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Christmas Celebrations at Varun’s School

Decorations

Varun’s school had Christmas party today.

All parents were invited with their kids for a morning of celebrations with cake, music and some dance dressed in the red and white theme. The school teachers had set up a Christmas tree ( obviously an artificial one in this tropical climate) and nativity scene to remind the kids for why we celebrate Christmas.

Decorated Christmas tree

As the parents gathered, teachers greeted them. Varun realized its  something different as parents and kids were standing around chatting. Few kids went and sat with the staff as instructed but others like Varun were simply running around.

Kids in red and white

Dressed up

Rathi and Aarvin

The party began when ‘Santa’ ( A teacher dressed in a red cap and a white beard)  arrived jingling a bell. They sprayed fake snow to get the feel of a real Christmas. Parents were invited on by one to sing carols, tell a story or even dance. Some kids sat and watched while others chased each other around.

Here comes Santa Claus

Sparying snow on the kids

Dhruv looking on

Varun wouldn’t leave my side and insisted I sit with him on the lawn beyond where he could play away from the celebrations. He doesn’t like large gatherings. Later he went onto play by himself in the sand pit.

Varun trying to run away

Playing in sand

Then the teachers cut the cake with all the kids and we all snacked on cake, wafers, biscuits and some sev. Rathi, a friend and fellow parent at the school had specially made a marble cake for the occasion and it was over in no time.

Santa then handed out mini toy cars and chocolate bars to all the kids as a gift. Kids were happy with the chocolate and most of them left the wafers and cake to munch on the chocolate bars.

By this time it was getting late for work, so we decided to leave the party.

Varun cried his heart out as he didn’t want to be left behind – his first in this daycare. I guess the sugar, the excitement of playing around , change in the routine and the large gathering left him overwhelmed. I am sure he must have calmed down once he was back in the daycare.

Its wonderful that the day care’s and schools celebrate all festivals here. Its fun for the kids, teachers and parents. I saw other kids whose names I have only seen in the register. I saw parents who held enthralling story time at the school. I saw teachers dressed up for the occasion. The laughter and happiness around was infectious and warming.

That’s what the holiday season anyways is all about – sharing joy and happiness.

On this weekend before Christmas, stay warm and enjoy the snow. Sip on some eggnog, have that plum cake and make merry!

From my family to yours – We wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.  Hope the seasons showers you with the very best!! Feliz Navidad!

Merry Christmas

Vipul and Varun

Yikes! We Got Homework

Varun playing 1varun playing gold

We started Varun with a new play school (Oi Playschool) and at the end of the week we got homework!

Varun transitioned well to the new school. He enjoys the circle time, painting , playing in sand pit and rhymes as well as begun potty training there.

Today, we got an email with photos from the class and other activities they did like the sports day along with a document indicating what we should talk to our child about based on the next fortnight’s theme ….and a list of questions to evaluate what all does he absorbed from what was taught in last week.

And we have to turn it in to the teachers.

I didn’t think we would have to do this till he is in elementary school. Needless to add, I used to hate homework in school.

Shivers!

The school search begins…

Its November, that time of the year where schools in Hyderabad give out admission forms for the next school year starting June.

All parents around me have warned me to get started with the school research. Apparently, you should enroll your kid into the school of your choice in nursery. I have been told that its harder to get enrolled in kindergarten or in first grade.

Varun is still a baby and I can’t think about school and him in the same sentence, but for the past week or so, school is what I have on my mind. At ~3 years, kids begin going to a nursery school for 3 1/2 hours.

As we both work, we also need to figure our after school day care and transportation from the school to daycare.

And also, we need to look at which curriculum we want to enroll Varun ( International Board IGCSE or CBSE), commute ( send him by school bus or drop him and pick him up), smaller school or an established larger organization etc. Too many factors to think about.

Following is the list of schools that we have in mind:

1. Oakridge International School

2. Chirec Public School

3. Indus

4. Manthan

5. Delhi Pubic School

6. Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan

Based on early feedback from friends and colleagues, last two are hard to get in and are very academics heavy. If you want your kid to win Olympiads and get into IIT these are the schools to go to. Oakridge and Chirec are both very popular with Indians returning back. Both have variety of  extra curricular activities, strong faculty though parents mentioned Chirec is more focussed on academics than Oakridge. But Oakridge have air-conditioned  classrooms –  a luxury by Indian standards but a necessity while enduring Hyderabad summers.

Indus seems to be perfect bet with the balance of academics and others activities but is too far from Kondapur area (where we live) and is also the most expensive. Manthan is one of the smaller schools not quiet as established as Oakridge and Chirec but loved by the parents who send their kids there.

Anyways, we also have the option of taking a chance and not sending him to these big banner schools and keep him in a smaller school for nursery. The class size will be around 15 – 20 and he will not be lost in sea of faces. And hopefully he will get to have some fun as well.

7. Oi Playschool School

8. Blueblocks

Well, this is just the beginning. Over the next couple of weeks we plan to visit a few of these schools, collect forms, get more information, talk to more parents and possibly be inetreviewed (parent interviews 😦 ) as we begin the next phase of parenting journey.

If you have recommendations, resources and feedback that will help us narrow this down, please leave a comment below.

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