I went and observed Max at his woodwork class on Monday. He was making a Star Wars TIE-fighter. Now that they’ve stopped knitting, crocheting and sewing and started sawing, drilling and sanding he really likes Handarbeit (handicrafts)!
Today I did more school observations, including Max’s English class and his extra Maths Fuchstunde. I despair of him ever learning anything at his English class – obviously it is pitched at beginner level for the other kids, so for Max it is extremely boring. Unlike previous years when he could come home to me for a lesson, he has to stay and participate. I have tried giving him extra work to do in the lesson that is more at his level, but although his teacher promised me she would give him time to do it when the others are doing things that are too basic for him, he never gets given that time and instead has to do all the same things the others are doing. She could use Max to help the other students, but she doesn’t…I think that as her own English isn’t great she feels embarrassed when he knows more than she does, so her strategy is more to manage him so that he doesn’t disturb the rest of the class, rather than actively encouraging him to learn something, anything. There are more and more native English-speaking kids at school who experience similar problems. I’ve spoken to other parents and we’ve agreed that we need to lobby the school board for extra or possibly separate classes for the native English speakers – we’ve even offered our teaching services for free, as several of us are teachers, but the school board has been curiously resistant to the idea. I can forsee this being an on-going project …
The Fuchstunde was another matter entirely. It’s an extra two hours per week for kids who need extra challenges in Maths, and Max loves it. His teacher takes mathematical concepts and makes them fun, through games, stories and puzzles. Today they were working on logic, using various labyrinth puzzles and games. I admit that Maths was never my best subject, but to me they looked really tricky.
Bruno’s mum and I also went to visit Lola at kindy. When we went in the whole class was sitting on the floor making a craft project. Lola had a younger kid on either side of her, patiently explaining what they had to do. She’s an crafting expert, always snipping, plaiting, folding and sticking, and she has proved to be surprisingly patient with the other kindy kids, who come to her when they don’t know how to do something. She’s more than ready for school, it’s clear to see. It still amazes me how grown-up she is, so helpful and sweet – and tall!
In other news, here I go again – back to study! Cripes. A Masters degree this time. I start in July. Hopefully I’ll be slightly more disciplined and organised than in previous years. Other big news – Bruno has a new job, closer to home and better conditions all round. We are all looking forward to him being home more often, especially me! Bonus is that Bruno can now be the Watcher of the Homework, a thankless duty which I will be glad to pass over.