Monday, October 20, 2008

Crash course in Spanish 101

So today we went to a training session for Max's Dual language program. The lecturer was the person where the majority of the educational resources come from in his classroom - the songs, the tricks, the worksheets, etc. The purpose of this day was to give the parents, most who have no exposure to Spanish, a crash course in the language so that they can assist with the practice and homework after school.

Let's just say, if I could dip the resource binder and CD in gold and give it to each one of you, I would! It was wonderful. As I was sitting there, I was thinking, EVERY parent, whether their child learns in English, Spanish, whatever, should go through a workshop like this. I am a college graduate with an education background, and I had no clue WHY my child was learning what he was learning, just that it was important that he learn it. I didn't know HOW my child was absorbing the information, just praying Novenas that he was. Night after night, Mike and I would sit with Max and practice reading and work with his "sight" words, but I had no clue their purpose other than "they are supposed to know __(X)__ by this __(Y)__".

Another Max moment - The children all came in during part of the class to show us how important the songs were and how quickly they pick up the language through the help of the music. Max was chosen to be the leader and use the pointer as they read the words and sang the song. Well.... the lecturer was so impressed by this 5 year old red head that she asked if he would sing alone with her, which then turned into the parents clapping encouragement and his classmates yelling his name,"MAX! MAX! MAX! MAX!" Well, my pumpkin panicked and turned as red as his hair and just couldn't do it. The lady was a stranger and rather than singing along with the CD which is what they had been doing, she had a guitar and they were singing live. I was sitting in the back of the room and I almost burst into tears out of the anxiety I was feeling bursting out of those red cheeks. I could tell he wanted to soooo bad, but he was so nervous and embarrassed at the attention, and then when the time had past and they were all singing again, Max was very quiet and solemn in the back, full of regret... again I could cry.

I am so very pleased with our decision to pace Max in this program. He has blossomed more than I could possibly have imagined. I am amazed at how much he has learned and I am amazed at how much I have retained now that I am forced to use it more. I will not lie, I am re-learning this right along side my little hijo. But isn't that the point in the big picture, aren't we all learning right along side our own little pumpkins?

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