So here we are the first month done in school! So far, so good. A whole new world opened up not only to my daughter but also for me. I have to admit the first few days felt strange, being a new 'school gate mum' (fortunately we do not have the 'school gate mum syndrome', as you find in the UK) among the crowd of Portuguese parents and grandparents waiting for their child to appear. And of course with new school, comes new routines and things to do. One of those being homework....
Now, I quite like homework but Im lucky in that I have the opportunity to sit down and help my child, as some parents I know are not so fortunate. She gets a piece of homework every day, and to be honest before it started I wondered how much she would get and worried about what would be too much. I thought every day would be too much, but to be honest it is not. She usually gets a couple of activities to do, whether it is handwriting, some maths (I say maths but at the moment, it is more about positions and obsrvations than numbers) or other things, normally takes no more than 15 - 20 minutes. Now I would think having some work to do after a full day at school would be a bit too much, but it really isnt. And I think doing it every day sets them up with a good daily routine. She happily sets about her homework once home and no problem, job done.
But for me, it has also given me a challenge! As of course the homework is in Portuguese. Now my reading is ok and generally I understand 95% but still having to understand and assist a child who cannot read proficiently enough to follow the instructions is interesting to say the least and strange to be doing homework in another language which I am not proficient in. Its a strange experience but also good for me to learn as well. And of course, if stuck we have Daddy on hand (for the moment) to help, as my pronounciation is terrible and having to read phrases is my downfall for sure!!
But I have to say I am so very proud of Sophie for how she has adapted to 'big school', after struggling a bit in pre-school. She is learning well and developing much better than we expected to be honest, not that we thought she couldnt but like any parent you worry. But what I am most proud is how she is learning all these new things in two languages. Of course, her English is proficient as her first language but her portuguese has and is developing greatly (again, another vast improvement on the last pre-school year). And to be able to understand and explain new concepts learnt in two languages is amazing to me! A very proud mummy!