Going to school in ChinaPosted: April 4, 2011
Ever wonder what it’s like to go to school in China? Chinese parents start their one child they can have in school when they turn 2 years old. It’s called Chinese kindergarten. These kids have to get up just as early as the older kids which means Ethan gets up the same time each day as my girls. They all three catch the school bus at 7 am.
If I’m volunteering that day I just get on the bus with the kids and come home on the bus too. Ethan is not in a Chinese kindergarten but in an English speaking pre-school class that only has one other student that speaks English. The kids in his class are from India, Sweden, Finland, Texas, and the chinese boy in the photo is actually a Canadian that doesn’t speak English. Each class has a western teacher and a chinese teacher and the kindergarten classes are all on the main level near the playground. Ethan has quite an extensive vocabulary his teacher says and she wondered if it was okay with me that he uses the phrase in school, “What the heck?” (taken from the movie Cars) I told her to just wait until he belts out, “Watch this right here lover boy!” (also from Cars movie) I’m sure the other kids are learning a few English words from Ethan. I’m pretty sure he taught them how to stick out their tongue when they want to be sassy.
Olivia’s class is on the second floor and she has a separate playground area. Her teacher is awesome and makes learning fun for the kids. One day the teacher got out a mini trampoline and just started jumping on it in class. The kids thought that was just so funny. There are a lot of Americans in her class this year. The class just finished making a Dodecahedron about their home country and believe it or not it takes both Greg and I to help her with her algebra and Chinese homework.
McKaela’s classes are mostly on the third floor and she has already made some really fun friends. She has a friend named Olivia here which can get confusing when the Olivia’s are both together. McKaela is learning how to play the guitar at school and she is even painting a portrait of our family. I can’t wait to see that.
Today is a good day to volunteer because it’s International Day at QSI. I am always impressed with the staff at the school but today I am impressed by the amount of parent volunteers that put on this event for the kids. We gave the kids each a passport to take to the different classrooms which represent a country. The kids go from room to room doing a craft, or game, and a trivia question they have to answer to get their passport stamped before they go to a different country. The parents also provided lunch for the entire school preparing food from their country. My kids liked the Swedish food the best because they had a lot of sweets and I gotta say I thought I would get the runs from eating all the different kinds of food in one lunch but it was really good food.
For America this year they played games like twister and I helped the kids make a statue of liberty hat. Did you know there are seven spokes on her head to represent the seven continents? I’m even learning stuff about my own country living in China and when each country sang their national anthem I did okay but I can only sing the first or maybe second verse of the America the Beautiful song. For lunch the American booth had Mac n’ Cheese and hot dogs probably because that is the only food they can find from American and a box of Mac n’ Cheese costs $5 here because it’s imported from the states. If I’m lucky I can find Land O Lakes cheese but check this out….It’s not Cheddar or Mozzarella it’s “Chedarella” and I’ll pay $4.50 for this 8oz. block here. Another things I found here is Arm & Hammer Baking Soda only it’s not Arm & Hammer it’s….
Arm & Hatchet? Don’t even get me started on the funny food labels I see here and yes I think I’ll bring you all back home some of this for when you need a good laugh.
This is the entire school. All three of my kids are in there somewhere. It’s like a “where is waldo” picture finding them but they are there.