How to keep up the momentum May 16, 2018 5:56:54 GMT 9
Post by Mayken on May 16, 2018 5:56:54 GMT 9
I've been meaning to start my own Track Your Progress thread for several days now, but today I'm coming from a meeting of the ml parents representatives at our school, and I feel particularly frustrated. But let me start at the beginning:
My daughter, a second grader in her third year at the bilingual school, has always spoken the ml with me (or tried to). Until she started that school (where she has five hours in ml per week), I was her only ml source on a daily basis. ML Dad doesn't speak the ml but has a sufficient comprehension that he "gets" most of what we say.
I have family back in ml country, especially my retired teacher mom who is a fabulous ml grandma, except that due to health issues she can't travel, can't go on outings, and can't take my daughter for "solo" stays (i.e. without at least me coming along).
When my daughter was 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6, we spent three weeks of summer holidays in ml country, plus one week at Christmas every year. Last year, we went for a few days in spring, autumn and one week in summer (the main holiday was spent in ML country).
During the shorter school holidays, my daughter goes to ML sports school (which is great in terms of sports and socialising, but not so much for the ml).
I read to her on a daily basis, and have done so since she was born, and since her ml teacher set up a "reading challenge" this school year, she's been reading for five minutes (or more) to me every single day since the school year started.
She has lots of ml CDs and audio books (and even a few audio tapes ) and videos of ml kids shows and stuff like ml Sesame Street.
I've done captive reading in the bathroom for a while but her interest has slowed since I can't seem to find good enough stories at the moment, but she enjoys the riddles on the whiteboard.
She's fluent in ml, though when I hear her talk to her ml grandma on the phone, I notice missing vocabulary and grammar mistakes. Her reading is still not quite fluent and she likes to skip the endings of words and guess them (but that seems to happen in ML too), and of course there are still lots of spelling errors in her writing.
Her ml report card is stellar, since of course her ml teacher grades the kids by what they are supposed to have learned at a given stage and not as the perfectionist parent that I am.
So why am I frustrated?
Because I feel I'm not doing enough, I feel there must be more that I could do, I am regularly exposed (through school) to the comparison of what other families with our ml do, and it annoys me that I don't seem to have any opportunity to let my daughter have longer stays in our ml country, when it's so close and we have both family and friends there.
My mom, as I said, can't take my daughter for a stay without me.
My dad (my parents divorced when I was little) is too busy with his own life.
My brother doesn't have a family yet.
My cousin's daughter is 6 years older than mine. (The two girls get on fabulously when we visit for an hour or two on our way home from my mom's but I don't see how this could work for several days or a week.)
There's my high school friend who has an older daughter and a one-year-younger daughter, she's grown up bilingual herself, so she'd understand the issue I'm facing.
I'd love for my daughter to go to camp for a week in the ml country, with an activity that interests her - and there are lots of those (see the sports school I mentioned above). She socializes very easily, by my last count, she needs less than five minutes in any given setting to make a new friend. But I'm still worried she'll be miserable/homesick because apart from a five-day school trip in first grade, she hasn't been away from mommy yet. (I was weaned at age 3, when my granny took me on a holiday, but I haven't had the occasion to do the same for my daughter.)
Also, I feel I'm not doing enough at home. Due to the school's location, we have a long commute, and by the time we're all home, it's 7pm and she hasn't had supper yet. (She has to get up at 6.30am.) I feel guilty because I take my personal time to attend swim practice three nights a week, which takes away from ml exposure time before bed, but I need swim practice for my health (both physical and mental).
I'm always rushed and tired, I get impatient, I don't follow through with good ideas (like setting ml homework), and I haven't even managed to start looking around for ml holiday camps, or even reach out to my high school friend.
So hopefully this thread will help me get on track and not just serve to vent my frustrations.
Thanks for reading this far (if you are still there).