Ava has officially started her new "school" with Teacher Pam. They named their school Aruba Elementary, and they are the Lizards (because there are SO many lizards here!). Pam has turned our garage (which happened to be the perfect space for a classroom) into the cutest homeschooling classroom ever. She turned the space into such a fun environment for Ava - she LOVES going to her classroom every day. Of course, being schooled at home has the advantage of being able to move around too. So, they do activities in the back yard, they walk around the neighborhood, eat lunch in the kitchen or out back and will start having field trips every week as well. And, once the body of water behind our house dries up (which we have been told it does in a couple weeks), they will be able to walk right to the beach in about 10 minutes, so school on the beach! Pam has been so creative with her daily activities and incorporating Aruba life and objects into the plans. She is so good at keeping everything interesting and exciting for Ava, so she barely notices she doesn't have other kids around. She is in love with Pam too, which definitely helps. We enrolled Ava in a local art class on Saturday mornings with kids her age to keep her engaged with kids, and hope to find other local activities where she can meet friends. We would love to have a few kids who we could invite over for play dates a few days a week. We will see how that turns out!
Pam has a daily schedule she posts for Ava each day:
Pam put letter around the room that she plays all sorts of letter sound games with, and also created a calendar, school banner and more.
One of the awesome math activities they did was go around and count all the different types of lizards, etc. that they saw and made a bar chart of them. Ava also learned the names of each and how to identify them - and knows the Papiamento (the locals language in Aruba) words for the them too.
I found this adorable desk for Ava at a Dutch kids store here. They have the greatest furniture and toys, all from the Netherlands, but super expensive. It was a bit of a splurge, but I think worth it. And I think we should be able to sell it no problem when we leave.
Pam even made a clippy chart, as Ava calls it. It is for Pam or Ava to move the face around depending on how Ava is feeling or acting. It is a good way to set the tone for activities or have a bit of "discipline" for Ava as well. She responds very well to the clippy chart!