’s 5 days a week from 8am-12:30pm(ish) depending on the school and typically where you go to preschool is the school you continue through high school graduation. Knowing that Will could potentially spend the next 13 years at the same school made the decision more complex – the preschool is great but what about elementary/high school offerings? Thankfully the school tours we went on covered all of the grades and we were able to see each campus/infrastructure for all of the levels.
After many visits, pros/cons lists and much prayer, we decided to enroll Will at the San Ignacio de Recalde School’s preschool called Coloring Dreams. The name is a little silly but the school is what we were looking for for Will and we think it will be a great fit for him.
He’ll be a part of the 3 year olds class and one of, if not, the youngest kid in the class. He just turned 3 less than 2 weeks ago and most kids will turn 4 during the school year! We met his teacher, Miss Daniela, recently and he’ll be in the Dinosaurs class. He has a uniform to wear each day that consists of a white polo shirt, navy shorts (during summer months), and all white tennis shoes and has his backpack all ready to go. He will go to Coloring Dreams for 3 years and then when he’s 6 years old, transition to the main school for 1st grade.
Walking with his new backpack
Trying on the warm weather uniform
Buying school supplies
So tomorrow Will begins his educational career. Join us in praying for him as he embarks on a new adventure and grows in so many ways. Pray for his teachers, classmates and the three of us as we adjust to this new schedule and rhythm for our family.