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.
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.