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Friday, March 1, 2013

Preschool and School In Patagonia, Esquel

Tuesday was the first day of preschool and Zalia's first day at preschool (jardin). They will be attending a private school that teaches spanish and english.

Joaquin was so happy to go. We woke him up at 7am and he jumped out of bed. He got dressed, put his uniform on. Well it is not really a uniform but a smock type coat, like a lab coat. His is red because he is in Primer grado or first class (no kindergarten here). He is 5 but started school.
He will be attending 8am to 12 pm in the morning, then we pick him up and he comes home for some lunch and some rest and then back to school at 2 till 4.
In the mornings he does spanish in the afternoons english.
He is learning to write already and for the moment has to copy what is on the black board, in both spanish and english.
He will do music and art and sports at school too.
I have enrolled him in swimming twice a week and will do the outdoor activities three saturdays a week from 12 to 4. I might enroll him in soccer or football too.

Zalia started on Tuesday. She will be attending jardin and is in the Salita de 3. She is in a class with 18 or so other little kids aged between 2 and 3. 
Her teacher seems nice and there is another teacher who is the  helper "ayudante" too. They both seem very with it and sweet. I am sure there are still a few kids in nappies. Zalia is being toilet trained so she does spend the day in undies and knows how to ask to go to the toilet. She may need help while she is there but is very independent.
On the first day we went with her from 9 to 10 am. We spent the hour getting to know her space, and painting. I painted her hand and she made hand prints and we wrote a little note on the picture of what we the parents want for our child this year.

The second day she cried, knowing where we were going. She went from 10 to 12 and we did not stay.

The third day Thursday she also cried and did not want to be there or did not want us to go. She attended from 10 to 12 and we left her, crying. The english teacher who was also helping the kids went and looked after her. We then left and went shopping and to the bank. We saw the english teacher Lucia at the bank and she said Zalia stopped crying and played after we left.

On Friday she also cried but had fun playing with the makeshift sand aka Polenta. They played with polenta as if it was sand, with buckets and spades and outdoor toys. I never witnessed this in Australia, but i do say it is very initiative.

It does get easier with age. Joaquin has been enjoying school all week. He is learning to write the aeiou and letters and is making friends. I think he is very happy.

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