In our previous post Education in Spain (Our Story I), we told of how smoothly our eldest son adapted to changes. Our daughter however, appears to have suffered more due to the changes in her young life.
At the age of 15 months, she eventually adapted to private Spanish nursery in Velez Malaga. An attempt to start the Spanish state nursery in Mijas pueblo, 10 months later, ended after 2 weeks of non-stop tears and an unrecognisable little girl! In no way do I mean to criticise the Spanish state nurseries, however, the noise levels and general mayhem on entering and leaving the establishment made my decision to go elsewhere a very easy one. As I mentioned earlier, each child’s needs are very different and we recognised our daughter’s need for a more quiet and controlled environment.
On recommendation from a friend, she started a private bilingual nursery in Fuengirola and, much to our relief, by day 2 she was walking in happily … at last, we had our happy little girl back!
In September 2010, she has started the state school in Mijas pueblo. During the parents pre term meeting we were given the option to have an adaptation period (periódo de adaptacón). This entailed the children attending school for ½ hour for a couple of days and gradually working up to the full 5 hours … this used to be obligatory for new pupils however, this year the teacher advised us that “although strongly recommended”, she was not allowed to enforce it.
To my horror, only 5 of the 23 pupils in our daughter’s class chose the adaptation period. Can you imagine the chaos of twenty three little 3 year olds from 9am to 2pm on the first days? Not surprisingly, our daughter did not have much fun …
The weeks that followed saw her being dragged, screaming ,from us by one or two staff members, many of whom received punches and kicks to various parts of their bodies. “Distraught & devastated” does not even get near to describing our emotions every morning . We were “those” parents of “that” child! As hard as it was, we stuck to our guns and followed the advice of others and persevered.
After what seemed like an eternity, but was only two months later , she is loving school and is singing and dancing and babbling way (in her own lovely way) in Spanish.