Sunday, January 20, 2008

Watch out Hermann Maier!

I was busy at a book sale today, A was 'in charge' all day. Predictably they went skiing, although they did look in on me for an hour which was appreciated (8 hours at soft play was quite headache-inducing!).

I have no pictures and no footage of M's first solo effort down the hill. I bought A a helmet cam for Christmas and it only came out of the packaging tonight, after I moaned that it hadn't been used yet.
Apparently he was able to go on the baby slope conveyor belt lift thing (well, I don't know what they are called!) on his own, and then managed the bottom 1/3 of the hill on his own. Obviously A hasn't taught him how to stop yet. :rolleyes
There is such obvious pride in A's voice when he talks about M's skiing exploits; its very touching. Just glad that M doesn't take after me and thinks that skiing is pretty pointless. I don't think A's heart would be able to take it!

Off skiing next Sunday with one of M's friends (although the mummies are either going to the balloon festival or a spa) and then the following week we are off to Meribel for a week of skiing with friends (again I will be reading lots, swimming lots and sleeping lots!) so when we come back he'll be doing black runs like a pro (well, in A's mind anyway).

A is off skiing with a friend today (this is what its like from December to March) so I think we will have a lazy day. I have to do an online shop, place an Usborne order before the Fairytale Sticker sets sell out, and we might venture out on bike (M) and scooter (me), but otherwise I'm sure there's lots of tennis and CBeebies to watch. We now have a proper mouse for M to use, so maybe a bit of Beebies games are in order ("mummy, go to bbb dot doe dot uk slash cbeebies") to while away the day.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

What a shock!

When on my Usborne conference I shared a room with someone I'd never met before, K. Lovely lady and we chatted like 2 teenagers well into the wee hours.
Anyway, she has a son a few months older than M, and she just mentioned in passing that J was going to school in September.
And then it hit me. If we lived in the UK, so would M! I was speechless. I broke out in a cold sweat. Then I started saying 'But, but, but.....' a lot, and all the while my brain was saying, 'But surely not! He's too little! Isn't he?'

In Switzerland ecole maternelle starts at age 4, but this isn't compulsory, and the cut off date is July 30th. So as M's 4th birthday is in August this year, he would have to wait until next year to go unless he got a special dispensation.
Ecole primaire then starts at 6, again with a cut off of July 30th. Ecole primaire is compulsory.
So M doesn't actually have to go to school until August 2011, which is ages away. So no wonder I was a little shocked that children of his age are going to school in the UK.

OK, so I know that in the UK you don't actually have to go to school (unless of course you educate otherwise ;) ) until the term after you turn 5, but I reckon that a lot of parents aren't aware of this, or are happy to send them off at 4 anyway.

And of course, M has friends here that go to 'school' and certainly some of the International-type schools take children earlier than 6 as they follow a British or American system, but you don't have to.

We have chosen to home educate, and so issues like what school M would go to, what forms to fill out, who to butter up etc don't apply to us, but the conversation with K scared me as very shortly the routine of getting up early, doing the school run, packing school bags, remembering to pick him up at the end of the day (!) could have been my life.

Uuuuhhhhhh, makes me shudder.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Un, deux, trois

Woefully inadequate with blog posting again. Oh well.

Just back from a trip to the UK which wasn't stunning, but better in some places and worse in others than expected.

Went to the Usborne conference (an overnighter and M stayed with Gran, which he loved) which was very inspirational. Still need to figure out what it means for us overseas organisers, but I have a lot of ideas and motivation, so onwards and upwards for 2008!

M is obsessed with the playmobil pirate ship and castle that he got from Santa. We constantly have good/bad conversations. I think I need to explain a bit more why swords and guns aren't particularly nice things, and incorporate that into history-type stuff. Not entirely sure myself why knights of old didn't just sit down and talk things through, and how our governmental system seems to prevent feuds (or does it?!). I suspect this may be a little too much for a 3 year old to handle, particularly as its not clear for me!

My new Latin books arrived at my parents house, so looking forward to sitting down and starting to work through those (although plenty of other things to be doing first).

We have made a sponge cake this morning for a gathering this afternoon at the management school to introduce the new intake of spouses to the local expat community. Going to take some leaflets for my preview party and it will be a good chance for M to meet some new kids (not that he doesn't have enough friends already!)
Note to self: need to either put stickers on scales or get new set of scales that weigh in ounces. I know it is an outdated measurement system, but it would be useful when we are cooking together for M to be able to weigh things out and my current scales only have 20, 50, 100, 200 etc grammes on them.

A has been home late all this week (last night it was 11pm) through work, but hoping that this will mean he will be happy to take a few hours off every now and then (as he only gets paid for hours worked). M has found it quite difficult I think as he missed him when we were in the UK, and now has hardly seen him at all since we've been back. Still, I have a book stall at the relaunch party of KidSpace on Saturday so plenty of time for them to have fun together.

Oh, and M surprised us the other day by counting to ten in French. I guess going to atelier twice a week is useful!