So far, I am loving B’s new school. He’s only 2 days into the year so far (well, he’s almost done with his third day at this point) but he’s already had gym class, music class, German class and art class, in addition to story time and math instruction (plus chocolate cake at lunch time — twice). He gets to go outside for recess twice a day, plus they begin and end their day with “structured free play”, which means that they get to choose which of several stations around the classroom (art, Legos, doll house, a shop, reading) they’d like to play with, and then they get to play quietly and cooperatively with their classmates. His teacher seems very kind and patient, too.
I think it’s kind of the Shangri-La of first grade.
Yesterday, for art class, each child painted the flag from their home country. B came home and reported that he was jealous of the Japanese kids in his class (there are 2) because their flag “is just a big red dot!” He also acknowledged that the Russian and Austrian kids had it pretty easy, too. According to B, only one kid had it “worse” than he did. He insisted they were from a South American country whose name he couldn’t remember. We tried to figure it out, but we were stuck. He explained that their flag was just like his, only it had a yellow moon instead of the white stars (which is why it was harder — because he got to leave the stars blank, while the moon had to be colored in). We finally figured out that he was talking about Malaysia … he was certain it was South American because “the flag looked so much like mine that it must be SOME kind of America!” We had fun at dinner last night piecing together the home countries of the kids in his class based on his descriptions of their flags. Once again, he appears the only American in his class, and I just can’t help but think what an amazing experience this will be for him — his classroom is like a tiny little United Nations, all by itself!