Not too long ago we were in the car with mamma, and we began to bark when we saw this big yellow thing next to us at a stop light. Mamma tried to calm us down by telling us, “It’s just a school bus.” We looked at her with curious eyes, so she began to explain what it was.
She told us it would soon be time for children to go back to school after a long summer vacation. The bus will take them to their schools so they can imparare (im-par-ar-a) learn lots of things. Children start going to school when they are 5 or 6 so they can learn to read and write and then learn about many other subjects. Some children go to a preschool when they are even younger. After that they start with kindergarten and then they go to school for 12 years when they have to decide what to do next.
She told us that in Italy children start school at 3 years old in una scuola materna (ooh-na skoo-ol-ah ma-tear-na), or asilo, which is like a nursery school. They also go to school for many years but actually attend a 13th year which is like the ﬁrst year of our college classes in the United States.
Inside the schools are le aule (lay ow-lay) classrooms, gli insegnanti (yee insen-yan-tee) teachers, le lavagne (lay la-va-knee-a) blackboards, i libri (e lee-bree) books and many other supplies they use so children can learn to write, and they can draw and leggere (leh-gair-a) read books. The teacher will write informazione (in-for-mahz-e-oh-nay) information on the board with un pezzo di gesso (un pez-zo d geh-so) a piece of chalk and the students will copy it in un taccuino (oon ta-coo-e-no) a notebook with una matita (oon-a ma-tea-ta) a pencil or una penna (oon-a pen-ah) a pen.
Children learn to read i libri and later will study from them to learn different subjects like la storia (la store-e-ah) history, la scienza (la she-en-za) science, la matematica (la ma-tay-ma-tea-ka) math, la geograﬁ a (la jay-o-gra-fee-ah) geography and much more. They also learn standard Italiano (e-tal-e-ah-no) Italian as many of them live in places where they speak a dialect at home. Gli studenti (yee stew-dent-e) will also study le lingue straniere (lay ling-gway stran-e-air-a) foreign languages such as inglese (in-glay-zay) English, francese (fran-chay-zay) French and Tedesco (tay-desk-o) German.
In small villages there is usually una scuola elementare (ooh-na scoo-ol-a l-a-men-tar-a) an elementary school for the younger children and sometimes for those a bit older una scuola media (ooh-na scoo-ol-a may-d-ah) a middle school. Then the children normally have to take una scuola bus (oon-ah scoo-ol-a boos) a school bus to high schools that are further away.
We also found out they get to play with giocattoli (joe-ca-toe-lee) toys! When we heard that our eyes lit up and we asked if we too could go to school. “Forse un giorno (for-say oon jor-noe) Maybe one day”, she replied. So, for now we will just wish everyone a safe and happy school year!