Vallaura's Blog

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Forest Kindergarten

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Last Monday, out of the ordinary, I woke up very very early for a student in a cold country. Me and some of my classmates were having a Pedagogical Excursion to a Forest Kindergarten, or in Danish, Skov-og Musikbørnehaven “Koglerne”.

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Skov-og Musikbørnehaven “Koglerne”. Folehavevej 66, 2970 Hørsholm, Denmark. www. koglernes.dk

 

It was a very windy Monday morning. I said to myself, what have I got myself into, going to a forest on a windy day, early in the morning, in Denmark! But anyhow, I went down to Strandvejen and  got to bus 21 to Rødovre St and alighted at Lyngbyvej (Gentofte). Walked for 4 minutes to Tuborgvej (Gentofte) and took Bus 150S to Kokkedal St. In 25 minutes I arrived at Hørsholm Midtpunk where we all agreed to meet before walking to the kindergarten. Whoaaa… I have to put a note on this. Denmark’s public transportation is awesome! They are right to the minutes and even earlier than the schedule! Well, in some cases late but it takes not more than 5 minutes late. But of course there’s a price to pay. I have to pay additional 48Kr (equals to 100.000 IDR) to get to Hørsholm Midtpunk aside from my 2 zoner monthly pass. uh-hu. There is definitely a price to pay!

I arrived early and got curry chicken on stick for breakfast. We then walked to the kindergarten, or so called “The White House”. I did not remember exactly where it was since I just followed the crowd but I remember a beautiful cemetary that we passed by. hahaha… 😉 It was nice!

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The White House is a small traditional house. It is the main building where parents could drop off their kids. We went in there but I stupidly did not take ny pictures there. It has a big room, probably like their aula. and two smaller rooms at the end of the aula. They are playrooms, not “playroom” playroom. Ha! Each for each gender. It was interesting that they separated the playroom based on gender. Which later on I found out that it was meant for bedroom, for a nap, that’s why they separated the playrooms. There’s another room for the pedagog as they would call their teachers. Then a kitchen and bathroom. The white house was surrounded with yard front, back and side. And there’s also a small barn or warehouse which I am guessing used to be a stable. Benches with books and coloring items are there in the yard for kids to play to kill the waiting time for all kids to come. 9 AM and they are all lining up to walk to the forest. (picture above)

IMG_6190There are 4 pedagog, two females and two males with around 20-24 students.

We were walking on an autumn forest in Denmark! I just could not still believe my life right now. It was gorgeous.

As I observed, it was gorgeous for the kids too. They were walking on their own pace enjoying the view and surroundings. There were three kids staying behind us, discussing about something that they found while the others kept on walking. Apparently, they have this “Pit-Stops” where they stop, count everyone before continue the journey. I counted there were 3 pit stops before we arrive at the “hut” in the forest. It was mind blowing that they were allowed to walk at their own pace. A thing that I could not imagine happening in Jakarta. I am sure if this ever happen in Jakarta, the teachers will be busy holding the kids’ hands, or yelling and shouting, to remind them to be in line or to walk faster or to stay in a group or whatever whatever. Unfortunately, oh, so unfortunate for me, that these kids are not eloquent in English just yet. I could not communicate with any of them. oh such a bummer!

In roughly, 15min, we arrived at The Hut. It was a scout-boy hut that they rented for the past years. It had only 1 main building and 1 small storage building in the compund. All around was just playground, “playground”, outdoor dining table, “portable” toilet, pirate sack, sand pit, swing, and bonfire ground.
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IMG_6193Upon arriving at the hut, kids put their bags in a bench orderly.

A bell was rung to gather the kids in a big circle. We had a some short of activity lead by one of the pedagog. If I remember correctly, they started by praying or simply giving thanks for everything. Then there’s a children song sung. It was funny song, I guess, by the way they sung it. It was in danish. Then we had a short physical exercise. And the kids take turn in leading the action of exercise that we all need to do. It was a very interesting thing to observed. These kids were just raising their hands if they want to be selected. None of them yelling their names, or shouted “me! me! me!” …well, probably because they were all in early stages of learning. And Or they might be terrified by us, a bunch of strange adult being around them. hehehe…

IMG_6196After the morning gathering, I saw them doing whatever they would like to do. Some sort of free time, maybe? Some of them sat in the dining table, chomping on some raw carrots. Some of them follow one of the pedagog to go to the toilet. The rest just scattered around the compound doing whatever they would like to do. I heard a sound of can or metal objects being thrown away and those were just some sort of old pans and things that they could use for playing in the sand pit.

I was in horror realizing that they were also taking out shovels from the warehouse and using the shovels to dig the sand. WTF! They were real shovels as in made in metal sharp object. This danish education system has gone out of line. Dont they?

IMG_6195It took 30 min for the breakfast to be ready. Bread and butter, options of jam, chocolate, cheese, sliced fruits and water or coffee and tea for adults. Simple, but it was the best breafast so far! Breakfast was brought by our teacher/lecturer and the pedagog might have told the kids about this because after they had finished their breakfast they approached us and said “Tak for mad!” translated as Thank you for the food. Awwww…. arent they so cute? ❤

It was known for us, foreigner, that Danes are one of the most polite creatures on earth. They would just say “Tak” or thank you in English for everything. And especially for someone who provides or brings food for them, it is considered rude if you dont say thank you. Hence, Tak for mad! 🙂 and You should answer it with “Velbekomme!”

IMG_6194After breakfast, they were all back again playing. Well, that’s the essence of kindergarten, right? Indonesian government should take note on this. NOTE.

One of the boys showed us a lizard? Salamander? Something that he got from the nearby water puddle. It was interesting to see how careful he was in holding that lizard. We could see his eyes went shining proudly presenting something to us even though he could not communicate with us and we just got an explanation from his pedagog.

Thank God for universal language such as body language, sparkling eyes and smiles! 🙂

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The fireplace in the hut was on. It was really a windy cold autumn Monday. And it was great knowing that there’s an option to stay indoor reading books by the warm fire. I would choose that if I were one of the kids. But of course, most of them, would rather fight the cold and stay outside.

We had a wonderful interview with one of the pedagog as well. We interviewed Andrew and talked a bit with Laese. I did not catch the other pedagog’s name. And one of them did not speak English that much. Or maybe she is not confident. Because I am sure everyone could speak English here. In fact, this is my first encounter with a dane who has little confidenet with her English. interesting.

IMG_6197Unfortunate for us, we had to go back to our campus to attend our class. Ugh. I would LOVE to be there with them for some more hours. I might consider volunteering here. But, ugh. I need to be able to speak in danish first. Now, that’s a major obstacle. 😦

We left them while they were making some craft. Some of them collected some acorn (?) nuts (?) I have no idea what it was. Almost like Jengkol from Indonesia, hahahaha….

So, the pedagog helped the kids to make holes in these things and using a dull syringe the kids arranged these things into a necklace. I am so sorry for using a vague language. I really dont know what to call. Maybe not a necklace, I would say a round thing made of strands of these things. Because you could put it up on the door or on a branch of tree or somewhere else. Why do we have to associate it with a necklace? I could see that they were not because the boys were also doing it and they felt comfortable and did not assume that they were doing girls stuffs. We had a very fun ride back to Rungsted Kyst train station with our lecturer 2-door BMW. And there were 7 of us including our lecturer. Ha! It was high school all over again. 🙂

If ever you are in Denmark. Do consider coming and visiting this kind of thing. It would blow your mind.

 

 

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