The girls doing homework

 

Two months ago I wrote a post about how we were sort of struggling with our girls’ situation in school here in Mexico. We were coming face to face with issues of too much homework, the new language, and personality traits we had not yet encountered in our kids. I am happy to report that schooling now is going MUCH better. It seems we have come over the hypothetical hump and can breathe a little easier.

 

What Changed?

Homework

Arias was getting a lot of homework. Not only was it from her school, but we were adding homeschooling and Spanish practice on top of that. We were to the point of doing a couple of HOURS each afternoon. FOR HER AND I since she needed my assistance for a lot of it. When did she have time to play? To relax? To be a kid? When did I have time to do all my “other things”, outside of being teacher.

She didn’t. I didn’t.

So we changed that up.

There isn’t much I can do about her school homework. There is still a lot of it, and it is time intensive. Especially when it is long texts. We are still at the point of having to translate them into English to fully understand them, answer the questions and then translate those back into Spanish.

But we do have a some leeway with the homeschooling work load. We have slowed down majorly on a lot of the “extras” we were doing in homeschooling and instead are using her school work as our “extras”.

Now her homeschooling is mostly English and Math. Keeping her up to par. For her other subjects we pull from what she has been doing in school and elaborate on them if need be.

Things are going so well that on her “first semester” report card (from her local school) her lowest grade was 94%. That’s amazing.

 

Girls eating ice cream after school

 

Language

I may have been a little preemptive with my stressing over them not understanding what was going on in school (which was causing them to stress). I’m their mom, I worry for them. Day by day, poco a poco, their Spanish is advancing.

Ellia even did an oral presentation in front of her class today, with a little assistance needed.

The more they are understanding, the less they are stressing. The more they are enjoying their days, their classes, and their friends. They understand more of what’s going on around them and it is making their lives way more fun.

Hearing them on their playdates is pretty great. They make it work. Using the Spanish they know, they make it work. We are so impressed.

 

Socially

The change that we have seen in Arias’ behaviour has also been significant. I think it is due to a boat load of things. The fact that she is understanding Spanish more, and that she is stressing less at school, may have made it that she now feels like she can be herself around her friends now.

She hasn’t been getting into trouble at school or with friends. She has even been getting along better with her sister.

After our “rough patch”, we had many talks with her. We tried giving her consequences, and we tried a reward system. We teamed up with her teacher to have “eyes on her” even during recess, and we encouraged playdates with positive role models. Long chats were had to “check in on life”, lots of encouragements, love, and a new nightly prayer to instil a positive outlook on our daily lives.

We haven’t been called into school, or heard of any bad behaviour. She seems happier. There are no more tears.

Her friends are all constantly bombarding me to organize playdates. I think that’s proof that we are moving in a good direction.

 

waving to the sun

 

My Heart Is Happy

Knowing that our girls are happy, that they are no longer dreading the next day, that makes my heart happy.

Every move, every new life stage, comes with its ups and downs. They present learning curves, and adjustment phases. Having an open dialogue with our girls about our every day helps us through it all. We can be excited for each other in the highs, and we can be there for each other in the lows.

We’ve been in Todos Santos for almost 6 months now (crazy!), and I know there will be many more curve balls to come. Which you will surely hear about from me! It’s one of the reasons we travel, to push ourselves outside of our comfort zones and keep growing as individuals and as a family unit. This experience has been good!

 

Our happy family