Timmy Starts Kindergarten Two in Thailand

My son Timmy started back at school yesterday. This is his second year and he is now moved up to K2 – it would be the equivalent of junior infants back in Ireland. I asked him this morning if he preferred K1 or K2 and he says that K1 is for babies. His first year in school whizzed by at a scary pace. Readers of my blog may remember that I had reservations about sending him so young, but looking back we probably did the right thing. He made some friends, and he does seem to enjoy learning.

Back to School Blues

It has been nice having him home all the time for the summer holidays. I spend most of my time glued to the computer in my office, but I can hear him pottering around the house. I also stop for a chat every time I go down to refill my coffee cup. As he was off school we took the opportunity to do some travelling. We spent a few days on Koh Samet, and we also visited Savannakhet in Laos. He enjoys going to these places so when it comes to decisions about hitting the road it is two against one – my wife doesn’t have a chance.

I felt a bit sad over the weekend knowing that Timmy was going back to school – it sort of felt like it was me and not him who would be returning. I have so many memories of that first day of term 1. I would be so excited about all the new books in my school bag, but there would also be a deep dread. Going to school meant entering a world where I’d have far less control. It was a place where I had to struggle to fit in. It was a tough environment where you would either sink or learnt how to swim –I spent most of the time sinking. I felt sad about Timmy going back to school because like any father I want to save him from all that, but I don’t know if it is possible.

Back to Nagging My Son to Speak English

Going to school has changed my son, and it isn’t always in ways that I choose. Over the last few weeks I’ve managed to get him speaking English almost all the time at home, but when we picked him up yesterday he would only speak Thai. I will only converse with him in English, but I hate haven’t to keep moaning at him to speak my language. I worry that nagging will take all the fun out of the language – this is a concern that I’ve discussed on here before .

Timmy was fine going back to school yesterday because I promised him a new iPad game if he was a ‘good boy’. We had to literally drag him there this morning though. In the end his teacher carried him off, and I hated leaving him while he was still so upset. I would love to say to Timmy that he didn’t have to go to school, but he does. I tried to explain all that to him this morning, but he couldn’t understand. It was heartbreaking but what are we supposed to do? The exact same thing happened last year but by the second week he loved going to school. Hopefully he’ll settle back in again quickly because I don’t want to have to go through that every morning.

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4 thoughts on “Timmy Starts Kindergarten Two in Thailand

  1. I’m going through the same thing with my son. He atarted Anuban One last week here in Ayutthaya. His mother is Thai but he was born in Korea and speaks very little Thai The second day he cried and begged us not to take him back. It was heartbreaking. But this week he’s better. He still says he doesn’t want to go, but no tears and teacher says he’s making friends and starting to pick up the language. Kids are resilient.

    1. You are right Terry. My son mostly spoke English at home before starting school. He had no problems with Thai once he went to school. I’m sure your boy will be the same. It is nice to see them making friends; although my son had his first major bust up with a girl yesterday – she stole his red pencil apparently.

  2. My son speaks Thai readily with my husband – we’re in California, so his speaking Thai is the equivalent to your son (who looks adorable in that picture, btw) speaking English to you.

    Here’s a secret to why I think my son speaks with no problem with my hubby: they spend lots of quality time together and Golf refuses to acknowledge anything my son says to him in English. Sometimes Aidan won’t know the Thai word and he’ll throw that word in, but Golf corrects him with the Thai word.

    If I were you, I’d schedule some time, just you and Timmy, every day, either playing together or reading books, so that your bond in English continues to grow.

    With my boy, he separates out the two worlds in his head: Thai=Daddy, English=Mommy. He can’t think about me speaking Thai to him nor English from his dad. It’s kind of neat watching this progress. Try it out and see what happens with your son. 🙂

    1. Good to hear about your experiences with this Amy. Your husband has right idea, and I’ll need to follow his example and be more consistent. One thing that I’ve allowed to slide is that Timmy will add emphasis words from Thai when using English – for example, he says ‘na’. I correct him about 20% of the time, but he still does it regularly. I’ll need to get tough.

      He is getting to the age now where we can do more things together – our latest passion is playing Minecraft together.

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