gr1 will be starting middle school next fall. yay, rah! this means the kids will be in different schools. boo, yuck.
my kids will not be riding a yellow school bus. eventually they will take public transportation with the rest of the new yorkers. this means a. we walk with them or b. they learn to get there. being the first born you can expect gr1 to have either my husband or i walk her while the other parent walks with with other two kids to their elementary school. we’ll ease into gr1 getting to and from school via public bus. she has a bunch of friends who will be going to the same school from our neighborhood. they can learn to travel together or with parents helping out (at least at first).
this got me thinking: does she know how to get home? does she recognize the streets around us? i assumed she just knows or she’ll figure it out. this past week i started walking behind her and gr2 while gr3 and i follow them. as we’re walking i asked: what street are we on? how do we get to economy candy from here? can we cross now? what street is up ahead? this is a challenge for me. i’m the person who will break my neck to get across the street if the walk sign starts to blink. i like to lead and set a quick walking pace. gr1 is more of a “chat and stroll” kind of person. she’ll have to maneuver the streets with her friends–eek! there’s also the cell phone and listening to music–far too many distractions. i know, breathe… she’ll get there. i will get there.
if they didn’t know what street they were on i told them: look for the green street signs. look at the store fronts, sometimes their addresses are on their signs. remember what we see when we are close to home: the library, the high school–whatever it takes to jog their memory. i have to remember to not overload them. there’s so much to connect and make sense of. allen street is first avenue above houston street, rutgers turns into essex which turns into avenue a above houston, avenue b is clinton street below houston and so on.
we haven’t discussed using the subway. we’ll get to that too. for now we’ll walk out the door and practice some more.