Friday, August 5, 2016

The New Bear Cub

Making the decision for Lulu's schooling wasn't easy. We were fortunate to have two solid options that would both serve her well. One was placing her in Pre-K 4 at First United Methodist to learn the basics on a three-day per week schedule. All of our kids have attended this school, and it has truly been a Godsend. The teachers are like family to us. The other option was sending her to Kindergarten at the elementary school where all of her siblings go. We adore this school, too, whose teachers are precious to us and we have history with, so we really had to think this one through carefully and prayerfully.

Yesterday we registered Lulu as a Banyan Bear.

This is the thing...even though she's delayed a bit in all areas (understandably) and acts more like a four-year-old than a six-year-old sometimes, she also gives us signs that she's incredibly eager to learn and very determined to succeed. Through this process, whether in person or via email, whenever I've expressed a concern, the staff members at Banyan all reassure me the same way, "She'll be in good hands." And I know she will!  That's the  most comforting part! Yesterday I wrote to our awesome Assistant Principal to tell her about Lulu's registration (and still voicing concerns). Her reply?  "It takes a village and we are going to do this together." Well, Amen to that.

And because Banyan is a public school, Lulu will be evaluated for a host of services that she will likely qualify for including physical therapy, occupational therapy, ESOL (language), and speech therapy. We just couldn't resist that major factor. Of all our kids, I swear she's the one (we believe) who will rise to the challenge because she is active as the day is long. I'm sure it won't be without struggle (I can't even think about homework yet) but it will give Lulu a good dose of immersion being there on a full-time basis. As I mentioned, her siblings will all be at the same school this year (the only year since Madi moves on to Middle School the following year), and Lulu's already familiar with "the drill" having spent the last month before summer break delivering them and collecting them each day. The best part is that the school is seriously right around the corner, so if they need me, I can be there in a flash.  If she can't master it all this year, then we can simply repeat Kindergarten next year.

I *just* got word this morning that our request was accepted, and she'll end up in the same classroom with the same teacher that her brother Charlie had last year--the spectacular Miss Bender! Lulu has already bonded with her more than a handful of times, and it's obvious that our daughter "feels the love." Praise the Lord.

Friends, will you please pray for Lulu in this important transition? Though she's already role playing how she'll say, "Bye bye Mama" each morning, and she's thrilled to have one of Madi's backpacks to bring along with her, I know this big step won't come without some separation anxiety and fear (and, yeah...some tears).

Our little girl is so fierce and brave. We have faith that ultimately she'll thrive in Banyan's loving environment. We're so excited for our new little Bear cub!

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