rentrÈe scolaire

Yeah yeah… new years, new year resolution:  I’ll really try to start blogging regularly!  But you know… we’ll see.  ‘Try’ really is the operative word.

But a fitness resolution is well underway.  My daily 15 minute morning workout since late November has yielded results, and I’ve got a group of about 50 people resolving to do it with me on Facebook!! And I’ve started running with some regularity again (once or twice a week), so I should be happy with my fitness by spring!  Hurrah!   It’s only taken four and a half years!!

The big difference this time is that Buddy is in school.  So if I’m working from home, I can drop him to school at 08:30 in my running gear, and then hit the road immediately after. Still home and showered in time to put in a good day’s work. But if I have to head into Monaco, no can do.  But once or twice a week is fine for now! I still need a few days to recover after a run anyway!

So let’s talk about school!  That’s been our biggest change over the last 4 months! And it’s kick started our involvement in real french life!

Buddy is three (four next month) and he’s started french school this past September.  Yes, it seems young, and you don’t have to legally enroll them until they’re six, but I figure that a) I need the time to work within REGULAR working hours and b) he needs to learn french sooner rather than later!  The french ‘Maternelle’ (kindergarden) lasts for three years. That’s loads of time for him to pick up a new language, non?

So he doesn’t like it, and in fact he hated it for the whole first term… but he’s got a couple of friends in his class now (one who is english/french bilingual) so that helps.  He’s singing to himself in (very incorrect) french… and by the end of the school year he should be much improved and less overwhelmed.  We’re very proud of him, and his french accent is perfect!!  Much better than mine!  He’ll be correcting me before he’s in primary school!

In France the schools are 08:30-16:30 Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.  No school on Wednesdays. However, from next September they should be reinstating the Wednesday school days (I think for a half day) and making the school day a bit shorter.  There is a lot of public opposition to this, but we don’t really care. We’re still ‘guests’ in this country, and we’ll just go along with whatever is decided. As long as they don’t reinstate a half day on Saturdays!!!!!!!  Interdit!

What I love about the French school system is the lunches.  Oh, the lunches!! Every day a 5 course meal in the cantine (buddy goes to cantine twice a week, and lunches at home with us 2 days a week).  The cost to parents is circa 4.50 Euros per day.  Starts with a salad (which Buddy NEVER eats), then a main course (fish, vegetarian or meat), a side dish (rice, potatoes, couscous, polenta, etc),  cheese (because, hey, it’s France, land of the cheese!), and then a dessert (often fruit or yogurt).  Every day it’s a different menu, and offers the kids plenty of new and interesting things to try.  Buddy has tried things that I’ve never thought of!  And it’s all pretty damn healthy. And once a year they have a week where Michelin starred chefs prepare the food!  I wish I could go to school that week….

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No wonder french kids have such a good reputation for being good, healthy eaters.

And my absolute favourite thing about school… I get to actually do my lion’s share of work during normal working hours, and I’m rarely ever working until past midnight anymore. It’s awesome.  I can watch a movie, or even go to bed nice and early.  Ahhhhhh.  It’s been a long 4 years to get to this point!

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