It’s A Grand Life – Bring On Autumn and New Challenges

After a long and very hot summer, it will soon be the wonderful season of autumn. The cooler weather, fires in the fireplace, beautiful fall leaves, Halloween, Thanksgiving, football, ice hockey – what’s not to love about this time of year?

It also means schools are back in session. As long ago as it was, I remember the waning days of summer vacation. Part of me dreaded the thought of having to wake up early, a day of classes, homework, and what seemed like an eternity until the weekend came. The other part loved getting back to seeing friends daily, new school supplies and clothes, and new teachers. However, to be honest, that second part wore off after a couple of weeks. I smile when remembering one of my granddaughter’s reactions after her first week in kindergarten. She was used to going to pre-school four days a week from 9-12. When the weekend came after her first week in all-day kindergarten, she was stunned to find out that she had just started the long road of education.

Six of my seven grandchildren are of school-age. Two are in first grade, one in third, one in fourth, one in sixth, and one entering high school. They are all amazing students, love learning, and are well adjusted to their schools. I am having a little trouble wrapping my head around the fact that our eldest grandchild is now in high school. The years keep flying by!

After attending the same school from K-8, she will embark on a new experience. High school is an adjustment no matter where you have been previously. These are the years that take you from teenager to young adult. The classes you take may give an insight into what you will pursue if your next step upon graduation is college, trade school, or entering the workforce.

My granddaughter is extremely focused, wise, and mature beyond her years. She has always excelled in her schoolwork, but is well-rounded in activities in and outside of school. She graduated from her previous school with the highest award given. To say I am proud of her would be an understatement. However, entering this phase of her education will bring new challenges and experiences.

Going from a small, private school to a large, public school will be one adjustment. She has been accepted into the highly competitive International Baccalaureate program which numbers more than 1,075 students enrolled with nearly 100 on a waiting list. I want her to continue her love of learning, but I also want her to find time to enjoy being a teenager. I know her parents will be vigilant in watching for signs that she can or cannot handle this new pressure. Finding a balance is important. 

I know in my heart that my granddaughter will succeed in everything she attempts as she always has. I will pray that it will be an easy transition and the beginning of four safe and happy school years. As with each new season, we adapt to the change. The heat of the summer will give way to the cooler days and nights of fall; as nervous anxiety will give way to finding ease with a new school and schedule that has become routine. And, as her grandmother, I will be here if she needs me!



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