On the way to school this morning, Lucas, Eli and I were talking about studying hard (specifically spelling and comprehension). Lucas was bragging about his 100% on the last test, Eli.....well he was pleased with missing 3 because if he'd gotten 100% it would mean he'd have to start doing the challenge words.....the kid is an operator. That part of the conversation will be covered at home this evening, not enough time before they were dropped off.
I was trying to explain that spelling and comprehension work is important so that their English learning continues to expand....and that includes challenge words.
Lucas finally took over, explaining in the "bigger, older, smarter brother" way that gets absolutely no where with Eli but makes Luke feel superior, he said, "You know Eli, so we get to the point where our brains quit fighting and we just know the English words."
I asked Lucas if he feels like his brain is fighting and how that feels. His reply? "You know. It's like the words are in my brain in a circle and I want them to come out my mouth but my brain is squeezing to keep them in my head. The words and my brain fight." Meanwhile Eli is sitting there nodding. Eli said, "Yep, like in Science I need to know all the words to answer the question before I raise my hand and sometimes they just won't get out of my brain fast enough."
What a description of the way they live with learning English. Can you even imagine that level of struggle where you feel that your brain is a vice holding back what you are capable of and know? Can you say frustrating? So far they are fighting each and every day to keep learning, some days they fight harder, other days they create ways of getting out of "challenge" words...but then I think every day is a challenge and so far these Filipino fighters are up to their challenges.