Escola de m*

The school year has been over since the beginning of the month of December. The boys are home all the time and… I’ve been relieved. Yes, when they go to school I had some much needed time off from 7:30 to 12:00 every morning, and yes, we were lucky to have “free” tuition at the private school next door, BUT I didn’t like a lot of things in that school.

My main complain :

The kids were always sick.

It all started at the very beginning of the year when Uriel’s teacher came to talk to me to say that the snacks I was giving to the kids were not very popular. That day I had given some slices of apple in tupperwares to each of my three boys. They love fruits at home, so I was surprised, but told the lady that it didn’t matter anyway because if they don’t have a snack in the morning they eat better at lunch! Oh no, but I didn’t understand, in that school they teach the kids to “share” stating with.. their lunches. Imagine the pool of bacteria on all these dirty preschoolers hands generously sharing their food and coughing and sneezing on each other. It seems the teachers never heard of some little things called germs. They are invisible, you know. So, the problem was not that my kids wouldn’t eat their own snack, rather that given the choice all the other kids were probably fighting for a piece of cake rather than a healthy bit of apple…

I was pretty pissed. I lectured my boys to eat only what I gave them or not at all, but I suspect my instructions were not always followed.

Another problem arose regarding the toothbrushes. You see, kids in Brazilian schools are asked to bring their toothbrushes. Brazilians are taught oral hygiene from an early age! I had heard about it and thought it was fantastic.

How wrong was I. First, if you do something like that with young children, it goes without question that the task HAS TO be supervised. Right? The instructor shows the kids how to do the thing, then checks that it is done well. After loosing the toothbrush once, replacing it, and loosing it again two weeks within the first month of school, I went to speak to one of the teacher to explain that if Natanael didn’t have his toothbrush in the last week it was because he had lost two of them already and I wasn’t going to buy another one. He is brushing his teeth everyday before bed after all. To my astonishment the teacher (another one) hadn’t noticed! She apologized saying that there too many kids to supervise and didn’t see that one of them was not brushing his teeth. (Probably fooling around and sticking the brush in the toilet bowl… Who knows! :/ )

Then they constantly had all kinds of special activities that didn’t make any sense to me. Who ever thought that a pajama party at school for pre-schoolers was a good idea? How about visiting a sick mate at his home? Sure, this is alright or even fun for older kids, but we are talking about small children that barely manage to wipe their own ass!

Plus with so little school time, I’d rather have the teacher do her job of teaching how to count, read and write, and leave all the rest for after school activities.

So between the total lack of hygiene and all the fluff of “special” activities (I mean, how special is a party if you have it thrice a month?), and because just saying “no” it’s not a good enough answer for Brazilians, I had to invent a lot of half-truths, “Sorry, my kids won’t be doing that, I have some French lessons planned for them that day / We have something else planned that evening as a family”.

Next year they’ll hopefully go to public school.

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13 comentários sobre “Escola de m*

  1. Étonnant en effet ! L’école est une des raisons pour lesquelles nous avons décidé de quitter Maurice pour la Suisse… je n’étais pas fan du système scolaire là-bas, et l’école privée (français) aurait été beaucoup trop chère pour nous !

    • L’école privée ici est très chère aussi surtout pour une famille comme la nôtre avec un seul salaire et trois enfants… En plus j’ai réalisé cette année que la qualité de l’éducation n’est pas bien mieux que dans l’école publique. Enfin, je verrais bien l’année prochaine, mais je ne me fais pas d’illusion. C’est pour ça que je complémente leur scolarité à la maison avec des cours de français et de musique, mais j’avoue que je m’inquiète.

  2. Oh no, you have me a little scared. My son (age 4) starts public school in two weeks. I’m really looking forward to having some time alone with my 1 year old. But I do worry quite a bit about the quality of school here. My husband and I have already discussed that we will return to the US no later than when both kids are in high school, so that they receive some education in the US. And we do supplemental learning at home. Ugh, you’ve just inspired a blog post – and not a good one.

    • Me too, I supplement their schooling at home with French and music (I used to teach when we were in Canada), but, like you, I’m concerned about their secondary and higher education.

      • Is Brazil your forever home or have you guys considered moving back to Canada at a certain point? We moved here due to my sogra’s cancer diagnosis. We really love a lot of things about Brazil, but for the kids we can’t stay here forever.

        • We came here to be closer to his family but that hasn’t happened and is not likely to happen anymore, so now we don’t see why we would stay here forever anymore… It will all depend on my husband’s position as a pastor. He has let the church in Canada know that he will be willing to go back if he receives a Call from there, but that is not something that we can plan.

  3. J’avoue que cette école ne m’aurait pas trop fait envie pour mon fils non plus!!
    J’espère que la nouvelle école sera plus “sérieuse”… Il fait avouer qu’aller rendre visite au copain malade sur le temps de l’école c’est gentil mais c’est pas les habitudes européennes ou américaines…
    Comment eux se sentent dans l’école?
    Pour Titi dans son nouveau collège c’est à la fois bien et pas pas bien du tout.
    Le niveau dans son ancien collège était très visiblement bien meilleur et il il était très bon élève.
    Là le niveau retombe comme un soufflet : il a déjà fait au premier trimestre ce qu’ils sont en train de faire, quelle que soit la matière… Il est évident qu’il ne finiront le programme dans aucune matière à ce rythme là… c’est dommage.
    C’est plus confortable pour lui mais en même temps il s’ennuie en cours la plus part du temps…
    L’autre jour en latin ils avait 1h heure pour un contrôle qu’il a fini en 20 minutes… “T’inquiète j’aurai 20/20” et certains n’ont pas eu le temps de finir… Bah il s’ennuie un peu… Mais les copains sont sympas, alors…

    • Oh, les garçons s’y plaisent bien sûr puisqu’ils ont plein de copains et font toujours la fête… mais c’est pas sérieux tout ça. 😦 L’adaptation est toujours plus difficile pour les plus vieux, les miens sont trop jeunes pour être affectés (et c’est tant mieux, j’espère seulement qu’on sera ailleurs pour leurs années de collège/lycée). Bonne chance à ton grand!

    • Unfortunately, you are right. The level of education is as bad in public or private schools (after all the teachers come from the same universities), but as least we don’t have to spend so much money on supplies that will go to waste… I’m not done about talking about schooling though, that’s for sure.

Oi! Tudo bom?

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