A Travellerspoint blog

September 2006

SEPTEMBER 2006 "a bit of daily routine"

Maja starts school

sunny 28 °C

Maja_ready_for_school.JPGDuring the past month we have been having lots of fun exploring all the new places and learning about Korea, Koreans and their daily lives. But in the meantime we have been also trying to find a suitable nursery for Maja so she could continue learning and be in the company of kids her age. As much as I tried every day to fool and mess around with her I know that she would much prefer to have fun with other little girls rather then her mum pretending to be one! I must say that finding a place for her proved to be a bit more difficult that we first thought. The assistance from Nick's school was very close to nil and after visiting a few places we were getting a bit worried -there were either international schools established with rich people in mind (children of businessmen, diplomats etc) whose fees we couldn't simply afford or ones that were still expensive but didn't seem to offer much and had kids that could hardly speak English. It was just by pure coincidence we found Story'nkids as they were advertising in the same magazine as Nick's school did. We went to visit and loved it straight away as the place was full of smiling people (little as well as big ones) and shelves wallpapered with colorful books. Again the fee was quite high (especially that it was only for half a day what wouldn't allow me to work many hours and earn it) but Nick's school manage to negotiate the discount as having Maja would be a good source of marketing for them.
The nursery is located about 20 mins car drive from our place and it provides a mini bus service for the kids. It seems that most of private schools or so-called academies provide the transport either free on included in their fees. I am not sure about the state schools but I would have thought that it's the same case. Dropping Maja at the pick up point and collecting her from there once the school session had finished was totally opposite to our routine back in London where Nick would drop Maja at school on his way to work and I would pick her up on the bicycle on my way back. Apart from spending the journey with her we would also be in direct contact with the teachers and see how she was getting on there. Here we don't have that any more and have to rely on the reporting system - where Maja has a little folder and at the end of a good day she gets a stamp or a sticker.

Anyway, the day had finally come and Maja joined the Moon Kids group for kids aged 5 onwards.

Although at the time she was only 3 years and 8 months according to Korean age she was 1 year older -4 years and 8 months. We knew about the difference and those who know me also know that I was always of the opinion that when once the child is born he/she is already 9 months old so when talking about the age we should be adding these months on, but as the years keep on adding on I am quite happy to stick with our way and be happy to be back in the UK and able to say that I am 1 year younger that I was in Korea (wish it was that easy:) but poor Maja seemed a bit confused when she was suddenly told that she was 5 in Korea and 4 in UK.

It was a big relief to have Maja join the school. She quickly settled in and made some new friends although her talks about Henri, Amy and other London friends still go on.
The activities at school are based around stories and books and children as young as Maja or even younger are learning phonics, writing and reading as well.Reading_at..y_nkids.jpgReading_time.jpg

Not being used to the classroom routine, Maja was bringing home mixed reports at first which would usually say
that she was friendly, expressed herself very well in English but didn't follow directions and had a disruptive influence on her class. At first we thought it was a matter of a new enviroment and once she's settled her behaviour would improve but the report didn't seem to change for a while and at the end she was moved to a lower class. This is when we found that she was put an older class to start with as her speech was very well developed but due to her age she wasn't able to follow the teacher's instruction that well. Since then her reports have completely improved as she's been through some sort of metamorposis from a naughty trouble maker to a girl who enjoys the activities and listens and respects the teacher. We are so proud of her!

She loves doing arts


She also enjoys the outdoors


As well as posing for magazine adverts:

And of course a bit of learning as well as being a cheeky monkey with the others:


This month we liked:

"I can't think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost eveything." Bill Bryson

"Living with the Enemy -Inside North Korea"by Richard Saccone

Welcome to Dongmakgol - very good film showing that things are not black and white and easy to explain for Koreans let alone other nationalsposterphoto7608.jpg

Asia -tofu - so different to tofu that we know back in UK or Poland. This stuff is all fresh swimming in the water, tasting of nothing much and falling into pieces when touched,but after some further enquiring I found the ways to handle it and make it
delicious! all you need is patience and a clean cloth.

Maja -kimbab -although there are different kinds of it Maja loves the most simple dish there is -rice wrapped in or sprinkled with seaweed! nice, easy , healthy and served in all restaurants!

Visits to Seoul Forest:

Posted by Bulls 01:01 Archived in South Korea Tagged family_travel Comments (0)