We have been looking at Chinese Kindergarten for Little N. (In the States Kindergarten is right before 1st Grade -- whereas here Kindergarten is kind of what we could consider preschool.) We've looked around and most of the public/private kindergartens have a lottery in which you put your kids name in (or at least the ones we've looked at) and they draw to see if you will get in. We found a kindergarten that is a Presbyterian Kindergarten which is about a 10 minute drive from our house. The thing that makes us a little leery about going and putting Little N in is that it's from 8:30 to 4:30. Which is just a very long day for Little N (and could be very overwhelming because for the most part it's all in Chinese) and unfortunately Little N takes after me (Caristy) in that new things and change are just a hard thing to deal with. I talked to the director of the program to see if we could get him at 2 pm because after 2 it's just nap time, snack time and sort of a free play. She is gonna talk to the teacher and see what happens. If we can pick him up at 2 pm it will give us a little bit more free time to spend as a family. Right now it's a wait and see kind of situation. We will probably have to make our decision about this next week sometime.
The thing I found interesting was the explaining and watching that the principal was doing. I'm sure she has noticed that both my kids are very different personality wise. Little N is shy and if he doesn't want to do something he will let you know. Little N once he warms up to people he is willing to talk to them and be a good friend. But like me -- he is a little bit leery of other people and he won't open up to people until after he's gotten comfortable with them. She also noticed that Little N was walking on his tip toes which if he always did that is a disability concern. I told her that he just figured out that walking on your tip toes is kind of fun. Little M is quite different he for the most part is a smiley guy, warm and for the most part will go to anyone. But just like Little N if he doesn't want to do something he can get very stubborn! Like today the principal was talking to him and he just went up to her and wanted her to hold him which just surprised us however when it was time to leave the observing area for swimming lessons he was very angry and threw a temper tantrum.
I didn't realize that once we moved over here our lives would become more ridge and less flexible. I thought I had a couple of years left before we were stuck with the school schedule. With John's job being what it is we use Mondays for our weekends. We will go on a car ride and then go hiking or exploring. John is just going to have to ask for some more help so that we can use Fridays & Saturdays for our free times. So we are kind of losing our freedom to stuff as a family. I'm sure we will figure out a new normal.
The kindergarten is pretty interesting in that it really doesn't introduce writing (in Chinese or English) because like the principal said was that their fingers aren't developed for that quite yet. Basically they are establishing socialization, respect -- for parents, teachers & others, responsibility -- taking care of your dishes, brushing teeth, keeping your cubby clean, responsible for your stuff. They have a time of singing and learning scripture, swimming lessons (they have a pool on campus and they have swim lesson sometimes in the morning and sometimes in the afternoon depending on the day) and they have different theme lessons -- right now because it's spring they are learning about planting and everything that goes with it.
Little N will be in for a shock because basically he will be immersed into Chinese and for the first couple weeks I'm assuming he will have some rough days with trying to figure out what is being requested of him but I have a feeling he will catch on quicker than we will. I just anticipate a sleepy Little N because of all the learning he will be doing and I'm so excited because then he will be able to talk and communicate with some of the kids in our neighborhood and play with them. The disadvantage is that he could quite easily start correcting my pronunciation which my little brain hasn't been able to hear the different sounds that are being made.