As our daughter approaches the age of first grade, I have embarked once again on that most noble (and time consuming) of quests, the search for the perfect school. Simple put, her ideal school should have:
- Great Teachers
- A bilingual Chinese/English curriculum
- Close proximity to home
- A reasonable price
- And a rainbow bridge that she can ride a unicorn on everyday to school
That’s what we want; now I just have to go out there and find it. Or, most likely, find out what things on the list we are willing to sacrifice (please don’t let it be the budget, please don’t let it be the budget).
Growing up in a small town in Oregon, the quest for my own school, which fell to my mother to sort out, was an easy one to complete. After all, I went to the neighborhood elementary school and that was that. If there was a private school option in my hometown, I never heard about it.
For Beijingers, the school options feel almost endless. Just check out the Beijing Kids School Choice Guide and you will begin to see what I mean (shameless plug). The field of international schools alone seems to grow each month as new schools keep opening. Unfortunately, most, if not all, international schools are out of our budget, so we are also looking into area local schools (our daughter already attends a local kindergarten), and home school options from K12 and Calvert. Each option, home schooling, international schools, and local schools, has advantages and disadvantages. In the coming weeks, I plan to discuss our experience with each option separately as I explore the possibilities of elementary schools in Beijing. As one Hollywood actor said in an out of context quote, “I’ll be back,” so keep an eye on this space.
Photo from World Bank Photo Collection on flickr