It’s the beginning of week 3 of the school year here in Panama… and the girls are home from school. Again! We have not yet had a week of 5 days of school and I think I can count on one hand the number of days when school was in session until the usual time of 1 p.m.
You can always tell when school gets out by seeing all the kids in uniforms walking around town. I take note of the shirt color and size of kid to give me some indication of who might be out. Sometimes it’s just one class and other times it’s the whole school or both schools.
Last week Zoe’s school was in session on Friday as usual, but I got a call from the teacher around 9:30 saying I needed to come get Zoe. I would have panicked wondering if she’d had some problem but I saw all the other small kids in white shirts and figured school was shutting down. Indeed, I get there and the bomberos (firemen) are in front with their truck with lights flashing. Evidently there were some African bees that were causing some kind of problems so they closed down the school. OK!
Today there was no school for Zoe due to some teacher meeting but Haley had class. On my way back from my Phinny Walk on the beach I see all kinds of school shirts on kids and indeed Haley is home. No agua in school so no bathrooms so no school. OK!
Our decision to put the kids in local school and supplement with homeschool seems to be a good one. I like that the girls are involved in the community, they know a lot of people, I make friends with other parents in class (and I am now a volunteer in Zoe’s class – old habits die hard!) but at the same time we recognize that our girls could use a beefed-up version of the education here. We are getting into the groove of homeschool and supplementing with topics we feel are important for life.