Saturday, February 28, 2009

Q & A, Part Three

I wanted to answer this particular question now because it relates to the recent school posts, and because some may be wondering about how we came to our decision about sending the girls to Chilean school.

Q: I have enjoyed all your pictures so much. Can you send me your new address? Are you finding the people in your neighborhood friendly toward you? How have the kids adjusted? Will they be going back to school or will you be home schooling?

A: The answer to the first question is yes - already done. :)

Regarding the people in our neighborhood, I would say yes for the most part. Our immediate next-door neighbor bakes homemade bread and sells it every evening from 6:00 - 10:00 p.m. We've had the chance to chat many times, and she is very friendly and kind. We also met a neighbor with her little boy who passed by on their way to buy bread. The little boy came in the gate to play with our kids. We exchanged names, but I've not seen them again and I'm not sure which house is theirs. Hopefully we'll meet more of our neighbors soon!

The kids have adjusted remarkably well. Moving during summer vacation was truly helpful, as it allowed them to relax and enjoy their new surroundings without the immediate pressures of school.

As for schooling, we did purchase several years' worth of homeschool materials. However, they are sitting in our colleagues' container in the United States pending the resolution of their visa paperwork issues and we will probably not see those materials for several months. When they do arrive, we plan to supplement the girls' Spanish schooling with English reading, phonics, etc. Having the girls in Chilean school may or may not be a long-term commitment. We will be taking it one semester and one year at a time. Right now, we feel that it is definitely necessary for their language adaptation - Eva particularly, because she does not have any Spanish-speaking friends her age in our neighborhood or at church and with her personality she needs a little "nudge out of the nest" in order to try her wings in this area. The girls start school this Wednesday, March 4 and will attend classes from 8:00 - 2:00 daily. We are really pleased with this schedule because it is two hours shorter than most schools, and we hope that the idea of coming home for lunch will make the length of time immersed in Spanish seem that much more manageable!

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