Kalani went to a “real” school for the first time last week. We have been homeschooling her for the past 3 years, but with our move to the Philippines we decided to enroll her in the International School of Manila or ISM as it is referred. So far things have worked out well. This “night owl” daughter of ours that stays up until midnight in the states and doesn’t wake up until 9am, is now waking up before 6am and starting school by 7:30am!
We started the enrollment process in August since there is a limited amount of space available. The class sizes are about 23 students. In the 3rd grade, there are 6 classes. Kalani didn’t start school right when we arrived since the school was on a week long holiday. Then she needed to take an assessment test and have an interview with the elementary counselor. The assessment test was done on a computer, and I was told it would take 90 minutes to complete. Kalani finished it is 45 minutes and I was told she did well (not sure what her score was, but it doesn’t really matter). She took the test one day, interview the following day, then gave the teacher a full day to prepare for a new student and finally she had her first day of school on Friday, November 9, 2012
She wears some kind of uniform everyday for school…it is nice not to fight over what she wears. There are some options. There is a PE uniform that she has to wear on the 3 days that she has PE. (and she could wear the PE uniform everyday if she wanted to AND if we let her) Then she can choose from 4 different color polo shirts, and shorts, capris or skorts to wear.
On the first day of school she woke up at 5:30am and ate breakfast at 6am. (we are still living in the serviced apartments and breakfast starts at 6am) Traffic is bad in Manila. The school is only 3 miles away from where we are staying. But, because of traffic it takes anywhere from 20 minutes to 45 minutes to get to her school. So we leave at 6:30-6:45am to make sure she is at school by 7:30am. I was so happy to pick her up at 2:20pm and to see a big smile on her face!
Kalani asked me if I was going to homeschool her again when we return to the states. I said that I would like to continue to homeschool her if that is what she wanted. She said, “yes” that she wanted to be homeschooled again when we returned. I said that was fine, and then followed up by asking if she was happy to be attending ISM. She said yes, that she is enjoying herself by going to school. Then I asked if she wanted to homeschool because she gets to sleep in…again she said yes!