"Honey! They want me to run the Berlin office. It's a great promotion. They want us there in two months." After congratulating your wife on her thrilling new assignment, reality sets in as you wonder what you will do about your children's education. Will they be able to attend a school with classes taught in English? Will the curriculum follow American standards or foreign ones?
Relax. Your wife's overseas assignment has many perks, one of which is that her employer will pay for your children's educational expenses at a private school while you are abroad. Your children will be taught in English to international standards. Of course, if you prefer to have them attend schools where they will be taught in a foreign language, that will be an option. Most expats keep things simple and have their children attend international schools with classes mostly in English. Let's explore what's involved in educating your children overseas.
You can find international schools in just about every major city outside the United States. International schools are schools which offer instruction in English, as well as the usual kind of college preparatory curriculum you would expect to find in an American high school, public or private. International schools offer Advanced Placement courses and International Baccalaureate programs. This video offers us a glimpse of what the Berlin Brandenburg International School offers.
In many major cities which have a lot of Americans, you will even find so-called American schools.
Progressive schools are different from traditional schools. Their educational philosophies and teaching methods are different. Because there are so few progressive schools, relatively speaking - only about 75 schools call themselves progressive - most people are surprised when they discover that these schools even exist.
First, here is some of the background on the progressive movement here in the United States. The easiest way to understand how progressivism got started in this country is to realize that educators were also philosophers. For example, the Vermont native John Dewey (1859-1952) who founded the University of Chicago's Laboratory School which many consider the flagship of progressive education, was a distinguished philosopher as well as an educator. In a nutshell, Dewey knew that education was the way to make sweeping changes in society. After he had left the University of Chicago, Dewey founded The New School in New York. The foundation of Dewey's approach to education rests on three lectures he gave back in the 1890s to raise money for his Laboratory School. The School and Social Progress, the School and the Life of the Child, and Waste in Education put forth Dewey's fundamental beliefs that education needs to be an interactive process in which the child discovers the relevance of his lessons to the real world outside.
Dewey did not like the segmentation of education as it progressed from the kindergarten years to high school. He espoused a unified approach which would ultimately produce capable
|Private Schools||Public Schools|
|Administration||The local support staff manage the day to day operations of each private school. Most private schools are stand-alone entities responsible for their own fund-raising and all other aspects of running their businesses.||Local school and district layers of administrative staff support the day to day operations of all schools within a specific school district.|
|Admissions||Selective. Students must meet whatever admissions standards are set. These standards focus on the candidate's ability to do the academic work as well as other factors.||Students must meet residency and age requirements. Students are admitted without regard to academic ability.|
|Arts||All kinds of arts programs are essential components of a private school education. You will find orchestras, bands and choirs as part of the performing arts offerings. Fine arts and theater are also part of most programs.||Arts programs are generally considered extras in a public school budget. They are usually one of the first areas of expense to be cut when savings must be found in budgets.|
|Census||Approximately 4.9 million students were projected to attend private K-12|
It's a big step sending your darling off to private school. She will probably survive the transition just fine. But how about you? Will you be able to restrain yourself and avoid being an over-protective parent? Are you going to hover nearby like a helicopter? Let's look at how to make that huge adjustment to not having our little darling at home where we knew where she was and what she was up to. Here is how to cope with private school at four distinct grade levels. Here is your private school survival guide.
When you send your baby off to preschool or nursery school, you will go through all kinds of angst. Being concerned is particularly true when your first or only child leaves the nest. However, you can offset much of your anxiety by selecting your preschool or nursery school carefully. The best schools will always be hard to get into. Places at popular schools will be limited. But once the school has accepted her, then determine how you can be helpful without getting in the way. Most schools will welcome your assistance with everything from class activities to fundraising. Don't wait to be asked. Don't be shy about telling the school that you have experience working in development or marketing or whatever field you offer. Stay involved as a team player rather than as the leader which you are probably accustomed to being. The school will appreciate that display of modesty.