September 1 is the official first day of school across the nation. I wanted to share with you our experience taking two children to kindergarten/day care.
Longing for the day and anticipation.-
Millions of parents have been longing for this day for a couple of months now. Creativity has been exploited in terms of finding things to do with them, camps have been over two weeks ago.
At work people would take their children this last two weeks (I have personally experienced this) having burned all their vacation days but still having the children without camp. Yesterday at the shopping center and supermarket one could smell the anticipation. People buying the last school supplies and everyone buying their lachmaniot (bread) following the regulation to send to the kids a lunch consisting of 1 sandwich, 1 fruit/vegetable and water (no kidding on this regulation). Bread was in short supply yesterday.
The third plague in Egypt.-
Nobody wants them, everybody is careful but in the end some will get it and some will not. We as newcomers and not used to hear the word L-I-C-E too often and have prepared for it with all the preventive means available. We have the metal combs with magnifying glass, we’ve put a couple of drops of concentrated Rosemary oil behind their ears and back neck, just like a weird sect ritual, the smell was strong but Hey! wouldn’t you do it too? As we say in Spanish “Por si las flies” (sorry, no direct translation for this one) There should also be a prayer to guard against them.
Batya and her new 30 friends.-
Batya was so excited today when she woke up knowing that she will be going to Gan (Kindergarten). She is going to a Mamlachti Dati school (Public Religious). Her class consists of 31 children (20 boys and 11 girls) with 2 teachers. A little different from her class of 10 back in Pittsburgh. Her class has children of many new immigrants from many English speaking countries including US, UK, Ireland, South Africa and Australia. She made a new friend from an Irish family who arrived 2 weeks ago or so, they were able to communicate in English, however the teacher and all the program will be in Hebrew. Batya was very excited after school today and is looking forward to tomorrow and to the whole school year.
Ilan would not let go.-
The story with Ilan was different. His class was for 2 hours only today and parents were allowed to stay a little bit to ease the transition. Ilan would not let go our hands. We had to stay with him the 2 hours. In the end he was feeling a little better but still would keep his eyes all the time on us to ensure we are there. His class has 25 children with 3 teachers. All of the families are Israelis, therefore not much English will be spoken. Ilan learned his first phrase in Hebrew today: Ani lo medaver Ivrit (I don’t speak Hebrew).
As for Liora and I, we were both very concerned with their schools, teachers, groups, language, etc. After seeing Batya today we felt much better and for Ilan at least we now know the teachers and school facilities and it looks good. We just hope Ilan can stay on his own tomorrow at day care.
Below are some pictures of our kids’ excitement of going to school as well as pictures of us before they go. Enjoy.