Living in Los Cabos: Educational Matters
Ssssh! Don’t tell the main stream media, but Americans and Canadians are moving to Mexico in record numbers. They’re coming for an improved lifestyle, lower cost of living, better climate, and safer environment. Many of them are retired or nearing retirement but not all. We’re having more inquiries from younger would-be expatriates who have one very important question: how will my children be educated?
These parents understand that their children will benefit from growing up in another culture, learning a second language, and enjoy a healthier lifestyle. However all those benefits must be weighed against the education that will prepare them for a solid future, whatever country they eventually decide to call home. Luckily, there are great options for a superior education right here in Los Cabos.
For younger children there is any number of private bilingual schools throughout Los Cabos. These schools teach some classes in English, others in Spanish, they are solid academically as well as stressing arts, sports, and culture. The teachers are generally a mix of Mexicans and native English speakers (American and Canadian) with an occasional European as well. The children who attend these schools become truly bilingual and because they are being taught by native speakers have no accent in either language. I am SOOO jealous! Younger children do great in this environment; at that age their brains are like sponges and they pick up the second language in no time.
Teenagers, though, can be a bit more problematic. Let’s face it, if you haven’t become fluent in your second or third language by the age of ten or so you’re at a disadvantage. However, if you’ve got a high school student they can’t afford to miss out on the information in their chemistry class just because it’s being presented in Spanish. After all, the SAT’s aren’t too far away. Of course home schooling is always a great option (have you ever noticed that the winners of the National Spelling and Geography Bees are almost always home schooled?). If the parents are working or otherwise unable to home school there is still an option.
Here in Los Cabos there is a number of what I call “micro academy” schools. My friend Cynthia is the director of one, the Greengate School Los Cabos (http://www.greengateschoolcabo.com /). With a maximum class size of six the students get all the individual attention they need, parents can select a college preparatory home school curriculum from sources in the U.S. or Canada such as those offered by the University of Nebraska – Lincoln which are designed to lead to a high school diploma. The cost of such a program is surprisingly affordable and the student will work to their highest potential. Working at their own pace children have a chance to master a lesson before being tested on their knowledge which leads to better grades as well as better learning. Although the class size is small there is ample opportunity for social interaction and intellectual stimulation. Parents appreciate that their child is learning, and is being supervised. With a class of only five or six there really isn’t a chance to skip class unnoticed or fail to pay attention!
Families who have moved to Los Cabos often tell me one of the unexpected benefits is that sharing the adventure has brought them closer than they ever were before. So maybe, just maybe, your move to Mexico doesn’t have to be delayed until the kids have left the nest.
Carol Billups is Broker/Owner of REALTY EXECUTIVES Los Cabos. A Certified Home Marketing Specialist, she has enjoyed working with both buyers and sellers for over ten years and still thinks hers is the best job on earth. She is also the real estate columnist for Los Cabos Magazine and Chairman of the AMPI Los Cabos Board of Realtors. You can read more of her articles on www.reloscabos.com. You can reach her from the U.S. or Canada at 1-760-481-7694, or in Cabo at 044-624-147-7541.
© 2011 Carol S. Billups
written by Kelina, March 03, 2011