Sunday, November 24, 2013


Next year Sophia will graduate kindergarten and go to Grundschule. It is making everyone a little nervous. Putting American preschool age kids and kindergarten age kids into German kindergartens is not the norm out here for soldier's families, but it is not uncommon. Apparently putting your kid into first grade is more rare. 

Sophie had her first getting-ready-for-school appointment a couple weeks ago. She had a hearing and speaking test thing. The lady from the county who came and did it for all the kids was a bit of a jerk. I knew this without understanding most of what she said. It was confirmed later to me by the headmistress who told me that she was a "hard woman." Soapy did great. Well, she did great for what she understood. In the past four months Sophia has really started speaking a lot of German. I give credit to her tutor and her countless (ahem, educational) hours in front of the German TV. But she doesn't know the words for the shapes in German. I didn't even think of that. 

Still the jerk lady told me that Sophie worked hard and tried to do everything, even when she didn't quite understand what was going on. This made me proud. That kid TRIES. What a great kid. 

I was a little worried because before Sophie had her exam, her little stubborn, and devoted friend Jasmine had hers. Her mother and I have hung out a couple times and she was telling me that Jerk-lady had told her that Jasmine couldn't start school until she learned how to roll her R's. Wut. Man Sophie can't even say her R's. Who am I kidding, I can barely say my R's. I suspect we have some kind of speech therapy in our future (I went for quite a few years. It's how I cured my listhp.), but before she starts school?!

It turns out, I needn't have worried. The lady either didn't pay attention or just put it down to her cool American accent. It didn't come up.

I have a meeting on Wednesday with the headmistress of the Grundschule (just up the road from the Kindergarten) on Wednesday to talk over the philosophy of the school. They are worried because some schools offer special help for students with German as a second language, but this school is tiny, in tiny tiny Konigstein and they don't have those services. This also makes me nervous. I'm not worried about her falling behind--we'll be working together so when we do go back to the states she'll be okay with reading and writing in English.  I am just worried she will feel dumb. First grade should be exciting. I want her to like it...

I don't know. It makes me a little nervous. We'll see how the meeting goes on Wednesday.


Kathy Haynie said...

How do you understand the headmistress? Is your German coming along too, or does she speak English, or do you have a translator (human or electronic) with you, or do you speak in sign language? Whatever you do, I'm sure it's cool. Sophie is an awesome kid. She will love 1st grade.

Bridget said...

Good job, Sophie! Trying is so important.

Patricia said...

Anna speaks German great. She won't tell you that and I don't know if you'll see this, Kathy. But I'm amazed at how well she does in this little town where their family are the only Americans.