In what is probably the last of the flashbacks form last year, mainly ‘cos I haven’t got time to revisit all the great things we did whilst keeping up with the stuff we’re doing this year (touch wood) we look at the year we “home schooled”. If you're on dial up this may be a big post. Same rules as I always recommend, go away, hang up the washing (or chore of similar time duration) and have a cup of tea. Then come back and read...
Those of you who know me well or grew up with me (as opposed to my photog friends) know that teaching was not ever going to be a career option for me (I’m so patient- not!!). Add this to the fact that my three specialise in winding me up, and potentially homeschooling’s a recipe for disaster. So one of the best things about GB’s job offer over here was the fact we could coordinate the boats to send the children to school on the mainland if we wished.
We looked around at schools, it wasn’t something to just jump into, but the first thing apparent was the Fijian (by which I mean those of all races- Fijian or Indo Fijian) schools, especially the popular of well regarded ones were very full- up to 50 children per class/teacher. And some we couldn’t get into at all, including one Catholic one we liked (apparently whether or not you’re catholic doesn’t count in Nadi- so different from Rotorua!). No space, no chance. Well at the end of the day we didn’t really think our kids would benefit from classes so big anyway, so we enrolled them in the international school. 30 children per class, and two teachers. But then Amy decided she didn’t want to go, and we thought it was maybe too big a day for Tom being only 5… so while Alice headed off in uniform to the international school, Tom and Amy enrolled in the NZ Correspondence school, run by the NZ state school system, to cater for children who can’t get to their local (NZ) school.
Correspondence school was to say the least very disappointing and frustrating, but it wouldn’t be appropriate to go into why here. This will just dwell on the fun bits! Tom proved himself quite unsuited to home schooling, quite rapidly in fact. Looking back at photos I can see by Ratu Sukuna day (28 May) he was at the International School and participating in his first mufti day- in a pocket sulu and a bula shirt…(on Ratu Sukuna mufti day the kids wear sulu and jaba (long skirt and matching top in bula fabric) or pocket sulu (mens’ skirt) and bula shirt….)
Any meantime was put in an online class called "space blasters"(!) and teamed up with her class mate (its true, they were in the same online class)- who lived on the island next door, only 1000m away… (her parents own a dive company) and took on the task of school. They had to submit photos for the class- here's Amy's- she chose her style, outfit, background etc etc so carefully!
They spent sometime on studying water, experiments, surveys, observations. There were a whole host of experiments about water.
Amy even wrote about it in her diary...
This is actually the girls trying to do their stream study. Yep, no streams on the island! No creeks, definitely no rivers or similar ecosystems to search for invertebrates in. Their class mates in China had similar problems from their twelfth floor apartment in a city of 16 million people (they said the stream wasn't looking as dirty as usual but there was no way they were going near it).
So the girls are peering off the sea wall checking for water clarity when they see something coming...and it was this
They finished this study off by going snorkeling instead to look for biodiversity…
Studying by correspondence also meant they didn’t always study in the same place. Once a week we went out for Tom’s soccer practices, and while Tom was doing his practice, the girls sat and finished their work. The result of this was they were at the school one afternoon each week. Eventually they looked at the other girls their age, overcame some of their trepidation, and decided to enroll at the school. But just before they changed schools they had an “e-lective” they really enjoyed- making a photo slide show. You can see by the unique take on the subject that its entirely Alice and Estelle’s concept. Their classmates posted nice little narrated slide shows. But Amy and Estelle posted this… (with apologies to Barbie. OK and to Kelly Clarkson too)...(GB's comment when they created it was "you girls are sick...")