I have raved about the school already. The kiddies are insanely busy swimming, playing fútbol, doing homework, going on field trips and preparing for assemblies and concerts. The best part is that, though they collapse into bed every night, they love it. A couple of days ago, I had all three kids jumping into their homework right after they arrived home from school, so excited about what they were learning.

W, Grade One: “Mom! Did you know that math is all about patterns?!”. S, Grade Four: “OK!! I need the computer to find five different types of landforms” (she then sourced photos of landforms from home – Whistler Mountain, Capilano Canyon, Mount Baker, Whistler Valley and the Joffre Lakes). E, Grade Six, spent the evening decoding pictures using Cartesian points.

I helped where I could, happy to help with homework they were interested in doing, rather than homework I had to nag about. Maybe it’s because they are learning in English for the first time – and not French Immersion? Could that explain the enthusiasm a bit too? (Their Spanish is still quite weak. The bulk of their academics are in English).

In addition to this, the school seems to be going out of their way to make my kids feel special. Yesterday, W got to introduce the Grade One Spanish Assembly, in Spanish (apparently he was laughed-at during rehearsals. He said it was because he “wasn’t good” and then told me that the teacher got mad at them so they wouldn’t laugh anymore. He smiled about that). I thought his Spanish was great, but that’s not saying much.

A few weeks ago, W’s class also gave a special performance for Ethnicity Day. As one of three kids from a different country, W explained what it meant to be Canadian. It led to some pretty funny chats at home about who Canadians are. W suggested that, because “we” (E, S and W) like to climb trees, all Canadians “are basically like monkeys, right?”. In the end, we stuck to talking about Maple Syrup and Seasons (I couldn’t figure out how to explain CBC Radio to a bunch of six-year-olds). I was so proud.

The principal sang the Lord’s Prayer, folk song style:

W talked about snow and skiing with his family:

And the whole class danced to Janet Jackson, only to be encored by the other classes, “¡Otra! ¡Otra!” (so they danced twice):

I could not wipe the goofy smile off of my face, looking to see if anyone else thought a bunch of Colombian kids dancing their hearts out was the cutest. thing. ever. I caught most of yesterday’s Spanish Assembly on video. About a dozen kids danced the Fandango, boys and girls, girls barefoot, boys in hats and neck scarves, shoulders shimmying. It was outstanding. And again, the audience cried “¡Otra! ¡Otra!”.

And don’t worry. W did not tell his school that Canadians are yellow. Or even monkeys (as much as he wanted to). Our reputation is solid.


One Response to “assemblies”

  1. Oh! That is so incredible. That school looks awesome. And I, too, danced to Rhythm Nation during a school arts night (shamefully, I was in Grade 9 and took myself very seriously, unlike Willem’s class).

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