Yesterday was the kids first day back at school. Of course, today is Wednesday – so they’re off again… so they’re sort of easing back into it.
That means Jonah is starting his 4th of 7 years (if you count kindergarten), Matea 4 of 5 and Micah has only known l’ecole francaise.
This year Matéa is in CM1, Micah is in CE1 and Jonah in 6eme.
This year is also a change again for Jonah – as we decided to home school him this year. We decided that the world is far too scary, and he’d be much better off being raised in a bubble where we can shelter him by wearing a tin-foil hat so the aliens can’t read his mind anymore.
Well actually it was a few things. First, this is likely our last year in France, and french school changes quite a bit when you get into college (~ jr high) which is what he’s in this year. Since he’s not likely going to finish school here, getting deeper into the peculiarities of this system is perhaps not the most advantageous. For me – it was also really a time issue. For him to get to the school he was enrolled in would mean commuting close to an hour each way. Couple this with the long french school days (8.00 – 5.00~ish). In fact according to an OECD study, the average 12 year old in (in OECD countries) will have 907hrs of instruction per year. In France it’s well over 1000, Alberta is 950, US states seem to vary between 900-1100 – compared to places like Finland (829) and Japan (868) – who tend to have better outcomes. (in fact by age 14 a french kid will have had almost 2000hrs more instruction than a 14 year old in Finland). So I’ll get off this soap box just to say – we didn’t think that an 11 year old needs to be gone from home for almost 12hours a day for school, plus the two hours of homework per day that they say to plan for. He’s using a curriculum that is very literature heavy, and since he love to read, this seems to play to his strengths.