This week our oldest monkey started school, and although we felt no need for our three and a half year old to enter the school system we also thought it could be fun for her to make some local friends her own age and to pick up some Spanish while we are here. We saw many advantages to enrolling her, if only for a few months.
   It is not a regular school that she is attending but rather a small classroom of kids, started by a retired teacher, to give these kids either special attention or extra credits. Arias is attending for two hours a day, four days a week. The minute class size was a plus for us. Having Arias in a smaller class means she will get more individual attention from her teacher, but it also means that she won’t get completely mauled by the other kids. You see, since Arias is small and blonde many of the locals, including kids, believe her to be their doll, literally calling her “muneca” as she walks down the street. It is not rare that Arias will get yanked aside and have her blonde hair petted by complete strangers as they hug and hold her. At times she will thrive in their adorations, but more often than not I can see the fear in her face as she gets carried around and (almost) bullied with love and speak sweet words to her in a language that she knows not much of. As a mother I was frightened for her, sending her into a school yard of children that would all want to be her best friend, whether she wanted it or not, picking her up and carrying her off to places or people she was unsure of. So yes, I was happy to hear that her classroom size is 4-10 kids on average.
   A second huge plus was that her teacher speaks absolutely no English. (I did make sure that she understood what “pipi” means, just in case Arias has an emergency). I look forward to the day when Arias is the one correcting me in Spanish, and I know that day will come. After only three days I am impressed with what she has picked up. Full immersion is key. She is starting at the beginning again, with numbers and colors, and although she seems to find it a little silly to be learning her colors all over again, she will fly right through these and be bilingual before we leave. Now if only I could get my laziness in check my girls could possibly be trilingual by the age of 5.
   Her measly 8 hours a week not only gives her some independence from us, but it gives us some “free-er” time (we still have another kid, so not completely free) but it gives Ellia the single-child attention she never received being born second. It is special getting that two-on-one time (she gets both Eben and I full time for those two hours) with her, watching her bloom when all eyes are on her. Already her vocabulary (English babble) has exploded. And if one of us needs to get some work done it is not as draining for the other parent to have just one child to wrangle. If that is not a plus, I don’t know what is.
   The one main down side to this quasi-entire perfect situation is her uniform, it is a white teacher and jean shorts. Lets just say that white on a three year old, and white on a boat, are not a good idea. But that is nothing that myself, some extra blisters (I am horrible at hand washing and always end up mangled after only a few shirts), and some bleach can’t handle. Or more truthfully, what our laundry lady Lydia can’t handle.

By | September 13th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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