Monday, August 29, 2011

Oscar's First Day of School

Today was Oscar's big first day at barnehagen (the word Norwegians use for preschool; literally, "childrengarden").  As with Jonah, I was asked to stay with Oscar on his first day, so Sergio got to come, too.  Norwegian kindergartens don't focus on academic learning, emphasizing instead social interaction and play (especially outdoor play--at school, the kids play outside in rain, sleet, and snow).  Official national policy is enormously respectful of children and places a huge priority on the right of children to express themselves.

Oscar and Sergio both had a blast:



Oscar with his teacher, Erika
They serve lunch (and breakfast, too) at school, but I told Sergio that I'd give him lunch afterward because the school lunch is just for the school kids, so when they invited him to sit and eat at a table of other kids his age, he spent the whole meal saying, "This is my school.  I'm a school kid.  I'm eating lunch here.  Go home, Mom, I'm at school."

 And lunch was really cute.  Each kid got his or her own plate and a "knife" for spreading, then they helped themselves to different spreads (butter, cream cheese, caviar in a tube, liver paste), meats (ham, salami), cheeses (white or brown [a Norwegian specialty]), and cucumbers.  Each kid was also given a cup of milk, which Sergio normally refuses to drink; but since he was being a "school kid," he drank it and loved it.

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