Like the majority of children, the kids at Casa de Amor LOVE homework. Ha!
Like most children, homework time is not the highlight of the day for kids at Casa de Amor. However, it is a time when the children receive special individual attention. Because school is half-day in Bolivia, the children often arrive home with 1-3 hours of homework. (Depending on the concentration of the child) Several of the children struggle with learning abilities and attention difficulties, and this often makes homework time even more difficult.
Due to our wonderful long-term volunteers, and local volunteers, lately, there has been no shortage of help at homework time.
After arriving home from school at lunch time, the kids change out of their uniforms and sometimes wash their overcoats and socks by hand. This is a great way for them to learn responsibility, and to prepare for the reality of life in Bolivia. Once this is taken care of, lunch is served, and we gather around the table to eat and hear about the kid’s days. (The littlest ones often fall asleep at the table!)
After lunch is finished, and dishes are done, homework time begins. The youngest kids with less homework finish first, and typically nap for an hour or so. The older kids have more homework, and sometimes work until dinner time. Although this can be a tedious time, it can also be a great opportunity to talk with the kids and hear about their days and interests and dreams.
Yesterday, I got to write simple and complex sentences with 11 year old Edgar. 45 sentences seemed like a daunting task, but I began to enjoy laughing and joking with Edgar as we worked. Edgar is very intelligent, but has had a hard childhood, and can often be trying to work with. He is the oldest of the boys, and often feels lonely. As we were writing sentences, he opened up about his friends, classmates, soccer team, and interest in World War 2.
Although homework time is not my favorite time either, I am thankful for the way God uses it as an opportunity to spend time with the children at Casa de Amor!