Monday, November 22, 2010

I couldn't leave 'well enough' alone

So much for just leaving a light-hearted post for 24 hours.

I've hardly gotten up from the computer and I'm already posting another one.

We've been satisfied enough with the education the girls have received here in Switzerland. And probably really pleased since the start of last school year for various reasons. We have always been exceptionally pleased with the 'extra's' such as the ski and mountain trips (who wouldn't be), the music program, after school activities, etc...

I won't hide the fact that it is a private school - it's an International School. Most of the companies (our's does) pay the tuition for Expat employees, but not all. Switzerland has a unique enough school system (nice way of saying "it is sooooo waaaayyyyy completely different"
) that it is hard for Expat children to be placed in the local schools as most families are on temporary contracts.

The school operates on the International Baccalaureate(IB) Primary Years Program (PYP), the IB Middle Years Program and for High School - IB and AP (US based Advanced Placement) aside from regular curriculum. The PYP (elementary school) most probably resembles a Charter-Montessori style.

So as we look at 'returning home', we worry a bit about how the girls will fit in to the academic structure. Of course, this will depend on where we 'land' but, still, it will be different for them. And we've heard that from other Expat's as well as the teachers here. Much of the focus in education here (ZIS) is to get the kids thinking out of the box - to 'go deeper' as the Social Studies teacher would say. They really focus on the content and process of the work presented by the student rather than form (spelling, sentence structure, grammar). They do a lot of research on topics and put all their thoughts together in various ways - via essay, art, comic strips, poster boards, etc... They are encouraged to present their 'findings' in unique ways.

I bought English Vocabulary/Grammar workbooks this last summer to help the girls ease into 'American style' English classwork. I also feel it's important to have a good command of written English/language. Oh, please don't tell me about my own writing mistakes- I know, I know.

Then I happened across this post this morning planet nomad and thought better of our situation.

Our girls will do just fine. Some days may be harder than others but in the grand scheme of life, not so hard. "Gold refined by fire" days. We have so much to be Thankful for!

So - When I am tempted to worry, I will remember all the blessings and advantages already received by experiences here. Experiences that will last a lifetime.


Susan said...


They will do very well, wherever you land. Of this I am very confident.

And I LOVE Planet Nomad.

Also -- no, my guy won't wear Red pants. Although we came close to getting some burnt orange man-pri's one time :-)

Jennifer said...

Come live in Minnetonka with us. The HS has an IB program...and we have a dock and hope to own a kayak soon. There are several houses for sale in our new neighborhood....