Well, it’s been quite the year! The “school year,” which I mostly intend to follow for now in our homeschool, is not over yet, but the change of seasons has made me reflective all the same. Many parts of our studies are slowly wrapping up, and I’ve been shifting the focus in some topics as well.
I’ve been able to see for awhile now that Jared is progressing well with his reading in French, as well as his comprehension. However, I was unsure of his true abilities in writing and speaking, as we haven’t worked on those as systematically. I’ve been planning some different activities to practise his writing, and basically just trying to speak more French to him as an effort at oral practice. This has not been going quite as well as I’d like, as I am woefully out of the French-speaking habit.
Since the reading is going well, I’ve stopped asking Jared to read aloud to me every day, and instead have set up a French reading challenge for the spring, to encourage him to do more of it independently. Today I suggested he read a book while I was busy with his sister for a few minutes, and came back shortly to find it completed. Granted, it wasn’t a very long book, but still… “That was fast!” I thought. I casually asked which book he had read, and he gave it to me. It so happened that this reader had comprehension questions in the back, along with the answers, so I proceeded to quiz him. And this is where the title of this post comes in. Not only did he have a ready and detailed answer for each one of the handful of questions, he answered all but one of them in French. And he did it well! Not perfectly, no, but there were some complex sentence structures in there! Apparently, all of those snippets of conversation with me in French, the random oral French question exercises, the Monday morning French movies, all of those French stories… they’re working.
Homeschooling can be quite the mind game, sometimes. I’m always thinking about what we’ve done, what we’re doing next; wondering if we’re doing enough, or if we’re doing too much; endlessly debating the best ways to go about learning and teaching inside my head and on the internet. The fact that I’m attempting to do it bilingually, which is not the norm in the homeschooling community, only increases the mental whirlwind. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, discouraged, inadequate, and more, if I’m not careful.
But today, I stand encouraged. My son’s sponge-like mind, and more importantly, my faithful God, have set my mind at ease once again. We can do this. We are doing this! He has called me, I have answered, and He will get us through.