Monday, July 20, 2015

Our experience in German school

This is the last week that all 3 boys go to their current school and  I figured it would be nice to recap our experience so far.  When Chris came to Frankfurt back in September/October, he had to pick school for the boys, we had no idea where we were going to live and basically we were faced with many uncertainties.  The school has been great to help us make our life a bit easier in our first year here.  All 3 boys go to the same building, the school has plenty of outdoor green space and teachers speak English; however, in the long run it's just not the right environment.

The school is loosely based on Montessori method which means it's self-directed.  It's a mixed age classroom (grades 1 -4) and kids get to decide when and what subject they are working on.  Specials such as physical education, art, and music are held together but things like math and German are self-directed.   My kids just aren't made in that way.

Ilya has perfected his copying skills but hasn't learned much in terms of reading and still forgets letters at times.  He is doing pretty good in math but only in numbers 1-10, going above that starts getting a bit complicated.  Next year Ilya will repeat first grade (this was planned all along) at the German-Russian school with a very strong academic program (at least from what we've seen).  Ilya is our little creative artist - he loves to draw, paint, do crafts, dance,etc.  He is also a perfect middle child where one day he loves to play with Anton, but in the next minute he wants his space.  As weird it sounds, Ilya also loves to clean and we certainly try to encourage that! 

Andrei is great at math; he learned everything he had to learn to finish first grade - comfortable with number 0 - 20 both addition and subtraction, did basic intro to money and geometry.  However, Andrei is still struggling with reading.  He has learned how to read but he doesn't enjoy it.  German reading is a bit easier than English since it's very phonetic but part of the problem with that is that his German vocabulary is not super strong.  Andrei is going to second grade of our local German public school.  He is growing up pretty fast, turning 8 at the end of the week, and when he is in the mood he is an amazing big brother.  Many times his patience with Anton is incredible; he loves chess and Star Wars.

Anton is well ... he is 3 :)  He is still not a great talker but he has definitely learned a whole lot of German words and he seems to understand his teachers.  He is also going to a new school next year - he will be going to local area kindergarten.  He definitely has one sparky personality who loves his junk food and hates vegetables.

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