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Billy and school.  

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Posts: 1773
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(@diskwizz)
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Joined: 15 years ago

If you have been following this story then please ignore the first part. I am copying it so that people can follow from the begining.

I had to take my 7 year old(8 in November) for his 1st morning in school today. He was a brave little soldier until we got into the classroom. I nearly brought him home with me as not a person in his school speaks English. I dont mind admitting I had a good cry when i got back to my apartment wondering what the hell i had done. I was dreading picking him up at 12. Anyway, noon arrives and out of the classroom he pops full of smiles and half a dozen portuguese kids says "boa tad billy". He was absolutely fine and even though he understands nobody he loved it.

Moral of that story i guess is, yes you will panic at first but dont get yourself worked as it might be a total waste of time.
If you need any help at all please dont hesitate to get in touch. We have all been there.

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Posts: 1773
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(@diskwizz)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago

How was Billy today diskwizz

I was hoping nobody would ask that lol.
Monday was not the best day in my life and probably one that will stick with me for a long time.
It all started Sunday night, we had been out for a great meal in Monchique. When we got in he wwent to bed as normal but was a bit teary saying he didnt want to go. He eventually nodded off to sleep but i didnt as i was fearing the next day.
He woke up Monday and dint really eat his brekkie which is most unlike him. He started to whinge a bit as we left out home. We walked to school(15 mins stroll) and i tried to keep him occupied along the way. But he kept saying things like "this isnt a good idea dad" and "i dont want to go, they dont understand me" etc etc.
At the gates i decided to walk him into his class as he wouldn't leave me. I waited for his teacher to come as he wouldnt go into the class witht he other kids. When she came i tried to walk away and he set off crying, so whe went to a receptionist who talks a little English. She asked me to leave which I tried but at this point he was lying on the floor in a heap crying and screaming " dad dad dont leave me" (not the best feeling in the world). I walked away anyway.
Walking home i was glad i had my sunglasses on so people couldnt see the tears rolling down my face. The whole day dragged as I wondered how he was. The only saving grace was that the phone didnt ring so he must have been ok.
I picked him up at 3.30 and was very nervous about how he would be and how much he might hate me for leaving him. He came out and seemed ok. The teacher had paired him with the only other English kid in the school to settle him down and this has seemed to help.
He went in a little reluctantly this morning but no tears at least. I did wonder on Friday and Monday if i had done the right thing in making him go to a PT school even though i have said in previous posts i knew the first 3-6 months would be hard.
After today I am convinced in time he will be ok. He now understands when the teachers tell the class to stand up little things like that. He also loves school dinners. Soup started then a main meal followed by melon or some other fruit desert which he just loves. He gets a bit lonely at lunch time as i think 90 mins is a little too long for somebody who has yet to make real friends.
For anybody else out there in the same situation, just make a big fuss of them and keep saying how proud you are of them coz believe me for an 8 year old who dont know the language it takes a lot of balls for both the parents and the kids. At least now i have seen both sides of the coin. My little girl who is 4 is doing doing fine and doesnt have a care in the world, she loves the school she is at. If you have a young child and want to make the move in a few years, just have a think. Might be worth moving now and saving a bit of stress. OK i am rambling now but you did ask lol. Hope this post helps others who might be deciding when to make the big move tho.
Good luck.

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Posts: 1773
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(@diskwizz)
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Joined: 15 years ago

Well, its the end of the first week and i suppose it could have been worse. But also could have been much much better. I guess I am a little angry with the school but then also a little angry with myself too for putting him in this situation.
The children have to buy there own meal tickets every Friday for the following weeks meals. If parents were allowed inside the school gates I would help him do it. But I was only allowed in the school on his first day which was last Friday. As I am not allowed in I wrongly asumed they would help him do this as he has no idea where to go or what he is doing once there. When he finished school today he had no ticket so in theory he will not get fed at school next week, but trust me he WILL be fed as I will make sure of it. Getting angry now as they really should (in my eyes) have made sure he was ok, or at least get somebody to "buddy" him so that he was sorted for next week.
However, at the end of the day he is the first full english child to go to that school, his teacher speaks no English at all and for that I feel it may also be my fault for putting him in that situation. Maybe the school has no idea how to cope with him either. But I will be trying to speak to them on Monday to put in place a plan of action to see how they can help with the language and also with a kind of buddy system as it seems he gets a little left out at play times too. Rather than help him mix they feel sorry for him and dump him playing spider solitaire on a PC instead, for me this is not the right way to go.

He still cries every morning when i take him to the gates and this too makes me a little angry as well as sad. I am obviously sad for him as i can see how upset he is. However i then get frustrated as he is upsetting me and his mum, sounds silly i know. Its just sometimes i think maybe, just maybe they milk it a little bit more than they have to for the sympathy.

He has a friend who plays with him at break times as he speaks English which helps but if he cant find this kid or he is in a game with others then it again makes him cry.

I speak to him very openly and its seems the 2 reasons he crys are 1) he doesn't like me leaving him at the gates. 2) he doesnt undetstand a thing when people speak to him. I guess a few more little things will sneak out along the way but i am also confident we can make it to the end as one of the problems can be sorted. I cant really afford private after school lessons but i guess i'll just have to find the money from somewhere.

Not really looking forward to Sunday night as i know he'll be worrying about school then. So ill keep you posted on Monday night.

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Posts: 984
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(@minouche)
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Joined: 15 years ago

Good luck :wink:

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Posts: 1097
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(@chrisbilby)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago

This is going to sound really awful but having read about Billy and his first days at Portuguese school maybe this should be a warning to other parents thinking of re-locating to Portugal. Most kids are traumatised changing schools and it must be even worse when you can't speak the language. I am sure Billy will settle and make lots of friends, as all the English kids around here have. I bet by Christmas he will be fluent in Portuguese and will have forgotten all his troubles.

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