Tomorrow marks the beginning of Adith’s 3rd year of Preschool at Depaul. He started with the toddler program at 22 months and has been going there ever since. When he turned 3, he became eligible for transportation and started going to school in the van. It is not easy to watch your child leave for school at 7 AM in the morning at such a young age. I especially feel sorry for him in the cold winter months, when he leaves home all bundled up – with jacket, gloves and cap while it is still dark! But he is a real champ and not once has he ever said ” I don’t want to go to school today”!
Here are some of my memories from his early days at DePaul. At the toddler program, the emphasis was solely on exposure to sounds and concepts. The sessions were filled with songs and finger plays, stories and crafts. His teacher painstakingly made several props to use with the songs to make it more interesting. The goal was to immerse kids in a language rich environment. Parents were occasionally invited to learn the songs and concepts that were currently being taught. In the beginning of the class, each student was expected to go to the front of the class, say his name through a microphone and then say ‘hi’ to the other students. Adith would excitedly take the microphone and say ‘Aa” ( in an attempt to say ‘Adith’)! Boy, how far he has come now! Several days during this vacation, I had to ask him to be quiet for a little while as he literally exhausted me with his chatter!
Here are some pictures from his first year at school. The props were hand made by his teacher.
Each year, my goals for Adith change as per his progress. If it was ‘saying a few words’ initially, it was ‘communicating in sentences’ later and now it is about tense and grammar.
Sentence structure errors:
- Did I am going to watch TV?
- Did Nivedh woke up?
- Using ‘him’ and ‘his’ even when the subject is a girl.
- Inappropriate usage of time concepts like yesterday, tomorrow, day after tomorrow etc.
Areas to focus in speech:
- ‘f’ in spontaneous speech.
- ‘s’, ‘j’, ‘th’
- ‘s’, ‘l’ and ‘r’ blends like ‘st’,”bl’,’pr’ (says top for stop, bwue for blue and cresent for present).
Here are the things that I really like about him:
- Absolutely no shying away from people whom he is meeting for the first time.
- If he happens to see a child holding a truck/race car/construction vehicle, he would say “Wow, that is a nice <whatever>. Where did you get it from? Can I play with it?”. He initiates conversations at ease and sometimes it makes me uneasy!
- Likes to use new words in his sentences having heard about it from me/ his teachers/ on TV. Example : One day I gave him some strawberries to eat and after popping a couple into his mouth, he suddenly gave the bowl back to me and said “Wait!, I need to say something first.” And then proudly said “Can I have some strawberries, please?” He explained that Miss Maria had asked him to ask politely with a “please”!. He also surprised me by saying “Excuse me” when I was blocking his way and told me that he heard Miss Tanya say it to his friend in the class that day.
- Since my mother tongue is not English, some phrases are not quite my style but I often hear it from Adith . “Ta Da” while showing his art work to Loveson and “It is really cool”/ “It is awesome” when he sees something interesting. “Cool” is not something that comes to me easily! I have read about the importance of saying “huge”, “enormous”,”gigantic”, “humongous” etc. instead of just “big” to expand a child’s vocabulary, but often forget to put it into practice!
I hope he continues to make excellent progress through out the school year. His teacher mailed me about some plans for the year and I am excited to see how it works out! Good luck to you if you have kids going back to school this week!