yes or no - that is the question

We have been less than pleased with the quality of education in our host country. The oldest goes to boarding school and I am unsure if the middle child has learned anything other than how to sing the national anthem...not our own, but that of our host country.
The youngest would adjust quickly and do fine anywhere. She is the child always with the most stickers on the good behavior chart. She knows what to do and does it. Teachers love her.
The middle child is a different ballgame. He is easily stressed. He spent most of first grade crying that he did not want to go to school. The year has been better but recently he had his first migraine and chronic 'tension' headaches ever since. Since Xmas break he has had a new teacher, who is perky and nice, but has ramped up the homework quite a bit, though he is doing fine with it.
We did go visit a Waldorf school last year, it was lovely but maybe too weird. We also went to visit a Montessori school which was ok, but in a church basement and had a mold feeling going on - which the middle one is allergic to.
Recently we visited another private school with a good science program. The head of the school seemed sane, kind and smart. The building is pretty good for here. The kids spent the day and reportedly liked it and did fine. However, since then the headaches began and they both whine they don't want to go. I should also add that if the youngest stays at the current school she will likely be the only girl in grade 1 next year. Which she would be fine with, she can hold her own, but her sappy mother is thinking 'what about playdates and birthday parties?' I could also add that no one will come over for a playdate this year because one mom doesn't like me and the other is afraid of the guide dog puppy...whatever.
I am starting to think more and more about homeschooling them both next year. Everyone I say that to here says that is a stupid idea and I should put it out of my mind. I should add that I happen to actually be a Montessori elementary teacher with a zillion years of experience preFS. I know I could do a much better job than any school here.
But here lies the question - how do people homeschool in a country with no real support and not loose their minds? I am afraid if I never have a break from the fighty twins I will go insane and my hair will turn white the first week.
I also don't really know the ins and outs of the home school allowance. Like will they pay for a set of racks and tubes? A Montessori division material for those of you who don't speak Montessori.
Something to think about hard I guess.


  1. Sorry, just saw this.

    Let me know if I can help with anything on the homeschool front. We have done it two years here. It's been hard but it has been the best option for our kids. I am also a moderator on FShomeschool so let me know if you'd like to join or you'd like info about allowances. (If I understand it correctly, what you are describing would be fine for the allowance.) Our kids have used K12 International Academy. It is not the same as a great int'l school but it has been good overall. People on the FShomeschool group vary from very structured to almost unschooling. Best of luck as you decide what to do!

  2. Homeschooling is an awesome option. We did it one year for our oldest at our first post after a very bad experience with the 2nd grade at the international school. We followed Abeka(?) except for math which we used Saxon. There is a homeschooling allowance to use for materials. Just keep it simple if you are planning homeschooling for filling in til another post. I found having my kids (youngest was a baby)together was great. We took in lots of cultural outings, used everyday events for learning (cooking, shopping at markets, public transportation, nature walks, biking). The experience took ALL the stress out of what was a bad situation, it gave my oldest an opportunity to solidify her skills as well as to fill in and master learning concepts at her own pace. It was the best decision I made at that post. And because school could be accomplished in much less time than a regular school day, she was able to have lots of playdates with friends she had made at post, the playground, the mission, and with her brother. Win! Win!

  3. Amy, I wish that I knew someone native to Ottawa who you could have coffee with to discuss the school situation. It sounds very frustrating for you, and it's hard for me to read as well. Canada usually fares better in worldwide educational rankings (such as they are) than any other country in N. America and is not a country full of poorly educated people (though there are usually places in gov't for individuals who fit that description) and I am surprised that you're having such a hard time finding a quality school that is a good fit for your kids.

  4. Also, I am not sure what sort of homeschooling support you are looking for - social support? Curriculum support? Enrichment support? But Ontario has a big homeschooling community, and hopefully that's true of Ottawa even though you're in a gov't town. There probably are some resources via Google.