This week was a difficult and emotional one because it was Chloe´s first week at nursery school and her first time ever really being apart from us.As I work in the afternoons,she is going to nursery school in the afternoons for about 4 hours. Unfortunately,many nursery schools where I live are shut in the afternoons and due to the crisis, even more are choosing to shut in the afternoons because there is little or no demand for nursery schools in the afternoons. After my search for a nursery school which you can read about here, I´m very happy with our final choice. It´s one of the best nursery schools in my city, is open in the afternoons, does activities in the afternoon and is the nursery school that is the closest to being a bilingual nursery school.
The first day came and we dressed her in her little nursery uniform(a bit ridiculous a nursery school having a uniform but at least her clothes will keep clean!).They have a summer uniform till October, girls wear a little blue and white striped dress, boys wear a blue and white striped knickerbocker/shorts type thing....I haven´t really paid as mcuh attention to the boys´uniform!!In winter, they have a different uniform...not sure what it´s like yet, plus a" baby",which is like a smock, to protect their uniform.That cost 50 euros already and we haven´t even bought the winter uniform yet!
When it came time to drop her off,she screamed, cried and tried to cling on to my husband for dear life. It was awful and we felt so bad leaving her. We rang after an hour to see how she was and they said she was ok but she was having her moments of crying.We went to pick her up after two hours and she was very happy to see us. This scenario was repeated the following two days although on the third day,she did stop crying for a little while but started again when the nursery nurse took her off me.She didn´t go the rest of the week as Wednesday night she started with a high temperature(which could´ve been down to teething though too!) and she was full of a cold...I hope it´s not a sign of things to come!!!
When we spoke to the head of the nursery school, she told us that she liked being sung to and that she had stopped crying when she heard English!We were given a list of materials we had to provide which included glue,crayons (and they had to be a certain brand!!!),a pad of different coloured card, non-slip socks, white finger paint, glitter gel,EVA rubber, 500 sheets of blank paper...I think that was everything!!I was really surprised....I never had to buy all that stuff for school,never mind for nursery!!!She´s only 1!We also paid for the "books" they use "El Conejita Juguetona"(another 35 euros!), which also comes with a CD with all the songs she´s going to learn, animal sounds and everyday sounds such as breathing etc and two English nursery rhymes "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and " Pat-a-cake,Pat-a-cake". My daughter is already familiar with these two rhymes as I sing them to her occasionally.
The nursery has two English speakers,one of which is native English and the other is bilingual although she speaks English with a Spanish accent. I was disappointed to learn that the native only works in the mornings and that children who go in the mornings get 5 hours of English, in other words they have 1 hour of English every day whereas the children in the afternoons only get 2 hours of English per week(and with the bilingual person not the native unfortunately). I don´t see why kids that go in the afternoon should suffer and get less than their morning peers but I suppose the afternoons are shorter! So it´s definitely not as bilingual as I´d have liked!Maybe I will see if she can go once a week in the mornings too although it probably doesn´t matter so much as she´s still going to hear a lot of English off me!
I´m hoping that her time in nursery will encourage her speaking in both languages and that her talking will come on in leaps and bounds....we´ll just have to see how it goes!!