A Day at the Pre-School

Posted by Analyse at 9:00 AM

Thursday, September 18, 2008

We attended the first parent-teacher's meeting last Tuesday at Louna's pre-school. The purpose of the meeting was to present the parents the nouveautés, the different schedules and activities this school year, and to explain how a day at the pre-school goes for a young kid like Louna.

Like all the other schools, they will open their door to different languages in Europe with a highlight on the English language. But aside from the normal English course included in the curriculum, they propose an immersion to the language with a twice a week (an hour per session) course with an English speaker within 12 weeks. Fee would be 80€ but parents are only requested to pay 40€. The other 40€ will be shouldered by the school and the parent-teacher association. That's really good news as I want Louna to be more exposed to the language. Dora (and her other DVDs) is good but she needs a wider reference now.

We talked about other activities like museum visits, class picture, sports activities (an hour every Tuesday and Friday with an specialized teacher), catechism, birthday celebrations, etc. Louna's calendar starts to fill up too.

Then we talked about the normal day at the pre-school. You know, sometimes, I feel like installing a webcam so I could observe how my daughter spends her day at the school. Of course, after the meeting, I had a clearer view of her daily activities which go as follows:

8:30am - arrives at school with her Papa. She then stays with other kids in a room dedicated for kids who arrive earlier. An assistant will take care of them during this short period.

8:45am - start of classes. Kids will be organized in small groups. The classroom has small dedicated corners like bedroom, kitchen, garage, tables and boards where they could write and draw and a corner where the teacher reads a story while kids attentively listen. The teacher is helped by an assistant especially in taking kids to the toilet, dining area, playground and bedroom.

Learning skills are focused on:

Language - kids are encouraged to tell what he thinks of a picture or a drawing

Mathematics + Socialization - like counting the number of absentees by using picture cards. They first take their own cards (because it's important for kids to recognize themselves in a picture) then give the names of the absentees (it's quite hard for kids to remember their friend's name, apparently) and count them.

Graphics - drawing, shapes, colors

Motor Skills - like cutting with a scissor, holding a pen, etc.

Their activities will of course progress in function of each child's developmental milestones.

9:30am - kids will go to the toilet in small groups then proceed to the playground.

10:30am - story time.

11:45am - fetch Louna from school. We take our lunch together while she recounts how her morning was.

1:45pm - start of afternoon class.

2:00pm - kids will be accompanied to their bed for a little nap

3:00 - 3:30pm - end of siesta. They will then do different activities till 4:45.

4:45pm - fetch Louna from school.

Louna seems to love this new experience. Ask her where she spends her day and she would voluntarily answer école. She learns to socialize and follow rules which is great for her age. We started bringing her only to the morning class but since she loved the experience last Tuesday where she spent the whole day at school, including lunch, we would then bring her in the afternoon too. But she would take her lunch at home while Maman is on maternity leave.

Since schools in France are close on Wednesdays, and I'm planning to take all my Wednesdays off when I get back to work, I thought of enrolling Louna on different activities around the community. We tried music and gym classes yesterday and we will try skating on Saturday. I'm still having second thoughts on the gym classes as she's got sports activities twice a week and I'm afraid it's just a repetition of what she's already doing at school. I think I'll have my decision finalized once I see the benefits of skating to Louna.

Whew! I didn't realize that I could be this busy.. and my, I'm just a mom to a pre-schooler!


Soy said...

European kids of Louna's age are already busy compared to those in the Philippines, aren't they?

haze said...

The Philippines and French school system differ from each other and this is because of the society.

In the Philippines we start at the age of 6 for kindergarten or even grade 1 but before schooling we have learned a lot from our parents. Our home is our first school therefore, we are also considered as busy toddlers. Mothers during that time could stay at home while fathers are working and if both parents are working we still can afford to have maids.

While in France starts 2 1/2 yrs old as long as they are clean (this is for private). But in Public schools children of 3 yrs old are their priority but not mandatory. They have made this system to help both working parents and to avoid expensive maids only rich can afford. Public education is free at the primary and secondary levels and is compulsory from age 6 to 16.

I guess that each countries have their own educational system and that there should be no comparison to be made.

Sometimes, I was thinking that 3 years old is a bit young but then again when I became a Mom of pre-schooler I understood the importance of early schooling :D! Bravo Louna and I am sure you will explore a lot from your first year of schooling ;) !

julie said...

This whole day is better compared to 3 hours here in the Phil where the children are made to sit to do table top activities. If I'm a kid in that class, I'll be bored too.

I am sure Louna will be enjoying the experiences. Looking at the schedule of activities makes me excited for her :) Sana ganun din dito,total development, hindi lang academics.

Analyse said...

Soy, well, if I will just compare her to my nieces and nephews, she's more independent, as in di na sya sinusubuan para kumain, and yes, she's more active, me thinks.. but in the phils, the family is always around to baby the kids.. sometimes i want to baby her more but she wants to do everything on her own na..

Haze, pre-schools are now highly responded in the phils too.. mahal nga lang but they exist. I guess my niece started at the age of 3 din, kaya may bf na sya at the age of 3, lol.

but you're right, enrolling louna at the pre-school is giving us a hell lot of savings from the yaya fee.. and she's developing a lot now, esp on language skills and socialization. they do a lot of activities which are beneficial for her and for us too.

Julie, i think the gap could be accounted to cultural and lifestyle differences. in the philippines, we could afford to be highly intellectual without knowing even how to cook rice because we could afford to pay maids..

here in france, we just can't do that because manpower is too expensive, so they're really independent and they know quite a lot of manual work. they start at a younger age, well, that's how i see it.. like louna learns how to arrange her bedroom, kitchen etc (when she feels like it, of course, lol).. yesterday, she wiped the table after we had lunch, she arranged the plates inside the dishwashing machine, then played afterwards... compared to me, im nothing compared to my daughter, im lazy and i dont even know how to cook.. i grew up with maids around and i was focused on my studies so i could pay maids when i start to work, lol.. but here, nah, i need to do everything, to at least help frenchguy..

oh, this lifestyle difference is quite an interesting topic, aint it?

lovelyn said...

our psyche teacher (waaayy back) told us that 3 years old is really early for school but you have to do it or else your kid would be left out. tama ka maaga equals maaga ring magkaboyfriend, our teacher said that to hahaha...

its compulsary here for children to attend school at the age of three.

Anonymous said...

Dunno if my previous comment got through, if it did, please delete the other one.

Thanks for giving us a glimpse of the French school system. There are similarities to the US school system too but it varies depending on what state you live in.
This much I can say though, I think today's school system is better as compared to the earlier days. Better technology, better understanding of human growth and development are contributors, don't you think so?

chung said...

uy analyse, you still haven't given birth? i thought by now may louna #2 na :)

take care!

Lucille said...

hi analyse! waaa 9 days to go or maybe you have already your bouncing baby in your arms now? haha take extra care...

caryn said...

wow that sounds like a very productive PTA meeting you attended ;-)

have you had your baby yet? ;-)

Francesca said...

seryosong parenthood na to ana, me pre-school ka na.haha!

Want to share ,that Louna will be exposed to a diff kind of kids in behaviour/breeding.
Me makabati siya, me maka ka tsaringan, and me makakaaway(nasty ones).

I once learned from a parent here in Nice, they put jewelries to her dother, and yun, umuwi, wala lahat ng alahas, kasi nakursunadahan...
100€ worth lang naman daw yng hikaw na gold...at umiyak yung anak niya kasi dumugo ang tenga!

Pero Im sure si louna, super charming et sympha, gaya ni mama, kaya mas marami siyang friends and ka batak...Di ba?

at age 3, me social world na siya...

Sa kwento mo, excited din ako sa first days ni LOuna...

Dhanggit said...

i heard from Haze you gave birth already!! congrats!

Lucille said...

Congratulations to you and your husband, Analyse! nakaraos ka na the long wait is over. :-) Thanks for sharing your new bundle of joy photos...Kyla is so cute and adorable just like her big sister!
take plenty of rest!

mitch said...

Congratulations Ana! baby kyla is cute. i compared her baby pic with louna there is a bit of similarity between them :D masasabing magkapatid talaga cla!

Enjoy your time with your daughters.
and have a well deserved rest :D

nao said...

oh god bading, dalawa na pala kids mo??? nagulat ako sa picture sa header mo dito.. tagal kong di nakabisita dito shet. CONGRATULATIONS bakla.. iloveyou! I like Kyla's name.. yan sana ang magiging name kung may anak akong babae... awwww! So happy for you An.. :)

Soy said...

Congratulations on the birth of Kyla! Wow, you have two lovely girls now. I have two cute boys... hmmm, grass is greener the other side of the channel? :)