Yes, it's that time again! Summer is over (as far as fun and vacation is concerned only, cause we still have summer temperatures) and the school fever is here. I am ready!!!!
My children can't wait to go back to school mainly to see their friends again (it's not the homework they miss, I assure you). We grew taller in the summer, we got tanned, we did some clothes shopping, we got new trendy haircuts, we have a lot to show and tell our friends!
Well Mr. 6th grade and Miss 4th grade helped along in cleaning up their rooms and made them 'school' ready. Cleaned the desk area of toys and stuff and tidied drawers, etc, etc. We checked to see if we have any left over school supplies since especially my daughter loves to draw and write and was doing it all summer. I wrote some things on the list and now I'll wait for school to start to go shopping for school supplies because teachers tend to ask for specific kinds of notebooks or files or other stuff and I don't want to be going back and forth to the store.
In Greece, schools start in the second week of September (on the 11th this year and it's on a Tuesday!) and end in the second week of June. The students have summer vacation (3 months), Christmas vacation (2 weeks) and Easter vacation (2 weeks). Furthermore, students take usually another four days off in order to celebrate their two national holidays (28/10 and 25/3).
A normal school-day starts at 8.15 and finishes at 2.00pm. There is the "all day schooling program" as well, available at every school for working parents where kids can be dropped off at school at 7am and be picked up at 4.15pm the latest. (I think it is a great idea to try to accommodate parents who either don't have anybody to look after the kids while at work or can't afford a babysitter). At the 'all day school' the kids have lunch (brought from home), do homework and extra curricular activities.
I must add, that unlike in the USA, students do not eat lunch at school but when they go home at 2.00pm. They usually take along with them snacks (a sandwich, a piece of cake, etc) that they eat during breaks (they have about 10 minute breaks between classes during which they go out in the school yard). There's also a canteen available at schools that sells bottled water, juices, cheese pies, biscuits, etc.
All public schooling (including books) is free of charge. In Greece, all children from 6 to 15 years old must attend school.
The Greek education system is mainly divided into 5 levels:
- 1 year Kindergarten (nipiagogia) for ages 5-6,
- 6 grades of primary or elementary (dimotiko) ages 6-12,
- 3 grades of lower secondary (gymnasio) variously translated as Middle or Junior High School ages 12-15.
- 3 grades of secondary education (Lykeio) an academically-oriented High School ages 15-18
- higher education - Universities
Basic subjects (for Elementary):
- Modern Greek Language
- Modern Greek Literature
- Environmental Studies
- Physical Education
- Computer Studies
- Theatrical Studies
- Flexible Zone
- Physics (for years 5 and 6)
- Geography (for years 5 and 6)
- History (for years 3-6)
- Religion (for years 3-6)
- Social & Political Studies (for years 5 and 6)
- Second Foreign Language (for years 5 and 6)