Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Tuesday 19th August 2008

C decides that he wants me to come to school with them as he wants to try biking to school today and is worried about balancing on his bike with his school bag – he wants me there in case he falls off. Fair enough, it’s a big bag and he’s still learning how to balance properly. So, off we go.

We’ve now tried all 3 methods of getting to school in 3 school trips. The bike shed is a kind of open room at cellar level (with a ramp leading down to it) just as you go into the Schulhaus. We’re not late by any means but the shed is already packed with bikes, many of which appear to have a Gemeinde sticker on them as well as the Swiss velo vignette, and I wonder if this is the Swiss version of the Cycling Proficiency Test. The boys find small spaces for their bikes and lock them up. I’m not sure we need to lock them up but the boys like using their locks and recent experience has taught me that it’s a good habit to encourage for when we go on holiday out of our Swiss bubble……..

J runs off without even saying goodbye, so he’s obviously happy. C discreetly waves me off.


They appear from school, safely, both saying they’ve had a good morning. They are late again but this time it’s because J couldn’t understand the instructions for his maths homework and was asking the teacher for more guidance, which she gave. We have told them both to ask for help until they can understand, rather than struggle with the language. C also has maths homework, which he gets on with immediately. C has now made 2 friends (no competition there, honest) but can’t remember their names…. He has also had maths, more singing (I like this school, a lot) and has had a German lesson all on his own whilst his own class did English, and he got on well with the work and with his teacher. Good.

J’s teacher has given them a tube of Smarties each, with a code for the colours, saying (apparently) “You can have a pink one when you’ve had a good idea, a red one is to stop you falling in love, a brown one is for when you’re stressed with homework” (continues) Who says the Swiss don’t have a sense of humour ?

The boys eat, then set off back to school. 2 minutes later they reappear at the door – "We’ll be too early Mum so can we watch TV for 10 minutes ?" OK. 15 minutes later I have forgotten they were in the house, lost track of time and am yelling at them to get back to school because they’ll be late. This is not a wise move as they are now flustered and panicking, and about to get on their bikes with their backpacks on. So I wave them off and follow at a discreet distance to make sure they don’t get even more flustered and fall into the road. Of course they get there fine, and I return home, chiding myself for fussing.


Home again. They are still friends with the people they made friends with yesterday. This is encouraging. C has no homework, having been a good boy swot and done it at lunchtime. J gets on with his maths and German reading. J has had English today but stayed in the main class rather than have extra German (as C did this morning). I hope he gets some extra German tuition but I’m leaving that to the school staff to sort out.

J tells me at great length about “the naughty board”. Apparently there are various zones of this board, and where people’s names appear on it is in direct relation to the level of their naughtiness. Today one boy was in the worst zone for having laughed at another boy who had forgotten to speak High German and had accidentally spoken Swiss German in the lesson.

This is good, because at least it means that they really do teach in High German in the schools (I have seen concern expressed by some expat parents that behind closed doors the Swiss teach in dialect rather than High German – clearly not true here).

It seems to be going OK so far.

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