As a new expat, one of the things I feel slightly embarrassed about is my unilingualism. Sure, I could probably get by in French if I really needed to, but it doesn't beat being fluent in another language. So many people I have met here speak two languages, and a good number speak more than that. Our cleaning lady, who is from India, speaks five!
Having our kids in French Immersion was a real benefit, as I see now how easily they are picking up other languages. We are so happy now to have Ben and Jacob taking Arabic, and Nicholas taking Spanish. Hopefully they are on their way to becoming polyglots (don't worry, I had to look this one up when Nick's Guidance Counsellor used it!). Click on the link below to hear Ben's progress in Arabic class:
Ben Speaking Arabic
The kids have now completed three full weeks of school, and the activity is really starting to pick up. This week, Jacob and Ben had MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) testing, which is part of the American curriculum. The goal of the testing is to see what level each student is performing at in language and math. Nicholas has had several tests and projects in the last couple of weeks, and has done really well on it all. I can check up on the kids in real time, as they each have an ID on the school website that lists grades for assignments and tests, as well as attendance. The Grades 7 and 8 students received their own laptops from the school this week (a new initiative - Nick is pretty happy!) and after two days I'm happy to report that Nick's computer hasn't been dropped, lost, or left on the bus.
I'm feeling very spoiled as I no longer need to make lunches on school days. The Elementary School sells coupons for 10QR (about 3.50CAD) each that the kids can use to get a full lunch. We've fallen into the practice of giving Nick 80QR a week to cover anything he wants to buy at the Middle School cafeteria. This covers four days worth of lunches and snacks (every Tuesday all students from ES, MS, and HS get early dismissal at 12:30).
On a personal note (speaking of spoiled!), I DROVE myself to the mall for a pedicure today (my first big solo drive), and then for lunch at W Hotel with a few ladies. This, I could get used to!