Saturday, January 8, 2011

a change of plans

I don't remember now if I've mentioned it here yet, but we've begun the process to enrol Liam and Simon in a private British school here in Bogota. There are several other families from the embassy that attend and a few kids that Liam and Simon have already met. It seemed like the best choice. 

Our reasons are mainly due to this pregnancy. It -as I may have mentioned *ahem* once or twice- has been hard. This has made homeschooling hard. It's difficult to be excited about learning and engaging, etc, when you can hardly managed the day-to-day requirements of preparing food, keeping said food down, or staying awake for more than a 2-3 hour stretch.

Initially, I wasn't too worried about it. One of the benefits of homeschooling is that you have the flexibility to change your schedule, take breaks when needed, and move faster or slower as life requires. I figured we'd just catch up when I started to feel better. But then another reason to enrol the boys in school became clear... they're lonely.

While they're all three generally really happy kids, their excitement any time we got together with other families was palpable. It's been near impossible to make friends their age here. Sure we know some lovely families from the embassy, who we see once in a while, but those kids are in school during the day. ALL KIDS are in school during the day here.

Although homeschooling isn't super wide-spread in Canada, it's common enough. In Gatineau we were part of a wonderful, amazing, and sorely missed homeschool group. Almost all of the boys' best friends were also homeschooled. We didn't set out for this to be the case, it just happened. And we got together with a number of them often a couple times a week, in addition to church on Sunday mornings and the kids group on Friday nights (for Liam). They were NOT lonely.

But here, we have to try to explain even the notion of homeschooling. Kids start full-day school here around age 3! Most all schools are in the outskirts of the city, and the kids are bused to them. Because of the heavy traffic and long commute, most kids are on the bus by 6:30am and get home some time after 3:30pm. Then there's homework, supper and to bed (so they can be up early enough to start all over). Seriously, there are kids in our building who we'd NEVER EVEN SEEN before Christmas break!

And really, I hate the idea of Liam and Simon being gone for such a long time each day. Over NINE HORUS is a long time for a seven and a just-turned-four year old. They're still so little!

In the end, I hope we're making the right decision for them. They're both excited about it, Simon probably a little more so than Liam, but even Liam assures me that he does want to go (I'm not sure what I'd do if he said he wanted to stay home instead). I do worry that, after that long a day at school, by the time they get home -tired and cranky- Peter and I are going to get "the worst of them", for lack of a better way to put it.

Although I might be jumping the gun a bit with all this speculation, seeing as their applications are on hold pending some private evaluations by occupational therapists (Liam for his writing and Simon for his speech)... but that's another post for another day.

I almost forgot... another concern...

What the heck is poor Andrew going to do all day when we ship off his playmates for the entire day?! 


  1. i imagine the first couple of weeks will be pretty rough. but once the new routine feels like routine it'll be good. it's just toughing it out that's going to suck.

  2. I can imagine the struggle to decide this, but it sounds to me like you are making the best decision. A new experience is sometimes a really good thing, and the boys will learn from it and be more rounded. It won't be easy, but you can do it! Good luck

  3. When do they start? Looks like Andrew is going to have Mom all to himself for a few months. Hope it works for all of you. A. Dianne

  4. I'm sure it will all work out. They are going to love all their new adventures and you will be able to spend some quality time with Andrew and the new baby!


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