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Carron

Oct 17, 2009, 9:59 AM

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An Education in Mexico

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I know that many younger parents are interested in moving to Mexico and bringing school aged children with them. I totally support this decision. All my children are fully bi-lingual as adults and their jobs back in the US are derived partly from their ability to speak Spanish like a native. Their experiences in Mexico have given them an economic edge.

I would recommend a hybrid family plan that combines some sort of homeschooling with attendance at a Mexican public school.

When we lived in Chiapas, my youngest daughter stayed with a family in Tuxtla Gutierrez while she attended a neighborhood school. The family consisted of a mother who worked in the governor's office, her four children, and several teenage nieces who had come down from surrounding villages.

This particular public school was primarily designed for students who were working or had family obligations that did not permit them to go to a regular school for 8 hours each day. This was the deal (and my daughter thrived in it): she could go to the school a couple of times a week, either mornings or late afternoons. After an initial entrance exam to determine the level at which she was already working, the teacher gave out colorful and interesting workbooks in a variety of subjects. Students could do the activities either in the classroom, where the teacher could help with any problems, or take the booklets home to work on there. When each book was completed, the student handed it in to the teacher for comments and corrections. The teacher then suggested when the student should take a test on the material to pass to a higher level.

Tuition?? I had to send a carton of 4 new light bulbs to the school once a month!!

My daughter simply raced through her activities and loved every minute of it. When she returned to the US she passed her GED on her first try with flying colors. She was torn between taking it in English or in Spanish!!! Went with English at the last minute.



richmx2


Oct 17, 2009, 2:11 PM

Post #2 of 34 (12203 views)

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Re: [Carron] An Education in Mexico

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One recommendation I usually make to parents who will be working or living in Mexico but plan to return to the U.S. (usually contractors or academics on sabbaticals, or... with a couple of kids I worked with, until their mom's visa was straightened out) is to talk to their local school district and get a copy of the curriculum for the kid's grade level (and the next couple of grade levels).

You don't want the schools to interfere with the child's education, of course, but in the areas where s/he will be behind (English and American History) they may want to check out the "home schooling" materials available. Some is perfectly good, but a lot is written for religious or political sects that may not meet the parent... or child's needs.


http://mexfiles.net
http://editorialmazatlan.com


arbon

Oct 17, 2009, 3:04 PM

Post #3 of 34 (12187 views)

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Re: [richmx2] An Education in Mexico

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"You don't want the schools to interfere with the child's education, of course, but in the areas where s/he will be behind (English and American History) they may want to check out the "home schooling" materials available."

Would there be many children being taught English history, before and while in Mexico?
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homeless_vagabond

Oct 17, 2009, 3:36 PM

Post #4 of 34 (12176 views)

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Re: [arbon] An Education in Mexico

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"You don't want the schools to interfere with the child's education, of course, but in the areas where s/he will be behind (English and American History) they may want to check out the "home schooling" materials available."

Would there be many children being taught English history, before and while in Mexico?


It would probably depend on their history of attendance at a British-themed school. Some International School curricula teach the national history of the Home Country, while others teach a combination of Host Nation and World History.

For example:

If your child was a student at the American School in some capital city, then their attendance those years the parents were working in Godforsakenville, SomeForgottenCountry would probably have a fairly strong concentration of US history and culture.

LIkewise for the British School, the Turkish School, the Catholic Academy, etc.


richmx2


Oct 17, 2009, 3:42 PM

Post #5 of 34 (12172 views)

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Re: [arbon] An Education in Mexico

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For want of a comma, the shoe is lost.... or something like that. :-(

English, and American History...

What can I say other than I'm the unfortunate product of an American education.


http://mexfiles.net
http://editorialmazatlan.com


Manuel Dexterity

Oct 17, 2009, 3:52 PM

Post #6 of 34 (12168 views)

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Re: [richmx2] An Education in Mexico

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But could they tell the difference between a Haas and a Fuerte?


arbon

Oct 17, 2009, 4:37 PM

Post #7 of 34 (12159 views)

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Re: [richmx2] An Education in Mexico

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"What can I say other than I'm the unfortunate product of an American education."

Would the "English" in the "American" education, be very different from State to State, and would there need to be allowances made in Mexico.
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richmx2


Oct 17, 2009, 4:58 PM

Post #8 of 34 (12153 views)

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Re: [arbon] An Education in Mexico

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You realize U.S. states are separate entities that set their own standards and there is no national curriculum (although lately there has been a move towards national testing). Certainly the required reading is different, as are the grade levels at which concepts like grammar (which I must have slept though in grade 4) which might be taught in grade 5, or 6... or never... depending on the state. And there is certainly a difference if U.S. history is taught in grade 7 or grade 11. Or both.

Of course, just getting the kid to read a lot of slightly above their age level material in the given subject area should keep them ahead of the curve.


http://mexfiles.net
http://editorialmazatlan.com


lsvgspepe

Oct 17, 2009, 5:01 PM

Post #9 of 34 (12152 views)

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Re: [Carron] An Education in Mexico

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I was born and raised in Mexico, While I lived in United States I married an american born and we have a child. When our son was in 1rst. grade I was concerned that he couldn't communicate with his grand parents. We sent him every summer to spend his vacation in Mexico at my parents house, It took him only two summers to lear to speak spanish
like a native, in middle school he tried for french and it was so easy for him to learn it. When he got to college, he was the only one out of his orientation group who did not have to take remedial courses, because of his foreign lenguage and computer skills he was able to get a nice easy dealing with public job that took him through college. Other advantages about this is that he became so interested in mexican history, geography and people that now that he is a graduate is not prejudiced, loves to deal with people, is very liked at work and has made me very proud parent.



mazbook1


Oct 17, 2009, 5:05 PM

Post #10 of 34 (12148 views)

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Re: [Carron] An Education in Mexico

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I'm certainly not an expert in this area, as my kids are Mexican, but my understanding is that children of foreigners who are here in México aren't permitted to attend free public schools in México. If I'm wrong about this, please correct me, but please, with information, not just individual cases.


Carron

Oct 19, 2009, 8:17 AM

Post #11 of 34 (12073 views)

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Re: [richmx2] An Education in Mexico

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Exactly my point about the "hybrid" education. Obviously this requires homeschooling to varying degrees. I am not sure how many parents are aware that there are great secular materials out there as well as the fundamentalist religious ones. We went with secular.

Also when my kids were back in the US they bought the GED prep books for themselves and brushed up on such things as American history (although good reading skills and common sense help immensely in the multi-choice exams). I discovered when I taught GED prep for a local jr. college in Del Rio, across the river from where I now live, that many students had been propagandized into thinking they had to attend classes in order to take the exam. Not so! Colleges push this mis-conception because the government gives them beaucoup bucks per student per class for adult education programs. I spent more time on administrative record-keeping than I ever did teaching.

Note again that I paid tuition in Mexico. 4 lightbulbs per month.


Manuel Dexterity

Oct 19, 2009, 11:58 AM

Post #12 of 34 (12042 views)

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Re: [mazbook1] An Education in Mexico

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I'm certainly not an expert in this area, as my kids are Mexican, but my understanding is that children of foreigners who are here in México aren't permitted to attend free public schools in México. If I'm wrong about this, please correct me, but please, with information, not just individual cases.


Did your kids have any problems having an American father? I assume you registered their birth at the US Consulate.


Marlene


Oct 19, 2009, 6:38 PM

Post #13 of 34 (11995 views)

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Re: [Manuel Dexterity] An Education in Mexico

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I hadn't ever heard of births being registered at the US Consulate (or Canadian Consulate). Is that what you did?


Papirex


Oct 19, 2009, 7:40 PM

Post #14 of 34 (11982 views)

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Re: [Marlene] An Education in Mexico

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Yes, births of a child born to an American parent(s) may be registered at The US Embassy for a certificate of a child born to American parents abroad. That can probably be done at a US Consulate too, but I am not certain about that. Proof of parentage must be provided, usually the child s Mexican birth certificate.


That certificate of birth abroad may be used to prove American citizenship, it is an involved process, the original certificate must be sent to an office in Washington, D.C. I have forgotten which office it is. If the original certificate has been lost, a certified copy may be obtained from records kept in The US, but not at The Embassy. I emailed the address of the place to obtain a certified duplicate to my cuñado in Tacoma a couple of years ago, he can't find it now, and I have changed computers so I no longer have it.


My cuñado is an American citizen and one of his sons was born in México, his mother is from Canada but she has lived in The US for over 40 years. I have a photocopy of his certificate of birth abroad and I made copies to give to him and his father. Photocopies will not be accepted as proof for him to prove his American citizrnship though. My nephew was raised and lives in Tacoma, but he needs to get a US passport to visit his family in México now.


Rex
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo


Marlene


Oct 19, 2009, 7:44 PM

Post #15 of 34 (11977 views)

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Re: [Papirex] An Education in Mexico

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Thanks Rex...foreign friends who have had children born here, have always gone north in person to register the births. We only have "consular agencies" in our neck of the woods, anyway. I was curious when I read that question.


(This post was edited by Marlene on Oct 19, 2009, 7:45 PM)


chinagringo


Oct 20, 2009, 4:35 AM

Post #16 of 34 (11942 views)

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Re: [Papirex] An Education in Mexico

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As a holder of a Birth Certificate of an American born abroad - I can say that the records are kept at the State Department. A number of years ago, I realized that I had lost my original BC. I applied to the State Department and for a fee was issued one "official" with raised seal etc and one copy without seal. Seems to me, they also indicated that I should not lose this one as there was a limit on replacements.
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



Manuel Dexterity

Oct 20, 2009, 6:32 AM

Post #17 of 34 (11927 views)

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Re: [Marlene] An Education in Mexico

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I hadn't ever heard of births being registered at the US Consulate (or Canadian Consulate). Is that what you did?


Yes, that is what I did. The first time it was a major pain in the butt. The next 2 times it was much easier because a lot of the information was already on file with the State Dept.

The last time was 21 years ago and the rules have changed somewhat in the meantime.


mazbook1


Oct 23, 2009, 2:41 PM

Post #18 of 34 (11790 views)

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Re: [Manuel Dexterity] An Education in Mexico

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I "assume" that you know the meaning of assume. You assumed wrong. No, I didn't register my kids with the U.S. Consulate, since they were adopted by me. My kids have no problems whatsoever having an American-Mexican father, even the two who are "adults" wholeheartedly endorsed it.


(This post was edited by mazbook1 on Oct 23, 2009, 3:10 PM)


Manuel Dexterity

Oct 23, 2009, 4:32 PM

Post #19 of 34 (11770 views)

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Re: [mazbook1] An Education in Mexico

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Actually I assumed they really aren't your kids. A correct assumption as it turns out.


mazbook1


Oct 23, 2009, 4:43 PM

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Re: [Manuel Dexterity] An Education in Mexico

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Sorry, they ARE my kids! Your assumptions are totally wrong.


joannar

Oct 25, 2009, 7:39 AM

Post #21 of 34 (11661 views)

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Re: [mazbook1] An Education in Mexico

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My first post and I am so happy it´s about my kids! I have lived in Chiapas for 12 years, my 2 kids were born here, 5 and 8 years, but I consider English to be their first language. My daughter had trouble in kinder the first year, she understood Spanish, but didn´t want to speak it. She now speaks more Spanish than English (I am working on it!). We have no plans on moving back to the States, so education is important to us. We have a small language school in Chiapa de Corzo, so my kids are surrounded by teachers and students all the time, but both of them are in public schools during the day. I find that I have to constantly be in touch with their teachers, make sure the teachers know that I care, that I am supportive in any way that I can, but the overwhelming number of students in the classroom is a concern of mine. I often consider private schools, but I want them to be able to "fend for themselves" as well. I feel like they probable could be learning more, and would probably benefit a whole lot from home schooling, especially the English part, but I am not ready to take that plunge yet!


Zorba

Oct 26, 2009, 1:51 PM

Post #22 of 34 (11541 views)

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Re: [joannar] An Education in Mexico

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Joannar, I have thought about doing the same with my kids. Could you comment more on the situation in the public schools? I thought I could perhaps have them go through public school with some support via home schooling and then move them to private school for Junior High and High School and then University back in Canada.


mazbook1


Oct 26, 2009, 6:48 PM

Post #23 of 34 (11503 views)

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Re: [Zorba] An Education in Mexico

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I've been told that to attend university in Canada as a Canadian resident, you have to have at least your last year of high school in Canada. At least that's what a Canadian family here in Mazatlán told me as the reason they were returning. Their daughter had one more year of high school to go, and she had to do it at a Canadian high school to be able to attend a Canadian university.

This may have just been one specific university's rule, but it's something you should keep in mind and check on.

Also, I have been told that to attend the Mexican public schools, the children must be Mexican citizens. I don't know the for certain if this is correct or not and I haven't been able to get an answer on this forum. Naturally, if your children were born in México, they are Mexican citizens regardless of what other citizenship they have. I know that my kids had to have Mexican birth certificates to enroll.


(This post was edited by mazbook1 on Oct 26, 2009, 6:52 PM)


joannar

Oct 26, 2009, 7:57 PM

Post #24 of 34 (11490 views)

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Re: [Zorba] An Education in Mexico

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Well, my kids are still little. My daughter is in 3rd year kinder, so will go to first grade next year. Her school is small and her class is small and she loves homework, so I feel I have to do very little with her. I complement some stuff with English, just so she gets more or less the same vocabulary. Her English is now a little shakier than my son´s. My son is in 3rd grade primaria. He has loads of homework, and it seems to me like most of it is a waste of time! I have to spend a lot of time with him as he doesn´t really like homework that much. I try to make the assignments that the teacher leaves him make a little more sense or be more useful. Like tonight, he had to read and copy 2 pages from a textbook into his notebook. He didn´t really seem to comprehend the reading and only tried to finish as quickly as possible, so I made half of it a dictation exercise. That was way more productive.

I think you have to be more interactive and more engaging and a lot more¨"present" in a public school. There is a lot less attention for the kids, and most of the teachers are "de base", so their jobs are not in danger. Luckily, our principal is fantastic.

Yes, both my kids are Mexican ( and American and British!), and so am I. Unfortunately triple nationality won´t help them through public school!


wynco

Mar 9, 2010, 1:17 PM

Post #25 of 34 (6879 views)

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Re: [joannar] An Education in Mexico

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I am interested in your family - mine too - have 2 grandchildren mexican and english and one grandchild american mexican and english. I do hope they go to Uni in USA - England would be too far now as they all live in Mexico. I do not know the rules for American children attending as I am English but certainly the american born one and his brother would like to be educated at uni level in USA.
where do I find out the rules so they dont miss out. Must they attend high school in USA for some time before? would love to hear your response. Regards wynco. e mail wynco@gvtc.com
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