Monday, January 27, 2014

Finnish School

We cannot help staring at her. She is about 14 years old, and has a long, blond hair. She is wearing skinny jeans and woollen, knitted socks and she carries a school bag as she walks alone by us in the Arabia Elementary and Middle school corridor that very morning we are there to meet the principal.

For all three of us, Luis, 11, Maia 9 and myself, 42, she epitomizes the super carefree coolness of the oh-so-famous Finnish School. We feel she must be very special to have been assigned so much personal freedom and responsibility!

We all wanna stay in this place for the rest of the day! Especially me, and especially as the odors of daily, free, healthy, warm school lunch being prepared in the school cantine are starting to get more noticeable. Thank heavens two of us get to stay: Luis becomes a fifth grader and Maia makes it to the third grade (after some testing she manages to carry out excellently!)

Reactions after the first day
"Mom, you know, after each class we get 10 minutes to do whatever we like!"  (Luis on recess...)
"Mom, can I have this little bag to carry my phone and a little change for healthy snacks in the afternoon, can I, please?" (Maia on necessary accessories.)

Test results are encouraging 
I mentioned, that Maia was tested as she would normally have gone to 2nd grade in the Finnish system, and because her Finnish was not so good anymore. She, however, did all the math and reading at "grade level" as the mantra goes. The person testing her also pointed out that she had remarkable maturity as to assessing her own situation :)  

Also Luis got 9 and 9- in math and 10 in history exams, on the scale from 4 (fail) to 10 (excellent) in the first couple of weeks. His math skills were those acquired at Bancroft, a DC public school. It seems American school is not so crappy after all... Which is actually what I have been saying all along the way!!!

Luis made only 3½ mistakes in his first math test.



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