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I am looking for some insight and please forgive my ignorance as I am not well versed in schooling in Taiwan. I am very curious about why people would put their children in one of these schools as opposed to the others. Does it have to do with the instruction of English not to the standard that the American or European schools are? Do the local schools teach better Chinese and math? If you have a child (as nationals of a different country) in Taiwan what was your philosophy when thinking about these choices? I am very curious to hear different feedback. Do you place goals for your childs compulsory education differently here as opposed to if you were in your home country? I hope I am not misposting as I am still a noob and this is my first Topic Posting. I did searches on this subject but found no clear answers.
We put our children into the European school as we will be returning home to England at some point and wanted them to be able to slot back into the system. Money wasn't an issue as my husbands company were paying. We found the staff extremely friendly when we went for a visit. We felt we were subjecting our children to enough stress and change without introducing them to a completely different method of schooling. We also wanted them to make friends easily and believed they would find it easier in an English speaking school.
I think it really depends on the grade and how long you think you'll be in Taiwan.
Our son has been in local schools all his academic life, 6th grade now, and he's fine. His Chinese, speaking, reading and writing is better than his English says my wife, and I'm finding that hard to believe, as his English is pretty good (I mean, he just read Lord of the Flies).
We're probably relocating back to the States next year and when I introduced my kid to the principal of the school we're looking at there and told him of the boy's background, he immediately suggested our son take an advanced math placement test. So, there's the whole "math" thing and I don't think there's a substitute for learning to read and especially write Chinese in a real Chinese school.
Why did you believe that, if I may ask. What grade were your kids when they entered school here?
Eat the world.
I'm not surprised when they charge 50k a month .
We chose a bilingual Christian school in Shipai (K-9) as I thought it was the best fit for our family. Three of my four children are half Chinese and we're in Taiwan, so it makes sense for them to be literate in Chinese. I like how they have English language arts and Chinese, do American science and math for a few years, and then Chinese math in grade 4, and Chinese science in grade 5. Sometimes they have Phys Ed in English, as they get closer to junior high. In grades 7-9, they can choose Chinese track if they're going on to local high schools, or the other track (I can't remember what it's called) for those kids transferring to an international school or abroad.
This year my 9th grader is at an international school for the first time (lots of drama surrounding that decision) and he's very happy there. A big change in the environment, and getting through the homework in English has been challenging (I'm relearning Geometry ) but I know that if we want him to study in the US, HS at an international school will help to make the transition easier.
I can understand that, and if we didn't own a buxiban that taught math, science, history and lots of reading and our son hadn't attended it alongside of his Chinese school, I would probably have done something similar (or moved back earlier). I always check on my friends' kids homework when I visit NY. It's a joke, comparatively to what my son has, so I hope the lessening of the workload will give him time to catch up where he needs help.
Eat the world.
We chose public school for our kids. My husband is Taiwanese, and we may well not be here forever, so we wanted the kids to have a good grounding in Chinese. We haven't really discussed what would happen if we are still here for the kids' high school years, but we don't really plan anything too far ahead, anyway.
Other than the Chinese issue, I think the main reasons for us are:
1. Financial - it just doesn't make sense for us to put all that money into private elementary education when the kids are happy enough in their current situation.
2. Convenience - we are kind of lazy parents, and I couldn't see us doing a lot of traveling to take the kids to schools far away from where we are when there is a school down the road. I can be at home to pick them up at noon each day, so we don't have the concern about public school days being shorter than private school.
We do supplement the public school work and activities with English education at home, and with extra classes in things the kids are interested in.
Well, at home I expect my kids to have education in drama, art, music, and sport. Here, I'm delighted when my kids have these classes. I just don't expect it to be part of the curriculum, and when the school offers these things, I am surprised. I work harder to find out what my kids like and provide an outlet for their interests than I would have done at home. And, when we were home this summer and the kids went to school for two months, I was not so happy that they had a lot of homework, even though it's a daily thing here. So, it's not so much goals as expectations from a cultural bias.
Visit my blog www.kidzone-tw.com, to find out about family-friendly events and spaces around Taiwan.
I have to say that is one of my all time favorite books by the way. The way math is taught makes more sense in Chinese than it does in english. Does he think this way? Does he answer in math verbally in Chinese? This is very interesting as it has taken me a time to get used to going from a 3 digit thousand base to a 4 digit ten thousand base. Now I can translate between them effortlessly. I still do math in my head in english, and I feel its slower. Chinese numbers just make more sense. There are no 11 12 13, its ten one, tentwo, ten three etc which makes it easier to add and subtract for sure.
I asked my staff when did they start math and they started multiplication and division in grade 2, in the states I remember multiplication tables memorizing in grade 4. My mother taught them to me when I was 4 y/o in montessori (she was teaching me everything very very early) I specifically remember this because I came home and told her when we started learning this. I lived in Louisiana at the time and went to a prestigious Catholic Elementary School called Our Lady Queen of Heaven. I am sure its different all over the states but I think children will learn 1.more and 2.earlier here. Is there truth to that?
My third grader was asked to memorize her multiplication tables over the summer (up to 9) but my girls' situation is different because they spend the first three years doing American math at their school and then switch to Chinese math in grade 4. Their Chinese tutor told me that some kids memorize their times tables here in Kindergarten and she thinks that because they just memorize it helps them to do some problems more easily. I don't know how true that is.
I've read that the math IS easier in Chinese because saying the numbers can be done much faster. Count to ten in English fast then in Chinese. Chinese numbers can be said faster. And that translates into something really interesting. My wife can spot a phone number from a quickly moving car, say a house for sale sign, and then without writing it down, pick up her phone and dial the number from memory.
And I've seen lots of Taiwanese do that.
I think so, but a lot of it is wrote memorization, so it doesn't exactly make them smarter.
Eat the world.
My children at TES are 6 and 3. I'm sure my 3 year old would have made friends anywhere and not been too bothered. My daughter is softer and shyer. I felt she needed friends she could communicate fully with.
Last edited by Just Jennifer on Wed Oct 19, 2011 23:02, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: added quotes
It's a plus as far as I'm concerned to have kids born here and enter the local schools. It's definitely harder for kids who are plugged into the system, although I think a 3 year old would do fine in a local school system.
Last edited by Just Jennifer on Mon Oct 17, 2011 23:16, edited 1 time in total.
Eat the world.
Me too. Well, us too, I should say.
That said, if you have the hard cash, then TAS/TES do have a very good track record for getting kids into what are generally considered to be "good colleges." They charge WAY too much for it though, IMO. Plus, unlike most parents planning in advance for their kids' college educations, I'm not in my 30s anymore and I'm FAR less susceptible to the "stats" and the snake oil purveyed by the people seeking to empty my wallet, most of whom have FAR less life experience and FAR less academic credentials than I do.
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