First Day of School
Last Thursday was the kids first day of school. New country, new language, new/no home, new friends, and then new school – hence we were expecting a very smooth and easy rentree (note: english really needs a single noun for “back to school time” – can some of you work on that?)
Luckily when we met with the school Directrice a week or so ago we were able to convince her and Jonah’s teacher that perhaps having him also skip a grade would not be the best thing for him. Since he was born in 2001, he should be in CM1, but according to what grade he was in last year in Canada, he should be in CE2 (don’t ask me what any of that means, or what it stands for, or what it’s equivalent to – I am just now actually remembering that our kids are in Moyenne Section, CP and CE2).
The school seems great. It is a very small school in the village, behind the church, and next door to a nunnery. There are a few English families in the school, so Matea & Jonah each have an anglo-buddy sitting next to them to help them survive. Micah’s teacher has great English, and said she will give him whatever help he seems to need. It’s a private Catholic school – which seems to be more important for the ‘private’ part than the ‘Catholic’ part. The directrice, and teachers at this school seem much more interested in helping kids do their best, and not beating them into memorizing the correct things so that they will do well on tests. (for more on that phenomena, see this article which seems quite accurate which was forwarded on to me from my brother-in-law: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/sep/05/french-schools-pupils-feel-worthless )
Luckily we had LOTS of help trying to figure out what the immense list of school supplies was – as things like ‘plastic-envelopey-things-for-a-binder’ were not part of my vocab previously.