I know it's been only two days since we've been home, but I just had to post what's been going on. Yesterday (Thursday) we just hung around basically sleeping. NingNing got up in the morning, took a nap partway through the day and then went to bed when we did at 10:30. James said he was up during the night playing on the Ipod and sat on James's bed showing him because the Ipod was dead! They both got up at a decent hour this morning and neither one has taken a nap today, so hopefully they will sleep completely through the night (kinda weird that i'm saying that about a 15 and 14 year old).
NingNing spent part of yesterday and today getting acquainted with his two younger sisters. He has learned more English in the last two days from our youngest, Judi, than our whole 18 days in China! Judi knows no strangers and glued herself to NingNing since the moment they met. They tussle and mess with each other, but I think she fascinates him, just because she talks non-stop. BUT, it has served to cause him to begin copying her, which is wonderful to hear. He copies her exactly and since she talks with such expression, it's hilarious to hear a 14-year old boy copying a 7-year old girl.
For instance, at this very moment, they are all sitting on the couch; he is playing a farm game, and the girls are telling him what the items are in English and he's repeating it softly.
Today we took NingNing to Walmart as he has begun to express specific opinions on foods he doesn't like; quite the change from China, let me tell you! So far, he hates milk and cheese or anything that tastes like cheese, didn't like spaghetti noodles (too bland), ate scrambled eggs in China, but not here (again too bland). We got on Google Translate today and figured out he likes Sunny D, grapes, and toast with jam, so at least we've found something he can eat for breakfast before school. We also told him we understand if he doesn't want to eat a lot, but he needed to eat something once he's in school full-time. And for dinner, thank goodness for stir fry in a bag until my culinary skills improve! We bought more noodle bowls to send to school with him until his tastes adjust a little more; they are easy to make and only 3 minutes to microwave. Not the most nutritous, but we're talking school lunches as an alternative, so which is the lesser of two evils, really? Also found another plaid shirt and a hoodie he liked, as well as underwear and socks.
NingNing was a bit taken aback by the amount of food and drink we bought; he gave over pushing the cart to Jr after it was about half full!
Then, at 3, we visited the school. We met with the ELL coordinator and just walked him around the middle school area. We had the boy who's offered to be his "buddy' for awhile there and his mom, who is herself an ELL teacher and has offered her services for free. Even if the school doesn't use her, she's offered to have NingNing come to her house as often as needed after school to work on English. She's recommended the Pimsleur method for us to purchase, which teaches based on phonetics and breaking down English phrases piece by piece. NingNing listened to a sample audio lesson and seemed to like it. Now the girls are on Google Translate "talking" to him; he's said more English in the last hour than I've ever heard and everything he's said has been perfect pronunciation. Monday, he will be tested to assess his English level and then they will devise how much ELL instruction vs. mainstreaming he will need. My guess is he might go half-days next week and then fulltime the following week, but we'll see.
I was a little afraid that might have been too much for one day, but he seems to have handled it all well.
Newsflash: just this minute, NingNing showed me what he wrote on Google Translate...he said our youngest talks a lot and has ADHD!!!! Now, how on earth would he know that term? We're finding out there are amazing depths to NingNing.
We also told him today we go to church on Sundays and that we believe in Jesus; he seemed to understand that pretty well; we mentioned his friends go to church now as well too.
Well, I could write all night, but will save more for later.