Wednesday, January 13, 2010

It's Wednesday, there is no school.

Too sore and too tired today to do the Swiss ball. The snow had melted overnight and it was a sunny day, warmer than what it has been for the past few weeks. But despite the good weather, for some reason even putting one foot in front of the other has been a struggle today. At least it was Wednesday which means that I can have a long sleep in the morning. Why? Because Wednesdays there is no school for children attending primary schools in France, and being winter my little ones also have a long cosy sleep.

The French educational system can be something of a puzzle for foreigners. Starting with the Ecole Maternelle which children can attend from 2 ½ years provided that they are potty trained to all the puzzling letters and numbers that form the primary educational system.

Thankfully, at least this part of living in France is easy. Schooling your children when you come to France is a priority for the authorities. I remember finding the local school one day and going to ask for information only to be surprised by the fact that my girl could start attending school the next again day, even though she did not speak French yet. This happened in April, only 2 months before the end of the school year. The school’s director was delighted to have a new student and the teacher was very friendly and welcoming.

That was 4 years ago and my little ones still attending the same school. We have a free bus service that comes to pick them up almost to the door and brings them back in the afternoon. Most of the time they eat in the school’s canteen, at 2€ for a 3 course meal per child, it is really a bargain. The school and school materials are also free. The only things we need to buy at the start of the year are the school bags and knick and knacks. The children also need a private insurance which is called assurance scolaire. We pay around 30€ a year for this and it covers a child for any accidents at school and/or during extra curricular activities and for any damage that they might cause to a third party.

Schooling in France has been so far a pleasant experience for us.

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