My husband and I had always contemplated raising our children internationally, and Gran Pacifica Resort seemed like the perfect place to do so. We had been living here for a few years before Kaiden was born and really loved the outdoor-living lifestyle. With over 2,000 acres of property to roam around on, and miles of secluded, sandy beaches to stroll, there were always new places to explore, an abundance of wildlife to see, and numerous fruit trees to pick from... who would not want that lifestyle!
Fast forward 4 years now, and Kaiden is ready to start preschool! When it came time to make a decision, we had two choices to consider: private or public.
Public school: A number of public schools are located close by. The public school year runs from February through November. Grading is on a 100-point scale, and instructions are in Spanish. Education in Nicaragua is free; however, attendance isn't strictly enforced and it is estimated that only 30% of students actually make it through grade 6.
Private schools: Most private schools in the country are located in the capital, Managua. Some follow the Nicaraguan public school year, some follow the American or European school year. Some curriculum's are English speaking programs, while others are regulated under the Nordic or Nicaraguan education system. There are religious, bilingual and international options, or a combination of the three. Many great institutions to choose from!
What We Chose
During our research, we discovered that there was a number of other expat families in the area who were already sending their children to a private French school in Managua. They all had positive experiences they shared with us, and invited us to carpool with them. That, and the fact that the curriculum was in French, meaning Kaiden would be multilingual at such a young age, was a huge bonus as well!
It’s now been over a year and a half since Kaiden’s first day at preschool. His curiosity for learning, creativity, and imagination has grown and flourished! He spends many days playing and learning together with his classmates, switching back and forth effortless between English and Spanish. He’s learning French as well, mostly colors, numbers, and simple phrases. He loves his weekly swimming lessons, going on school field trips, and singing French songs wherever we go! And most importantly, he is happy.
Do I think we made the right choice looking back? Yes. Definitely.
Are you are considering living abroad with your family? Figuring out the best educational option for your little ones can be stressful. Below are a few tips to consider before enrolling your child internationally.
Keep in mind to ask:
Is it a religious or a secular school? Which one do you prefer?
How many students attend the school? How many per classroom? Teacher/student ratio?
Which languages are spoken? Is the school bi/multilingual?
Does the school follow the local calendar or another one?
What curriculum is being used? Is it accredited?
What are the enrollment requirements, and what are all the fees?
What do other expats say or comment about the school?
Until next time…. Hasta pronto!
ECI Development delivers affordable luxury residence and resort communities in Central America, providing our clients with various premier lifestyle options from the Caribbean to the Pacific. ECI delivers inspired residences for adventurous souls.
Coupled with over 20 years of inherent corporate social responsibility in the communities where we work, ECI Development is building a sustainable business that is going to be around for the next 100+ years.