Tuesday, September 16, 2008

First day of school/Spanish immersion

Monday, September 15
Here is a photo I snapped as we rushed out the door to the girls' first day of school. They are going to the neighborhood public school and everything is in Spanish! Except for the two times per week that they give the kids English lessons at which time the girls will probably be sent to a special teacher for - you got it - more Spanish. I thought about finding them a private bilingual school, but you know me, I couldn't resist a free school that was less than 4 blocks away from our apartment. Kyla was nervous, but excited. It helped that we found out from our playdate last week with some English speaking locals that there would be a boy in her class who speaks English. Sydney only recently realized that everything was going to be in Spanish and was a little stressed about it. I hate it when you think that your kids are informed only to find out that somehow they been left out of the loop. I purposely didn't focus on the "only in Spanish" thing too much for fear of stressing them out. When Sydney got her school books last Friday and I was showing them to her and reading some of the words, she asked why it was all in Spanish, I replied that school was going to be in Spanish. "WHAT!?", she said. I wish I had an audio clip for you. Think shock. I wonder if she really knew - I'm sure I told her - she is sooo dramatic.

So Kevin took the day off from work so each girl could have a parent in the classroom, but after the general assembly (welcome and intro of the teachers, I think) and about 15 minutes in the classroom we were politely kicked out. Kevin and I wandered around town, our first time away from the girls in 2 1/2 months, numb from nervousness as to how our poor non Spanish speaking kids were holding up. Probably better than us.

Kyla got to sit next to her new friend Sam in a class with 14 boys, she is the only girl! Sam translated everything the teacher said and everything went well. They worked on writing out their schedules and Kyla was so happy that she already knew the days of the week. Her only complaint - no toilet seats, toilet paper or soap in the bathrooms. Sam actually went and found her some toilet paper - how sweet.

Sydney's teacher said she did great. Yeah! Sydney said she was only unhappy (even cried a little) at recess because no kids wanted to play with her. Then Kyla showed up and played with her for a bit. She seemed happy enough, but reported that it not as good as her old school at home. "There are no toys on the playground!" Only a few balls and hula hoops. Yes, it would be hard to compete with Cathedral Park Preschool full of fun toys and old friends. We miss you CPCP. Luckily Sydney has a bathroom in her classroom, complete with toilet seats and paper.

Needless to say Kevin and I are very relieved and happy that the girls will be able to attend school everyday from 9-2pm. So now I'm thinking that I should go to school too. It would be a crime to not work on my Spanish while I have the chance. I'm looking taking classes 3-4 hours a day for the month of October. In the mean time I'm going to study with another American mom I met at school.

Several people have asked about the playdate we had last Friday and I'm happy to report it was a big hit. We met a wonderful family with two girls ages 2 and 5. The mom is Scottish and the dad Peruvian, but they have been living here at least 15 years. There were actually 8 kids all together along with 5 parents so it was quite a play date. My first social outing in 2 1/2 months - yeah!

On Sunday we took the bus to a nearby beach in the town of Salobrena. We enjoyed the ride giving us a chance to view the countryside and the Sierra Nevada mountains for 45 mins. We had perfect warm and sunny weather and the water was cool and clean.
Click here to see a few pics.

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