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First Day of Preschool 2010


We arrived home on Saturday morning.

On Sunday, everyone got some much needed rest.

On Monday, Schäfer started Xiao Ban (three year preschool) at Xin Hu. Since we had last talked to the kindergarten in July, I asked Hubs if we should take a day to go over to the school, meet his teachers, talk to the classroom helper, introduce him to a few classmates, etc. Hubs simply said, “He’s ready to start.”

So, without knowing any of his teachers names, having the required medical examination completed or even understanding the final price of tuition, we took Schäfer to preschool. (It’s funny how much we’ve changed now that we have a year of Chinese preschool under our belts.)

Thankfully, the school remembered our conversation from July and they expected Schäfer.

First day of school! Schäfer was so excited!

Hubs offered to give him a haircut before school started, but Schäfer insisted that he doesn’t want a haircut until his hair is as long as Mommy’s. Well, that should be interesting.

The check-in was a little crazy as expected. Schäfer had to wash his hands, have his temperature taken, turn in his backpack and join the other kids playing in the schoolyard. The kids have 30 minutes of free play (their teachers provide games indoor or outdoor depending on weather) until breakfast at 8am. For security, parents are generally not allowed in the building.

Since we knew the morning was going to be busy, we went ahead and printed out our standard letter for the principal, 2 classroom teachers and classroom aid. We stuck an extra one in his backpack just in case. The letter was the same one we’ve given the last two preschool’s. It explains our goals and expectations for Schäfer.

Last year, Schäfer went to school from 8:30am – 11:30am. He didn’t eat breakfast or lunch. Our purpose in sending him was 1.) to make friends and 2.) to improve his Chinese. Now that he’s officially starting Xiao Ban we decided to raise the bar on our expectations. After seeing his average day at Ying Cai Preschool, we decided to move him to Xin Hu Preschool starting this fall. Not only do they have better facilities, but the class ratio is 16 students per 2 teachers + a classroom helper.

We were holding off on making a decision because Xin Hu is considerably more expensive since it is a bilingual school. Plus, we’re not sending him there to learn English. When we expressed our concerns to the principal, she suggested that Schäfer have a private Chinese lesson during the English lesson. That sealed the deal.

Another factor that I really like about Xin Hu is that the teachers move up each grade with their class so Teacher Hu and Teacher Li will be on this journey with us all the way through kindergarten.

This fall, Schäfer is attending from 8am – 12noon. He eats breakfast and lunch at school because there are special activities before and after each meal. Well, the truth is that he eats breakfast at home then has 2nd breakfast and 1st lunch at school. Then, he comes home and has another lunch. ha!

He’s 3 years and 8 months old so I feel that 4 hours a day 5 days a week is enough. If all continues to go well, I do plan on him attending full days in kindergarten. Right now, I don’t see the need for him to nap at school.

And with that, we’re off on another adventure!

First Day of School 2010 from on Vimeo.

1 comment to First Day of Preschool 2010

  • Wendy bird

    Getting the e-mail notifications that you have posted new entries are my favorite emails. I love reading your stories, hearing all the cultural differences, and seeing the great pics. I JUST discovered the videos! How did I miss those all along?!?! Thanks for keeping me entertained. 🙂

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