Today we finally got the girls registered at their new skole. The main teacher has been out sick (eye surgery) and the headmistress didn’t want them to start until she was back. But the girls have been out of school for two weeks and they are DRIVING US CRAZY. So today, when the assistant teacher said, ‘I think we are just having a tur today and then they will come when the senior teacher is back.’ I rebelled and insisted, nicely, that they start today (as per the headmistress’s phone call the day before.) She rolled with it and got them set up with desks and workbooks. Hurrah!
Much to Eden’s chagrin, she and Cate are in the same class. They have a different program here. At their old skole the children stayed in the Danish reception class for up to three years. They did some of their day in Danish and some in English. But at Bülwosvej Skole they start mainstreaming into the regular Danish classes as soon as possible. So in a few weeks, Eden could be doing Sports with kids her age in the ‘regular’ class, and then some Creativ, Math, etc. and finally on to being in full time Danish in about 18 months. Cate will do the same, but perhaps a little slower given her age and reading level.
The Danish Reception class is small – 9 children all together. A brother and sister from Somalia. A girl from Brazil. At least one student from Turkey…..I can’t remember the others. One girl, Hannah, from Brazil was SO excited to see the girls come into the classroom. It was clear they were going to get a very warm reception. When I picked them up today Eden said they played with everyone except the kids from Somalia, who are also newly arrived. I’ve asked Eden to try and make an extra effort to connect with the Somali girl. I’ve noticed that Somali children sometimes have trouble connecting here, especially the girls who wear the hijab and tend to be socially isolated. Eden felt pretty overwhelmed by just getting used to the new skole and didn’t feel like she has any energy left over for ‘extra efforts.’ But I’m hoping in time, we’ll be able to connect with everyone in their class.
Skole gets out very early here – 1pm on the latest days. Because of this, the girls will start in the after school program, which is called SFO here, and I will pick them up around 3pm. We went to get registered to day, and Sammy-dog proved to be a great ambassador. We met two girls in particular; Zainab (who beamed when I told her that was one of my favorite names – the girls have had a Zainab in every school they’ve ever been at), and Kira who has perfect English because her Fa speaks English at home. Both of them loved Sam, and I promised to bring him every day.
Unfortunately, Eden is right at the edge of the ages the SFO attached to the skole takes. In a week, all of the kids in her klasse will start visiting a neighboring SFO (down the street). May first, everyone going into 4th grade (the grades are one year below ours because of the way they count kindergarten) will start going to the outside SFO. The kids here have a lot more freedom b/c crimes against children are so rare in Denmark. So the kids just walk from the skole to the SFO by themselves. A lot of very young kids have mobile phones, and the teacher asked if Eden had one. Maybe we’ll need to get her one when she switches to the off-site SFO? At any rate, Eden will have gone to two skoles and three after-school programs by June! Thankfully, she is surprisingly adaptable these days and I think after a few tired days, she’ll adjust.