Saturday, August 18, 2012

School Days

So this week the kids went back to school.  Already.
My sister asked me if my kids still have crazy schedules.  Yes, only more so.  This year Jethro has two early days and Hazel has one (not the same days), Jethro goes back in the afternoon three times, but the time he comes home differs, Hazel goes back in the afternoon twice, and Ethne goes back in the afternoon once.  I’m just so glad they walk!
On Monday all three of them left at different times because it was Hazel’s early day, Jethro normal time, and Ethne started late. 
First one out the door:
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Second one:
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And lastly, Ethne.  I dropped the kids off at the neighbor’s house and went with her for 45 minutes or so.  She’s a senior Kindergartener now, since kids go two years here, so it’s in the same classroom with the same teacher and everything.  (Since we didn’t have to leave for a while, I had time to take lots of pictures.)
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And here they are all together at lunchtime when they all came home.  Jethro holding up five for fifth grade, Hazel three (the Swiss way of holding up three fingers) for third grade, and Ethne zero for K.  We had crepes with icecream and chocolate sauce per our tradition, but I’ve decided not for breakfast, for dinner dessert so Daddy can share too.
Jethro and Hazel both started French and Hazel had to learn a little song, so she had a cd and we put it in and she listened to it over and over and over and over until she had it memorized.  It’s really cute, but man was it annoying after the 350th time.  Jethro has been practicing phrases like, “Nice to meet you,” and so on.  It kills me that they’re learning French—that seems so weird!  But it’s even more funny to me that they’re learning French from German—Jethro was having Hazel help him study, and she would read the phrase in German so that he could say it in French.  And I just sat there thinking, I’m soooo language-wimpy.
And Talmage started Waldspielgruppe!!  Which is Forest Playgroup and is the most amazing thing ever!  Talmage has been really looking forward to it, and the paper he is holding was sent to him before the first of August.  Then every day, he got to put one of the white circle stickers onto his mushroom, and when all the stickers were gone, it was the first day of Waldspielgruppe. 
Once a week, on Friday mornings, he puts on his weather-appropriate clothing (they go in ALL weather, rain, sun, or snow) and packs up his Znüni (morning snack), and goes out with 8 other little kids to trek through the woods and play in the forest.  Isn’t that the greatest thing you’ve ever heard?  I’m not generally much into preschool and have never put any of my kids in (except for a joint joy-school that Hazel did with a couple friends), but THIS is worth paying exorbitant Swiss prices for! 
I was looking for pictures on google and came across this article from another expat about putting her daughter in Waldspielgruppe (you should read it, it’s spot-on right down to what I had to get for Talmage, plus it’s way funny), and I’ll put in a little quote:

It’s a classic rite of passage for Swiss kids and one that I’ve been anticipating with relish even though, to my softie British sensibilities, it’s quite hardcore. After all, the Swiss are a hardy bunch – you don’t hack a mountain pass out of the rock using a Swiss Army Knife and wearing tennis rackets on your feet without being pretty tough – and it starts in Waldspielgruppe.
Ha ha.  Oh, and Ethne has been really sad and pouty that SHE doesn’t get to go to Waldspielgruppe, but I try to point out to her that she goes to kindergarten, where they go into the woods every Friday too, so basically she IS in Waldspielgruppe, but somehow that doesn’t appease her.
Anyway, the first day was today, and it was for the whole family so we could meet and have any questions we had answered and all that.  Brett and Jethro were not there since they were camping again, but the rest of us went and had a nice time and a nice lunch of roasted hot dogs.
We also helped build a waldsofa, which is to say, a forest sofa.  Made of sticks.  It was really cool, and very comfortable!  Here’s the picture I found on google to show you what it looks like since I FORGOT MY CAMERA!  I know, what was wrong with me??? 
While I was browsing through the pictures, I saw this one, and had to post it as well, because, I seriously can’t imagine Americans giving a group of 3-5 year-olds SAWS!!  :)
I will probably get some pictures of Talmage at Waldspielgruppe another time, but the teacher doesn’t want me to come for at least 3-4 weeks, so they can get in the groove.  I’m so excited for Talmage!


Rachael said...

Oh my gosh. I SO wish that I had something like that here for Isaac! He would be in heaven. Lucky Talmage!

emily ballard said...

Forest Playgroup sounds awesome! Someone needs to start this here!!! I am going to send a link to my friend.

Steve and Katrina said...

Oh my gosh, you always makes me really really want to live in Switzerland. I can't ever imagine Americans having a school like that. Goodness, if it is barely sprinkling or the playground is wet Chandler couldn't go to recess. So lame. I love that the Swiss let the kids play in the woods so much. I think it is so healthy for kids. Super awesome!!

Melissa said...

Swiss school is awesome! I wish we had something like that here.

Andrea said...

Jealous, jealous, jealous. No wonder nobody talks about Swiss homeschooling. Who would want to???

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