We stuck around the apartment in this morning. We’ve been trying to establish a routine which will help Tisetso feel more settled here. Sometimes he thinks he’s in America already, which we tell him will be a much, much longer plane ride.
We did our first day of school today. After only getting 2/3 of the lesson done, we stopped for the morning. Tisetso wasn’t a fan of doing school, but I think he’ll get used to it as time goes on. Our long term goal is to have him in public school. The South African school system operates on a different timeline than the American system. In South Africa, schools typically run from mid-January to late November. Grade R (our Kindergarten) focuses on play learning, basics such as numbers and alphabet, and simple math. Because American schools have already started, Tisetso, based on his age and completion of Kindergarten, would be placed in first grade, half way through the year. We don’t want him to start off struggling and behind, so for the next 7.5 months, we will be home schooling to catch him up. My hope is that he will be ready for second grade in August.
During lunch, Brian and I decided that we would do a rewards system for school. If Tisetso finishes a lesson, he gets a sticker for his reward sheet. After collecting four stickers, he gets to go to the store and pick out a mystery Lego packet (comes with a Lego minifigure inside). It’s fun because he loves playing with his Legos, and especially his Lego people. That was incentive enough to finish his first lesson!
After lunch and finishing school, we packed up and headed to a braai. A braai is the South African version of "grilling out" at someone’s house. There is a family here who graciously offered to have us over to their house for this staple event. I met Julie through the Bethany (our agency in the United States) South Africa adoption Facebook group. She and her husband, Dan (originally from South Africa), live just 15 minutes from our flat, up the side of the mountain!
It was a really nice break for us to have adults to talk with and Tisetso had fun as they have three kids (and toys new to him). He especially enjoyed playing with their Captain America and Spiderman figurines. Julie and Dan’s house has an indoor braai so we were able to talk and smell the delicious dinner cooking at the same time! We loved talking with them and look forward to grabbing another meal with them soon.
After dinner we got back to the flat, watched 15 minutes of Peter Pan, and tucked Tisetso in for the night (it took a while as he was a little crazy).