Thursday, April 26, 2007

Se Habla Espanol?

Son #1 came home from school with a paper regarding choosing an elective next year. He'll be in 7th grade and will be moving to Junior High. Our local area does things a bit differently than the rest of the state. Here, elementary school is kindergarten - 3rd grade, middle school is 4th - 6th grades, junior high is 7th & 8th grades, and high school is 9th - 12th grades. This is why for the 2007-08 school year, I'll have three kids at three different schools (a kindergartner, 5th grader, and 7th grader). But I digress...

About this form. Listed are several elective courses. He's supposed to pick his first and second favorites and the parent signs the form. Together Son #1 and I read through the course descriptions. Agricultural Science sounded interesting. I thought he'd jump at Art. I knew he wouldn't go at all for chorus, band or speech/drama. Personally, I think the Study Skills course would benefit him, but let's face it: Who wants to study how to study? (Son #1 has an amazing memory which serves him well in school thus far, but eventually he'll have to expand his study habits.)

His first choice? Spanish I. Um. Okay. I hated to point out the obvious to him: that he's been in speech therapy for 8.5 years and still has trouble with articulation in English. He still struggles with producing certain sounds. Most notably the "R" sound, which is highly unfortunate that both his first and last names contain Rs.

But I love that he doesn't think in terms of limitations - he only sees possibilities. In his defense, he speaks very quickly which is an asset in conversational Spanish. And although he doesn't technically do it correctly, he can produce something that resembles the trilled R better than I ever could after 6 semesters of college level Spanish.

So we're compromising. I'll let him select Spanish as his first choice, Study Skills as his second. If he gets into the Spanish class then he will allow me to homeschool him over the summer to improve his study skills (I've already spoken to someone at the office at the junior high and they let me know which books and resources they use for the Study Skills class).


John McElveen said...

Hiya elle!

I think that's awesome. Yo habla espanol un muy pocito! Very little indeed, but we need it so much at Urgent Care with our large and growing Hispanic Population.

Bravo for allowing him to see the positives and the can do attitude and allowing him to at least try it and reach for the prize! Since Spanish is such a phonetic language and also have the rolling R's do you think that will help him or do you know from experience if it will be terribly hard for him?

Either way I think he will be a winner and the compromise is an awesome "Compromise!" Very Wise.

Have a great weekend-


Nadine said...

Well good for him for wanting to try. I hope he does well. Thanks for your prayers, I'm doing better.

Elle*Bee said...

Yo tambien! Our Hispanic population has exploded here, john - I live not far from New Orleans so many Hispanic-speaking people have come here to work with the rebuilding efforts.

One of his speech issues in the past was what they called a "lack of phonemic awareness," which essentially means that for some reason, he did not automatically pick up on all the sounds in the English language the way most of us did as infants/toddlers. He actually had to be taught many of the sounds so in that regard, he may not have such a tough time with Spanish since their letters generally make one sound (unlike say, our vowels, C, G).

Plus the rules of which syllable to emphasize are pretty consistent in Spanish. Ditto the rules of vowel blends.

His memory is outstanding so I think he'll do well with vocabulary. I think if he really commits himself to studying, he'll do well.

I do try to be the voice of caution, yet I don't want to discourage him altogether. I have clearly underestimated him in the past so now I try to point out what might be a challenge (and what he'll need to do to overcome said challenge) but ultimately I try to trust him to make his own decision.

Elle*Bee said...

Hi nadine, I hope you're feeling better. He's full of surprises, this one. I love that he finds something that interests him and he goes for it. Fearless. I'm the complete opposite so many times, I learn from him.

John McElveen said...

He will "ACE" it---You watch!!

Buenas Noche mi amiga y Vaya con Dios- as I know you do!!!


Thanks for sharing-!!!

Shionge said...

Thank you for sharing Elle and good to give him the encouragement :D

Have a wonderful weekend.

Sue said...

Sounds like a good compromise...Good luck to him with the class!

And 3 kids at 3 different schools? Yikes.

Elle*Bee said...

Muchas gracias, john!

And thanks, shionge and sue. It'll be an interesting year, that's for sure!

Nise' said...

Spanish may be the best thing for him, you never know... I remember those days of three kids in different schools. It was crazy. Now I only have one left *sniff* my youngest is in 9th grade. #2 son just finished second year of college, but I am totally out of that, other than "hows your classes?". Sometimes I get an answer sometimes I don't!

Elle*Bee said...

nise', I know it seems like a long way off before I'm in your shoes, but I'm sure it'll fly by.

Lala's world said...

wow that is amazing that he is so eager to learn new things like that! sounds like despite his pronunciation difficulties he will be a successful person! I admire him, he sounds like such a wonderful boy!