Tuesday 14 February 2012

Steiner School for the girls

Thankfully our girls have been accepted into the Steiner school that is situated close to where we live. As the regulations on Swiss families who homeschool vary from canton to canton, and because we already had a history of homeschooling our children from the last time we lived here, we had the school commission on our backs already from the second week of being back here.

I have never been comfortable with putting my children in school and as such have homeschooled them for most of their school careers. We did put them into a South African school for a while to integrate them as fast as possible when we moved home, but then removed them after we noticed a very big lack in the educational standards as well as the enormous class sizes.

When we decided to come back to Switzerland, we knew that there would be an issue at some point and so we did our homework before coming back here and decided to go and have a look at the Steiner school. 

What impressed me when we went along to one of their open days, was the vibe you get when you enter the building. It doesn't feel "school-like" at all and has a rather homey feel to it, which is a big plus in my books.

The teachers there - those I have met - as well as other staff members have been extremely helpful and kind. Because the teachers who work there are self-employed members of staff, you find that they are genuinely passionate about their jobs and that definitely comes across! 

The girls each had an appointment with their dedicated teacher, and the teachers themselves were loving and gentle, testing the girls knowledge and attitudes towards school and learning in general.

So all things going according to plan, the girls will be starting their attendance there in the last week of February and will be on a trial period until summer to see if they fit in or not. 

I am excited for them, although it will be rather challenging for each of them as they are being put according to year of birth, which places them a year ahead of where they are now, and the school year here ends in June/July which means they are going into their second halves of those years,(second half of Gr.6 and 7) whereas in South Africa they would just be starting Grades 6 and 7 as our school years run from January to December.

Not only that but their schooling will be entirely in German (they are bilingual but don't talk as well as they understand). Well, they shouldn't be bored :-D

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