I still remember the first days of excitement and challenges when he started preschool 3.5 years ago, just when he was about 2.5 years old. It was not easy at all, both for him and us. The time flied, he became six years old a few months ago, and he started the first grade on 1st of September, 2017.

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It is impossible to miss the behavioral changes after his experience with his new teacher and classroom (and luckily same old and good friends from his preschool days). He seems more exhausted in the evenings, talks much more about what they did during the school day, and more relaxed in a sense. He also started to speak a lot of Turkish, his weaker second language, and I appreciate all of his efforts. I can still hear the stress patterns as well as grammatical inheritance of Dutch in his Turkish, but compared to six months ago, his performance improved a lot and everyone else started to notice (check out “Multilingual children: when worlds and words collide” if you want to read about some entertaining examples). Another change, maybe more subtle started to become visible in his drawings: his focus is still on violent and very big dinosaurs and all sorts of Godzilla figures, but he started to draw other animals (still violently killing each other) but in more detail and with more complex compositions and patterns. One such pattern is, almost recursive and space-filling, if I may say so: almost the same dinosaur, repeated in smaller sizes and placed in the remaining empty spaces on the paper, filling it in intricate patterns. (I can remember what I drew when I was six: crude stick figures, the simplest house, a few clouds, and the simplest sun; he certainly didn’t get his drawing skills from me 🙂

I’m looking forward to his mathematics homeworks where we can talk more about numbers and relationships between them. It was funny messing with his mind last year talking about infinity, and I remember I had some difficulties in explaining him why the the entrance floor is marked as “0” in the elevator, as well as the meaning behind the “-1” floor. I think we’ll have enough time to talk more about this in the upcoming grades! Oh, and we still play Go, but only when he really wants and begs that we do. No pushing from my side, but maybe it’s time for more structural play, with some exercises for beginners.

This first grade is still new to as as his parents, and we’re still as excited as him. We’re happy that he’s still going to the same school, and so far we’re very satisfied by the efforts put by every member of the school staff to make it a very encouraging, safe, pedagogical and entertaining school experience for the kids.