Friday, October 22, 2010

Kompass!

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 kompasseducation.com 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