Our first concern when we arrived in Canada in November was to enroll the kids to school as soon as possible. While the school year in Brazil is from February to December, the following school year which is from September to June had already started here! The twins were only finishing their first year of primary school in Brazil, but they had missed the first months of their second year (Gr.2) here in Canada! And Uriel had missed his first months of primary school (Gr.1)… I was afraid that their reading skills would be behind from the rest of their peers.
Another concern was the language. They had started to read and write in Portuguese and had adjusted rather well to the Portuguese language. I was completing their education with some French lessons at home and French is also the language we speak at home. However, they’d had little to no contact with the English language before coming here. What would happen now?
In Southern Ontario we discovered that there are four publicly funded school boards, English public, English catholic, French public and French Catholic. Free education of good quality (and free school buses!) was after all one of the main reason we came back. I’m loving it! 🙂
The choice was hard for us. On the most practical side, there is an English public school two blocks from our house. The other option was to send them to a French catholic school a little further away, but with free school bus service. Should we drop them in the English language and see what happens (we know how kids learn fast, right?), or ease the transition and look into a French school (their oral skills are obviously good, but the writing and reading in French in not as… intuitive).
We ended up deciding to send them to a French school for now. The idea is that they will hopefully learn to read and write the harder language first, be exposed to the French Canadian accent (which is not a bad thing in my opinion — they are French and Canadian after all!), then pick up English along the way (most of the kids in school speak English at home and behind the teacher’s back!).
Another fun fact: taking the yellow bus to school is a (very exciting) daily adventure! Their first thought was probably that they would step into the fantastic world of one of their favorite series. In truth, the ride that would take only 10 minutes if I would drive them directly to school takes them around 30 to 40 minutes… (not that they have anything else to do anyway, ha ha)
3 comentários sobre “The magic school bus”
I can imagine the headache! We mostly speak English at home and Mark is in an English school with half of the day in French. He doesn’t learn ANY French whatsoever, so I’m trying to figure out how to teach him French… I thought I could complement whatever he learns at school but it looks like I’m on my own
Mark was reading very well in Portuguese (without understanding the meaning of the words, of course!). English is trickier with all the “th”, “ea”, etc.
Anyway, it’s always a pleasure to see pictures of your big boys. I still remember the pics of them as babies!
Yes, Portuguese is a pretty phonetically easy language to learn, the only difficulty for foreigners being the diphthongs ão, ães, ões, etc. and then there is the ending ¨te¨that is pronouced tchi in SP… A bit confusing for the kiddos. But when you compare to the complexity of the French language and all its illogical grammar (and endless exceptions), Portuguese and English are the easy ones IMO. 🙂
Oh, super de prendre un bus magique tous les matins pour aller à l’école ! 😉