The last day of the school year

This morning I dropped off Kabouter for the last time this school year. I left him behind with his usual enthousiasm, because Kabouter is clearly thriving at school among his friends. Our politicians just had a fierce debate whether our schools focussed too much on the wellbeing of the children or too little.

Well, let me say this: the well-being of a child in school is very important and I'm sure it's the base for the good development of skills and knowledge.

While we had chosen the school a bit on our gut feeling after 3 brief visits to 3 schools  (and we were lucky to find a spot in our preferred school), we had no true idea what this school would be like.  It is a very small school not far from our house, visibly with an old building facing the busy street, but hiding a new building behind it and a fantastic big deep garden even further. It's a hidden gem, the children's little paradise.  And all children live in the neighbourhood which is very beneficial for the friendships that develop.

A few weeks ago Kabouter gave me another tour in the school garden, showing me where the strawberries grow and where they've plucked the elderflower to make syrup for father's day, where the "outdoor classroom with benches and blackboard is, where slightly older children have built a cabin, where the gnome's live, where the class vegetable patches are, ...
Part of the playground is also provided with climbing trees etc. The children are always allowed to choose to play outside at the door of their classroom instead of doing an indoor activity.  Given the fact that Kabouter returns most days home with dirt all over his face, hands and knees, he spends his time outdoor well.   There's also a lot of activities, way way more than what existed when I was in kindergarden: visits to the woods, to the nearby farms, to the movie theatre, to see a theatre play, ... They are always exploring and on the move, which sometimes makes me jealous as it seems to be so much fun.

I'm a bit emotional that Beertje could come to meet his future class and future teach already one week ago because that means the end of his stay in our beloved daycare and it means that my children are growing up way too much. Where's my babies that were sleeping on my lap?
But it is also with happiness and trust that I can send Beertje to join his brother at school in September, knowing that he'll thrive as well and that the teachers will provide him a safe but exciting place to grow up.  He seemed to enjoy his test afternoon in the toddler class.

Of course, Beertje had been in the school multiple times before to drop off or pick up his older brother. End of May he had a great time during the Pirate school day, which was a fun day centered around the children that can play all day without the pressure of big must do performances as many other schools do.  Beertje also recently played all afternoon on the potluck picknick that was organised by the parent's council. So the school isn't exactly a new environment for him as it was to Kabouter when he started. I don't think he realises yet that this will soon be his environment as well though and not just the "school Kabouter".

the smallest and biggest child of the 2nd kindergarden class teamed up for a pirate dance

Our monkey testing the play possibilities at the school playground

Alle elementary school children doing their pirate dance

The school potluck pick-nick

It's with a lot of gratitude that I said goodbye to the teachers today and I'm looking forward with trust (but with mixed emotions) to the start of both our boys in September.  In the mean time I'll enjoy the fact that Kabouter's summer activities (summer daycare, camps and playgrounds) start a little later than school so our summer morning routines will be just a little bit less rushed.  And that my smallest boy can still continue in his daycare just a few more weeks. 


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