Alex has begun attending a K-8 private school in downtown Kayseri called Akansu, with about 800 students. Both he and Jim agree that home-schooling is too isolating, Alex needs peers, athletic opportunities, more stimulation from his environment and more structure. The school is reputedly the best in the city. His mentor teacher and soccer coach speaks English well; the kids speak some, but he understands nothing in the classroom, and is quite bored. His story is similar to ones I heard in the States from Asian friends with children. At first, the kids could do nothing but draw or read a book. The English teacher saw Alex's boredom and gave him an abridged version of "Primary Colors" by Anonymous to read. The school is also setting him up with private math and science lessons in the afternoon. We're honing in on Turkish language accretion, with Alex completing one session of the Rosetta Stone Turkish CD every day. He is definitely picking up the language faster than Jim and me.
A school service bus picks Alex up each morning and delivers him home after school. The bus ride to City Centre (near Akansu School) is about 40 minutes. The children at the school are very friendly. The boys fawned over Alex at first. When he went downstairs from his classroom to the lunchroom, 10 boys all had their arms around him. He told them this wasn't a good way to go down the stairs, but they insisted on holding him and accompanying him. He mentions four friends -- Mustafa, Tahla, Talah, and some other name. They speak a wee bit of English, direct him between classes, sit with him at lunch, and play "football" (soccer) with him.