Thursday, September 15, 2011

Rentrée Labours

This morning I've planned my university lessons for the term (what is the English for 'je suis responsable de la qualité', anyone?) and done my French homework for this afternoon's lesson (who would have known that medlars, crosnes and cardoons would have popped up in my comprehension exercise? Thank goodness for the internet...) And after all that I feel qualified for a little blogging...

although with schoolwork still firmly in mind.

I've told you lots about my Rentrée, but I haven't said much about the boys!

In some ways, that's because things are going smoothly, and in other ways, it's because blogging publically about little things that get on your nerves about a foreign system or about any particular school is surely a very, very bad idea? Anyone and everyone can read my blog and I want to keep my relationships with local schools and French friends positive - c'est logique!

But here is a little of our news. Son 2 is the (not-so?) proud owner of the books and files above. Having had a very good year last year (held back a year at our request, making lots of friends and working well) he's now gone up into cinquieme (5°). The work seems fine, his attitude is good and the nuisance of being in a class which he seems to think is full of (rédoublant) louts is balanced by having some of his best friends from last year back with him. He's a bit stunned that Ben and I have banned computer and video games on school days but is coming to terms with this tragic loss...

Son 1 is loving, loving, loving his final year in collège so far. He's taken up Greek which he has adored from afar for years (thanks to internet language sites and Percy Jackson books) and is working really hard to complete all his homework on time - a bit (a lot) of a transformation from the boy who stropped about his homework and then rushed it off in record time. I guess we've seen that transformation slowly coming but of huge help this year have been a) advice from a friend in the year above, b) maturity and c) this:

Warts and all photo of Son 1's desk and his new computer. French schooling is basically all handwritten, but Son 1's dyspraxia means that an expert has recommended typing as the way forward for him. His teachers are happy for him to type his homework - they have been for years. But coming up on Monday is the meeting which will decide if he is allowed to take that teeny, tiny litle white laptop into school to type up his lessons in class (it's all about copying from the board here in France). Opinion is divided amongst the staff, with the opinion of the directrice (principal) and the school doctor probably being the most important, and, of course, the hardest to acertain in advance. We'd be grateful for your prayers, if you're the praying kind...


Thank you, friends.

18 comments:

Suzy's Vintage Attic said...

Hi Floss

I have read your post with great interest as my daughter also has dyspraxia. I knew that something was not quite right but the school she was at didn't think that there was an issue. I had an assessment done by an educational psychologist who said that Miss P has dyspraxia as well as seperation anxiety syndrome. It can be quite a challenge at times. I know that dyspraxia symptoms are not the same for all children. It affects Miss on the emotional side, maturity and concentration mostly, also struggles in being given more than 1 set of instructions at a time as well as other things. She does not reason with logic, everything is governed by her emotions. This makes her moods very changeable and at times seem very irrational. I'll be honest, it has not been easy over the past 5 years and we are still now seeking help. At school there is an improvement and the support is good at her new secondary school but at home it still a problem. She is going to have help to help her cope and deal better with her emotions. We are also seeing a homeopath.
I wish your son well and can assure you that he will be in my prayers, I am a firm believer in the power of prayer.
Take care
Isabelle x

Elizabethd said...

Floss, as an ex teacher, I have to say that I find the system here so very different, and somewhat dictatorial. There seems little room for self expression, and as you say, much of the work is simply copying.
I guess my years as a teacher of children with Special needs make me very aware of the amount of freedom we had in UK in dealing with problems.

helen tilston said...

I will of course keep you and your family in prayer and hope the situation is resolved satisfactorily.
Helen xx

Suzy's Vintage Attic said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog. I forgot to add that we are not going down the medical route either. Miss P finds it extremely hard to relax so as well as special CDs at night time she has started doing yoga. A lady comes to our house and has a taylor made programme which suits Miss P's need and mine. Miss P finds it very hard to get off to sleep at a reasonable time. She lies awake for hours at times. Seeing a sophrologue sounds like a very good idea. I am sure he will benefit from learning to relax more.
Isabelle x

VintageVicki said...

I hope Son1 gets the outcome he deserves.

I think I've mentioned before that my eldest shows lots of dyspraxic tendencies - especially the problems with the physical act of writing. At last the school have listened and he is allowed to do written exams - English/Humanities where there is alot of writing to complete on a computer. It made such a difference to him - one less thing to stress about.

Hope its the same for your son soon.

TheMadHouse said...

I will be hoping and praying that they agree to the laptop.

Carolyn Phillips said...

Will be praying they agree to the laptop.

Vintage Jane said...

What a worry for you and your son. I have my fingers crossed for you and hope that they will see the sense in letting him type his lessons. Good luck! M x

Sherri B. said...

I will keep you all in my prayers regarding the typing, it sounds like it would be a real blessing for him to be able to do this. xo

Pomona said...

I do hope all goes well for you - and how different it is over here now! My children laugh when I tell them about the copying from the board and dictation used in my day. My daughter does much of her homework on her laptop - the school has a Moodle where work can be downloaded or uploaded, just like at university, and there are learning and revision resources. In fact, I have sometimes worried that they don't do enough handwritten work - they often have a choice over how to submit, and she will always choose typed over handwritten!

Pomona x

polkadotpeticoat said...

My nephew has this.....and you have my prayers...he is a senior in high school this year. A friend is going through a very difficult time with a teacher who has labeled her son and has stopped looking for a cause to why he's having difficulty learning.
it would be frustrating trying to work with such unique personalities with out becoming emotional for me that is....i will pray!

Carole said...

I would be interested in exchanging with you about your opinions concerning the French system (I heard so many times, over and over, that ours is soooo bad and disrespectful of pupils bla bla bla) and I would like to know what makes it like this and how things work in the UK (or elsewhere) !
I've never had the feeling to mistreat my students, and our English-speaking assistants are always surprised at the good language level of most of our students, so I think we can't be doing everything wrong ? (but it's true that in Alsace the situation is a bit different from the rest of France). You can e-mail me privately if you want.

Alix said...

Good luck with meeting - will be thinking of you...
x

A Trifle Rushed said...

Hope it all goes well. As you know in the UK pupils are allowed laptops even with mild dyslexia. And British Universities are very supportive (even the top). Will add you to my prayers :-)

Bad Penny said...

Oh Floss, You apologised for not visiting me for so long but it is me who should be apologising to you.

How you cope with everything in your second lanuuage I don't know !

Dyslexia Dyspraxia I know about & had to fight for help... why always such a fight ?

Sue said...

I will certainly be praying that all goes well for you. I am sure it would give him a huge confidence boost in his work. At Uni a number of our students with disabilites are supplied with laptops. It doesn't give an unfair advantage just makes them equal.

mise said...

Good luck with the meeting! It wouldn't seem right to hold him back if a small computer can make things so much easier.

Michela said...

Good luck with the meeting!
Love your September display on your fireplace's shelf, so grape harvest related!
x