Saturday, October 11, 2014

Isaac's French kindergarten

I met Isaac's teachers today.  Good: I remembered the appointment and was on time.  Bad: I didn't realize "Friday is parent/teacher conference day" implied "and there will be no classes."  So Isaac had to cool his heels in the entrance while I talked with his teachers, but he had my phone to play with so all was forgiven.

Isaac is attending a French school, the Ecole Jean-Jacques Rousseau.  We're about six weeks in and his French is phenomenally better.  He was too lazy and/or I was insufficiently stubborn, and he'd gotten into the habit of replying to me pretty much exclusively in English.  Being exposed to more French speakers is well on the way to fixing that -- he's up to maybe 40% French now from basically none.

His teacher mentioned that his French comprehension is excellent, and in fact he finishes the kindergarten work so quickly that he starts looking over at what the first graders in the same room are doing.  She quizzed him on the first grade level material and he aced it, but he was reluctant to officially move.  So she's not going to push him harder for now, but she surreptitiously gives him the first grade worksheets when he finishes the kindergarten ones.

Isaac has several teachers.  The main one is also the headmistress of the school.  She teaches all the French subjects for the majority of the day.  The English math, french, and violin teachers get much less time with the kids, and consequently assign more homework.  (Which I pushed back on today, gently.  To make a long story short, the head teacher agreed that limiting that was reasonable.)

His teacher really likes Isaac.  She had a couple Isaac stories:

Early in the year, Isaac was delighted to realize that his school supplies came with his very own squeeze bottle of glue.  He tried it out on his neighbor's seat.  "He wasn't sneaky about it.  I think he just wanted to see what would happen.  I had him clean it up and apologize.  He said pardon.  I don't think he was very sorry but there wasn't anything malicious about it."

The other time was about when the teacher banged up her toes on some construction material in the hallway.  Nobody said anything, and she sat at her desk feeling grumpy and sorry for herself.  Then she felt a hand stroking her foot.  It was Isaac, saying pardon!  She nearly cried.

One more Isaac story from school.  A little girl in his class has decided that he is The One for her.  She duly informed Isaac that in due time they will get married.  His teacher says that she waited two years for Isaac -- she's very affectionate but the other kids in the class would push her away when she hugged them.  Isaac hugged her back.  When they were dropped off at the same time one morning, they held hands as they walked inside.

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