Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Our First First Grader

There's something special about your first kid starting school. It's nature's way of telling us that it's time to get serious about parenting while giving us a few more moments of peace to do so. For Enoh it was pure excitement.

I'll be honest, I don't remember my first day of first grade. Maybe in Iowa it was a big deal. But here in Croatia it's a BIG DEAL. At the end of school last year they invited all the kids anticipating entering first grade to a presentation put on by 2nd, 3rd and 4th graders welcoming them to the school. It was at that time that Enoh was designated a First Grader. Over the summer books were ordered, supplies were bought and many, many, many questions were answered. 

On Monday all the first graders and their parents stood outside the school in anticipation of which teacher they would get and how many of their friends would be in their class. When we finally entered, one of the teachers informed us she was just as nervous as we were. "So...not very," I thought to myself. But then I saw Petra biting her fingernails so I didn't say anything. 

Once we all got to the classroom we received quite a number of papers including what looked like a college schedule. Like most other European nations, first graders in Croatia begin taking their second language in first grade. In addition to Croatian and English, Enoh has math, social studies, art, music, gym class and religious education. 

Perhaps the most interesting thing was that the teacher asked each of the students to bring in a jastučić - a small pillow that he would sit on so his bottom doesn't get cold. I've mentioned it here before, but my whole elementary school experience was shaped by sitting on cold floors during assemblies, bleachers during presentations and un-cushioned (normal?) chairs during class. I've lived in Croatia for 8 years but I still don't understand why having cushioned chairs is such a big deal. Overall we are very pleased with the teacher Enoh has and have been encouraged by how excited he is to go to school everyday. 

When Enoh came home, he received a Schültute - the German traditional way of making the first day of school even sweeter. We enjoy introducing our kids to various cultural traditions and Petra worked hard to put this together. Needless to say it put an exclamation mark on Enoh's first day of first grade. 

Here's a short interview with Enoh on his first couple days of school. 

Here are the outtakes. 


Lea Coppage said...

In Hungary a cold bottom is a ticket straight to severe illness and infertility. The biology books even hint that it's a Bad Thing. When our daughter sat on a cold floor at age 7, a neurologist-friend got really upset. I told this to some American friends, and they said that their American grandmothers were the same way. Am I missing something??

Congratulations to Enoh, and love to you all!

Adi Kurnaedi said...

I like your video