Sunday, November 28, 2010


The most pressing reason that we moved back was that Italian junior high wasn't working for our family, so it is with great relief to say that American school has been great for us so far. The boys seem happy, the teachers are actually nice, in fact, seem to want Shae and Shad to really make it. There have been cultural adjustments, of course, but nothing that has been too difficult with the exception of one; getting the boys to understand the American grading system. They are doing fine except in English and American History which is totally understandable given that they've never had either subjects before. I've been fairly relaxed about it. Junior high grades rarely make or break a person, and given that they are improving every week, by the end of the year we should be good to go. 

I realized a few weeks ago, however, that I needed to step up a bit when one of the boys did a fist pump in the air when he got a 68% on his progress report. I said, um Shae that's a "D".  Yeah, he said as if there was no reason to be worried. I tried in vain to explain the letter grade system, again. In Italy it was a number system so A, B, C, D, F mean very little to them. The next day at work I ran into a mom who had raised her kids overseas as well. When I told her my dilemma and she finally helped me with a way to explain it to the boys. In Europe you start with a zero and work your way up. So a 68 would never be the equivalent of a "D", more like a low B or C. . You've worked your way over half way up. In America you start with a 100 and work your way down so you've lost quite a bit by the time you get to a 68%. The next day I tried again and finally recognition started to dawn in his eyes. One more hurdle cleared.