Our school situation here in Chile was a priority for me. With the kids missing a year of school due to our travels, I wanted them to stay on pace for the easiest reentry possible. Our kids are incredibly bright, creative, and as all bright creatives are – a little ADHD.
My first choice was looking into international schools here in Santiago. Since Chile’s seasons are the opposite of the Northern hemisphere, schools start in February and summer starts in November. Opposite of ours in the US. There was only one school in Chile that was on a North American calendar. It was very expensive but seemed to have a solid reputation, wonderful facilities, and great extra curricular activities. We paid the application fee, went through a rigorous application process, which included phone interviews with their Raleigh teachers, and they didn’t get in. That set us back.
I met with a Chilean education consultant to see if there was an option I had missed. There was not. If they wanted to go to an in-person school in Chile, they would either have to repeat half a grade or jump ahead half a grade. That wasn’t going to work for just one year.
We chose a virtual option. Let’s be honest, after COVID, we all know virtual is mostly homeschooling with a set curriculum. The kids school in Raleigh offered a virtual option that fell in line with their curriculum and actually had their virtual school grades flow into the same database. So I met with the representative a half dozen times and decided that’s what we were going to have to do.
“School” started this past Monday, and both Mark and I have been surprised by the depth and requirements of the curriculum. The kids are either “in class” or working on their assignments for a solid 4 hours a day, if not more. It currently requires a bit of “hands on” from us in the form of admin work. We scan or record their work and submit it through the tools provided. I think Jane can learn to do most of this on her own over time, but for the mean time we’re handling it.
Jane is pretty self sufficient other than in math, which is her weakest subject. I’m sort of happy to have this year to have a guided curriculum and sit with her 1:1 to help her learn. It will ultimately improve her math abilities for the year. Wilson’s work is rigorous and he’s requiring a bit more supervision to make sure things are being done to the best of his ability. He’s doing a great job.
We’ll continue to figure out the schooling situation here as the year goes on. As of now I’m feeling hopeful and secure that they’ll return to the classroom next year as if they’d been in their physical school this year. And hopefully they will be better life long learners due to the experiences, people, and places they encounter in our travels.