Almost two months into my new job and our new phase here in Germany and I have to admit that it isn’t so scary. I’m lucky – I work for a good employer who allow me the flexibility to work from home when it’s needed, and I have great colleagues both here in Germany and beyond, around EMEA and the US. Our Nanny is super lovely and B enjoys spending time with her.
It’s a strange week as all of B’s age friends in England have been starting school, while B has still 2 years officially before she starts school here in Germany, although being December-born she could go next year if she’s ready. I’m not sure I see any advantage to rushing to school, but she shall start Vorschule (the year before school they have special classes each day to help aid concentration and learning to sit still) where she is likely to receive German lessons also. We shall then see how she is getting on before we make any decisions. In so many ways she is growing up fast and yet in so many ways she is still my baby, probably emphasised by my greater absence in her day. We so much look forward to evenings, weekends and holidays so we can spend full days together. Our relationship is still strong. I make time for special time together – last week we went into the mountains with some girlfriends which was awesome. We had lots of fun and it was, as always, great to watch her with her friends.
I will be very interested to see the differences between B and her friends in terms of their development now. In Germany the focus is on learning through play. Children learn from each other, experiment more and are allowed the freedom to make mistakes, assess risks themselves and learn how to be part of a group. They start school after their 6th birthday when they are so ready to learn that they pick it up really quickly (or so I am told). In England the system is more adult-led. Play is supervised more closely and school starts at 4 where a structured learning environment is created. All the children I know love it so I’m not sure there is a right or wrong way, just different ways.
Bavaria is changing somewhat after the shootings in the Munich shopping mall. Oktoberfest this year is a good example – no bags allowed in and it’s a gated event rather than just wandering in from the underground stations. It’s a bit frightening but I guess no more than my time in London. For me, I’d rather head south to the mountains for a relaxing day than into the centre. We swam in a pool by Kochel am See at weekend – it was truly wonderful, including the water slides – B’s favourite. It’s almost the end of summer now though and the leaves are starting to turn. Autumn is a wonderful season here so I’m looking forward to some forest walks. Perhaps we’ll sneak in a trip to England before winter is upon us and Father Christmas starts preparing his reindeer.