When we were in Shanghai, Samantha attended a small pre-school at the Shanghai Centre which she loved.  I loved it too as it gave me some time to go to the gym and later, have breakfast with friends.  Well, here in Australia, pre-school doesn’t start until 3yrs old and most of the schools are way past full since there’s a big baby boom going on here (the Australian gov’t provides a ‘baby bonus’ to encourage population growth).  But, luckily, we were able to get Sam into the Glenaeon Steiner School at the Children’s Cottage. It’s not your typical school - back in the states, it’s also called a Waldorf school.  It’s based on the principles of Rudolph Steiner who started this kind of school in Waldorf, Germany.  His teaching philosphy is based on teaching the whole child and to encourage creativity through the arts.  They focus on teaching through play and arts and de-emphasizes reading, writing and mathematics until a much later age.  They also encourage no TV, natural foods, environmentally friendly products etc. So, we like to call it very ‘earthy’. Now, most of you who know us, would not consider us ‘earthy’.  Sam loves to watch Dora and Hi-5 though we do try to limit it somewhat.  But, the school is only a 5 min walk away and the kids all look happy and well adjusted, what more can you ask of from a pre-school.  We work on reading and math at home =).

So, Sam went off on her first day of school.  She was very happy to go, a little sad when I left and very unhappy after naptime. I had to come and pick her up early.  But since then, I’m happy to report, no other issues and she’s enjoying baking, painting and telling stories.  She only goes 3 days a week which is just enough at this age.  And Noah is happy too that now he has some more ‘mommy and me’ time.

For school, I had to make Sam a ’sleeping bag’ to use on her cot during naptime,a bag to hold the sleeping bag in and a bag for her baking goods. Unfortunately, I thought she was starting school a week later than acutal so the night before, here are pictures of me frantically sewing….


the results - not bad if I do say so myself…


Sam with her new backpack from Uncle Kelvin and Auntie Cam.


In her new classroom.


in the playground.