Friday, November 07, 2008

Kindergarten Update

Several of you have asked how things are going with Clara Anne and kindergarten. In a word, they're going great!

During the whole month of October, Clara Anne's class was learning how to rollerblade. The first day the teacher told us about it, we went out and bought a pair of rollerblades (with adjustable sizing to last longer) for Clara Anne as well as all the protective gear. It was the last pair in the store because of all the kids needing a pair!

The school had it set up to use their dance classroom for rollerblading, so there was a handrail to hold onto as well as a nice big open space for skating around. Special instructors were brought in to teach the kids this new skill, and Clara Anne really enjoyed it! She made good progress and can now (though still somewhat hesitantly) get around on her skates by herself! John has taken her out on the paths within our apartment complex several times since then and she is showing some good skill.

Clara Anne continues to make friends at the kindergarten, in particular one little girl named Xing Xing. When Clara first came home and told me about her, I asked her name, and Clara thought it was Xi Xi (she pronounced it she-she instead of shing-shing). Oops! But now they seem to be good friends and often would hold hands while skating. We're really thankful for Clara Anne to have another little friend!

Language is also progressing well for Clara Anne. The teachers now tell me that Clara is able to play with other kids as well as speak the local language with them, and even respond to the teacher's questions using the local language. This month they have been having some English classes, not exactly something Clara needs but fun anyway. Yesterday when the teacher asked her, all in the local language, "Do you have an English name?" Clara responded "No, I only have a [local language] name." So the teacher still doesn't know her given name! I need to remember to write it down for the teacher next week!

So, all in all, we've been really pleased with Clara Anne's kindergarten experience so far. Imagine my great surprise last week when Clara told me she could write some words in the local language, since we haven't worked on writing at all yet, even in English. She then proceeded to produce a pad of paper and a pen, and carefully wrote the words for one, two, and three. Way to go, Clara Anne! You're making progress! She's growing up before our very eyes!

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