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Local school or ESF/International

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Hong Kong
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    7

    I agree that not so-called "blending in" with the majority of people in HK is not necessarily a bad or good thing. It may even give the child an advantage of being able to view things from different perspectives rather than just following everyone else blindly. Also, being already from a local family (and hence would already have local relatives and family friends here) would enable the child to acquire good knowledge of life and culture and thinking in the majority of HK anyway.


  2. #12

    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    8

    @tonton Thanks for your feedback.

    @tonton @Aber97 Well...just not sure if you've had the same kind of insights, but I've met many 3rd culture adults who in their older age will tell me that they've felt like they really blended in or connected with locals, even with their families were ethnic Chinese. Hong Kong is definitely their home and almost all love it, but Hong Kong people are not their people. Their people are other 3rd culture adults and expats.

    I know I'm probably thinking too deep into this, but I figure it's probably important enough. We did tell ourselves that if she goes to local school, we would surround her with native English speakers in other activities like Church, sports, music, and social activities. And if she goes to an ESF/International school that we would do the reverse and surround her with native Cantonese speakers instead.

    Also, call me simple, but I'm more concerned about her leading a happy and fulfilling life with lots of laugh and love, and less concerned about whether she'll become and ibanker or an attorney (neither I hope...no offense to any bankers and lawyers on the boards).


  3. #13

    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    6

    @redleader.. With such a heavy work and exam schedule in the local schools, it is impossible for the kid to have that much fun even if you surround her with international kids. Trust me... I've been there. The DNA of both types of schools is very different. The kids from local schools in our church disappear consistently during exam periods which is fairly long. And the fluency and confidence in english reduces and the gap widens even more as they progress to teenhood.


    Sent from my iPad using GeoClicks mobile app


  4. #14

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Happy Valley
    Posts
    123

    I put 3 kids thru local KG&primary schools.

    No, kids do not get damaged, thats ridiculous. Yes kids do have to work hard, they have several hours of homework per day, they get very little time (during the week) for any "fun" activities, they are stressed due to never ending cycle of tests and exams. This makes them stronger, more determined and prepare them for real life challenges.

    Now that they have acquired Cantonese and Mandarin fluency, all 3 are now out of local schools and into English medium schools to improve their English before heading to university.

    They are strong, resillient and can compete with the best of them out there. If I had to do it again, I would not change a thing. We are happy with the way we raised our kids and the way they have turned out.


  5. #15

    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    6

    I was sharing my personal experience only. Glad your kids had a great time!


    Sent from my iPad using GeoClicks mobile app

    jasmiwu likes this.

  6. #16

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Happy Valley
    Posts
    123
    Quote Originally Posted by tonton
    I was sharing my personal experience only. Glad your kids had a great time!
    Your personal experience is very valid and not very different than ours. I just happen to view it differently and dont see it as damage; just the opposite, I see that the kids experienced something very valuable. Aside from picking up 2 extra languages, the kids have seen what real hard work is about and what streess is about. I see these as good life lessons.

    No, they did not have a great time. School was hard work and in general was not a relaxed fun time for them. They worked hard and achieved great things. Some fun was certainly had, during recess and during weekends but certainly no where near the relaxed experience their friends were having in international schools. I would do it again and have no regrets about the experience.
    jasmiwu likes this.

  7. #17

    Join Date
    May 2013
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    8

    I think that different people will also respond different to the two environments. Not every child learns the same way. In fact, you could say that many well known people, like Richard Branson, would have failed local school. Even John Lenon was considered a failure.

    I'm not saying that local schools are better or worse, but that some types of students do ok in them and some don't. I have a cousin that went the reverse...I have a few friends that have put it like this: In top local schools, if you are at the top of the class, you are treated like gold - everyone should be just like you and your future is assured. But if you are at the bottom, you are treated like trash - unworthy of attending the school.

    md23 and Jomama like this.

  8. #18

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Happy Valley
    Posts
    123
    Quote Originally Posted by redleader
    I have a few friends that have put it like this: In top local schools, if you are at the top of the class, you are treated like gold - everyone should be just like you and your future is assured. But if you are at the bottom, you are treated like trash - unworthy of attending the school.
    And if you are in an interenational school you get to play, a lot. You get home early so you can play some more, you get very little homemork so you can play even more and if thats not enough, many parents pull their kids out early so they can have even more time to play during summer.

    Some parents see this as a good things, many others prefer a more structured and stricter method.
    SSSS likes this.

  9. #19

    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    8

    Most of the international students I've worked with for volunteer programs have a pretty hectic schedule after school, although mostly I've ever only known secondary students. Their schedules are usually slammed with extra curricular. Whether it's newspaper, yearbook, band, sports, theatre, community service, or whether is some off-campus thing they're involved with, or even a lot of tutoring especially if they are getting ready for SAT, etc.

    Is it more the primary students that have schedules of play, play, and more play?

    You know that sometimes learning through play is really effective? No pro here, but when I was kid...man did I play so many video games. But I've got all this random knowledge from playing games that it's scary. I know all about Three Kingdoms, Airplanes, Elevators, City Planning, resource planning, military weaponry, cars/upgrades/engines etc. from playing video games. Even all these random sports that I would never play in real life I know about.

    But anyway, I think that the key is to find the right fit for your child and to see what what you would like for them to be like when they grow older.

    We're currently at Tutor Time, but wondering if we should move to a playgroup that has a more direct progression to K1 such as Creative. Would love Anfield, but their classes are for older kids. Tutor Time starts at 6 months. Also considering Montessori. Any experiences on the schools and your experiences?


  10. #20

    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    3

    Yes, the local schools provide a lot more homework, but this is typically how Chinese culture has worked for tradition - to 'endure' and embrace the concept of hard work... It certainly clashes with a lot of Western cultures, but I don't think it has an overall negative impact on the child's happiness in the long-term when you analyse them later in life...

    shri likes this.

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