Canadian Parents for French (C.P.F.):
Canadian Parents for French is a registered charity, composed primarily of English-speaking members, advocating the value of French as an integral part of Canada. www.cpf.ca
The Role of the Parent:
Preparing Your Child for Schooling
It is important to talk to your child about schooling before opening day in September. Let your child know that the teacher will be speaking French. Reassure your child that the other children will speak English and that the teacher will understand English and accept it being spoken. Be sure to stress the positive: your child will be making new friends, playing with new toys and working with a variety of new materials.
Encouraging Your Child
For all children, parental encouragement makes a great difference in a child's attitude towards school. Your enthusiasm for the French Immersion program is very important. Although you may not speak French (like most Immersion parents) you are still the positive force in encouraging your child at home. Be available to talk to your child about his day. Not all children are willing to do this at first, and you may feel cut off. Do not pressure your child -the desire to share will come.
Reading to Your Child
We can’t emphasize enough the importance of continuing to read to your child on a regular basis in English to provide him with a background of experiences and vocabulary. This also allows him to be exposed to the rich heritage of English literature. It is also a good way to develop your child's interest in learning to read. Visits with your child to the municipal library, where both French and English books are available, are a good idea.
The Need for a Break
It is normal for your child to come home a little weary. After all, this is a very new experience. Your child will be concentrating hard on new vocabulary and concepts. Please ensure that your child has adequate rest and relaxation from the mental and emotional effort of the day. Be proud of achievements, but patient … sharing may not happen right away.
Home and School Communication
Communication between parents and teacher is essential. Parents are encouraged to meet with the teachers to discuss the progress of their children. For a formal interview, contact the teacher ahead of time to set up a time and date. If something occurs in your home, which could upset your child, such as the death of a pet or a change in the family situation, it is important that the teacher be informed right away.
If you feel something at school is interfering with your child's learning, then his teacher should be informed of this concern.