The Language post

When I arrived home last night there was a note in Daniel’s school book asking us to please make an appointment to see the teacher.  I hate those notes, I really do.  They send me into complete worst-case scenario mode.  By this morning I was ready to take Daniel out of the school because the teacher had (wrongly) insisted he had some terrible learning disability and wanted to put him on drugs.  All fabricated and in my head.

But, I puckered up, sucked it in and went off to the school to see if I could grab the teacher first thing so I don’t spend my day looking for child psychologists and other schools just for incase.

You might recall my angst-ridden (I can hear you gasp in shock there.  What?  ME?  Angst-ridden?) posts late last year about whether to put Daniel in an English or Afrikaans class and how, short of whacking me on the head, Etienne finally managed to put things into context for me and we decided to put Daniel in the Afrikaans class.

We weren’t worried as the majority of our friends and his BFF are English, so he would still have plenty of exposure to English.

At the end of the first term Daniel’s teacher expressed a little concern over the fact that he was mixing so many English words into his sentences and so we have been correcting him at home whenever he does it.  But we do know that he almost thinks in English and then directly translates into Afrikaans, which means that the construction of his sentences gets muddled.

Today the teacher expressed more concern over the language issue as well as his gross motor skills. The gross motor skills are being addressed, but the language thing sent me into a bit of a tizz.  There is apparently someone at the school that will assess him and give us a recommendation, so we will wait and see.

This also made me think: Daniel is a 1 or 2 friend child, he doesn’t have loads of friends that he demands to play with outside of school, so in that way he hasn’t been exposed to a lot of Afrikaans kids.  We love his BFF and we are certainly not going to force him not to play with her, but we also can’t force him to play with Afrikaans kids. Can you imagine: “Sorry boy, we don’t want to play with the English children, rather go play with the Afrikaans boys”

As if.

So, what is important is that he is happy with the friends he has and hopefully we’ll sort out the rest with time.


Ps:  His second front tooth is literally hanging by a thread and he looks like Quasimodo.  We crack ourselves every time he opens his mouth.

12 thoughts on “The Language post”

  1. Give it time on the language thing, he has been in a mainly English speaking school all his life, now being in an Afrikaan class, he will adjust. Tell the teach to backoff and give our boy time, he wil get there. And if his sentence construction is not to her liking- its prob got something to do with the ‘miffing teef’ (to be read in English of course…………but way…way, more fun if read in afrikaans 🙂 🙂

  2. Right! My kids all went to an English nursery school. In Gr.R in Afr school Oli was also told his Afrikaans is shocking (and I did nothing about it except trying to use more ‘pure’ Afr at home), but now halfway through Gr.1 he is 100%! Max is on the same path… “Ek wil rys hé met uit sous”… “Wakker my op as pappa ry”… And I’m not doing anything about it (except correcting it as he speaks) as I’m sure it will come right with time. 🙂

  3. We nad a bit of a worry about this too as our start school in English and then we switch to Afrikaans in grade R. We have however kept home strictly Afrikaans. Maybe just give hima bit more time

  4. I also hate those letters 🙁

    My advise – do what she wants you to do – let them do the assessment – having the teacher on your side makes your life and your childs life easier.

  5. I really did pay attention until the Quasimodo comment! That really cracked me up!

    I think you followed your gut by putting him in an Afrikaans school, despite the challenges, trust your gut.

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