Friday, October 22, 2010


I have sorely neglected this blog lately. We have been distracted mostly by problems at Thomas' pre-K. After near daily trips to the principal's office we finally pulled Thomas out and have moved him to a wonderful Montessori-based German kindergarten. This is really the school I have wanted for Thomas all along.

Just to be sure, we brought him for a brief morning tour. He seemed to feel at home.

Ok, there's a reason he's in his underwear. Those of you who followed our adventures in Munich will recall the water pumps that were ubiquitous in all the parks and playgrounds. there is one here too, on the other side of the garden, complete with a sluice mechanism representing the finest of German engineering. Thomas stripped down to play in it at the suggestion of the head of the school. Afterwards he told me this was the best school ever. Ahhhhhhh. I have been so waiting for that with this boy.

The kindergarten has children from 30 different countries ages 2 to 6 years and operates on an "open" system. This means that the children can do whatever they want whenever they want except for meals and circle time. Inside the villa are gorgeous, bright Danish modern-y rooms for music, painting, building, weights and measures, library, pretend etc. This is supposed to be based on the latest brain research though of course it's very similar to a school uncle Arthur and I went to back in the 1970s. Viva Collinsbrook!

But with a twist. Here everything is taught through simultaneous immersion in German, Arabic and English. One third of the teachers speak only English to the children, one third speak German and one third speak Arabic. This means that some days circle time is in English and some days it is in German or Arabic with the kids that know the language translating as needed for the others. It is so global village! If this works Thomas will get an amazing education. Almost as good as Tumbleweeds! He's only gone three days but already we think he seems more relaxed and reflective.

And we've put Emmett on the waiting list for march. They will go to school together- and spraechen zie deutsch!

The website is but its been down a lot lately.

And here are some pictures from a trip this afternoon with Thomas and Emmett to Al Azhar park downtown. Poor guys were basically mobbed by kids looking to practice their English or just squeeze Emmett's cheeks. Sometimes traveling with these guys is like being a roadie with the Beatles- scores of girls looking to get a cuddle and a picture.

Here is Emmett getting nabbed by some fans. He mostly takes it in stride.

Thomas is a little more stand-offish. Here he is, tiny man of the world.

Kirkpatrick boys!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


uncle arthur said...

Very happy to see the new school. Men of the world!

Kathy B. said...

Tiny Man of the World. I'd mob you too. Hugs to Thomas, Emmett Mom and Dad. Fountains have always been Thomas's BIG THING. Now you've found one in a German school in Cairo Egypt.

Clara Allmond Zurn Belli said...

So happy you have found the right place for Thomas. I can only imagine how hard it must have been to deal with the struggles with the first school. We are hoping Gio will be able to attend a Montessori school in Kiev-it has a great rep but a long wait list. Big hugs to all. Our shipping container and car left this week....

Occhio said...

I was most encouraged to follow the Collinsbrook link back into the excellent 1970s, when I too flourished. Now perhaps I will start an Occhio website for those who admired and benefitted from me, starting with Uncle Arthur.



Laura said...

Men of the world! I feel for Emmett, he is huggable, and his cheeks are squeezable.

Anonymous said...

What's the word ? Can Thomas say fountain in German ? Does he come home filthy the way you two did from Collinsbrook...

Anonymous said...

How does Thomas like his new school ?

Kathy B. said...

We are all dying to see Thomas's dragon costume - the one with wings and horns.

P.S. and I hope your scurvy is better Laura