I have always been dreaming about having my own school. On our second date it turned out Wojtek shared that dream himself. Well, finally we got it!! We have two talented students, who are very happy to be educated by their mum and dad. Dad teaches English, religion and music; mummy does the rest.
Organizing SOW, especially ensuring the kids come back after a year to their school mates and Ania Jr. is ready for her First Communion in May 2012, were our absolute priorities when planning this sabbatical.
From the formal point of homeschooling in Poland is possible. All it takes is to apply to the headmaster for it, obtain an opinion from an educational psychologist till 30 of May of the school year and voila. There are other possibilities enabling parents free travels around the world while educating their kids. In the Polish system there is The School for Children of Polish Citizens Temporarily Being Abroad, where you can enroll your kids. In the latter case, parents can consult teachers, and the semester examination is done via Internet. Incredibly easy!
Thanks to the great kindness of the schoolmaster of our kids in Wroclaw, we take advantage of similar solutions. We received all the curriculum details for each subject, teaching materials and teaching tips. Even though we scanned most of the materials, the books and compulsory readings weigh about 15 kg. This weight is carried by the strongest and biggest in our team.
Our school lives its own rythym. When we travel, we do not use textbooks, do writing skills nor fill in students books. It is a great time, though, for reading, conversation, English, math (practical aspects of it such as exchanging different currencies back and forth e.g. Nicaraguan Cordobas into US dollars or Zlotys), and sometimes doing joint music. In such a way, Wojtus read, piece by piece, a difficult and demanding book. We had never gone through a book in such a way before. Another time I heard at 6 am from a back seat of a bus a beautiful rendition of “Panis Angelicus” by two Wojteks. Very moving!
When we stop in one place for a longer period, the classes start at 9:00 and finish at 12:00. Yesterday I met a 10-year old boy from Aspen, Colorado, homeschooled by his farther. They also start and finish school at the same hours. Wojtus and Ania have classes at the same hours. I adjust their curriculum accordingly, so that I can work with the children individually. When Aniusia reads or writes, I am with Wojtus, and vice versa. You have know idea how much I learn about my own kids!
We follow school curriculum while enriching it from the surrounding environment. When visiting a volcanic island, we do a lesson about volcanoes. I showed the kids a youtube clip about volcanoes. BTW, youtube is a great source of info. A few days later they had a chance to feel and smell gases coming out of a volcano crater (Masaya Volcano) or swim in a crater lagoon. Another time we visited a local school and saw an English class. The kids were learning “good morning”, and our kids saw a school with bars in the windows openings (no windows), with each class having around 40 students.
As you can see in the pictures, both teachers and students wear special uniforms. Students wear white top and navy blue pants/skirts while the teachers wear white, polo shirts. After school the children wear those uniforms for the rest of the day. Very practical and cheap.
When we were talking about Poland during our own class, we watched a video on youtube along with old pictures of pre-war Warsaw and its distruction. We also found the legend about the Warsaw mermaid and the city emblem. It was one of several, interesting lessons.
to be continued …