Last Day of School

March 23, 2007


Mozart gave a little concert to her class and they were mightily impressed and then we gave a little going away party on her last day. The teachers have been wanting her to play, so we thought we better do it now. Unlike her last school where almost everyone played violin, nobody here plays, so her friends were amazed. It was fun to see her giggle as she played as she was quite tickled to be surprising them.

The habit here is that on someone’s birthday, they get to have a little party at school and they bring in “sweeties”. There have been a LOT of birthdays since January and Mozart has been REALLY wanting a birthday party at school too. Since her birthday is in September and we are on the road then, she was doomed to never have one. So she came up with a scheme to have a going away party at school on her last day, which actually was a good idea.

She has been having lots of fun with her camera (dad finally got it working again) and taking pictures of the village (for her blog to come she says) and friends. On one of our walks down to the camper to do some packing, she asked me to take her picture at one of her favorite doors. She used her camera computer program to make that into a fancy picture with a flower frame for her teacher and made her a book in Spanish about different flowers. Her teacher just loved them and gave her a big hug.

It was fun to join them in the class room and we brought some juice and chocolate cupcakes. It was a good day for a celebration as it was last period on Friday before they all had  a week off for Holy Week. Mozart was thrilled to pass out the treats and wanted to do it all by herself. They are all so fond of her that they did not want her to leave and there were hugs galore.

Then the teacher put on some music and they all danced. It was a room full of energy, wiggles and giggles. It was the end of the semester, so we got her report card and a huge bag of books and creations that she has done in school. She missed almost all of March, but still managed to have tons of things in her four months there.

Her Spanish is great now and she is reading and writing well in it which was our main purpose in going. She has really enjoyed her teacher and the kids and we have been able to continue her home schooling in English at home at her pace. Mainly we focused on math and music as she gets so much from all her reading in English that she does for fun. Sometimes she would watch her science videos after school or do a science project and we continued with Story of the World.

After school she invited a few friends to join her at the playground for a “party” which was mainly a play date with the begged for Cheetos and popsicles. Her friends are like a little United Nations and there are kids from England, Netherlands, Denmark, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Sweden, Germany and Spain (not to mention my little American).

The school experience has been rewarding not only for the Spanish (which I expected), but the exposure to other country cultures as well (which I did not expect). I find her losing her American accent and picking up more English expressions. Since the school kids are from lots of different countries, she has learned more about these individual countries and they have more meaning because they are a dear friends homeland.

The expat kids are a small minority making up only five percent of the village, but  because they have common ground in language and experience, they enjoy their time together. They also all go to Spanish class together with multi grades which she enjoys. I worried at first because there were other English speakers, but I think it actually made the experience easier and richer for her. She was not the only child who was dealing with not being able to communicate fully and easily with her teacher at first and being far from her homeland.

She also saw the advantages of being bilingual as there were times that she or others who had lived here longer could help in communications with kids who only spoke one language. She saw the advantages of having several languages as some of the kids speak four or more. It is also just a great place for kids to be since there are so many places they can play on their own as most streets do not have cars and all kids are cherished in Spain.

Kids come and go here a lot as the others can visit home much easier than we can as they are only about two hours flight or less  away from their homelands. The school is wonderfully flexible and had no problem on how much time she missed since they are used to the foreign kids taking time off. We had a terrific experience with this school and all our friends here and look forward to seeing them again next winter and we already registered for next year.

Mozart was happy that her teacher even gave her next semesters book so she can keep up with her Spanish class (and even beat them as we roam). We plan to keep up with our reading, writing and speaking Spanish as we travel and most dvd’s will be watched in Spanish so as not to lose what we have gained.

Mozart enjoyed her day in the sun and hugging all her friends goodbye and being able to have her parents in the classroom, but she was also glad it was her last day as she does much prefer to home school and the freedom that allows her. She says she wants to home school high school and college too. (Grin.)












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