Doing our kids’ homework

by Jim on 23 April 2008

Don’t worry – we don’t really do our kids’ homework.  They do their own.  But there are times that we feel like we have more homework from their school than they do!

Oh yes, you know that we’re finishing up language studies, taking trips as we decide where to move to, we’re getting ready to move to Mexico City (Lord willing in a few weeks), and all kinds of minor stuff like that.  But we’re also being kept busy by surprise tasks that Hannah and Nathanael bring home from Colegio del Bosque from time to time.  Sometime there’s a day notice, sometimes even a week.  (You may recall one or two of our earlier experiences with the school – read here about Kids at school and vine sheets)

Well, the circular we got in March did give us more notice than that, at least in one case.  Around the same time Hannah and Nathanael brought home two different letters about costumes.

There was the spring party, coming up quick, and they were supposed to both come as something "springy", and have decorated Easter baskets.  Oh, and chocolate eggs.  And cascarones.

We didn’t have baskets (never mind decorated ones), costumes, or anything else, so off to the market I went.  We got baskets, decorated them, made costumes (Shari’s handiwork), got chocolate eggs and cascarones.

But about the same time we got the notice about Mother’s Day (10th of May).  The children would be practising for a special program.  And they needed more costumes.

Ready for this?

For Mother’s Day, Hannah needs a red satin dress, made to exact specifications, and certain shoes.  Nathanael will be dressed up as a Greek, with a toga, gold sandals, a gold belt, and a laurel crown (with laurel leaves) on his head.

Shari wasn’t sure she was reading this right – she went and talked to the teacher.  "Oh yes, this will be the easiest costume ever!" the teacher exclaimed, referring to the toga.  As if in previous years they had forced the poor mothers to create costumes far more complicated.  For Mother’s Day.

So this week we’re still working on getting these elaborate costumes ready for next month.  Meanwhile, you guessed it – more "circulars" came home.

(Rough translation from the Spanish)  This is to inform you that we’ll be having a Recyclable Toy Contest, and so you need to bring a toy on Wednesday the 23rd of April, with the following characteristics: (instructions followed).

On the same day, Hannah got special instructions to draw a huge picture of the family on bristol board (which, of course, we had to go buy because we didn’t have any on hand).

Cottrills in crayon

So, picture out of the way we decided on and created two recyclable toys, one for each kid (this time they helped us – *phew*).

Nathanael and his Bullroar;
Hannah plays her tin-can bass

 Nathanael and I made a Bullroar, a traditional Australian instrument.  Hannah and I made a tin-can bass.  There they are in the picture.

Tomorrow night Hannah and Mom will go out to work on the red dress with another family from the school.

What other circulars will be coming home, and what new and wild things will they have us buy/find/create?  That’s just a taste of the last month or so.  It’s been an interesting year as a whole, and we’ve learnt a lot!  Don’t get me wrong – it’s an excellent school, and we’ll be sorry to leave it.  (Actually, it’s in its last year – no one will be able to go next year).

Anyway, I’d better run.  Nathanael got a note along with his homework today that we’re supposed to bring some cooked [some word in Spanish we don’t understand] for his cooking class on Friday.

What?  Nathanael has a cooking class?

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Alan April 24, 2008 at 9:50 pm

WOW. I should have gone to school in Mexico. Sounds like they appreicate creativity a lot more down there than they do up here O_o
How do other families do it? Do they just have evening sitting around at home to make all this stuff? Are their lives not as packed as a typical NA family?

Jim April 24, 2008 at 10:00 pm

Well, you still can go to school here.

How do other families do it? Good question. Well, for one they probably have brothers and sisters and uncles and aunts and cousins and grandparents around to help.

Their lives are packed – many Mexicans are working 2-3 jobs. Sooooo…. I dunno. Sleep less, and get help from the fam I perhaps!

Dave Godzwa April 25, 2008 at 6:21 pm

I’m reading your post and thinking about the school assignments that have completed this year. My favorite incident was just last week. Joseph our middle spent time and created a poster with dolphins on it for a presentation at his school. Obviously the work of a 7 year old, but we felt that he did a good job. It was sent back with the explanation that we were supposed to “help him” do it because it was for a presentation for the parents. I had to laugh. Parents helping to create a presentation that they were supposed to enjoy.

Jim April 25, 2008 at 7:11 pm

Wow, that is a little … er … counterintuitive, isn’t it? Ah well, I’m sure he did a great job! 😉

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