For any concerned parent choosing the right school is one of the biggest decisions of your kid’s lives. Were your school days the happiest of your lives..? Mine certainly weren’t! But it’s what we all aspire to for our own children isn’t it, that as well as being well-educated academically, they will build fantastic memories, and grow up self-assured and confident resilient happy people…
So in the UK we looked at league tables and OFSTED reports and talked to other parents, but in Spain it’s so much harder. Even finding out info about schools is difficult, when you combine both a language and geographical barriers. Part of the reason our girls went into the International school on arrival was simply that we could research it, and visit it, and have a taster day so it would be familiar when we moved, and so on. And before the internet and forums how did people even manage to talk to parents at other schools, when planning a move from another country? I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been then (even researching the whole move in the first place).
Now we have moved to Spanish school, we face the challenges of maintaining the girls’ English – I make a lot of my living writing, and the thought of them growing up unable to communicate well in their mother tongue is definitely not an option, never mind if they want to go to university in the UK ultimately. Whilst giving them the gift of bilingualism is very important to us, ensuring they can read and write good English is vital too… and it has never been more difficult for kids in the UK or Spain to get started building a career, so it’s vital we don’t short-change them on any competitive skills.
So much to think about… by making the conscious decision to uproot our kids to a new life overseas we create new responsibilities for ourselves to find things out and make further choices that will impact on their opportunities life-long. No pressure, then!
As many of you know I am writing a book about how to be successful in Spain, the stories and experiences of people who have carved out a life here, and one of the important chapters is going to be about our children’s lives in Spain. I would love to talk to some of you wonderful Costa Mums about your experiences, good and bad, of parenting here – from medical care to education, lifestyle, language… if anybody would like to comment or contribute please please see http://costaconnected.com/success-spain/ or https://www.facebook.com/SuccessinSpain, email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @casslar, or you can even comment here!!