Three Years in Oz

The other day – 25th January – marked our third anniversary in Australia. I wrote about the 2nd anniversary last year with a recap about most of those two years being under some kind of covid marshall law. To varying degrees and depending on which country you live in etc… At least this past year was relatively back to normal.

So here we are coming to the end of January and another school year about to start. Dani is about to begin year 5. That means several things will change in school. He gets a locker for one thing which I find quite amusing. But more importantly the format of the lessons will be different. They have real science classes with experiments instead of just reading from a text book. It seems the school makes an effort to give them more responsibility and treat them as (I guess) more grown up. Dani is quite excited about it. I wonder how long that will last?

Also the first term opens with a three day camp. The kids go away to a camp-ground/bush-camp about two or three hours drive away. As far as I know all schools do something like this here in Sydney (maybe Australia?). Can anyone confirm that please?

I think it’s a great idea. They actually start doing this in year 4 in Dani’s school but last year the camp was cancelled because of… No. I refuse to say it. Sorry. But you know… So this year will be the first camp-out, away from home, for the kids in Dani’s year. I see it as a kind of character building exercise, almost a coming of age thing. I saw something similar at first hand many years ago when I worked on a kids’ summer camp in upstate New York. It’s a big thing in the USA. Those kids – some as young as six! – spent six weeks or more away from home. To some people it may seem cruel but I will be the first in line to argue that it certainly does build character. You only need to look at the older kids who have spent several summer doing the same thing.

So this start to his fourth year in school in Australia – could prove to be a kind of make or break event. I think he will either love it or hate it- nothing in between. And that may affect how the rest of the school year pans out. Let’s hope he enjoys it. We will know soon enough…

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