Friday, August 26, 2011

Little by Little

Yesterday, we attended a three hour French class at Language Stars, making up for the one we missed last week while on vacation. The girls were excited to see Clémentine , not just to demonstrate how much of their vocabulary they remembered, but they genuinely adore her. She came up in conversation all week as they anticipated the upcoming class: "I can't wait to tell Clémentine that I know how to say 'hedgehog' in French" or "I'm going to ask Clémentine how to say 'tornado.'"

I love that when any of the girls say "Clémentine," it is "CLAY-mon-teen," beautifully pronounced with perfect little French accents.

On the drive to the school, they ran through their colors and prepositions, practiced their greetings and repeatedly introduced themselves to each other with confidence.  When we arrived in class, the girls were a little bashful, whispering answers they had given boldly in the car (and chickening out altogether regarding "hedgehog" and "tornado"), but eventually they warmed up. Their hesitation was due in part, I'm sure, to being with children they hadn't met before. In the first 90 minutes, the two other children in the class were younger than mine, but had been in the program longer, or so it seemed. They were quick to respond and always remembered to say "s'il tu plait."

The second 90 minutes, the younger students left and three girls about Bronte's and Chloe's ages joined us. Their vocabulary was further along than ours for sure, but it was interesting to watch how my girls were challenged and motivated by the difference in skill level. They were excited to play "Body Part Bingo" and learn the words for facial features, arms, hands, fingers, legs and feet. They made plans to make their own version of the game over the weekend.

Little by little, their vocabulary is growing and they look for opportunities to use their new words during the day, whether by reciting them all at once or plugging them into sentences ad hoc: "Chloe, go put your trash dans la poubelle."

I will admit that three hours proved too much for poor Carys, who only just turned five. Two hours into things, she trudged from the table to the carpet area for the next activity. By now, it was 4pm and I could see she was fading fast. She looked over to me and, not wanting to hurt her beloved Clémentine's feelings, mouthed desperately, "I'M. OVER. IT." I slipped her a few Milk Duds to perk her up. As tired as she was, she also didn't want to be left out, so she battled her fatigue to make it through the rest of the class. She fell asleep at 6:00 while we were driving home.

When she woke up at 7:30 this morning, she came into the kitchen and found me sitting at the table.

"Bonjour," I said to her, wondering if she was still "over it."

"Bonjour, Mommy."

"Comment ça va?" I asked, handing her a doughnut.

"Ça va bien!" she answered, then gave me sugar-sticky kiss before skipping off to find her sisters.

1 comment:

Clémentine said...

I love your girls!