Monday, January 26, 2015

About a Boy

I'm reading a book called It's a Boy! by Michael Thompson and Teresa Barker. The book is broken down into chapters by age groups and includes all sorts of information on boys development emotionally, physiologically, socially, educationally, and more. I bought it before my son was born and read through the chapters that relate to his age.

I picked it up a few days ago and opened up to the Chapter titled: "Ready or Not, Here Comes School. Your son, Five to Seven." I started reading with some grim cynicism. Questions on whether or not my boy is ready for school are moot at this point. I did not have my choice (nearly 0.000000001%) on when I put my son into school. I live in France. In France, children go to school at the tender age of THREE! Granted, it's a preschool, of sorts. But in French terms, (by even American terms), it's a serious and very structured situation these children are put into.

Reading this chapter made me sad that I didn't have the option, really, to not put my child in school. My husband is French, I live in French society, this is what is done, what we did. He had a difficult first year. We knew it would be a shock: both his parents worked from home and he was never put into the other big French socialization system (the halte guarderie)(day care) until a year before school. Separation anxiety was a big issue for us.

Plus, being a bilingual little child, his language had not developed before he went to school. In fact, he really didn't speak until about a month before his first year of school ended. This did not go over well with his very old-school, very French, very brute teacher. We've heard from other French parents  that their children also did not bode well necessarily with this particular teacher.

In any case, the point is moot, as I said. Simon has been in school for three years now. I'm happy to report that after this first year he has thoroughly, totally, completely blossomed. He is fully fluent in French (and speaks English when he wants to in English-speaking situations). He is bright, happy, active. And, he is very social, popular with boys and girls. He's turning into a vrai Frenchman--coming home with typical French phrases and mannerisms. All truly adorable to witness!