Sunday, September 28, 2008

life is busy

Well, perhaps all who were daily followers of this blog will have given up that habit in this 10 day break! I opted to work on stories and pictures for the newsletter which goes out to a fairly large list by email. And the pictures are different than the ones here for the most part.

You will see from pictures above that we are in communication with grandparents via Skype on the computer. The boys grabbed the camera and took a picture while we were talking. I remember in high school some techie predictions that we would have phones with video of the person talking some day and I thought they were nuts! Oh well- we are glad for it now.

The boys attended a birthday party yesterday. And today we went to feed ducks near our place after returning from the day in Silute for church. Things there have been encouraging as more people are showing initiative.

We are in the routines of school and preschool (and me taking a seminary course on line)- although that just may change a bit this next week if the boys are having any signs of a cold. I let them go to preschool over the last week or so with symptoms, but I have been told that the parents have agreed not to send kids to school with colds.

There are a few things we are getting used to and learning about with the entrance into the preschool world. I also had my culture shock experience for the year when attending the parents' meeting for David's class. The teachers berated the parents throughout most of the meeting and everyone basically sat there and took it. And then since noone said much of anything they berated us for not relating warmly and jumping in to volunteer for tasks that they suggested we do. After an hour and a half I realized that I had not told Erik I would be late to pick him up and wondered what was happening with him. The children from David's group were being watched in a nearby room. That part worked out OK. But I left a bit stressed.

Admittedly the preschools function on a less than adequate budget, so it is understandable that some needs for the classroom are brought before the parents. They cannot ask for funds (directly) but the needs are known none the less. And they will keep a notebook of the things parents bring in and any donated moneys and expenses. We will be taking toilet paper, paper towels, soap, air freshener, etc.

For David's group I am a parent rep on the parents' council and I represent the two other English speaking families. I have been the prime communicator to them anyway. We parents donate money for the workbooks that list the skills in 5 areas they will seek to evaluate learn within the year. And we are working on getting that translated as parents are to do their evaluation too.

In Erik's group I had to find out after the meeting the things I needed to know because between Gregg and me sharing getting the boys we missed seeing a sign that there would be a meeting. In his group the parents' council will collect money from parents for workbooks and water filters. And Erik needs to have dance slippers for music class. And he should have separate sneakers, T shirt and sweatpants for exercise class.

The other noticable change in the last 10 days is that the boys are using Lithuanian language at school- English mixed in to be sure. But when i go to pick them up I can see they have to make the effort to switch to English.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

I remember my kids switching back and forth between languages. Talking to their teachers in Lithuanian one moment, turning to me to speak English the next, and then back again.

I'm sorry to hear you had a challenging teacher meeting. Yes, they can come on pretty strong sometimes as I remember. I suspect having kids in Lithuania is a whole different experience for you! There are a lot of expectations for parents and kids that are articulated in, from our perspective, harsh and overbearing ways. I had to learn not to take it personally. You are probably much better at that!

I was often so lost with the school. I rountinely missed meetings because the only notice of them was by a sign, which of course I couldn't read. When I did make meetings I had a translator present who may or may not be good at it. Kudos for you for acting as a go-between with the other English speaking families!