Monday, 29 September 2008

Week 6 - Tuesday

J gets home from school late, having been obliged to stay on until 4pm to finish a task from the afternoon lesson. He then takes a further 2.5 hours to complete his homework, at the kitchen table. Getting him to concentrate is proving a major problem, and I am beginning to resent having to supervise him to this extent.

Tuesday evening sees C’s elternabend, which I am dreading after the brainache evening we had for J 4 weeks ago. C’s teacher is very nice and throughout the evening continually corrects her own Hoch Deutsch. The evening is again a group presentation in the classroom, covering introductions, handarbeit (but at a much less scary level - I am relieved at the lack of pictures of 7 year olds with power tools,) language, maths and English.

The English teacher is the Friday teacher - who had to mop all the spilt blood the other week - and she explains the English learning scheme, which is rather cute. English is taught through a cuddly puppet doll called Ginger, who only speaks English, and, and judging by the colour of his hair and his outfit – checks – perhaps he should be called McGinger. But then, my mother always used to say that the best English is spoken in Inverness. There is a colourful poster giving the cross section of a big ship with about 6 decks and all the activities that can be found on board. I guess that despite the Swiss having loads of lakes and ferry trips thereon, a boat like this that takes more than 1 hour to reach its destination might be a novel concept. In fact it reminds me of the boat we used regularly to cross to continental Europe from the north of England via Hull - Zeebrugge when we were in the UK. Aaaaaaah, sweet memories.

One point of note was that children who live within a 1km radius of the school are not allowed to use their bikes to get there. I think this is because the bike shed isn’t huge by Swiss standards (though I must say it’s a darn sight bigger than the one at my secondary school 25 years ago) and they like to reserve the spaces for the children who cycle in from the 2 smaller outlying villages. Fair enough. My boys are happier to scoot anyway, and C isn’t going near his bike with his backpack on until he’s a foot taller, since he just can’t balance well enough.

This time we’re home by 9pm and a great deal happier than last time.

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