August 17, 2012

Grade 0

For a month now, three days a week, the boys and I have been having school with 4 staff kids.  I was asked if I would be able to help out any at the school here on the compound.  I agreed to teach Grade 0 once we got settled into our house.  Grade 0 is what is equivalent to kindergarten in the U.S.  The school here is called Correspondance School.  It has been around over 50 years and several of our missionaries, who grew up here in Zimbabwe, attended Correspondance School as young children.  It is the homeschool program here in Zimbabwe, but on our compound, we have teachers who walk through the program with the children.  This school is open to staff members who are well established here and meet other requirements.  Right now we have 3 classes.  Grades 1 & 2, Grades 4 & 6, and Grade 0!  In all we have about 12 kids. 

All of the school lessons are in English and so the kids who enter Correspondance School must be somewhat fluent in English.  In the past, students enter with a low proficiency in English and that makes it very difficult on them as well as the teacher.  So this is where I come in.  My main job is to expose my class to as much English as possible to help when they enter Grade 1 next year. 

Our boys are thoroughly enjoying school!  They have gained 4 new friends in a safe and structured environment and toys belong to the school so they are fun to share all around!  The boys and I were sick one week and were not able to do school.  When we returned, the boys were blown over by the hugs and squeezes the kids gave them!  It has been a good change in environment and schedule for all of us. 

Our class is made up of 2 boys and 2 girls, all right around the age of 6.  We were fortunate to start off our time with a helper.  Miss Julie is the daughter of one of our missionary staff who came out to visit for 2 months.  She blessed all of us by helping out in the room every day and the kids all got rather attached to her.  We are having to adjust to not having her with us now. 

Our school year here goes from January to December with 3 month-long breaks at April, August, and December.  We have only a few months to get these kiddoes ready for Grade 1, so please pray for wisdom as I prepare lessons and balance being a mommy and wife as well as a teacher now.  Welcome to Grade 0!