|The First of 3 Coffees|
France v United States
France and the United States are ranked pretty closely together when it comes to world-wide ranking of their educational systems. They are not in the top 10, but they are not terrible either. So, we have similar options here as compared to the US. The primary difference is that the teachers here are held in high regard. They are well-respected, much like we might regard a successful attorney in the United States.
Originally when we were talking about moving to France, Dan suggested that one option we might consider is Correspondence School. I applauded his effort to suggest Home Schooling without actually calling it that. Given my history of generally not understanding or tolerating children, and my tendency to get a little depressed if I stay home all day every day, I turned down this opportunity.
French Public School
We could simply send the kids to Public School. Sure, they wouldn't know the language, but hey, they have brains like sponges and must be able to pick it up.
French Private Jesuit School
We could send the kids to a private school that also includes religious instruction. Also all in French. Oh, and they only have space for Alex. Not that Will would mind doing "correspondence school" while Alex went to real school...
International School of Toulouse
This is a British school that is located on the other side of Toulouse. All instruction is in English except for French Class, and oddly, Physical Education.
French Bilingual Montessori School
As it turns out, there is a Montessori school here that goes through age 12. It is quite similar to the kids' current school. The 6-12 age group is 30 students. They are studying a similar curriculum. All of the Montessori work is the same, although it is used through age 12, not just through age 8 like at our school. One slight difference is that the elementary class is all in one room. This is similar to how the preschool at our current school works. The age range in preschool is 3-6. All of them work together and the older kids help the younger kids.
This school is slightly out in the countryside, but it is very close to Dan's work. Yesterday we visited the school and met the French Directoress. She was quite nice. We asked a few questions and signed the kids up. They will be the only American students there, but there are also English speaking students from New Zeeland and Britain. Other student nationalities include German, Mexican, and Spanish. There is another student who doesn't speak French yet. There is another student who will be starting in January.
We believe that this environment will be the easiest to transition the kids to and it will also give them the opportunity to learn French.