Did I make the right decision?

(9 Posts)
Purplexpenguinxhelen Mon 20-Jun-16 13:20:37

Hi everyone
I'm a single mother to a lovely 6 year old girl. In the beginning of her education, she was sent to an English speaking nursery, but she was getting bullied there and had a fight on my hands just to get her to go to school everyday, which was obviously heartbreaking for me. I made the decision to start her in a Welsh speaking school from reception age. Having had a fully welsh education myself, without any trouble keeping up with the pace, I thought my daughter would be the same. However, she has been struggling more than I had anticipated sad
I feel like I've let her down as it was me who made the decision to move her schools. There were other English speaking schools in the area, but I sent her to a Welsh one instead. The teachers haven't said she's struggling, but in my own mind I feel that she is. She's one of the only kids in her class that hasn't come home with a certificate for speaking welsh, I struggle to get her to speak even basic welsh with me at home, and it's only going to get harder. On a positive note, her welsh reading seems to be really good, she flies through the books they give her. They don't start English reading in her school until year 3, and I'm really worried that she's going to struggle with it. I see other parents from her last school and their kids are on really high level reading books, but my little girl struggles with the basic ones. I've made a chart at home for reading English books in the hope that it encourages her, but it doesn't seem to be having the effect I'd hoped for. I feel like I'm failing as her parent, and it's a horrible feeling sad
Have I made the right decision to send her to a Welsh speaking school? Was it being selfish for wanting her to have the opportunites that I had being in a Welsh school? Am I expecting too much from her? I know all kids develop at different stages, but it feels awful when others seem to judge me by the lack of English reading skills that my child has in comparison to theirs.

bojorojo Mon 20-Jun-16 14:04:28

Did the Welsh speaking school give you opportunities? If so, what were they? Have you really benefitted educationally and financially?

Some children find it difficult to communicate in two languages and both languages can end up being a bit slow to develop. English is, surely, the most important language for your DD. I do not understand wanting a Welsh speaking school above others although I guess it supports a minority language. Do you want Welsh above getting her a good basic, and frankly, more useful education in English? One language may suit her best. If we all found languages easy, our universities would not be closing MFL departments! Languages are a challenge for many. I would go elsewhere.

TeenAndTween Mon 20-Jun-16 14:20:30

Do either you or DP (if around) speak Welsh as a mother tongue?

She is bound to be behind in reading English if she isn't being taught it. You need to not compare abilities now, but to compare end of y6, or even end y11.

I kind of feel you'll either have to embrace the Welshness of her education, including supporting Welsh at home and not pushing English reading yet, or move schools.

(but what do I know, I don't live in Wales).

Purplexpenguinxhelen Mon 20-Jun-16 14:29:03

She has no problem communicating in English, and has great vocabulary for her age as all her teachers have commented on how well she speaks. She doesn't have a problem communicating in Welsh at school either, it's more outside of school where she doesn't want to speak any welsh.
Living in wales I do feel that it is important to be able to speak welsh, it's our culture and we shouldn't let the language die out. There's plenty of benefits to bilingualism, though I haven't benefited from them myself (more down to lack of confidence than ability), that doesn't mean that my daughter won't get the benefits of being bilingual.
Why do you feel that English education is superior to other languages? Yes more countries in the world speak the language, but it's not like I'm replacing English for Welsh, it's just another tool in her armoury for when she's older

Purplexpenguinxhelen Mon 20-Jun-16 14:50:13

TeenandTween welsh was technically my first language, even though neither of my parents speak welsh, it came from my grandfather. Her dad isn't around but wasn't welsh either. I try to embrace the Welsh at home as much as possible.
I know she's likely to be a little behind with English reading as she's not doing it at school, but we are reading age appropriate oxford learning tree books at home all the time, and feel that she's struggling more than I expected.
Maybe I'm just being too pushy when she's not ready for it yet, and she'll catch up in her own time.

Enkopkaffetak Mon 20-Jun-16 18:37:42

Op almost at end of my break so this will be fast. However read up on "rejection of minority language " lots of methods to aid in getting past. I wish it had been around when I was trying to teach mine my .other tongue.

gahenty Mon 20-Jun-16 21:37:35

Wow! You're giving her a great gift of being bilingual!

She'll get there. Be kind to yourself and her.

Most of all, she'll thrive where she's not bullied, so it sounds like you did the right thing there.

RandomMess Mon 20-Jun-16 21:47:09

I think she just needs time, in a few years time she will be fully bilingual this is quite a normal stage to go through.

starry0ne Mon 20-Jun-16 21:47:43

Sounds like moving her was definitely the right decision.

I am English live in England so my advice may be well off...My DS used to refuse to talk about anything that happened at nursery..It was like he wanted the 2 seperate. Could this be a factor here.

Have a chat with the teacher see if she is where they would expect her to be... I would think comparing the reading of English books incomparable if they are focusing on Welsh

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