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Counting down to our last day in Germany, I had an 'exit meeting' with Joseph's school teachers to touch base on his progress.  

Thanks to the occupational therapy that he's been following for nearly a year, teachers said Joseph's motor skill and focusing ability are developing very well. As a result, he follows every activity with confident and writes both cursive and block writing clearly enough (yeah, the French education system teaches cursive writing in CP/first grade). Joseph remembers everything he sees, looks, does and hears. He has a good language ability: pronounces French and German words very well and speaks German fluently although he arrived in Munich less than 2 years ago. He loves to read and is able to read in both languages well enough for his age.

He's now faster and very eager running after the ball at his soccer clubJoseph (in shorts) is now faster and eager to run after the ball at his soccer club

The bilingual education system in this French school is very good that kids become biliterate at such a young age. This is a proof that, if parents and school facilitate enough, it is possible to raise multilingual AND multiliterate children.  

Teachers also said that Joseph needs to work extra on his math. It's not related to his attention span but it's just him who, how should I say it, who has a bit different mathematical logic. Teachers said  he belongs to a group in the class that needs some additional hours in math. This is interesting. Indeed sometimes Joseph came home with only little understanding on how the triple-addition and subtraction work, but he could grab my explanation within minutes.  I'm also considered (very) weak in math, and it seems the way I teach him math is in conform to his logic. Long time ago I told husband that he's the one who should teach the kids math as husband is basically a math champion. But after listening to what the teachers said and teaching Joseph myself, I think husband should teach me first and I'm the one who should assist Joseph. This way will make math learning more enjoyable to Joseph because I, who has the same logic, will explain things clearer to him. This new fact also motivates me to restart his piano lesson, which I stopped 3 months ago because I was overwhelmed by the amount of homework he got everyday from school. I'm convinced that learning music and math are somehow correlated to each other and his piano ability will develop his math logic as well.

  Last week was my last day at the German integration course (der Frauenkurs). As I wrote in previous posts, it's not only about learning German language, but also about learning people from different backgrounds and cultures. My classmates are wonderful and strong ladies that, despite the harsh lives they experienced, they still have the courage and passion to embrace the German language and integrate to their new adopted country. My teacher herself is just incredible with her ability to teach and connect to each of her students. I miss them already.

 While mama was busy learning German, Louise went to the betreuung (child care) available on site. She played, made friends and acquired German.  During the last  weeks, Louise, at 2 years and 9 months old,  understood more German and was able to say some simple German phrases, like: "Das auch nicht",  "Das ist meine", "Ich will das nicht". 

Seeing our kids speak German,  some friends asked if we are going to put them in a German course in Australia. The answer is no. Husband and I are not Germans. Our kids speak German only because we live in Germany.  Our family lives with three active languages already. As German is not present in Australia,  we will let it stay at the back of their heads for now and let their French, Indonesian and English languages develop in every way. Later on when there is a German class at school, we will let them take it if they are interested.

On the other hand, we want to keep the memory of Muenchen and its language alive for our kids. Husband and I also grew up here and there and we understand that German culture is becoming part of who they are and we realize the importance of keeping their identities.  I've been hunting for good quality German children's songs, which strangely enough hard to find, and let them listen to it now and later in Australia, to keep their beautiful childhood memories. Just like what we've been doing to keep our kids connected to their previous countries of residence, the USA, and for Joseph, also Holland.

We live in Munich for 21 months only, yet I think we've done our best to absorb its positive aspects and integrate ourselves to this awesome city. We're glad that German language, Munich and its culture are now part of who we are.  Joseph's teachers told me that he is proud of his multicultural and global nomad identities. He told them that "My mother is Indonesian, papa is French. I speak 4 languages, have been living in Holland, America and Germany and soon I will be living in Australia."


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 17th, 2009 10:20 am (UTC)
I've been hunting for good quality German children's song, which strangely enough hard to find, and let them listen to it now and later in Australia
Do you know about Rolf Zuckowski and his music for children?

I don't know about the educational quality of this music, but I think it's fun for the kids.

Glad you liked living here in Germany. :)
Dec. 20th, 2009 05:45 am (UTC)
Thanks for the info!! Mueller in Hauptbahnhoff Muenchen sells a vast collections of kids music, I hope they do have Rolf Zuckowski's.
Dec. 18th, 2009 12:18 am (UTC)
As usual, I always enjoy your entries. Good luck for the moving, San. Wish you a quick adjustment and you will have a wonderful time and friends there too.
Dec. 20th, 2009 05:46 am (UTC)
Thank you, Cindy. It's really hard for me to leave Europe again :D
Dec. 18th, 2009 04:28 pm (UTC)
It was great to hear Joseph's ( and your) voice once again.

Hope Australia may be as inspiring as your previous domiciles. Well, ectually I'm quite sure it will be because it all depends of the individuals involved. And as they stay the same..

Dec. 20th, 2009 05:48 am (UTC)
As always your words calm me down, Colson *hugs from afar*.
Dec. 18th, 2009 04:39 pm (UTC)
You and the kids are just like sponges. You guys absorbed so fast and so much when you're in a different place/culture. It's good for your kids. Glad to hear that everything's good with Joseph.
Dec. 20th, 2009 05:50 am (UTC)
Diny, thank you. I'm glad Joseph had a very attentive therapist who did her job very well. He liked it so much and looked forward to go to his future therapy in Australia :D.
Dec. 19th, 2009 06:35 pm (UTC)
I posted an interesting question about curive writing and linked you on http://starsandclouds.wordpress.com

I hope your move went ok!
Dec. 20th, 2009 05:50 am (UTC)
Thank you and will visit your blog!
Dec. 21st, 2009 03:02 pm (UTC)
:) That's a lot for a kid to be. Pretty amazing that they manage it.
Dec. 24th, 2009 04:06 am (UTC)
Music book
We have brought 2(two) german music books from Germany. If we push the buttons, they sing german children songs automatically and we can sing along according to the texts in the books.

Love to hear Jo's voice and see you and Louise in the pictures.

regards, Anky

Dec. 24th, 2009 04:07 am (UTC)
German Music books
We have brought 2(two) german music books from Germany. If we push the buttons, they sing german children songs automatically and we can sing along according to the texts in the books.

Love to hear Jo's voice and see you and Louise in the pictures.

regards, Anky
Dec. 28th, 2009 10:49 pm (UTC)
Please help
Hi Santi,

I am so glad found your article in website. Saya dari Indonesia, kawin dengan orang Australia, and tinggal di Australia. Kepingin sekali anakku bisa ngomong Indo, aku coba tapi selalu menyerah. Apakah sudah terlambat untuk coba lagi, karna anakku sekarang sudah berumur 6 thn?
PS: Kamu sekarang tinggal di Australia, daerah mana?
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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