Tuesday, November 9, 2010

First day of Korean preschool!

I posted one picture on facebook, but I saved the rest for my blog!  It's like the reward for all the people who make the effort to come over here and read.  It's also because I'm lazy and posting pictures in 2 places would get aggravating after a while.

Marshall first heard about this preschool when he was stationed here the first time in 2007.  His friend was a single dad and had his 4 year old daughter here with him.  She went to this preschool, and it seemed like a great place!  Marshall remembers his friend describing how the preschool picked her up and dropped her off every day.  I looked into the preschool online but couldn't find anything in English, but some of the people I was getting information from had heard about it.  So, I asked Marshall to look into it after he got there.  The realtor who helped Marshall find our apartment went over to the preschool with him and acted as an interpreter as Marshall asked questions.  Here are some of the basics:

*It is M-F 9am to 5pm.  As we discovered the first day, 9am is merely a suggested start time here in Korea.  We got there at 9 on Mdx's first day and the teachers were just showing up.  After about 10 min the first van of kids were dropped off.  I decided we'll take her there around 9:30 so that she won't be the first one every day!
*It is .2 mile from our apartment.  We will walk there every day but it seems that all the other children ride the van.  On the first day the teachers asked when I wanted Maddox "delivered" and I told them I would come and get her.  I haven't seen any other children walking to school with their parents.
*There are about 36 kids and 4 teachers.  I have no idea the youngest and oldest ages they take.
*They serve 2 snacks and lunch every day.  I have been sending American snacks for her to eat (applesauce and cheese and crackers), just because we weren't sure that she would eat anything they served.  On Maddox's first day of school the teachers said she ate the sausage they served for lunch, but they asked me to send some bread for her.  So- I will send a slice of bread along with her snack until they tell me to do something else.  With the language barrier we will figure this out eventually!!

This picture is basically taken about 50 steps from our apartment building.  You can see how far it is to walk to her school in the distance.  The backpack is from the school, they give backpacks to all their kids- it says "Global Kids" on it, and has the phone number.

We are the first ones here!

Awesome playground!!

There is a Korean Air plane to play in, with a slide out the back.

This is what you see right when you walk in the door.  There are plants all over the school!  On the left you can't see it, but there are shelves for all the childrens' shoes.  Maddox had to bring a pair of house shoes that she wears in the building and leaves at school.

This is a big room with a stage where they do music, dancing, and exercise every day.  There is a piano is almost every room.  Maddox sang a song that she learned the first day, and it was so cute!

This is the indoor playground where the kids play when it is cold or rainy outside.

On the first day they told me that they take a nap at 3pm every day.  I was worried about Maddox being there that long on her first day, so I thought I'd show up at 3pm and bring her home to take a nap at home.  Mom and I walked down to the school and when we got there the teacher told us that she was sleeping.  I said "Can I see her?" thinking to myself that there was no way she actually was upstairs asleep.  So, we went upstairs and peeked through a window into a dark classroom- there were mats, blankets, and sleeping children all over the room!  There was classical music playing on a cd player.  They pointed out Maddox's blond head sound asleep. Mom and I were so surprised and happy that she was doing so well!  We went home and let her stay the rest of the day.  The teachers probably thought I was a crazy American lady.  They told me "You come here see anytime!"

I think it will end up being a really good thing for Maddox to have this time while we are here in Korea.  She seems to really enjoy it, and hopefully it is an experience she will remember when she grows up.  The teachers take pictures with a digital camera during the day, and they have shown them to me when I come to pick her up.  That way, even if they can't tell me in English what she was doing all day, they can show me.  She was smiling and happy in all the pictures!


Em said...

It looks like a really awesome place! I would love to go to school there! :)

Sarabeth Hudson said...

That school seems incredible! What a lucky girl. And great it is so close to your apartment!

JaclynJohnson said...

I am so happy that you found such a great place for Mdx! And with your daughter's social skills, I knew she would be just fine. :-)

Dani said...

I am enjoying reading your blog, Mary. You guys are so brave!!! I hope to see you next time you are in Greensboro!

Anonymous said...

I saw some visits from you on my blog, so I came over here to check your's out. I'm so glad your daughter had a great first day at preschool! My American friend (whose husband is also American) have their daughter in Korean preschool this year, and it's been a great experience for them. Most of my coworkers also have their (biracial/bicultural) kids in Korean preschools and love it too. I hope your family will have a lovely time here in Korea this year!

Erin Bigler said...

Hi, our family moved to Seoul (from the US) a few months ago. Two of our kids are already attending a Korean public school in Bogwang (near Hannam/Itaewon)and love it. I'd love to enroll my 4 yr old daughter in a Korean preschool but am having a hard time finding any information about what schools are available. All of my searches have led to English-speaking international schools and that's not what I'm looking for. Your blog post came up on google and I wondered if you could give me some recommendations. If you're willing, I'd love for you to e-mail me at biglerfamily gmail com. Thanks so much!