The first term/quarter in Australia is almost over. Kai and Luka really like to go to school in the morning and come home happy in the afternoon. I find the progress amazing, we can see and hear big development in their English and in their confidence. Where Luka had problems reading anything two months ago, she now easily finishes an English book. More and more new words come out of their mouths and they ask a lot more questions. I find that a good sign, if you don’t understand anything it is hard to ask questions about it, where would you start?
Somehow communication seems a lot easier for men though. I overheard a conversation between Kai and a friend. Kai holding up his bike saying “look, hhhhhhuuu”. Response of his friend:”yeah uuhhhhhhh”, which is fairly universal.
After a long school day for the children Luka was very grumpy, nothing was right. I did not want to read them a book tonight, I told them that I would read it tomorrow. Kai was so kind to offer to read two pages. She was making grumpy sounds while he was reading. I know this hurts her brother, so I got mad at her. Until I realized that there might be something more behind it. And that this might be a very good time to sit down with her and talk about her world. After all we have thrown her into the deep end without her being able to swim.
After Kai went upstairs we sat down to talk. “We had to work in a book today and I did not understand it. Then everyone was done and I was not. I did not finish the work and most other kids did.” “Could no one help you, not even the teacher” I asked her. “No, we were not allowed to talk and ask questions. We had to read what we had to do and I did not understand what was written there”, was her reply. I realized that they had done a test. As she has been a strong student, who finishes quickly, this is not something she is used to. It gave her a feeling of failure. So I told her how proud I am of her and that the teacher will understand. ”Really?”, was her response. “I am convinced!”. And then her success story came out. “I was reading what I wrote in class today and they all gave me a big applause for it. They found it amazing that I can do this in a completely different language.” I saw this live last week, she ended her reading with a huge sigh of relieve. It made me melt inside and quickly wipe a tear away.
After a “Goodnight Luka” I know I touched the right cord when she was all happy again and responded with a “It was good that we talked about school”.
Monday seems to be our reflecting day.