It’s hard to believe that Charlotte is old enough for the first day of school, but indeed, today was Charlotte’s first day of school. She is in the petite maternelle (pre-kindergarten) at the Lycée Français de Chicago. It’s 4 full days, one half day a week. I drop her off at 8:30 and pick her up at 3:15. When we applied a year ago, I didn’t think she’d be ready. Now she’s not only ready, she’s eager.
We’re excited that she’ll be getting a wonderful bilingual education that will enable her to speak with Philippe’s family. And, we’re thrilled that she’s in such a nurturing, loving environment. Her teacher, Celine, was one of the camp counselors and we know how kind and collaborative she is. After dropping Charlotte off today, we now know also that she greets her students with big hugs.
Charlotte was very excited about school. Yesterday we had a playdate in her classroom to acclimate the children. She wouldn’t let me out of her sight. Today, however, once I’d walked her in and had given her a hug she said, “Mommy, you can go now.” She had been telling me all week that she was going to “like it there” and she did. Tonight she asked if she could go back tomorrow.
Don’t expect bilingual audioposts just yet. Celine explained at a parent meeting that it can take the American children up to two years to speak French. As she noted, it took them two years to learn English, we can’t expect them to learn French any faster. But, we know that her comprehension of French improved greatly in 3 weeks of summer camp, and can imagine the same in pre-k.
Why is she not holding her backpack? Because she made me carry it in!