More new beginnings

September 14th, 2012

I should have started with this, of course, after a month-long hiatus: the Boychen started Kindergarten, and SB is in second grade. Second grade. I have a second grader. And a Kindergartener.

I’m curious how Kindergarten will go for Boychen. In some ways, he’s ahead of the game for a Kindergartner. He insists on doing what his brother is doing – when SB’s 7 and 8 year old friends come over to play, there’s Boychen right in the mix not even realizing that he’s small. When SB does his homework, Boychen has to have homework too. I started out by giving him coloring books, or simple “my first get ready for kindergarten” books but Boychen was having none of that. If SB was doing math, then Boychen wanted to do math too and as a result he can do first grade math. If SB had writing practice, then Boychen wanted writing practice too. Yeah, I know. Double-edged sword but you come over here and try telling the Boychen that he can’t do something because he’s too young or too small. No, really. I dare you.

But on the other hand, there are many ways in which Boychen is still clearly four and a half. He’s extremely impatient, and a sore loser (which is really fun when he plays hockey in the garage with his older more experienced brother), and easily frustrated. All pretty normal four and five year old stuff, and exactly the areas Swiss Kindergarten concentrates on. Kindergarten here is all about play and socialization. They don’t learn to read or write or do math. They do art projects, and play, and learn songs and rhymes and have stories read to them. But they are not, not in school. (I’ve written about Swiss Kindergarten and first grade in more detail here.) It’s all about social competence in Kindergarten, and that’s exactly what Boychen needs right about now.

SB started second grade, which means a musical instrument has been thrown into the mix one day a week. SB is playing the recorder (Flöte in German) and on top of school homework he now has to practice the Flöte, too. So far he’s been good about it, though I’ve learned that if we don’t do it right after he finishes his school work there will be a drama when I tell him to do it later. Basically, SB has to do his homework right after lunch before he can go do anything, and I’m drilling it into him now that homework must must MUST be finished before hockey practice. Because hockey practice is only going to get crazier as SB gets older, and I need to drill this rule into him but good.

Hockey. Yes, we’re back in hockey. SB has been in on-ice training since the first week of August and has already had his first games. For that it’s only September, he’s been spending (or is scheduled to spend) a lot of time in the goal. He was goalie for the first tournament – 3 games in one morning – and is scheduled to be in the goal on the 9th and the 16th. TrainerMan clearly has ideas about this kid. And who can blame him, look at my little goalie (in the black jersey in the near goal):

Nice butterfly position, no?

These boys. How they keep growing, finding their way.