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Progress Report for Sweet Bear

Sweet Bear brought home her first progress report from the maternelle last week. I have scanned the front and back of her progress report and have uploaded both sides onto Flickr. Scroll down to the bottom of this post to see her progress report. If you would like to see a larger version of her report please click on one of the images to go to Flickr and from there you can click on the all sizes button at the top of the image to make the image big enough to read.

I know most of you are not interested in doing this. However, mothers or fathers who are expats like me with babies that will be going to school in France or are going to school in France may be interested in the measurements and how she is doing as a bilingual child in a French school. Or, some of you may just be curious what a French progress report looks like.

I have to admit I am a little worried. She is still not talking and rarely plays with other children. I don’t know if it is all because of her being bi-lingual or even if that has anything to do with it. When I was a child in school, I never spoke and had very few friends. I was so shy that I would not even answer my teacher unless she came to me and I could wisper. My mother was the same as a child in school. My father is still a little shy. I think it is in her genes.

Today, I am not shy but I am not a social diva, either. I think she will outgrow it.
We shall see better as the year progresses.

The maternelle, also, sent home a paper stating that she can be enrolled into a special bi-lingual program for learning German. In Alsace, German is pushed more than English. I think it is a mistake. I think English is more important and that the kids can take German when they are older. This is my personal opinion. It is not because I speak English. It is because English is much stronger than German in the world.

We won’t be enrolling Sweet Bear because we are planning on moving. We, also, think throwing another language at her when she is still working on French and English would be just crazy. I really hope that in Sélestat we can find a school that has both French and English taught together. She needs to be with other children like her.

Yesterday, on the way home from school, she told me she speaks English, not French. I smiled and said, “No, you are a little Franco-American. You speak French and English. You are special.” She knotted her brows together and pouted. She screamed out in anger, “I am American and I speak English!” I don’t know what happened at school. I don’t know why she was so angry.

I just stopped and asked her if she had a bad day. She said yes. I asked her why. She said a girl that is one of her friends pushed her. I hugged her and told her that people can be mean sometimes and that maybe her friend was having a bad day, too? I think it has to be more than this girl pushing her. I think she is having trouble adjusting to an all French environment.

I told her that she is beautiful and smart and that I love her. I told her she is special because she has two languages.

I told her that is very, very cool. She liked that.

After kissing away the frown and replacing it with my Sweet Bear’s radiant smile, she told me, “I like Mama.” It made my heart smile.

Progress Report

Progress Report

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Timthehippogriff March 10, 2006, 9:20 pm

    Thank you very much for your comment Pumpkin Pie! Do not push French on Sweet bear too much because Peepfrench did that to me and I “lost” some of my English. Her French will come when she is ready to accept the fact that she is a bilingual child different from the average child in France.

  • cj March 11, 2006, 1:13 am

    Goodness…. so much I think I want to say. Such a good mom you are to care so much about your daughter. I can tell in this post that you love your daughter very much and would like to see her succeed socially and academically alike. :) Such a good mom.

    What I am reading most is there is the need to identify. Kids of all ages (even us 29 year olds) need to identify with our peers. Sometimes we focus on our differences instead of our similarities – and find ourselves being very isolated from others. I have no idea what its like for boys but dear lord I think that school for girls is just combat. I remember being banished from slumber parties because I had the nerve to disagree with the others on thinking that the New Kids on the Block were the coolest thing on earth. And it was just like that I didn’t get invited to slumber parties anymore – and I still think they suck. *LOL*

    You are on the right track by reassuring your daughter about things like bad days, and that she is special… but keep talking to her about feelings and the why she feels the way she does. ( I know your already doing it – keep it up!)

    Growing up is hard work…. no matter if your 3 or 30.

  • Pumpkin Pie March 11, 2006, 7:33 am

    Thank you both. I think it will just take time.
    I think she knows that she is different.
    And, Tim, is right about my pushing French a little. I think for some reason or another her English is taking off. She is feeling more comfy in English and maybe that is part of the problem at school. She seems to swing from one language to the next. For a while she is more into French and then for a while English.
    In the end it will be better for her to have both languages and maybe she can write a beautiful bilingual blog like Tim :)

    Thank you CJ for your compliment about being a good mother. I am not perfect but I try. I know that the kids know I love them no matter what. I think that is the most important.

  • christina March 11, 2006, 11:23 pm

    Wow, it’s so interesting to see the evaluation, I’m glad you posted it. They don’t do anything like that here until the kids actually start first grade. My French is pretty crappy, but I was able to figure out most of it.

    I would just keep on doing what you’re doing – you speak English to her and your husband speaks French and before you know it, she’ll never stop talking in either language. Our younger son is extremely shy and spent his first couple of years of kindergarten (they go from 3-6 here and then start primary school) barely saying a word and not really playing with anyone. At home he was totally different, but at kindergarten they used to tell me they were concerned about him because Germans like to fit their kids into a certain mold and think there’s something wrong with a kid who isn’t loud and bossy. I just told them that they’d have to accept his personality.

    Not enrolling your daughter in the German program seems like a good move. I can’t really see the point of something like that if you’re a French/English speaking family. She’s going to be so fluent in French soon that she’ll need all the English input she can get and a French/English program would fit her needs way better.

    Hang in there – you’re doing a great job. :-)

  • Anna March 12, 2006, 3:04 pm

    Hmh, when I read in your post that Sweet Bear is insisting on being American I thought about me. I was raised bilingual (I was born and live in Germany, while my Mom is from Croatia and my Dad is from Serbia) and I insist on being German. In school I was asked “What are you?” – “German” – “No, I mean what are you REALLY?” “German”. I do not have anything in common neither with Croatia nor Serbia, I do know the culture but it is not mine. My parents have only German friends, I was not in Croatian school (kids go to German school and in the afternoon to Croatian classes), Germany is my home. But again and again I am asked what am I REALLY. As a child / youth I really had my problems with it: there was even some years where I refused to speak Croatian. :-( In Croatia I was told all time long that I am German, as I even have a German accent. People here are not mean, they are just interested – but I hate it to be asked how my “home country Croatia” is.
    I do not know whether it happened the same to Sweet Bear – being bilingual is a really really great gift but can also be very stressful.

  • Pumpkin Pie March 12, 2006, 3:57 pm

    I think maybe the other kids know she is different. She still speaks Franglaise sometimes mixing English and French in one sentence. At the moment, since she spends most of her time with me, she speaks a little more English and is more confident in English. Honestly, she is only now starting to make full sentences and it is hard for her to find the words. I can see her searching in her head with the same look I have on my face when I am looking for a French word. I think in the long run it will all click, but you are right…she will always be different. Even though her father is French his parents are not originally from France…and then I am American. Poor kid.

    People just don’t think sometimes and say things that are completely stupid. I can understand why you feel you are German…you are. My husband is similiar…he is French now but he has a Czech and Laosian culture as well. He has lived in France since he was four so in his heart and mind he is French first while still identifing with the other two cultures. My mother said once that he is not really French because he was not born in France. That bothered me because he has lived in France his whole life really and how is he not French? People just don’t understand. As the world becomes more international it will be better…I hope.

  • Pumpkin Pie March 12, 2006, 4:03 pm

    Thank you for writing your comment. I feel better knowing your son was a little shy as well. Her teacher isn’t worried. But, I just wish she would speak and play with the children. Her French is getting better. But, she is more confident in English right now and I think that is part of the problem. My mother is afraid my children won’t speak English but I have read so many blogs with bilingual children that communicate just fine with the grandparent living out of the country of the children.
    I was happy to get the report and love French schools so far. :)

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