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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

August 15, 2006

First day of school

Filed under Family

Grandson Sean had his first day of "school" yesterday.

Daughter Rachel gave a brief summary of my grandson Sean’s first day of school. Sean at school Sean has been ready for school for weeks. He has known the alphabet since age 2 and can already read some words, but he really wants to read like his mom and dad – and Oma and Opa, of course. So he has been looking forward to school for some time. Actually it is what we call "Kindergarten" in the USA, or "Vorschule" for German readers. But it is the official start of school for the vast majority of American children. Sean walked to school with his mom, dad and younger brother Adrian. His school is about a half mile from home. The new "pupils" had to wait in the cafeteria with their parents. Adrian hid behind his dad Eric – there were a lot of people there! Then mom and dad walked Sean over to his classroom at 8 o’clock, he put his lunchbox in the wagon outside the door, hung up his backpack in his cubby, picked out his nametag, chose a book from the box and sat down on the carpet. (His room has a large carpet divided into boxes with numbers. Each month the children choose a number and that’s their "home" for the month for group activities.) Mom, dad and Adrian gave Sean a kiss and left the room, but waited outside the door peeking in on him for as long as they could. His first crisis was when he laid his book down to talk to his friend Charles (a little boy he knows from his former preschool). Another child took it. He couldn’t find it. He looked around, stood up, walked over to the teacher, and said, "Teacher I had a book with a duck on it and now I can’t find it." She told him to choose another one. Sean had announced earlier that his mom would spend the day at home crying on the couch until he came home at 3 p.m. She would miss him so much, according to Sean. (An 8-to-3 o’clock Kindergarten day seems long when school here in Germany only lasts a couple hours in the morning for first graders.) Anyway, Sean wasn’t too talkative when he got home from his first day of school. When Opa called him to ask him how his day went, he answered in monosyllables. His mom was pretty sure that his first day of school had worn him out. :-)

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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