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Moving to Bonaire: Elementary School
Bonaire Talk: Moving to Bonaire: Archives: Archives 2003 - 2007: Archives 2006-01-01 to 2007-12-31: Elementary School
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Abigail Wilkinson (BonaireTalker - Post #31) on Tuesday, January 3, 2006 - 4:26 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Background : On our 2nd trip to Bonaire (nov 05) we kind of bumped into a possible job offer. So now we to see if the job comes about and have to decide if we want to move to Bonaire for 2 to 3 years or maybe it will turn out to be a lifetime. We have lived in Australia (I was raised there) and currently live in Denmark (last 8 yrs), Peter is Danish, I'm Australian (& US by birth)and our kids are Danes/Aust. We are all bilingual and Peter has a bit of German and Dutch. Our daughter is 5 and our son is 3 yrs so I am not that concerned with the language issue.
We would be looking at Reina Beatix school and a kindergarten.

Linda or anyone else
1) Write up is mid April, are there plenty of places?
2) What are approx. number of chn in a class?
3) What is the style of teaching? Is it talk & chalk - teacher does everything, or are the chn more active in seeking and discovering knowledge?
4) What if any are the hidden costs? eg camps, excursions, etc
5) What is available in daycare for a 3 yr old and what is the cost?

Thanks for any info
Abbi

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tish (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #644) on Tuesday, January 3, 2006 - 5:05 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Abbi, This sounds very exciting.
But I am puzzled. How could you work on Bonaire unless you are fluent in both Dutch and Papiamentu?
And are your children fluent in Dutch and Papiamentu so that they could go to school? I'm sure they would learn, but a friend tried to send her child to school here and the language problem proved too great.
I hope that Linda Richter will see your post and answer your specific questions about the schools. Her two children attend school here and are doing well.
Good luck!!!

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Abigail Wilkinson (BonaireTalker - Post #32) on Wednesday, January 4, 2006 - 4:48 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Tish
Our life is always a bit of a puzzle and it is not sure the Bonaire thing will come through as it is still in the very early stages. Initially we wouldn't need Dutch or Papiamentu but would want to learn one or the other or both to function and assist in becoming part of the community. We are on our way out of Denmark within a year or 2, if nothing else comes up then we are definately moving to Australia, but at the moment Bonaire could be a possibilty, if it doesn't happen there is the possibility of a move to China next year.

The kids don't speak either Dutch or Papiamentu but due to their young age and the fact that they already use 2 languages I don't think it will be a problem.

Will keep you posted.
Abbi

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tish (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #651) on Wednesday, January 4, 2006 - 6:35 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Bonaire is a wonderful place to live. I think you would all love it, so I hope you can work it out!! And, yes, do keep us posted.

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ann Phelan (Extraordinary BonaireTalker - Post #2036) on Thursday, January 5, 2006 - 8:25 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

I can share my experience with my child who started school in Bonaire when she was 11 years old if you wish to email me.

Ann@bonairecaribbean.com

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rona of Black Durgon Inn & Scuba Center (BonaireTalker - Post #21) on Monday, January 30, 2006 - 10:21 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

HI Abigail, Just ran into your post. Not sure if you made a decision yet.

What a wonderful experience to be able to share with your children!

My friend has children that go to Reina Beatrix school and absolutely love it, others go elsewhere and love that, too. Not sure if you know, but there is also a private elementary school recently started (there is a waiting list) called Pelikaan Basis School.

I have a copy of the curriculum in English if you would like it. And I can provide the email for the school if you are interested.

My brother and sister lived with my dad here in the early 90's and went to highschool for a while. Dutch was difficult for them - they went to an American school in Venezuela for the remainder. But for our younger children, already adapted to other languages, I believe it is a different story.

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rona of Black Durgon Inn & Scuba Center (BonaireTalker - Post #22) on Monday, January 30, 2006 - 10:29 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Somehow, I deleted this from my original post, sorry.

My husband and I live and work here and are not fluent in either Dutch or Papiamentu. We have a 2 year old daughter and were concerned about the schools before we made Bonaire our permanent home in March of 2005. In this short time, my daughter has already picked up bits of Spanish, Dutch and Papiamentu. What she is experiencing here in Bonaire is wonderful!

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Abigail Wilkinson (BonaireTalker - Post #33) on Thursday, February 9, 2006 - 4:26 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Rona,

The whole thing is still up in the air and sometimes I just don't feel that I have the energy to go through the whole immigration process. We have done immigration in Denmark and Australia.
If it all happens one concern is having our children coming home speaking a language I don't understand and how do you help them with their homework! I will keep your details on hand and if the job possibility looks like it will become a reality believe I will be in touch.

Thanks again
Abbi

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Abigail Wilkinson (BonaireTalker - Post #34) on Thursday, February 9, 2006 - 4:32 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Anne,

Thanks for your posting. Do you speak Dutch and if not what is it like having a child that speaks a language you don't understand? How do you help with homework, letters from the school, parent & teacher night etc.

Thanks
Abbi

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ann Phelan (Extraordinary BonaireTalker - Post #2086) on Thursday, February 9, 2006 - 4:40 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Hello,

I do not speak Dutch but can read and understand and speak a little Papiamento. My child did her homework with her Dutch tutor. Her teacher spoke English. We had regular parent conferences and included the tutor.

If your kids are young, it will work fine. I say before age 8 is best from my experience.

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Linda Richter - Artist Bonaire Creations (Extraordinary BonaireTalker - Post #2072) on Friday, February 10, 2006 - 11:26 am:     Edit PostPrint Post

My kids are currently 8 (third grade) and 10 (5th grade). We moved to Bonaire when the oldest was exactly 2 years old and the youngest just 3 months.
Both were put into the local day care at about age 2. The day care language is generally Papiamentu although most caregivers speak several languages and neither of my children had any problem picking up Papiamentu.

We began the kids at Reina Beatrix when they were 4. Kindergarten (or kleuterschool) starts at age 4 through 5. All the schools have a kindergarten associated with them. Recently they have been reworking the system so that 1st level/grade is something like group 1 but has multiple age groups within it. I don't understand exactly how it works.

About one year ago, we pulled our kids out of the local school and placed them in the Pelikaan school mentioned before. My daughter was doing very well in 4th level but my son was struggling with behavior issues in 2nd level. The school system required him to learn at the same pace as the slowest learner and did not allow him to explore his own interests. Shockingly to me, it required him to sit, be quiet, and do absolutely nothing if he finished his work early. No extra work, no working ahead, no reward for doing work in a timely fashion. He hated school. Pelikaan school is totally different. He loves school. He has to do a certain level in all subjects but is encouraged to study interests and zoom ahead at math.

At Pelikaan, we also discovered that our children who had been taught in Dutch at Reina Beatrix were a level behind their age group. And it was not just our children, local Dutch parents (from other schools) also found out their kids were behind. My daughter's age group is struggling to catch up now.

And yes, even though I only speak English I can help with homework. Math is math and I can read enough Dutch to help with word problems. I also find that the sentence structure of Dutch is similar to English so I can manage with a little help from the kids. I think they take great delight in correctly my Dutch.

1) Write up is mid April, are there plenty of places?

Generally there are places, however as mentioned before Pelikaan has a waiting list. If you are coming on contract for the government or schools, they will help you find a place for your child.

2) What are approx. number of chn in a class?

I don't know what it is now. At Reina Beatrix my kids had between 25-30 per classroom.

3) What is the style of teaching? Is it talk & chalk - teacher does everything, or are the chn more active in seeking and discovering knowledge?

Talk/chalk for most schools (except Pelikaan) although you may find this changing to some extent.

4) What if any are the hidden costs? eg camps, excursions, etc

My kids did not do any excursions at Reina Beatrix. They did have visiting presentations like the Turtle Club. At all schools except Pelikaan, your child will need to wear a uniform - generally an embroidered school T or polo with dark blue pants/shorts.

5) What is available in daycare for a 3 yr old and what is the cost?

Sorry this has been too many years since then. Although you can arrange half days, full days including hot meals or not.

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By iris link (New BonaireTalk Poster - Post #1) on Monday, February 20, 2006 - 4:52 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

hello people
I'm new at this discussion group. I'm dutch And I'm moving the 21th of march to Bonaire with my family to work and live there. We have a daughter of three years old. I'm looking for several kinds of information. First I need somebody who is willing to take care of my little girl while we are working. We will both be working in the hospitality business therefore we will not be working from 9-5. And I'm very interested in the Pelikaan school mentioned before since I cannot find any information on the internet. If there is a waiting list I need to get on there! I would very much appreciate any help you guys can give me.I also would like to chat or e-mail with someone who as already all the "bonaire inside information"

Looking forward for a reply
love Iris

 

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rona of Black Durgon Inn & Scuba Center (BonaireTalker - Post #39) on Monday, February 20, 2006 - 8:24 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Iris,
Here is the email of the Pelikaan School. You can email Wilma pelikaanbasisschool@yahoo.com I believe she can send you the curriculum, etc. via the email. She is a wonderful and helpful woman. There is a waiting list so you may want to ask Wilma the procedure for applying or getting added to the list. They start school at 4 years.

There are a couple choices for DayCare places. Maybe a good thing for you to do is when you get here you might want to go to the different ones and find out which one works best for your child. Talk to other parents, etc.

Rona

 


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