And that’s a wrap!
Today was officially the last day of school, meetings about school, and closing ceremonies for the school. This means our girls have completed a year and a half of being “thrown in” to their Spanish speaking public school here in Todos Santos.
(The half year is because when we first moved here it was Nov. and kids had already been in school for 4 months when our girls started.)
There have been tears (I swear I didn’t cry too much! LOL! I didn’t cry, the girls did. Sometimes. They’re kids, and it’s school.), resistance, struggles and LOTS of extra time translating work so we can understand what’s going on, but we’re seeing the results and they are pretty amazing.
DOING RIGHT BY THEM
The first 6 months, when we had “thrown them in”, wasn’t easy. Especially for Arias. Learning curriculum in Spanish when she didn’t speak a word of it…wow. Imagine, learning Baja history in Spanish, when her vocabulary consisted of the mere basics. This is when the tears came.
Seeing Arias’ tears and struggles the first six months made me wonder if we were putting too much on her. We wondered if it was causing our then-8 year old too much stress and anxiety. I would lay awake in bed at night worrying about our decision.
However, with great teachers, many extra hours of translation work, and perseverance, we are now seeing the positive results. Proof that we did do right by them.
ARE WE STILL HOMESCHOOLING?
Yes. Not as much as when we were living on the boat and I was solely responsible for the girls’ curriculum, but still doing some. Here the girls get out of school at 12:30 (hooray for half days of school!). On days when they don’t bring home homework, or on days where they don’t have school (which is surprisingly often) then we homeschool.
My focus is on English and Math. English because the girls are not taught this subject yet in school. And Math because they love it. We also sometimes throw in some Geography and History, even though they cover those in school, but that’s because of the Anthropology major in me!
We have the Canadian curriculum books for their grades. It is important to us that the girls stay on par with what their peers are learning back in the Motherland. With their schoolwork and their homeschooling, we’re confident that they are there, plus some.
I’m also beyond super duper extra proud to announced that today both our girls were awarded Certificates of Honour for BOTH getting the top grades in their classes!!!!!
I actually had my heart sink a little when I was presented with Ellia’s grades. She had a mid-range grade in reading. I didn’t so much care about the grade itself. She is a reluctant reader. In both English and Spanish. We already knew that. She just doesn’t have the care to sit and read, she prefers playing and running around. But I sort of knew that Arias would be awarded a certificate for her grades, and I could see Ellia being pretty destroyed for not being recognized for her hard work too. She has been working really hard. But as the teacher announced 4th place, 3rd, 2nd, and then Ellia in first!!! I was truly happily stunned! The total of all her grades, even with the mid-range reading grade, placed her at the top of her class.
Two top grade students on our hands! We don’t “push” them to excel. We’re constantly telling them, “do your best, apply yourself, and just try”. Learning in a foreign language is not easy. I am still to this day having some pretty big LOST IN TRANSLATION moments. But our girls are getting the hang of it. They are overachievers in their own right.
The girls are impressive in their Spanish abilities. Their Spanish accent is authentic and amazing. I love listening to them speak Spanish. Whereas I have a thick French accent when I speak Spanish!
They are succeeding. They are proficient. And best of all, they are happy. Now on to summer vacation!