We had connections to the Waldorf School here in town through some of my colleagues. Those connections allowed us to get the kids provisionally enrolled from the U.S. so that is what we did. I was a bit worried about the fit of the school. I thought it would probably be fine for Mei-mei whose fabulous preschool in Montpelier has an approach that I think could best be classified as non-doctrinal Waldossori. I was worried about Jie-jie, however, since she would be demoted to preschool AND in a Waldorf classroom of kids aged 3-7, without books, pencils, paper, etc. I told myself that it would work out OK in the short term, allowing Jie-jie to learn Swedish.
The first week seemed to confirm some of my fears about Jie-jie. She said that she was a bit bored and even suggested that maybe instead of being in her preschool class she could be an assistant teacher in the nursery room next door. The teacher scheduled a meeting with us and I considered suggesting that she might be moved out of the preschool into class 1/2 (ages almost 7 to approaching 9). However, in meeting the teacher, it became apparent that she was doing some independent work with Jie-jie and the other 6 year old. Instead of suggesting the move, I told the teacher that Jie-jie can read and write her letters and numbers. She said she would get her some colored pencils to use during “big kid time.” I decided that, since Jie-jie seemed to be settling in and the teacher seemed to be attentive, we could keep on with the status quo.
Then, strangely, this Monday the teacher suggested out of the blue that I might want to think about looking at Class 1/2. This morning she announced that this afternoon she would like to take me up to meet the teacher. So, this afternoon we went up to check it out. It seemed much more Jie-jie’s speed and, in fact, in terms of material it would be review but it would be in Swedish. When I asked Jie-jie’s teacher about the move she said that, although everything is fine with Jie-jie in the preschool, she thought that a full 6 months in there would be boring for her. So, on Monday Jie-jie will start in class 1/2. We will spend the next few days acclimating her to the idea and, hopefully, convincing her that the move was her choice.