School’s Out

June 23rd, 2014
It’s finally summer vacation for the kids in our town…and a week and a half early, at that! Usually exams are held the last couple days of June, but this year they were suddenly and unexpectedly moved up ten days. Kids and teachers got just five days to prepare for the final exams. The reason for this sudden change in events: school renovations. Since there’s only two months in which to complete this work–on more than a dozen schools–they have to gain a little extra by ending this year early and starting the next one late. The estimated start date is mid-September to mid-October. Then they’ll go six days a week to make up for lost time. Plus all the teachers will be giving plenty of extra homework during the summer. 

 
I’m still unsure how I’m going to arrange my classes for the weekends, since I’ve got a very full schedule with four classes on Saturdays and five on Sundays. My first thought was to create some online course; but a good number of the parents claim to be computer illiterate and online learning isn’t as popular here as it is in the US. I could combine a few similar level classes, but Santiago thinks that parents won’t like that. But it seems to be that or just not teach the kids. 

School: Take Two

March 6th, 2014

After becoming a kindergarden dropout in November 2012, Nathaniel’s back in the classroom. He didn’t return to the kindergarden, where he would be in the “da ban” (big class, or level three); he attending a private class that’s held in the fromer art classroom the elementary school. Guess art isn’t important. Anyway, he’s in the xue qian ban which is a level between the da ban and first grade. Not all kids attend it, some take it as a summer course. He’ll be in it for just a sememster.

    About Charlotte

    I'm a wife, mom and freelance writer in small town China. My two kids and I are three of the dozen foreigners that live here, though we've yet to meet them.

    We're near enough to Beijing to visit occasionally, but far enough away to make it a bit of a hassle since we don't have a car.