There’s always a mix of happiness and dread as school begins. We’re happy the kids are out of the house for the day, but the sense of dread comes as many parents turn into taxi drivers, shuttling kids from soccer to band to Scouts or other after-school shenanigans.
The flurry of activities can make the first few weeks of school a bit bumpy, but soon everyone adjusts and things even out. Generally.
I feel like the back-to-school adjustment in Norway is bigger than in the US. Partly because in Norway, there are hardly any summer camps or similar activities. No parks and rec summer programs, no daily library concerts or speakers. Nothing. Zero. Zilch. Zip. Nada.
Well, I take that back. There is often two-week programs to mend the gap between the end of school and the beginning of parents’ summer vacation. (I had written about Logan’s experience at such a program our first summer here. He’s refused to go back and I can’t blame him.)
Norwegian families often have slow-paced weeks in southern Spain, or at a cozy cabin, on road trips or a mixture of all those. Then boom! Late August comes and it’s school in full force. No graduated starts like in the US, just immediately into five days of school and the shuttling from basketball, swimming, tennis and whatnot.
My 6-year-old started first grade, and here kindergarten is still in the preschools. So it was a pretty big deal for Ethan, (and us!) He had a hard time adjusting to the Norwegian preschool (called a barnehagen, which means children’s garden) but we are thinking with more structure that is in the elementary schools, he will thrive better this year.
Logan, who is now 10, is fully integrated into Norway, has great friends and even though he would never admit it, was excited about school starting.
For me, it means my day is more open and hopefully I’ll be able to do more writing. There’s so much that has happened in the past several months that I can’t wait to share with you. Some good, some bad, all of it interesting (at least in my opinion.)
Anyway, I hope that you guys are having a good start to the school year or at least getting back into a routine after the summer and I look forward to connecting more. Stay tuned.