The Kindergarten Dilemma

Next month Jude turns 5 and he will take the big leap into Kindergarten here in Germany. There is a Kindergarten less than a 5 minute walk from our house and last week I spent an hour translating, calling people for help and finally filling out the application and then walked it over. We’d just met a neighbor the night before whose son is also in this Kindergarten so we were really excited to get him enrolled. Proudly, I showed up and turned in my papers. Slight problem however… they had no more places for the fall.

In late May we got the application for him and we assumed that we should turn it in when we were actually in our current house. Unfortunately, we should have turned it in as soon as possible. So, we’ve been in search of another Kindergarten. Ok, if you are a native speaker who knows the language and the culture this is no problem. I, however, am not and I knew that it would take a lot of work to get him in another one. The day that we found out about it, I was so frustrated. If only I had known I would have had it done sooner. It led me down a rabbit trail of being frustrated and worrying. Ian reminded me that my worrying about it would not change the problem :-). Worrying would do nothing.

The next day, I met a friend and explained the situation to her. She helped me call around and very quickly she found 2 other Kindergartens also pretty close to our home. At the time we called, they were all booked for September but we had some hope that one of them would make a place for him. We were told that most likely we wouldn’t find out until September though. The lines were still not really clear for us. We didn’t know if we should keep looking or if the 3 schools would talk and figure out who they’d let in. How does it all work? It didn’t seem like there was a clear answer.

To say we were bummed is a big understatement. Not knowing language and culture really hurts progress sometimes and this was yet another example. Even in this, I tried to remember that even things that seem to be avoidable mistakes are not accidental happenings. We believe now more than ever in God’s providential plan in every aspect of our lives, even in a Kindergarten for our son. I’m learning more and more that my incapacity to handle things like these increases my daily dependance on God and deepens my trust in Him.

Last Thursday, I met with a friend at a local bakery to sort out some of the confusion around the Kindergarten process and also to practice speaking German.  While we were meeting her phone rang. It was Ian with a message for me that someone had called about a Kindergarten place for Jude but that we had to call within the hour to speak to someone. Thankfully my friend was with me and was able to speak in my stead.  It turned out that they had created a place for him at one of the schools and all we needed to do was to come in with proper documentation to get him enrolled.

Tomorrow morning we head over to Jude’s new school to take a tour and turn everything in.  Amazingly enough, Jude is actually excited to go and we thank so many of you who have been praying for a good transition for him specifically. Now that he actually has a secured spot, it’s time for me to begin the next transition of seeing my big boy off to school 5 mornings per week. I’m taking deep breaths and trying not to worry.

Still trusting…

3 Replies to “The Kindergarten Dilemma”

  1. Oh, I feel for you and understand, too! When we came back from Home Assignment, I thought it would be easy to put Silas in the Kindergarten in our apartment courtyard. It’s literally a ride down the elevator and out the door. But, there were no places available for him! (same as you!).

    I ended up registering him at a Kindergarten that is down the road…a 22-minute walk. Ugh. Not to excited about making that walk four times a day with the littlest guy, but on the upside, I’ll be getting a lot of natural exercise! The Kind. is also on a bus route, and that way it is just 6-minutes from home. We’ll see how it goes!

    Hope that Jude has an easy adjustment into Kindergarten – it really is much harder on us moms than it is on the kiddos!

  2. How exciting that Jude, and you, get to experience Kindergarten in the land it was created! Oh please tell me all about it! If you haven’t found this link before, here is some information on Kindergarten in Germany and its creator, Froebel. Love you all dearly!

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