Term started 2 full weeks ago, and we have settled into a new stride. We are staying in an AirBnB in Palermo Soho (Buenos Aires) which is a district so hipster there is even a vegan dog food store round the corner. It feels a bit like we never left Camden, except the local (human!) food options are a vast improvement and we don’t understand the profanities embedded in the street art.
A good weekday goes something like this: cuddles and cups of tea/hot chocolate in bed while I read aloud, followed by a healthy leisurely breakfast, and then the girls get dressed, tidy their room, make their beds, and get to their ‘desks’ by 9.
Lessons run from 9-1 with Robert, our amazing teacher. The girls are following the St Christophers curriculum / smushed with the national curriculum for maths / english / science, and are drawing on local inspiration for history / geography etc. We are ALL trying to learn Spanish using Duo Lingo and practicing on the taxi drivers mostly. I haven’t quite yet managed to weave in my favourite Duo phrase ‘the cat is in the fridge’, but bingo points please when I do!
Each week the girls spend the last hour of each school day working on a project which they present to us over G&Ts on Friday. Week 1 was focused on South America. The girls made a map ‘puzzle’, and we all did time-trials to see who could put it together quickest:
Next up: quizzes based from fact files on the countries that we have visited so far:
Then some artwork was presented, inspired by the sunsets at Jericoacoara:
Lastly a quiz about evolution (inspired by our trip to the Galapagos) which required Robert, James and I to pick animal ‘traits’ out of a hat, and then pitch for which of us would survive various ecological changes using Darwinian principles.
This weeks project took a completely different track. Dragons Den! Bella and Emily created a new household product based on local ingredients: MAS the More Avocado Spray that has magical cleaning properties. They put together a marketing plan, all the financials, made a TV advert, registered a trademark for their recipe, created packaging, mocked up posters (in English and Spanish), and then were ready to pitch to us for £10k of investment. James and I were reasonably tough on our negotiations, but the girls ultimately secured the financial commitment they needed for a full launch. Keep an eye on your local supermarket shelf!
The project bar has been set REALLY high (despite Roberts protestations that this really is child-led learning!), so we can’t wait for what next week brings, and are so grateful and happy to have Robert with us for all the skill, experience, creativity, enthusiasm, and laughter he brings to Monicofamilytravels!
During weekday afternoons, we either chill at ‘home’, messing with instruments, and running local errands,
cook together (chicken soup is the girls latest speciality),
or head out to explore some of the city:
Museum of Fine Arts with Robert’s fascinating potted history of art tour, and some drawing:
Festival of emerging technology and arts:
Exploring La Boca, including a cheesy tango lunch:
Alexander Calder at the Proa Foundation:
Or enjoying whatever bonkers action is happening at the end of our street:
We round out the school weeks with BBQ and movie night on Fridays. Week one we watched Evita (the Madonna version) which was a comprehension challenge all round, yet evocative, and a great way to introduce some local politics! Last night we watched School of Rock which made me cry….
A bad day involves morning fights to get up/dressed/ready (if you are a parent, you know the ones I mean!), a steak hangover (if you’ve ever been to Argentina, you’ll know the ones I mean!), too much screen time for the kids (how can Matheletics be THAT fun?!?!), bickering, and too much screen time for James and I (its literally incredible how much time it takes us both to keep planning the next phases of our travels).
Next week is our last in the city, so we are looking to make the most of the culture, gastronomy and shops before we hit the sticks for another change of pace.