Now, besides having a school attendance requirement (in a certified school; no homeschooling), the system here is geared towards children starting school when they are 6 almost 7 years old (something which can drive my fellow Americans and British people a bit crazy....we just need to remember to be culturally sensitive, right?). So Monkey is first required to start school in 2013, but needs to report to the school 1 1/2 years prior. I think this is actually a good practice, since the school officials informally evaluate a child's German proficiency and, if necessary, provide additional help in learning German.
It is interesting, though, to think about us starting this (long!) schooling process here in Germany. Kind of makes me feel like my culture shock is about to return in a whole new way. But at least we still have several months before beginning school, so we'll enjoy the time we have and trust for grace and wisdom to do this school-thing as well as others around us.
At least after his visit, Monkey was very pleased that he recieved a panda bear postcard:)