Jacob: "I told ya I knew it mom."
I love these times where JJ shows natural signs of learning French, but naturally there are also difficult times. One thing that is fairly common is that JJ doesn't want me to speak French...especially not with him, so we made a promise to speak English at home as a family.
Just yesterday morning, when he woke up sick, he said to me as I carried him down the stairs, "Mommy, France is hard for me."
Last week, when Dave and I began our language classes, we felt the same way. Our heads literally hurt at the beginning of the week and there were some days, for example after 8 hours of French speaking/learning, that I wanted to cry. Our classes are in full French learning style, which means being called on often to either write answers on the board, answer aloud in class, or start discussions. We're getting tough skin, as Dave experienced for the first time what it was like to have a class and teacher laugh at him, and I volunteered to write (and be corrected by the professor) a whole paragraph of dictation on the board.
BUT this week we have new hope. Over the weekend, Dave made a decision to go down to the first level of French, which has proven already this week to be the right move for him. He is getting a foundation and understanding so much more than the 5% of last week.
This week at church I realized, because of our intense week of classes, that I understand MORE of what Didier said AND had an experience where I was reading something on Wikipedia in French and didn't even realize it was in French.
I continue to only speak French with our neighbors and landlords. And every time we have over little 4 year old Clemont, we practice our French and learn from him!
When I'm struggling, I remember a story Carolita Fraley told me about one of her sons:
(My paraphrase of Carolita's story)
Carolita: Our son was struggling so much with his French dictation and would frequently come home in tears. Finally I decided to go and talk to his teacher and ask her what we could do differently. She said, if he doesn't go through this, he won't learn.
Today he now teaches French at the collegiate level.
When I'm struggling with French, I think of this story...and it helps. I guess the old saying, "there's no gain without pain" is true.