Sunday, March 27, 2011

Ethan seems to like school here

Ethan has been home-schooled for a while now. We have been reading to him regularly since he was a baby. We've worked with him a lot at home & he also had a great boost in education when he went part of the day to child care while we were in Texas attending linguistics classes. We're very proud of him. He's great a math for his age. He's very curious and that often serves him well. He once, after understanding simple addition and subtraction, asked me a question that revealed he had figured out basic multiplication on his own. He learned how to read in English before he turned four. So he's super fast! He now reads at a third grade level even though he's only five.
What he's reading now: Tree House Mystery (Lions at Lunchtime), The Littles, and Stewart Little.

Practicing writing in English

So he does really well for his age in a lot of areas. I'm trying not to brag on him, but I need paint this picture for you to be able to explain what happens when people enter a new language and culture. When we first arrived in France, our normally out-going and talkative boy would sit quietly in French Sunday school class. He came out at the end of class and told me, "Mom, I didn't say a thing because I didn't want them to know that I don't speak French." My heart just sank. Poor kid feels just like I do in certain settings here, only he's had very little input to prepare him for it. Of course, we told him ahead of time that no one would understand him because they don't speak English here. Maybe we didn't think to mention how it would feel to not be able to say anything back even though we've been practicing French at home with him and Claire for months. We have videos, songs, books, and even Rosetta Stone on the computer to help them learn. These are all a huge bonus, but nothing will prepare you for speaking another language like being thrust into a place where that's all you can do!
Rosetta Stone - Level One French

We were a bit concerned that he might not like going to French public school here either. He didn't cry like I thought he might when we dropped him off the first time. When we picked him back up he told us he had learned Sumo Wrestling and even won three times! I thought that meant that he got into a fight on his first day of school in another country, but as the days went on we figured out that it was an adult supervised sport in the gymnasium. Funny. After a few days, Ethan was actually able to tell me a few kids names. This is an amazing feat for my kid, because he rarely knows kids' names even in the US - he just knows that the kid is his friend. So when he came home talking about another kid, I was overjoyed.

Turns out that when people (even kids) are thrust into a strange & unfamiliar situation, they learn to survive or thrive.

I think that these first few days of school in France forecast a bright future for our boy. He loves going to school because there are other kids to play football (soccer) with, and his class gets to go ice skating twice a week for a while. Not only does he love school now, but he also is picking up a great French accent on the words he does know - it blows me away!
In front of  what they call Pre-K (Ecole Maternelle)

1 comment:

  1. Way to go Ethan. I knew you'd do well. You make Mommy and Daddy really proud and happy. You make Nona and Grampa happy too. Most of all you make Jesus happy.

    Laura, when we Skyped with you guys that first Sunday I remember Ethan saying something in French in the background. His accent was flawless and I have no idea what he said (because I don't know French either). Awesome. You guys have done a fantastic job with both Ethan and Claire.

    Dad B.


back to top