Tuesday, April 5, 2011

"I understood everything today!!!"

One month into school and there are glimmers of light at the end of the tunnel. Many "end of the tunnel" is too optimistic a phrase...maybe it would be better to say some oases have appeared on the kids' desert sojourn.

Anyways, on our walk home from school yesterday, Gracie said, "I had a great day today Mom. I understood everything!". I couldn't believe it! Of course, this statement was rather disconcerting to Theo. But today he was helping some of the younger kids understand the coach's instructions at soccer practice - so a big success for him too.

They are both making leaps and bounds in their language acquisition - much faster than they even realize. This week both kids were to have read the above pictured novels for their respective classes. I would guess that both kids had a preschool or kindergarten reading level when we arrived in country and now, with our help obviously, they are reading 3rd and 4th grade level books!

I don't mean to down play the slow and arduous process of learning another language. All of you who have experienced immersion are familiar with the long, initial days. This weekend was almost entirely taken with reading the novels for example (we even turned off Skype). One of us would read a paragraph or two and then check in about comprehension and look up some words if necessary - and repeat for all 150 pages.

And there are still tears just about everyday. They don't last long, but I think a combination of exhaustion, frustration, and feeling a bit overwhelmed build up each day. But each day it seems to get easier. And Dan and I couldn't be prouder of these guys for the herculean effort they are making.


p.s. I'll try to get the kids to blog about school again soon.


  1. A good cry every day after feeling exhausted, frustrated and overwhelmed sounds exactly right! I sure could use that in attempting to work with the Minnesota Legislature! Good for all of you.

  2. Gracie and Theo are super stars! The Skriens send their love. You are missed here. We enjoy reading about your adventures. Nice job on the blog! Lyndale Open House was delightful and we won two haircuts in the raffle. Painter Park won't be the same this spring without you.