Ian’s First Day of School

September 09, 2016 By: erik Category: News, Parenting, Photos

Ian's First Day of School (cropped)Yesterday, September 8, 2016, was Ian’s first day of school. As is natural, he has been very excited to attend the same school as his hero and older sister, Nora. He knows that name of the school and has been telling everyone all summer that he will be starting. I think he kind of thought that he would be sitting next to Nora in her second grade class, but I think he understands now that he’s entering at a different level.
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Textbooks – Spanish Schools Are Not Free

August 19, 2015 By: erik Category: Complaining, Parenting, Spain, USA

First grade Spanish text books.This September, my six-year-old daughter will embark upon her academic journey as a student; she’s starting first grade. When I was an elementary school student in the United States, I remember going to school on the first day, and finding each desk with a stack of books on it. Almost always, each book was old and worn, and part of the fun of the first day of school was to open the front cover to sign your name on the list of previous students who had been assigned that book. Sometimes you even knew the previous one-year-older kid who had had that book before you.
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Nora’s English Report Card – Year 1

June 21, 2013 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Photos

English Report CardToday was Nora’s last day of school for the year; her first scholastic year is in the books. This school year has flown by. Nora has received three report cards (different columns in the same booklet) throughout the year, and it has been interesting to chart her progress. I’m convinced that the teachers intentionally give low marks early on so that they can show improvement throughout the year, but that’s understandable. In each “subject”, the children receive a grade of either one, two or three X’s, with XXX being the best grade. From the very first time we saw the report card, we were curious as to why she only received XX in English, since she’s very clearly bilingual.
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Preschool in Spain

May 30, 2013 By: erik Category: Offspring, Photos, Spain

In Front of her SchoolIt’s really hard to believe, but my daughter is already finishing her first school year. Like in the States, school isn’t mandatory until age six, but study after study shows nothing but advantages of a good preschool education. For a post she’s preparing, my blogrollmate, the very popular Kaley, from Y Mucho Más, asked me for an interview about my experiences in the Spanish education system. Her questions were excellent, and it felt sort of like an exit interview after this first year.
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Meeting Nora’s Teacher

September 06, 2012 By: erik Category: Education, Offspring, Parenting, Spain

AppleToday we had a meeting where the parents of all the 25 kids in Nora’s school class had to go and meet the teacher, get information about the school schedule, and see the classroom and facilities. Nora has been getting up at 10:30 or 11:00 this week, but this morning I had to wake her up at 8:45 to make sure we were on time for the 10:00 meeting. She was not pleased. But when I told her, “We have to go meet your teacher!”, a huge smile broke out across her sleepy face and she sat right up, ready to start the day.
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Children – Full of Life

May 31, 2011 By: erik Category: Reviews, Stuff I Found, Videos

Children - Full of LifeA couple days ago, Sam Harris tweeted about a Japanese documentary called Children – Full of Life. Harris pondered, “Was this our Sputnik moment for empathy education?” He was referring, of course, to Obama’s most recent State of the Union address championing federal investment in R&D. Indeed the teaching of moral and ethical values by the fourth grade teacher, Toshiro Kanamori, in the film is extraordinary. My first reaction to the film was “Whoa! Where do I sign my kid up for this guy?” and my second reaction was to resolve to do my very best to instill such values in my children, perhaps even copying some of the techniques Kanamori uses in the film. What a beautiful little movie. What a wonderful man.
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