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Moving to Bonaire: Growing up on Bonaire
Bonaire Talk: Moving to Bonaire: Archives: Archives 2003 - 2007: Archives 2006-01-01 to 2007-12-31: Growing up on Bonaire
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Grayson Morris (BonaireTalker - Post #29) on Thursday, March 30, 2006 - 12:50 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Hello all,

We've spent seven years getting to this point (and it will take a couple more), but it looks like our plans to visit and possibly move to Bonaire are finally panning out. We will visit for 10 days in October 2006 for the first time, with plans to return for a 4- to 5-week visit in the summer of 2007. By then we hope to be in the process of readying everything to move, which we will do probably in the summer of 2008.

I have several questions (many related to work; I'll post those in another thread at a later time). The big unkown for us, which could be a deal-breaker, is how the kids will adjust. They are currently 7 and 5.5, will be 9 and almost 8 by the time we'd move. Their school is fantastic, and they are happy in Eindhoven (Netherlands). Our son is a quick learner and has his own education plan (he's about two or three grades ahead in math); it looks like our daughter may follow suit.

I know they'd love learning to windsurf with Dad, and I imagine it would be truly amazing to spend even a few years of one's childhood living on a tropical island. But I worry that they will have a hard time adjusting, especially if school doesn't hold their attention. (Dutch is their native language, so that won't be an issue, but I've read past threads on schools on Bonaire, in particular the "sit quietly and don't move if you finish your work early" post.)

Anyway, I'd very much appreciate hearing from other parents, and especially from people who grew up on Bonaire. What's it like to grow up on Bonaire, and what are specific pros and cons?




Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By michael gaynor (Extraordinary BonaireTalker - Post #2006) on Friday, March 31, 2006 - 11:21 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

My only comment is that the kids may be better off attending the Pelican School since the public schools art taught in Papiamentu at the lower level.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ann Phelan - (Extraordinary BonaireTalker - Post #2157) on Friday, March 31, 2006 - 3:47 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

The educational setting that my American daughter attended was very welcoming to her as an 11 year old but the curriculum and materials were dated. She was challenged in that she was trying to learn Papiamento and Dutch but other than that academically it was well behind her needs. As a former educator I can say her feedback and reports indicated a very old school manner of teaching and discipline. I do not know what workshops and inservice training was held for teachers but suspect little. Again, her teacher and the head master were very cordial and met with me as needed.

Listening to you I would say your children are bright and may not be fully challenged here UNLESS you supplement the curriculum at home. Socially I cannot say as I do not know your children. Emotionally it is a wonderful place to immerse the kids to learn about the sea, the environment, small town life and culture. I appreciate being able to drop my teen at the movies or bowling or pizza and know she is safe and out of harms way. The community has welcomed us with open arms. Sadly, the education system does not offer remediation for bright English or Spanish speakers. They are put in low levels of education due to language deficits. This really does not make sense but it's the reality here.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Grayson Morris (BonaireTalker - Post #30) on Saturday, April 1, 2006 - 5:18 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

Michael and Ann, thanks for the feedback. That's a good idea about supplementing the curriculum -- I'd been considering it an either/or situation (either regular school or homeschooling), but of course we could expand on what they learn at school to help keep them motivated. Thanks :-).

Frankly, being able to windsurf every day after school may be motivation enough ;-). I don't mind if my kids aren't learning the maximum possible to learn at any given moment; I just don't want them to be chronically unhappy as a result of having to spend 7 hours a day doing something very boring to them.

Socially they are both easy adjusters and fairly outgoing; they make friends easily. My concerns there are mostly about how they'll feel about leaving their good friends here.

That sounds wonderful, a community that welcomes you with open arms!

Ann, how does your daughter feel about living on Bonaire now? How hard was it for her to adjust?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Cynde (Moderator) (Moderator - Post #186) on Saturday, April 1, 2006 - 2:36 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Grayson, welcome to Bonaire Talk. Michael and Ann both have good information. Here is also a great school thread to read as well.

Try perusing the topics under Moving to Bonaire as well. A lot of info on moving to the island, jobs, etc.

Good luck!



Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By sean gorman (BonaireTalker - Post #21) on Wednesday, July 11, 2007 - 10:00 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

any move like that will be tough on the 9 year old. Thats not bonaire wisdom(as I have none) thats just normal developmental psychology. The younger the better. a 5 or 6 year old should have no problem. Best of luck!


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