How We Made the Decision to Pull Our Daughter from the French Stream into English

How We Made the Decision to Pull Our Daughter from the French Stream into English

A few weeks ago we made the decision to pull our daughter from the French stream into English and it was years in the making. 

Let me pull you back a few years when my daughter was first starting Junior Kindergarten and the school was offering classes in French. I was over the moon excited for the opportunity and envisioned her speaking fluent French and landing a government position once she finished her post-secondary education, largely in part to her being bilingual. 

From day one she was not enjoying school. I think she tolerated it because she loved her teachers, Early Childhood Educator, and had amazing friends. Each and every morning of JK and SK was met with her stating she didn’t want to go while we packed her into her car seat and my husband whisked her away. Some days there were tears and she wanted to stay home but we kept sending her in the hopes that one day it would just “click”.

This year as our younger daughter started in a whole new classroom for grade 1 she started voicing her opinions more. When we asked how school was she would tell us she hated it. When I pushed a little more to see whether she was maybe being bullied she matter-of-factly stated she doesn’t understand anything. OOOOOOFFFF that hurt to hear. 

So we started to talk about switching over. I let her know she would no longer be in the same class as her friends. Begged her to give it more time as I did not want her to give up so easily. BEGGED. On a Sunday she let me know she wanted to switch over and I sent an email over to the principal of the school telling her we wanted to make the switch. 

I wish I could say that it was that easy and she moved over to English and everyone lived happily ever after. The End. 

Instead I ran into the principal that morning where she assured me that most kids don’t understand French yet and Aria will figure it out eventually. She did let me know that if we wanted to make the switch there was plenty of space in the English classroom but we should stick it out.

So after school when Aria was hoping that I would tell her that her days in French were over I once again told her to stick it out. I could see sadness course through her little body but life is not always fair and I was hoping that this was the right choice. Mama ain’t raise no quitters, or maybe she did. I was confused. She was so over it. 

We lasted less than a week in French before Aria broke down and once again advocated for herself. With tears running down her face she said she didn’t even care that she wasn’t in the same class as her friends anymore and that was it. It finally clicked with this mama that my child has always known what she wanted and I was doing a really shitty job of listening.

I once again chatted with the principal where I stood my ground and pushed forward with the transfer. It still took another week for her to make the move over but we spent the week playing hooky, playing with toys and just waiting for a fresh start. 

It’s been a couple of weeks now that we’ve been doing the English stream thing and we’ve discovered that the English stream is harder than the French except we totally understand everything we don’t understand.

The real kicker though came this morning when Aria once again claimed she didn’t want to go to school. When I let her know that that wasn’t fair since I had switched her over to the English she looked at me, smiled, and said “Maybe I just don’t like school?” 

I’m raising a comedian folks but it is her time to shine <3

How We Made the Decision to Pull Our Daughter from the French Stream into English

Aneta Alaei
Aneta Alaei

Aneta is a Toronto-based mom of four that loves a good meal, great company, and learning something new. In her free time, you can find her trying to keep yet another plant alive.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Share —>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

9 Comments

  1. Elizabeth Matthiesen
    October 18, 2019 / 2:19 pm

    I feel for you, it’s always a tough decision to have to make. When it was time for one of my daughters to start school, she wasn’t really ready but her one year younger sister who was a strong, interested and very clever child would then be in the same year if not the same class and there was no way I wanted teachers comparing their abilities, so she did start school – not sure to this day whether I made the correct decision at the time. Both are now adults, the younger one a professor and the older one has a very well paid job too.

  2. mrdisco
    October 19, 2019 / 3:39 pm

    i wish i stuck with french at a younger age

  3. kristen visser
    October 21, 2019 / 11:25 am

    oh my gosh!! aren’t they something !? Sometimes i have no idea what is truth and what is not with my middle daughter. I love that they offer French immersion for those who are interested. right now i am just trying to better my daughters English lol. but my oldest daughter still has french class and actually good at it but this way she is still exposed to it

  4. December 2, 2019 / 8:17 pm

    It was not a tough decisions – today, learning a second language is a piece of cake. Get yourself an app and practice with both of your children.

  5. AD
    December 4, 2019 / 9:46 pm

    I feel for you and get the frustration. One of my BFF’s is a French Immersion teacher (she grew up in a multi-lingual household like I did) and one of the things she always states is that if the child is not understanding anything by 1st Grade move them out; and that you also need at least one parent who also speaks French. Sometimes its just NOT a fit for a child. My other BFF is sending her son to the same school (French Immersion) where the BFF Teacher is, so she is extremely anxious and I keep reassuring her that her son will be okay. She is not bilingual, but her husband is (he was in French Immersion).

  6. kathy downey
    December 17, 2019 / 9:44 am

    Beautiful read. Yes,we really need to listen to our kids.

  7. Linda
    November 28, 2020 / 11:09 am

    That is a tough story to hear. We were also thinking about French or not, but in the end decided with English. I figure if my son says that he wants to learn more French later on, we’ll consider it.

  8. Janet M
    November 29, 2020 / 3:27 pm

    One always has to do what is best for the child.

  9. nicolthepickle (Nicole Graham)
    November 30, 2020 / 7:33 am

    Awww, I’m sorry it was so hard. Maybe she was just too young? Sometimes it’s hard to know what the right thing to do is.