The kids have been in school since mid-August, so I thought I’d give an update on how it’s going now that they’ve gotten settled.
Juliette is in 7th class and John Hayden is in 1st class (although I put “kindergarten” on his first day sign because it’s equivalent to it here and he’ll go to 1st grade next year when we are back in the States).
Juliette is in an Introductory class for kids that don’t know Norwegian and is doing pretty good. (She can hold small conversations with people in Norwegian.) If her language skills are good enough in another month or so, she’ll get to go into the regular 7th class. She’s making lots of friends and has had a few over after school, and she is getting an amazing cultural experience since all of the kids in her class right now are from other countries and speak other languages.
John Hayden is in a regular class, which means he’s being taught in Norwegian everyday. He dislikes school (he’d feel the same way about it in America) but has stopped whining about having to go everyday. He hasn’t really made any friends yet since all the kids in his class can’t speak English yet. His teachers say that he enjoys it when they go to the mountains behind the school every Thursday, but he says differently, and even though we’ve mostly adjusted to all the rain here, he still dislikes having to go out to recess in it. (Recess happens rain or shine in Norway. It’s the strangest sight to walk thru their playground–which is conveniently all rubber flooring and concrete–during recess time, in the pouring rain, and see kids just playing and running and screaming and generally unfazed by the weather.)
Here he is in his rain gear, which includes a rain jacket, rain pants, and rain boots. (Also a waterproof backpack cover that you can’t see.) On this particular day, we were headed home from school and it was raining a lot, so he needed all his gear on. He’s happy if he doesn’t have to gear up like this to walk to or from school. (I am too!)
Once the kids are home from school, it’s time to do our “homeschool” work. For Juliette that means math since she was in Advanced Math last year and will have to test to get back in it when we return and some reading and writing since she’s getting none of that in English. For math, we have the actual books her peers are using back home right now but we don’t have the teachers’ book/answer key, so it’s like I’m basically taking 7th and 8th grade math (we have to get thru both books for advanced math) all over again and it’s definitely harder (and more complicated methods) than it was when I took it. (Also, why all.the.word.problems? Ugh!) So far, we’re surviving, though!
For John Hayden, we’re just doing a tiny bit of math and phonics with him after school and in the next month or so, we’ll start spending more time on sight words with the goal to have him reading by the time we leave Norway. However, I feel like that’s going to be a major task that might not happen since he’s starting to be taught the alphabet in Norwegian at school and the two vowels he’s had so far don’t make the same sounds as they do in English. The “i” in Norwegian makes a long e sound and the “e” makes a short a sound. I can barely keep that straight, much less a kid who just got all his sounds down last year! 😩
Since I know you guys love seeing them on video, we made one for you that’s all about school. Don’t let sad John Hayden, who is currently an aspiring actor, fool you. He’s really okay. I promise!