Friday, September 01, 2006

La Rentrée

Today was the Boys' first day of school. Boy1, who will be 6 in October, entered CP, the big deal grade where they learn to read. Boy2, who will be 3 this month, entered Petite Section, where they learn to be proper French citizens.

Just kidding.

No really though, they both did start school today. And Boy2, who is too little to be doing that kind of thing (according to moi), will be going as well. Because that's how it works here. When kids are three (and many of the kids in Boy2's class are barely 2 1/2) they go to school. Real school. Boy2's classroom is in the same establishment as Boy1's. Regular daycare is for children up to 3, at which point they all go to school.

I tried to do it my way with Boy1. I kept him at home until he was barely 3 1/2. I gave in for a couple of reasons. First, all the activites I had taken him to before were closed to kids over 3. Of course, because they're all in school. All the children his age he used to play with while I drank coffee and chatted and breastfed the new baby were, you guessed it, in school. He was the only child in Laval over three who was not in school. And people would go on and on about how he was missing out on all kinds of socialization and whatever. Which I really think is nonsense. But whatever. Let's just call it what it is, very cheap daycare (we will pay about $250 total this year - and it's a private school) in a scholastic setting. Although they do have a prettier name for it - La Maternelle.

11 comments:

beth said...

The name sure is pretty! Good luck - how did you hold up sending your baby to school. My oldest will be going to school soon and I'm not too sure how I will handle it!

Nicole said...

Beth - I didn't hold up too well, but I did wait until I was outside! Unfortunately, I don't really have a choice, we have to make this work since I start work in a week...

zeb said...

The boys will be fine. In today's world pre-school is a must. Kids who never go generally end up way behind to start real school. For boy 2 the day to day interaction with other kids is just what he needs. It is not like when we were kids and you went out and played with kids all day long.

beth said...

I agree with Zeb - it's just hard when it's your baby going off to school! He'll be fine and he'll have lots of fun. It's always harder on the mommys - the reality that your baby is actually growing up.
Good luck with your new job.

Lorraine said...

I must respectfully take exception with Zeb's contention that kids who don't go to preschool suffer academically. I didn't buy the "they need socialization, how will they ever be prepared for Kindergarten" line either. And The Child was more than ready for K when it came around. Of course, in my situation, everyone didn't go. She still had friends around and we could have playdates and go to the museum and all that sort of stuff so she wasn't really missing a lick. It would be different if all the other kids were in school, too.

And I'm not sure one ever gets completely used to sending the kids off. I don't cry every first day of school anymore, so there's that. But every year there is a certain odd feeling and even a smidge of melancholy about the fact that she is old enough for whatever grade she's entereing. I mean, 7th grade? How the hell did that happen?

charlie said...

I have had a little experience with kids of my own and can't help but make the observation that each is a little individual who develops (or otherwise) at his or her own pace. It's foolish, and not good for the kids to assume that all are ready or will benefit from schooling when still at the foetal stage or even at the advanced age of 6 months. At the ripe old age of 3, being taught the Classics, to me, seems a tad pushy. One of my boys would have thrived, the other would have suffered. Surely all parents with more than one child understand this? No?

Oh, and handing over one's babies to others, no matter what their age (the baies that is), is always and wrench. Parents understand that too. No?

New job, Nicole! Hope things go well :o)

Edy said...

La Maternelle? Some form of mother? But not really mother? Is that the gist of it?

I am pissed off.

Sarah said...

I look forward to hearing more about your children's adventures in the French school system! Would you say that they're completely bilingual?

beth said...

In my town everyone goes to preschool - in fact most of the preschools have a waiting list. I'm not saying that I agree or disagree with the pre k thing, but if I don't send my oldest off soon, she won't have any playdates because they will all be in school.

zeb said...

Beth- it is the same here. Most schools here have gone to all day Kindergarten. I guess so families both parents work. In the long run I am not sure if it is better but like a lot of things these days- it is what it is.

beth said...

Zeb - you phrased it perfectly "it is what it is"