another year

School reopened yesterday. Yaya is in grade 10, my son in grade 8 and baby is in grade 6. I actually can’t imagine that my oldest child is now going to patham class (10th std). Somehow it just doesn’t sink in !! Wasn’t it just the other day I went for Off roading and had a massive craving for cheese cake, that too in the middle of a rain forest  with no other human beings near by?

Yaya is in the IB ( international baccalaureate ) program. She is hoping to study in a US University and thinks that IB will help her get there. Queensland has OP ( overall performance) score system and it is cumbersome to get the score converted to something equivalent in US, where as IB scores are universal. Besides, she is fluent in Spanish and IB gives her credit for the second language. IB also means a lot of hard work and I worry for her. I don’t want her to cruise her precious teenage years without a social life and regret it later or burn out. She also volunteers at a local thrift shop because she thinks that with a rigorous IB curriculum, shewon’t be able to do much volunteering in grade 11 and 12 and is hoping to get all the referees etc now itself.  Sometimes I feel scared.. seeing how determined Yaya is to get what she wants. What if she didn’t get admission to an Ivy league Uni? Would she be able to handle disappointments?

As usual this is what I told my kids before they started the new school year.

I expect them to be responsible and reliable. They will do their homework, assignments etc and submit them on time. I will not go to the shops the night before to buy stuff, so they can make a diorama that is due the next day. ( my son grinned because his guilty conscious was pricking his mind!)

I  expect them to respectful to their teachers, friends and every other person they meet and interact every single day. I told them the story of the old woman who swept the construction site each day when they were building the Notre Dame Cathedral and when someone asked her what she was doing, she replied ” I am helping to construct the most beautiful Cathedral”  It is the same reason I expect my children to know  the first name of the school janitor  because each day they get to sit in a clean classroom because the night before the janitor cleaned up the place.

My youngest is in the school orchestra and she really wants to quit because she has to go for practice at 7 am once a week. When she was chosen in grade 3, I had explained to her how much time and effort she needs to put in and that once she agreed to all that, she needs to remember that she can’t quit till she goes to high school. So, the old rule still stands, she can’t quit. ( she isn’t pleased)

I also told them about doing one group sports/year. They  chose basketball.

As for academic results, I told them I expect nothing less than A and the older two shouldn’t forget that they need 5A’s in the first and second semester to get the Academic gold medal. ( I need to clarify that I don’t kill them if they didn’t get an A, because I got plenty of motta , but the issue is that if they are looking at getting in to Ivy League uni, mottas won’t get them there!)

Smoking, drugs and alcohol, same rule as before, “try it, find a new home”. My home is drugs and cigs free and alcohol is restricted to adults.

That pretty much sums up my requirements..A part of me thinks that I have thought of everything and that all will be well, the other part of me, Trust me, I am  terrified ..this is all uncharted water..and I hate not knowing what is lurking over there..



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