August 19, 2014

Jelly Goes to Kindergarten

Alef: the first letter of
the Hebrew alphabet
 Yesterday was Jelly's first day of kindergarten. It was all the things I suppose the first day of kindergarten should be like. So much excitement at seeing some familiar faces, the chaos of figuring out where to line up, learning teachers' names and scoping out the new kids. I managed not to cry. My baby girl, in kindergarten. She said she wasn't nervous.

Today, the second day of kindergarten, was a little harder. No parents to accompany her to the classroom meant an extra long goodbye and a few tears I saw her fighting hard to keep in.

Jelly hasn't shared much about the days. I found out through another boy that she cried when the teacher spelled her name wrong (the woes of having a name that can be spelled multiple ways.) She fell on the playground. She learned some Hebrew but she doesn't remember what it means. She had art and her friend had music.

But I know Jelly. She has to process first. She won't come home recounting her entire day though I have no doubt she remembers it. Little bits will come out here and there when she's ready to share them.

This morning, as I prepared her lunch she told me about what was okay to bring for snack and what was okay for lunch. "You can't have too much food at my school," she told me. Later, "there are no mistakes in art, right, Mommy?"

She is the smallest one in her class, which means she is the smallest one in the school. That seemed to bother Jelly a little bit today. She can't climb as high as the other kids. As part of the under five feet crowd, all I could think was "get used to it, kid." I hope her big personality will make up for it.

She had an interesting observation about Hebrew, which is part of her school's curriculum. She had taken some Spanish classes in preschool so I asked her why she thought she could remember the Spanish words but not the Hebrew. "Because at Spanish they gave me a paper with all the words on it In Hebrew, there's no paper." I explained that this was probably because Hebrew words use a different alphabet, one that she doesn't know how to read yet.

This was an astute statement on her part. Jelly is a visual learner. This surprised me since her language skills, from vocabulary to reading and writing, are so strong. But Jelly learns to read even complicated words essentially as sight words. Even now, she still doesn't quite get the "sound it out" concept. So, by not being able to see the Hebrew words, she has a harder time remembering them.

Or maybe she's just not ready to tell me.

1 comment:

  1. Spanish in preschool? Hebrew in kindergarten? Wow. That's pretty cool. It makes me feel like I grew up in the stone age (and I'm only 35) with my not learning French until 8th grade and no Spanish until high school. But I think that's good, because little ones absorb it faster. Don't worry about Jelly, I'm sure she'll be just fine! I think she's got a good head on her shoulders and of course there's no doubt she's got a great set of parents cheering her on, too. :)


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