Tuesday, 20 April 2010

In at the deep end; starting school in April

Adam has really been flung into life in England at the deep end. It seems to be the way we work as a family so I suppose he needs to get used to it, but it isn't easy.

Today was his first day at school, 5 days after we moved back into to our house. He turns 5 in May so didn't need to start school until the beginning of this term. So until now, whilst his contemporaries have been slaving away at their desks learning through play, he's been swanning around in a Bosnian nursery. Of course the reality is that the two aren't really that different, except here everyone speaks English (big plus point according to Adam) but he has to stay until 3pm rather than skipping home with Mummy at 12 (big negative point according to Adam, as you can have too much of a good thing apparently).

But the way things are done in the two school systems are quite distinct. The Bosnian system always seemed to reflect their communist heritage. The emphasis was on learning by repitition and attention to detail. They were encouraged to colour in inbetween the lines, often told what colour to do which section. The result of which is that he has terrific ability to use a pen, but doesn't really know what to do when confronted with a big blank piece of white paper.

3 weeks later he is at the other end of the education system spectrum in the British system. There is so much to do in his classroom, Adam's eyes nearly popped out of his head with excitement when he saw the range of lego and then he caught sight of the puzzles. There's enough there to keep him happy for months.

By the most amazing stroke of luck his teacher is Serbian. She can speak the same language (Serbian and Bosnian are essentially the same language), she knows the system and the alphabet. So when Adam throws in the odd 'lj' 'nj' 'dz' and other letters that I can't work out how to type here, she'll know where he's coming from.

So although he is naturally quite shy and did not want to be left on his own, I think he'll be swimming along just fine in a few days.

17 comments:

Muddling Along Mummy said...

How great his teacher is Serbian - hopefully that will make his acclimatisation easier

Welcome back

London City Mum said...

How wonderful to hear! Am sure Adam will be in his element in no time at all.

LCM x

nappy valley girl said...

That's great about the Serbian teacher. I bet he'll fit right in and in a few weeks he won't remember anything else.

Hope you are settling in well too.....

Iota said...

Wow, that is deep end stuff, but it sounds like he's coping well.

Mwa said...

The Belgian system must be communist, too, then. I hate the way they are hardly ever left to create whatever they want - the teacher's always telling them what to do.

Glowstars said...

I was in the same situation as Adam when I started school (minus the return from a foreign country). TB, whose birthday is also in May, had to start 4 months after his 4th birthday. I don't think those extra two terms did anything for him.

Very Bored in Catalunya said...

Glad he's enjoying his new school, fancy his teacher being Serbian, what a small world we live in.

Heather said...

that's an interesting insight into the bosnian schooling system. I hope he settles quickly, it sounds like he is doing already

A Modern Mother said...

Welcome back!

What great luck about the Serbian teacher.

We did the same thing as you ... moved back to the UK when our eldest was five and were allowed to start in the summer term (but mine didn't speak for three months!)

Hope you settle in well.

Now, if I could only get home...

Paradise Lost In Translation said...

What are the chances of that? A Serbian of all people being his tecaher. That is SO cool! Glad it's 'so far so good' !

Nicola said...

So glad the move has gone well!

nx

Catharine Withenay said...

I'm sure Adam will be completely settled in no time at all. Children really do adapt very quickly - much more quickly than us adults.

And, despite all her formal schooling in the British system, my daughter would still be phased by a blank sheet of paper. Still, that is her, rather than the teaching method. Adam will, I'm sure, have it covered with dinosaurs or trains or trucks or something in no time!

Tattie Weasle said...

Sounds like he's not going t6o mind too much about teh 3pm pick up with all that lego. I think it is usually us who worry they seem to swim like fish!

Liz (LivingwithKids) said...

How exciting for him to be in a new school with all these new experiences. It sounds to me as though he's going to have a ball x

Metropolitan Mum said...

Oh, the poor baba. I had to move so often as a child and always hated to be the newbie. Hopefully all works out just fine for all of you. Welcome back! xx MM

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

MAM - isn't life and coincidence amazing!

LCM - Hopefully! Are you back yet?

NVG - I think Bosnia is already a distant memory for them. They adapt so fast to where they are.

Iota - he needs to get used to it, we do tend to go for the deep end.

Mwa - it's frustrating. But a friend of mine who is a child pyscologist says that it will give them good attention to detail which can be lacking n the British system.

Glowstars - We start school so early in England. I have no concerns in Adam starting 2 terms after the others. Hope TB is enjoying school now.

VBC - it is a small world! Couldn't believe it.

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

Heather - he seems to be really enjoying it.

MM - Adam hasn't done much talking yet, but not to the same extent as your daughter. He seems to be settling in ok. Are you home yet?

Paradise - isn't it amazing! It is indeed all going suspiciously well...

Nicola - Thanks. May you being doing a similar move soon too!

CW - I'm sure that he will. I think it is so interesting the way some children prefer one thing and others prefer other ways. She'll be great with that attention for detail though!

TW - He doesn't seem to have noticed and asked if he could go to school on Saturday. Think all will be fine.

Liz - hopefully!

MM - I had to move all the time too. Something like 7 schools before I was 11. It's not ideal but you get used to it and in many ways it has served me well later in life!