January 27, 2016

Brazilian School Year

The school year in Brazil runs from the end of January to the end of November or first week into December. Summer vacation is December and January. There is also a break for the month of July.

Today is the first day of school. When we moved to Sao Paulo in mid-2015, our children had just completed a year of school. Because we enrolled them into Brazilian schools with little Portuguese language skills, we chose to have them repeat the last half of the grade they'd just completed. It's the sink or swim approach to language. They aren't swimming in the deep end of the pool, yet, but their language skills have improved over the last several months.

As of today, I have a kindergartner, second grader, fourth grader, 6th grader and 7th grader. Interestingly enough, both Elliott and Graeden started middle school today. 

At their last school all grades were in the same building. In this new school there are three different campuses for the different ages. The elementary school is half a block away. The middle/high school is across the street and Kira's school is about a 5 minute walk away. 

A huge bonus to moving into our own home is that we moved so close to a great school. No more half hour drive to get to school. They can walk in two minutes. Or three if they drag their feet. In the duplex next to us there are a couple of families with kids. One has a son Jett's age and is in Jett's class this year and the other has a daughter Jocelyn's age and she's in her class, too. I hope this will be a blessing to them. It helps to have at least one friend when going to a new school. 

Kira seemed shy this morning when we took her to school and needed to sit with Tymon for circle time. She seems smaller than many of the other kids. And I just wanted to hug her. I sat with her at her desk for a little bit and she bravely waved bye when it was time to go. 

I know she understands a lot of Portuguese. When the teacher was telling the children that they could bring a toy on Friday but it couldn't be a little one, Kira turned to Tymon and asked why not small toys. She's got an awesome accent and often cries to me in Portuguese. Someday soon, she'll surpass my limited language skills and I won't be able to understand her. I figure that'll only help me to get better. Can't let a 4 year old show me up. Ha ha.

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