Thursday, 10 October 2013

Return to home schooling.

So....having thought I was giving my kids a wonderful opportunity by enrolling them at the French school in Florence instead I buggered up their education.

Firstly, we were lied to from start to finish about the education my son would receive. We were promised that in September 2012 the school would have set up an IB course in English. All he had to do was drop down a year in 2011 and learn French that year. September came...No course. He had 5 or 6 hours a week, if that of lessons...I was constantly asking what was happening. By November I was up to confronting the headmaster at the inauguration of the new premises...which I did! More promises were made and the next week my son finally started his English lessons!!!! Two weeks later school finished for Christmas. On his return in January he was called to the director of studies office where he was told his course had been officially cancelled by Paris due to lack of funds.. After many fruitless meetings my son left the school. He is now two years behind his British peers and just starting his A levels online... This is cutting the whole debacle very short...

We decided not to sue because this is a French school in Italy and because our daughter was happy there and we wanted her to naive of us!!! There were many arguments with the school over what we felt we should pay for our son's aborted education. To make the point we stopped paying for our daughter. They threatened to bar her from school so we made an arrangement with them that would ensure she could stay, or so we thought. I was stopped from re-enrolling her for this September unless I paid what we owed, in full, by the end of August. This wasn't what we'd agreed so this was not going to happen. Again they had lied and the lies didn't stop there. Three days later I was told the class list had been closed by a even if we had paid in full by August there would have been no place for her anyway! It was their attempt at blackmail! In my daughter's year over 50% had left and gone elsewhere so they had reduced the year to one class from two. She was never going to be allowed to return in the September. We were not the only English speaking family to leave either. The promise of a new international school was all a lie. The only good things to come out of it were a few new, good friends for me and Antonia and that she can speak 3 languages..

So, as of now we are embarking on homeschool...It's been tough as we are starting from scratch in some areas but I'm hoping it will all work out! It will be an experience, that I do know!!!

Thursday, 26 April 2012

All things French...

Since writing the last post on here Antonia has changed schools! She is now at a French school where she will study for the IB. Her brother, Alex, has also started at the school and will do his last 3 years there. It's much tougher for him than her. He already had iGCSE French when he started but learning how to order a drink is very different to studying Moliere in the the time of writing this they have already completed most of the year there. Antonia is pretty much fluent in French which is a good thing as 2/3rds of the lessons are completely in French! They also have English and Italian, plus Spanish as they get older, so currently Alex is studying 4 languages!! Not sure this would even be possible in an English speaking school...

The change has been great for Antonia! Now she can speak in both English and Italian with her school friends so a lot of pressure has been taken off her everyday communications. She is fluent in Italian but the need to constantly talk in it all day was too much for her. On top of that going to a Catholic school was too much in terms of the things they were told and expected to swallow without question. We aren't Catholic so I had to sift through a lot of stuff for her. Also they were very strict but to the point that she didn't want to go into school anymore. In Prima she took 45 days off she wants to go into school.

Alex is here also because we didn't feel boarding school was a good fit for him anymore. He sat his exams at 16 then we brought him over here. He did well but not well enough for that school anyway so it was just as well we had made other arrangements. He is finding it tough but seems to have made some friends and is getting to grips with the languages! He's been pretty sick too though for various reasons (nothing serious but it all adds up) so he is missing out a lot. I'm hoping this will now be behind us for the rest of the summer term.

Anyway all good stuff I think and I will try to keep up with regular posts on here! :)

Saturday, 6 March 2010


I honestly couldn't think of a title as I want to write about everything we've been doing that involves Antonia!!

Christmas she went into ski school in Chamonix for the first time. Up until now she has had one-to-one lessons which have given her confidence. This time she went into a group. French ski school is tougher than Italian it turns out so she struggled at little at the level she was put into. According to the French she could only pass their first badge, not the second, which was where she should've been in Italy. So we learnt from that, disappointed as we were....We also learnt that 5 mornings is not enough and she needs to do the full day. Hopefully we are going again at the end of the season and she'll do better.

We also stopped ballet for this term. She might go back after Easter, but she is really bored in gioco danza or literally play dance (pretend, if you prefer!). This is her second year and it is really simple and very repetitive. So for now, she is doing Karate!! Here in Italy this is not that unusual but unusual enough that people take a breath when I tell them! There are alot of teenage girls doing it in the class above but not so many in Antonia's age group. She is doing it with a friend so they aren't the only girls at least. Not that Antonia cares about that anyway. She likes boys just as much as girls! If this were a more ancient era she would already be betrothed to several boys in her class at school!! I find it very amusing as her brother was nothing like this at all....

I think she is looking forward to elementare. She certainly seems to be and is getting bored with nursery now. In the UK she would have been in "school" a year already, so for there she is way behind. Her English reading and writing is coming along well though, probably because of the lack of learning at Materna! Already she can very slowly read some simple reading books, it is tough but I know she is thrilled at being able to do this!

Anyway, back with more soon...:)

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Just to let you know.....

I've already blogged about this on my main blog, but basically this is going to become a much more gentral blog about Antonia. I can't only do it about school or related activities. School at the moment most particularly is "played, drew, ate, played, watched a video", so until she starts elementare next September I'm just going to chat about her life in general and what makes Antonia, Antonia!

Watch this space! :D