i would say something like "it's not that the educational system in the US is better persay..." but that would be a lie. because the dominican republic ranks last for education in the caribbean and south america (and by default, north america as well). so, while i'm hyper-aware of the budget cutting and program slashing that is going on in the states, believe me, it is nothing compared to the lack of budget that is even given to education here.
all that said. we, as a family, believe that education is what you make of it - amalio went to a rural school that until recently had two classrooms for grades 1-5, no running water for the bathroom and books so outdated, his grandparents might have used them (had they gone to school), and now is finishing his master's thesis.
we read and create and play.
this semester has been rough for me. i know i've written about being frustrated and stressed at work - and despite the best of intentions, it transferred into our home education. i have been tired and cranky and just wanting to veg out in front of the tv when i got home from work. and amalio's working on that thesis. disastrous for any kind of planning.
so, now that the semester is winding it's way down and i'm way less stressed, we've been on science overload here. we've been doing experiments every day, art projects and all the good stuff. this past week, we mixed colors.
milk , soap and food coloring mixing (milk repels dish soap - add some food coloring and you can see the reaction, it makes the colors "dance". mixing colored water and filling out a chart and, the kids' favorite, vinegar and baking soda surprise mixing - i put the food coloring on the spoons under the baking soda, so they didn't know what colors would happen until they mixed it all up - and watched it "explode".