Our oldest boy Marlo would have gone to group 3 (Dutch system) in the Netherlands the moment we moved to the USA. That is the time they start to learn how to read back home. Going to Kindergarten here made him learn to read in English. So that is what he did; learn a whole new language and start reading in English at the same time as well. It hasn’t always been easy, but both his teacher and the one that gives him extra English lessons are doing an amazing job with him. Only his vocabulary isn’t that big compared to the other children from his class, but other than that he is doing a great job at school.
Nonetheless, my husband is doing a 2 year project; so after that time he is going back to a Dutch school. The company my husband works for, therefore, gave us the opportunity to learn Marlo to read in Dutch ourselves, together with a company called Edufax. But yeah it’s actually on me 😉 …. Because Marlo needed to learn a completely new language we didn’t start with reading in Dutch at the same time his classmates back in the Netherlands started. We made this decision as learning a completely new language and then start reading in two might make things too complicated for Marlo. He could mix up letters from English and the Dutch language. Looking back at it now it was the best the decision we made for Marlo!
Christmas break was the time we did start reading Dutch with him and Marlo started off like a rocket. He learned so many letters in the first two weeks that he truly amazed us!! Of course, after Christmas break we had some struggles to get him to learn read Dutch after having a whole day of school already. And teaching him his Dutch lessons hasn’t been easy on me neither at all times, because it’s your own child you have to teach. If I wanted to go right he wanted to go left, but after all these weeks of reading we have been very proud of what he learned and accomplished in such a short time.
I sometimes questioned myself if his level of reading was advancing well enough. Was he doing sufficiently okay? Did we read enough? How could we improve his reading? During the first two weeks of January, MLK elementary had a reading challenge. As a parent we needed to time all the reading we did at home. I once said to Marlo, “I would be very surprised if you ain’t going to win this challenge” since he was reading so much at that time. And after having a short break from school; as that got flooded by a broken pipe; he came home as the challenge winner of all the Kindergarten kids!! He was so proud of himself!
Last week he did the Dutch cito test for reading, which tests spelling the words and his reading comprehension. He really insisted to take this test, although there was no need for him to do it. Based on the outcome of that test his teacher told me that he is just as far in his reading as his peers back at home. You can imagine that we are a very proud mom and dad!
We also had a teacher conference at school about how he is doing in school here in the USA. They were a little concerned that during the last test he did he seemed to have forgotten some of the letters of the alphabet that he actually knew before Christmas. But I just started to learn him reading in Dutch at the time they took that test at school, so that could be an explanation. So we told the teacher to give him another opportunity to show how he is doing right now. I can tell you he is actually doing pretty okay! Not knowing the G and pronouncing the o as an oooooo and some other little things don’t make me worry about him getting there!
But how my blog is so update now since it’s up to us to only home teach, since schools are closed for at least 3 weeks in New Mexico due to the Corona virus and probably a lot longer! Luckily the teacher made a great homework package! And his Dutch learning can get some more attention now as well! These little kids can learn so much in such a short time, it’s truly amazing!