Friday, September 24, 2010

about Quebec and lunch and growing up

A Little Quebec school-system background:  Lunch period in elementary school is about an hour and 20 minutes in public schools.  Parents have two options for this time-period.  1.) have the kids come home for lunch or 2.) pay for them to stay at school in the service de garde (which is essentially a babysitting/daycare service that schools provide before and after school as well). 

Kindergartners get even more of a break.  Theirs starts at 10:30.  So I go every day and get Joel at that time.  I love that his little brain that has been stuffed with a whole slew of French words to process, gets a chance to rest during those 2+ hours.  I guess his brain’s way to rest is to talk talk talk in English with his mom, because that’s pretty much how we fill the time—him talking and me listening to him talk.  That’s not completely accurate, I guess, because I do read to him and then again (to both boys) after they’ve eaten, so I guess he does some listening too.

Since I’m at home, the boys have almost always come back here for lunch.  We love it that wayDSC_0106.  There’s walking involved (1/2 mile each way), and I get to see them in the middle of the day and provide them with a nutritious meal (which I believe it a lot easier to do when aren’t brown-bagging it because there are so many more possibilities). 

We decided, though, that on Wednesdays, they would stay at school all day.  This gives them a chance to be “normal” (almost all the other kids stay at school and don’t go home for lunch) and have some extended playtime with their classmates.  Play is a great way to learn language too. 

070Joel was pretty gung-ho about it the first time.  Taking his little lunch box to school was big stuff.  But after that, I heard several complaints about how it wasn’t that great and as the time neared for the second Wednesday, he was less and less happy about the arrangement.  On Tuesday afternoon I said something about him staying at school the next day (advance knowledge is my friend some days).  He began to whine about it and said again that he didn’t want to stay.  I said something about that just being the way it was going to be in my most nonchalant voice.  I’ve learned with Joel that there can’t be any sympathy in my voice or eyes when he bucks the plans, because he really has my number and plays the game very well.  So he immediately stopped the fussing and said with a big sigh, '”Oh okay, I guess I can handle it.” 

Oh man, I love that kid!

P.S.  Anyone have any brilliant suggestions for teaching boys not to interrupt?