Dutch School

I have been going to a Dutch school for most of our time here in Leiden (four months). Since I have spent so much time there, I thought it would be interesting to tell you a little about my school and the experience I had. Here is the journal entry from my first day of school:

"Today was my first day of school. In the morning I was tired, but I went to school anyway. We got on the right bus but we got off too early because we were confused where we were supposed to be going. The first thing we did when we got to the school was go inside. One of the younger grade teachers led us to the classroom. The door was very odd because the top was pointed. The teacher was a man about 40 years old. I sat next to a boy named Alex whose father was American, so he could translate some things. The first thing we did was math. During math we added three prices twice and we also did two math worksheets which had addition, subtraction, and multiplication. I know the numbers in Dutch, but I couldn't pick them out well because different people have different ways of pronouncing them. When the teacher was telling us the price problems, he said them in Dutch. Sometimes I asked Alex and sometimes I asked him (because I couldn't understand). I raised my hand and said I didn't understand the question. I got done faster than most of the other kids because it was something we had already done at SRV. The next thing we did was have a snack and a break where about five of the boys led me around the playground. When I tried to make a bow and arrow, it didn't work because I couln't find a stick that was springy enough and had the right size sticks sticking up to put the rubber band on. During break I also made a paper airplane. I also explored the grounds. They have a beehouse and a chickenhouse with hens and chickens. I think that is interesting because it is like my school at home, the School in Rose Valley. Then I heard the story of Moses in Dutch, and we drew a picture. Alex said that I could draw anything, but I was supposed to draw Moses in a basket. So I did, but the teacher didn't like it, so he added weeds, Moses's sister, and a very small house. I also met a boy who had a paper airplane book and knew English. Then I went home (I only stayed there for half the day). As I was going home, we saw the bus we were supposed to get on leave, so we had to wait for a half an hour for the next one."

Now (four months later)thinking back, here are a few things I think are different about my Dutch and American schools:

"The School in Rose Valley has more woods. Most of the woods here are cleared away. They do have gardens, but they aren't very pretty during winter. I like the woods a lot better, actually.

I like that here you don't have as strict rules. No one has even told me any rules except that you can't go into the beehouse, the henhouse, and the garden. There is a big climber next to the henhouse, but I couldn't go on it because my mom said not to climb anything since I just had appendicitis.

I can't think of any other big differences (other than the language), but my time in school has been exciting. I am happy because I have learned Dutch and how they do school in the Netherlands. Dutch might be a bit tough, but it has not been too hard for me. People speak to me in Dutch sometimes now, and I understand them!

On my last day of school I interviewed my class with some questions. Click Here to see it."