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Hand in hand door het bos achter de school

September 1st. The first day of school for a lot of children in Belgium. Since we’ve moved across the country, our boys would get to go to a new school. They were excited to get to know their new classmates but also a bit worried because they’d have to do this in French while they’re used to Dutch. Would we get a solid reality check for the first time or would everything turn out to be ok? Despite our preparations, this was an exciting moment for all of us. And it got delayed…

Oh oh corona…

Suddenly Daan, our eldest had a fever. He was drowsy, vomited, and had a sore throat. To make a long story short: we had to have him tested on COVID-19. As a precaution, Maarten and Tijl also had to stay at home. Luckily in the evening, we received the message that Daan had tested negative. So he probably had a common cold, but he eventually missed the whole first week of school.

Tijl – or Till as they call him at school – was able to start on September 2nd. He’s in the third kindergarten class with madame Geraldine. Tijl wouldn’t be Tijl if he hadn’t flown in right away: he makes friends so easily and waltzes all over the place. The fact that he doesn’t understand everything properly is not his problem but everyone else’s. He’ll just create his own path. This obviously provides for some misunderstandings. For instance, he ate hot school meals for the first five days instead of eating his own homemade sandwiches. Luckily the school will provide him with extra French tutoring together with 3 other classmates. I’m really curious to see how things will continue with him.

Tijl, de eeuwige spring in 't veld gaat naar der derde leerjaar

To second grade (after a false start)

Daan finally started on September 7 in the second grade with madame Marie. It may sound a bit optimistic, but for the time being, everything seems to be going really well. He actually likes to go to school and has already made some friends. The teacher told me a few days later: “I really felt for him: a new school, a new environment, all new classmates and then he misses the entire first week of school. But then I got to know Daan and I noticed that he’s going to be okay”. Hearing her say that, was honestly a huge relief.

Is it really that easy? Hard to say. Daan had to catch up a bit. Last weekend, for example, he had to take all the tests the classmates had done in the first week. He did a great job, after some (ok, a lot!) encouragement. There will still be difficult moments. For example, in the last few days, he had to learn the poem le cartable rêveur by Carl Norac by heart. Initially, he was very reluctant to do this. Luckily the French singer Gregoire helped us through this with his beautiful version on guitar. Reciting it in class even gave him a boost because our competitive boy noticed that it wasn’t easy for his French-speaking classmates either. I hope we can get through the next couple of months and then he’ll be ok.

To be continued…

Terug naar school.. met Franstalige schoolboeken

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