Korean School…


I dreamed of raising Lovey up to know the language of her birth, but I knew I was dreaming BIG. I stuck magnetic Korean characters on the fridge. I read Korean-English books aloud. I played Korean children’s CDs in the car. I encouraged her to build with Korean alphabet blocks and occasionally allowed her to watch Korean nursery songs on YouTube. Still, as Lovey got older and embraced English as naturally as if it was her first language, I felt the futility of my efforts.

You can imagine how delighted I was to learn there is a Korean school not far from where we live. The school is hosted by a Korean Presbyterian Church and is unapologetically Christ-centered. Of course, the teachers are all native speakers and most of the children come from Korean-speaking homes.

Lovey is now the youngest student at The Korean School of Greenville, which meets on Saturday mornings throughout the school year. Most of the other students in her class are four or five years old. Since she is young and (I suspect) from a non-native speaking family, Lovey has her very own teacher, Shinyoung Lee. They work together one on one as well as with the other children as appropriate. From the beginning, Shinyoung was comfortable with Lovey’s visual challenges. She is obviously very bright, her English is excellent, and her accent is not so marked that we have too much difficulty understanding her. We are thrilled with her approach. The whole experience is as close to total language immersion as Shinyoung believes is comfortable for Lovey.

I have to keep pinching myself.

Shinyoung with Lovey on the first day of Korean School…
IMG_9512Lovey with her classmates on the second day of Korean School. Dressed in traditional Korean clothing, they are celebrating Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving Day). It’s the biggest and most important holiday of the year. (You might recognize the hanbok from Lovey’s first birthday in Korea. I let out the stitches Omma had taken in to make it long enough for Lovey. ♥)
Looking lovely in her hanbok and name tag… Lovey uses her Korean name, Sarang, at school…
Lovey and Shinyoung having fun eating traditional Korean rice cake together…
During snack, the children are quizzed on vocabulary…
Lovey gets a chance to name the Korean word for butterfly — nabi…

Teddy at Korean school…

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