Back in January, hubby and I had a moment of panic when we realized that the school year was about to begin, the inscription deadline was probably over, and we still didn’t know how the school system works here. Is there some kind of kindergarten? How much is private schooling? Most importantly, shouldn’t our first born sons (then 2 years and 8 months old) be starting school… now?
So while I stayed home holding the fort, I sent my knight in shiny armor to inquire at the neighboring schools.
First, the public school a couple of blocks away from home is, of course, free. However, kids have to be 4 years old before the 30th of March of the same year (starting January). That would be in 2015 for us as the twins have their birthday in May.
Then there is the private Lutheran school right next door. They start schooling one year earlier: Kids have to be 3 years old before the 30th of March of the same year, that would be January 2014 for us. The shocking part is the price: about 200 Reais, per month, PER CHILD!!! Knowing that the minimum wage in Brazil is about 600 Reais per month, it means that the schooling of our three children will cost us one entire salary. Hopefully I’ll be working by then, and earning much more that minimum wage! 😯 We were hoping for some sort of discount for children of pastors, as this is after all a Lutheran school, but this doesn’t seem to make a difference.
So the good news of this little episode is that we didn’t miss any inscription deadline! Ha.
Unfortunately we still haven’t decided where to send our kids coming January. There is another smaller private school nearby that we should check out too (hopefully cheaper).
E&N could also stay home until they are of age for primary school, but we feel that they need to have more interaction in Portuguese with other children. Since we will most likely keep French as our home language, have a gradual transition to the Portuguese language would be good before comes time to learn how to read and write, so it won’t be as much of a challenge to learn the new skills in addition to another language.