March 6, 2009

First Day of School

Today, Camille was a guest at the local elementary school here in Arasaty. Her daddy and I laughed that the first time she sat in a desk in a public school was in a foreign country. We'd visited the same school a few times last year, to meet the teachers and greet the students. The teachers seemed excited to have us drop by each time, and they invited the girls to attend as students. We didn't want to make that sort of commitment, but we asked if they could come from time to time as guests, to which we received an enthusiastic "Of course!"

So today, Camille ventured with a few other kids from the Home next door, to what we thought was a typical Friday. Apparently, the students get most of their book work done on Monday - Thursday, and Fridays are reserved for cooking (home ec), fisica (P.E.), and dibujo (art). When they got there, they found out P.E. was delayed until another week, art was replaced by catching up on the math, and cooking got replaced with Guarani class, since Camille was there. I'm sure the other students appreciated that. The teacher got a kick out of speaking a little English with her and teaching her some Guarani greetings and questions/answers.

The math class was a little challenging for her, since it consisted of word problems. She didn't quite understand what the problem was asking, and then when they wrote out the numerical problem on the board, she found that their method of writing out the problem is different (see below, with her problem on the left). When she showed the teacher how she'd written out the division, he told her he'd never seen anything like it and didn't know why she'd put the remainder in a fraction form. So he rewrote it to the right of hers, adding his personal signature. I just love that.

I'm not sure how often the girls will drop in as "visitors," especially if it upsets the schedule for the other kids (wouldn't want to cause problems, you know), but for today, Camille had a good time and learned a lot of new Guarani!


  1. The way they divide in South America is 'upside down' to my mind. My father did it this way , tho he was taught by his German grand father. I wonder if this is how they do it in Europe as well?

  2. The schools here are SO interesting. . . I dont quite understand them so its fun to hear your perspective

  3. It's nice for your girls to see how other people do things. I showed my husband the math problem and he said, "Yes, that's how I learned in school." He tried to show me how it works, but I'm too old to change how I do math! :)

  4. Isn't it interesting how different cultures teach math and other subjects. Your visits will be really good for your girls to understand how Paraguayans think and learn.


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