It has been a whirlwind of changes around here and I have had so little time to write, but here is a summary:
1. Jade and Siena are trying out a new school this week. It was a very hard decision to even think about leaving the Waldorf community (Really, it’s not a cult!) but Jade has made it very clear that she isn’t happy. And for good reason. While in the States, parents usually choose Waldorf schools because they are aligned with the philosophy, here in Chia, many kids seem to transfer in because they couldn’t “make it” in schools with more rigorous, traditional academic approaches.
This sometimes results in many kids with behavior and/or learning issues, which seemed to be the case in Jade’s class. Jade, who is by nature a very quick and eager learner, was frustrated by six boys in the class who were constantly fighting (the teacher had to break up fistfights at least once per week), yelling out obscenities, and interrupting the teacher. As for the girls, there were only six in the whole combined fourth and fifth grade classroom and three of these girls have challenging personalities. Jade who is normally very social and outspoken, was reserved around her classmates. It clearly wasn’t working and something had to be done.
Siena, on the other hand, has been really happy in her Waldorf School. She has an amazing class and a great teacher. The only thing that worries me is that Waldorf education is slower academically than more conventional types of education and here in Chia, the curriculum is about a year behind that of the Waldorf School in Boston. I am afraid that she will have a very hard time catching up when we get back to the States. So basically for this reason, we decided to try out the other school for Siena as well. We will see how it goes.
2. We have amicably parted ways with our nanny. She is starting a business and seems to be looking forward to the change. From our end, I wanted to spend more time with Saige. I also wanted to hire a teacher to be with Saige part-time now that we have decided that her immune system can’t handle nursery school. Siena’s amazing preschool teacher from the Waldorf School was available for the job and we decided that this was too good of a chance to pass up.
3. We are planning to move and looking at various options, including moving to Bogota. Living in a small town has been interesting, and certainly an easier way to get used to life in Colombia, but we are feeling the pull of the big city… museums, restaurants, culture, interesting people. I am a big city girl at heart.