Monday, 20 September 2010

An Education

So far, so good. Littleboy 1 loves school.

He's still the first up the schoolbus steps in the morning; still reports that school was 'great' when he climbs back down the steps at 3pm. I have had just one call from the school nurse's office so far (he fell off the monkeybars, luckily uninjured), which, considering the number of daily incidents in our household requiring first aid, is doing quite well. I am still waiting for the day when all is not quite so great, but thus far, the excitement has yet to wear off.

It helps that his teacher seems delightful. On the first day, after a lot of persuasion I got him to describe the day at school and was slightly surprised when he came to "And then, my teacher got out her violin and played it". It was only a few days later that I met a woman I know in the supermarket and mentioned the name of his teacher. "Oh, she's lovely," she said. "She plays the guitar and sings to them."

He's already come home with some new phrases. "It's your choice," he likes to tell me constantly. "Are you going to let me play the computer now, or later?" (Notice how the choice works entirely in his favour...). An awful lot of things are 'awesome' - a word he used a little bit before (such as the infamous time he told us that Rite-Aid was an 'awesome' shop), but he's definitely using it more now. And he's learned a new song, which he loves - the one about the peanut sitting on a railway track, and being turned into peanut butter (pronounced 'budda' in a very American accent).

I haven't yet discovered whether he knows how to Pledge Allegiance to the US flag (something that I can see is on the New York State Kindergarten curriculum). We asked him about this last night, and he mentioned that they had 'done a song about the red, white and blue' - however, he couldn't remember it and wondered if we could sing it. Unsurprisingly, we couldn't.

Littleboy 2, meanwhile, has started back at preschool, which is just as well, considering he spent the days when his brother was at school and he at home in a completely foul temper. Every morning as his brother left with me for the bus, he would eat his breakfast stony-faced looking more and more furious - one day running out into the street in his pyjamas, luckily chased by The Doctor, to follow us. It's hard for him, seeing his brother go off in the all-exciting bus, and I dread to think what will happen next year when the little girl next door (whom they both adore) starts Kindergarten too.

Still, his return to preschool seems to have prompted some searching questions of an educational nature. "Mummy, what's inside the sun?" he asked the other day, curled up in bed early in the morning. "Err......" I said, before mumbling something off the top of my head about lava. I realised I have absolutely no idea, physics not having been my top subject at school and the question having never occurred to airy-fairy Arts-graduate me. (The Doctor later told me it is hydrogen and helium). I've also had questions about why cars can go uphill, to which I honestly have no sensible answer.

I can see this is the start of a long Education for me......


Anonymous said...

He probably does know the pledge, at least enough to stand and sit. God, I haven't said it myself since I was 12. Decided I didn't believe it and haven't said it since. (The polite options if you're not saying it - because in many places it's the start of EVERY school function, so you need to know this! - are to sit or stand quietly and respectfully, but not do the hand on heart thing. Not, as I saw some people doing at the pre-k graduation last summer, to stand and take pictures. I was appalled, though secretly itching for somebody to call me out on not standing so I could say I was being *respectful* unlike *them*.)

But you probably knew that last part, or could've guessed it.


Almost American said...

A song about the red, white and blue? This is the one my colleague teaches her second graders and that the entire school sang at our assembly to celebrate Constitution Day last week (and I've been meaning to blog about it for ages now):

"You're a grand old flag,
You're a high flying flag
And forever in peace may you wave.
You're the emblem of
The land I love.
The home of the free and the brave.

Ev'ry heart beats true
'neath the Red, White and Blue,
Where there's never a boast or brag.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
Keep your eye on the grand old flag."

Never a boast or a brag indeed!! Any why on earth it includes parts of Auld Lang Syne and Yankee Doodle, I don't know! The kids don't learn the long version sung in the video above - just the chorus.Here's the Kazoo version from JibJab - if this is the one Littleboy 1 heard at school he will recognize it!

Iota said...

Red, white and blue sounds suspiciously like the French flag - or come to think about it, the Union Jack.

Cars can go uphill because otherwise we'd have to walk and it would be hard work.

Elsie Button said...

oooh those sorts of questions are coming at us thick and fast too... i more often than not send betty off to ask her dad.

glad the first days at school are going well! x

TheMadHouse said...

Violin and singing sounds perfect to me. Long may it continue

PantsWithNames said...

We used to sing a song that went something like

'flag of America
red, white and blue
flag of America
a salute we give to you.'

And then everyone saluted. Obviously my very English brother would salute the back of his head on prinicple.

We also knew how to pledge allegiance and had to do so every day, the fact it wasn't our flag cutting no ice.

I love the questions though. Makes me think a bit and wish I'd paid a bit more attention at school!

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Nota Bene said...

You should ask these questions, o see if he has any ideas:

Mwa said...

Mine love school as well. It's so reassuring - it must be horrible for the mothers of those children who cry every time they're sent to school.

Tanya (Bump2Basics) said...

Yea I've thought about that too....I'm excited to start to learn things all over again but I guess I have time. Fortunately I do remember the names for eyes and nose, which is about as far we are so far, heh...Glad to hear he is enjoying school in all its "awesomeness" (if that is even a word!)

nappy valley girl said...

Uly - well, I'll know not to take pictures now! (Mind you there are so many Japanese people at our preschool that you can't move for cameras at graduation....)

Almost American - interesting - I'll have to play it to him and see if he recognises it...

Iota - And if we had to walk uphill in America, heaven forbid!

Elsie - always a good plan, ask the Dad. (And then they might forget about it before they get home...)

TheMadHouse - I think he's worked out it's the guitar now...

Pants - that sounds like a likely one, I'm going to sing it to him later!

NB - ah but could you answer them?

Mwa - I'm very relieved. Makes it all a lot easier for me...

Tanya - I'm sure awesomeness is definitely a word here!

Paradise Lost In Translation said...

I think the secret is to sound very confident & not to hesitate or say 'um', & then just make it up! (& I'm a teacher, how terrible!) No, seriously it's prob not a gd idea to mislead them, but honestly the things kids ask, it's not usually stuff you get taught in schools. p.s pls ethank the dr for educating me. I had no idea it was hydrogen & helium inside the sun;o)

Metropolitan Mum said...

Same here :) I am learning a whole new range of nursery rhymes and songs I had never heard of before. I am happy though nobody will try to make me child to do pledges to anything. It's got a political side to it that I am not sure I'd approve of.