Now that we are expecting the arrival of our au pair in just 6 weeks (!!!), I am making an effort to speak more German with the boys. Of course, when you haven’t really been speaking any German, even a little is an increase!
Aleksander still resists it. He declares that he does not want me to speak German and won’t answer in German. Somehow, I have more luck in the car. I try to make sure the music we listen to is German, and that helps me change gears into speaking it with them. He doesn’t fight it in the car. He answers appropriately in English, so he clearly understands me. Every now and then, he even says a word or two. Somehow, we’ve always used the word Bagger [excavator] in German and never in English. So when he sees one, he calls out, “Bagger!!!” He even said, “rot Bagger” [red excavator] the other day! I was squealing with delight inside :) It’s a small step, but I just know he will catch on quickly once we have German more consistently in the house.
I’ve been wondering about whether or not to have Lisa insist that Aleksander answer her in German. I’m not sure how much he can actually say at this point. But I’m leaning toward it. I feel like it’s a case of throwing him in to the deep end, so to speak. It’ll be rough at first, but if she expects it from him right from the start, then they won’t get trapped in the bad habit of falling back into English. It might be hard on Lisa, since she will have so much going on as she settles in here. But I think it will be worth it.
Now, as for Kearnan! He is 15 months old now. How did that happen?! I don’t even know when it happened, but he is making leaps and bounds with his language. Suddenly he understands so much! And he seems so excited and proud of himself when he understands and communicates. We’ve been teaching him a few signs, and now he is really starting to use them: “more, no, shoes, fan, book” That might be all for now. He loves to try to say B-words, like bird, balloon, blue, ball. It’s hard to tell them apart sometimes :) And he just started to say “nope.”
I’ve really been trying to speak and read more to Kearnan. I only read German books when I put him to bed. He definitely understands some words. And today when I told him to turn around to get down off of the couch, he did it! Woo hoo!! I was so delighted to see that he understood without any other gestures to help!
I definitely have renewed hope for my boys learning German!!
One more tidbit of exciting news for me. I finally found a school for Aleksander. I’ve been putting it off for so long. Then someone at his gym class (he goes to The Little Gym once a week – I love it, and so does he!) told me about a school that is just 15 minutes down the road. It’s a Montessori-based school. And it is not just for preschool. It goes all the way through 8th grade. Last week, my mom & I went to visit, and we absolutely loved it! Both my parents were elementary school teachers, and I have the highest respect for their opinions on the matter. I was already sold on the school for its nurturing, individualized approach. But when my mom told me that if she had to design a school, this would be it, I couldn’t have been more certain that this was the place for Aleksander. I know I’m his mom, so of course I think he’s amazing, but he really is so very advanced for his age when it comes to things like reading, math, and other concepts. I just want a school for him that allows him to learn at his own pace and foster his love of learning while still allowing him to just be a kid and have fun. And this is the place :)