Panka’s Óvoda (preschool)

While Daniel is trying to navigate his way through the second grade, Panka is enjoying another year of preschool/daycare.  Panka is 5 years old now and would be in kindergarten in the US (and is being taught the kindergarten material at home), but there is no kindergarten in Hungary.  In fact, it seems as though many (most?) children don’t begin school (1st grade) in Hungary until they are 7 years old; Daniel is 7 with a February birthday and he is the youngest of about 25 children in his second grade class.

Anyway, onto Panka’s school…  There seems to be a variety of ages in her class, ranging from about 4 to 6 years old.  They play some games and sing songs and do quite a few crafts.  Here is a picture of Panka at the entrance of her school:

On Friday, they had a special harvest celebration at her Óvoda. All of the children brought in some grapes and other treats, and they pressed the grapes to get the juice (nothing like teaching the winemaking tradition early). In the afternoon, all of the families came for a program where all the children were dressed in traditional outfits and there was dancing and then refreshements.  Here are some pictures from the dancing:

Below you can see Panka with a couple of her friends.  The girl behind Panka in the beige skirt is Lola.  Lola is Panka’s best friend, since her dad is British and she is able to understand English. In front of Panka is a small boy named Mark.  Mark just started at the Óvoda at the same time as Panka and really has taken a liking to her.  When she arrives in the morning, he usually comes to the door and grabs her hand.

Finally, here is Panka with her two teachers, Kati néni and Rita néni.  Both are really great with the children.