Goodbye Kita, hello school! Our experiences.

Tränen, Abschiedsgeschenke, frühes Aufstehen, neue Horizonte – so waren der Kita-Abschied und der Übergang in die Grundschule für unsere Familie Whoop whoop! It's summer! In addition to eating ice cream, spending time in the outdoor pool / by the lake / by the sea, this also means for many families: Daycare start, Daycare farewell or school enrollment - and for some families several of these exciting events happen in the same year! 2018 has Lotta, the daughter of the founder of Kleine Prints Eva Malawska, left the wild daycare life behind and celebrated their start of school. Today, a year later, Eva looks back and reports on her experiences and lessons from this exciting time:

Big change: Farewell to daycare & the first year of school

When Lotta's farewell to daycare and schooling slowly approached in 2018, it was quite exciting for me inside. To be honest, I drove myself pretty crazy and had a lot of respect for this change in our life. Tränen, Abschiedsgeschenke, frühes Aufstehen, neue Horizonte – so waren der Kita-Abschied und der Übergang in die Grundschule für unsere Familie Moving from kindergarten to school is really a big change for the whole family. But at the end of the day, viewed from a year apart, as is so often the case in life, everything is only half as wild.

Take out the handkerchief: Farewell to daycare

The farewell to daycare has already affected me there in the last few months. We just had an absolutely great daycare center and, in addition, school life as a "great stranger" was threatening us, haha. That's why we wanted to give our great daycare educators a really special farewell gift from the heart that they would enjoy. Tränen, Abschiedsgeschenke, frühes Aufstehen, neue Horizonte – so waren der Kita-Abschied und der Übergang in die Grundschule für unsere FamilieTränen, Abschiedsgeschenke, frühes Aufstehen, neue Horizonte – so waren der Kita-Abschied und der Übergang in die Grundschule für unsere Familie We gave nice natural soaps (from Dr. Bronner), bought seedballs and packed them nicely. (Yes, I know, in plastic, not good - I wouldn't have done it either if I hadn't had the foil at home anyway!) There was also high-quality chocolate, yummy. We rounded off the small gift packages with thank you cards each with two photos of Lotta: one from the beginning of her daycare and one from the end. Lotta wrote the gift tags herself, which I thought was super cute. Tränen, Abschiedsgeschenke, frühes Aufstehen, neue Horizonte – so waren der Kita-Abschied und der Übergang in die Grundschule für unsere Familie Our gifts were actually well received by the teachers because it was something different from the obligatory bouquet of flowers. I can highly recommend such a lovingly put together package as a farewell gift!

Be on time? Fright let up!

After we finally had the tearful farewell from daycare behind us, we first went on one of the absolutely greatest trips of our family life so far: ours six-week road trip through France and northern Spain. An absolute dream! But even the dreamlike trip could not prevent it: At some point the day of school enrollment came and heralded this new phase of life, for which I still had a lot of respect, for all of us. The biggest change for us was starting school on time. Having to be somewhere at 8 a.m. every day can be a challenge if you were as flexible as we were beforehand - I'm my own boss, the day care center had flexible arrival times and Lotta's dad can usually start flexibly in the office. That's why we were often the last to arrive at the daycare center just before 9:30 a.m. when everyone was already sitting in the morning circle. So Lotta's start in elementary school meant a completely different schedule for us as a family. We all have to get out of bed much earlier now. For me personally, I think that's actually quite good, because it allows me to use the morning much more effectively. I'm always in the office a little after 8 a.m. and then go back earlier to pick Lotta up from school. Our rhythm has changed for the better! In the first year of school we even had a waiting period - we were allowed to arrive until 8:20 a.m. Of course, that made the whole change a little more relaxed for us.

Big change for the children - off to new horizons

For the children, the change from daycare to primary school is of course also a big change. There is still a lot of play in the first grade, but the children also have very regular tasks to do. Quite new territory for the minis. But that actually suited us. At the end of the daycare, we already noticed that Lotta was not challenged there and was bored. So it was exactly the right time for a "different program" aka elementary school. Arriving at elementary school was still difficult for Lotta at the beginning because none of her close daycare friends came into class with her. But her class and especially her class teacher are great and after six months she had made great new friends and everything worked out fine. Lotta loves school and once again my worries were unfounded. It's also just really nice to see how enthusiastically she learns, how she starts to read, discovers new things for herself and just becomes even more of herself, her personality develops. In terms of content, she copes very well and has also brought home a great first certificate. Of course, that makes me proud and happy - especially after the somewhat difficult start to school!

Challenging transition phase

Nevertheless, as I said, the transition phase was definitely challenging for us as a family. I can only recommend to every family in such a phase to treat themselves indulgently and perhaps actually plan less leisure activities than usual in the first months after starting school. It is a big change and it makes sense and serves the family peace to give everyone involved the space for it. Incidentally, Lotta wanted to go to daycare quite often in the afternoons after school, she was longing. We did that a couple of times. You can tell what a blatant process this change was for her. In the meantime, she hardly asks about it any more and hardly ever meets up with the old daycare friends, but rather with her school friends. I think that's a good thing ... nobody should be too attached to the past. But it was important to me to give Lotta a very smooth transition. Tränen, Abschiedsgeschenke, frühes Aufstehen, neue Horizonte – so waren der Kita-Abschied und der Übergang in die Grundschule für unsere Familie

My conclusion

So all in all, I can say that the transition from daycare to elementary school was challenging for all of us, but not nearly as bad as I had imagined. What do we learn from this? As is so often the case in life, with this big change it is helpful not to worry too much about everything beforehand and to look forward to the events as calmly and relaxed as possible. And to consciously look again and again in challenging phases to see what the actual needs of the individual family members are and how they can be met without anyone having to back off too much. If you have such a big change coming up soon, I wish you a smooth transition and a lot of fun with all the new adventures that are now to come. By the way: I have nice school bags and gifts for school enrollment for you here reported. Besides, there is still a wait great school cone DIY by Julia Tramm on you. Schöne Schulranzen – für die Zeit nach den Kita-Jahren

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Photo credits: All pictures come from Eva Malawska privately, except for the cover on the photo book shown. Source here: unsplash.com

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