The kids started school here in Australia today. The new school year begins in February, which seasonally of course, is the same as our August.
We’ve finished our homeschooling for the year, and we hope they are ready to return in the American fall, prepared for their next year. It’s gone well, we’ve loved teaching them and have enjoyed the flexibility that homeschool offers but we also want them to experience Australian school.
I attended school in Adelaide, Australia, for six years as a kid, 4th through 10th grade. I have endless happy memories of a way of being taught that always felt like it was part of the big outdoors. PE classes were often at the beach, and there were frequent school camps that were focused on science and history. We would go away for a week, to dorms or cabins, located in various wild places, and mess around collecting starfish or seaweed, or learning about Ned Kelly.
So Will is heading into 6th grade in Australia, Frankie into 8th and Addie into 10th, or sophomore year. 6 months ahead of schedule, but it’ll all come out in the wash, we’re sure.
We hope they’ve learned enough about Australia these last six months to settle in and make good friends, maybe some will last forever!
Here’s some fun things we’ve all learned that they will take with them to school:
1) Australians are not impressed with one-upmanship. If you absolutely have to prove you are right, you must always follow it with some extremely self-deprecating remark. You will be teased mercilessly if you don’t do this!
This humility is the whole basis of mate-ism. You’re my friend because you believe we are equals. So, be a mate. Admit your faults willingly. Aussies are great at this and it makes them easy to be around.
2) Things ARE different. And that’s perfectly ok. You’ve done just fine not having ice in your drinks the last 6 months. For the cold beverages, it’s probably just overkill anyway. And let’s face it, it might be actually be a little weird that bread stays fresh out of the fridge for as long as it does back home….
There will be yet more differences at school – enjoy them!
And if you want to argue about it, look at no. 1) again.
3) There will be LOADS of sport and outdoor activity. You will always sweat whilst doing this, especially when it’s 115F in February. This is an incredibly active part of the world. Enjoy it just like you’ve been doing. When else are you going to surf during PE?!
4) Teachers are teachers everywhere (even when they are mom). They have your best interests at heart. Respect this and them.
5) Remember in PE: you can’t throw the Aussie Rules football in the same way as the American football. It just doesn’t work. Handball it.
6) Mrs. Obama is nowhere to be seen and therefore there won’t be any jicama, beets or quinoa in the school canteen! Phew! It’s yummy meat pies and sausage rolls. It’ll get more than burned off by the extra activity previously mentioned. You might still be able to get jammy donuts at school too 😀.
7) Don’t be a whinging Pom, American or any other nationality. Complainers aren’t appreciated anywhere.
8) Your church family is cheering you on the whole way today. You’re going to be just fine. God’s got you covered. Look for Him when you feel lost.
9) Uniforms are great! Elementary kids apparently sunburn their heads easier…
Go get ’em, little mates.