One question commonly asked is: What are the schooling options available to the children who have parents working at Sias? At first glance, there may seem like limited options as many parents primarily home school and/or send their child to the Chinese primary school. However, there are many opportunities for your child to have a fruitful educational experience while living abroad.
Finding Your Homeschooling Styles Preference
Perhaps you’ve been dreaming of homeschooling your child, or maybe it’s never been a thought that’s crossed your mind. To begin, it may be helpful to find your personal educational preference. There are many different homeschooling styles from traditional to Charlotte Mason to unschooling. It’s important to know which instructional style comes naturally for you, and if you will be homeschooling with a spouse or partner, it’s important to see which style fits their personality as well. This way you can work together for what is best for your family and your child. If you aren’t sure of your homeschooling style preference, you can find a multitude of quizzes online, or click here.
Find Curriculum or Enroll in an Online Academy
When trying to choose a curriculum, it may feel like you’re drowning in a sea of information. This is one reason why it is so important to take the Homeschool Styles Quiz before beginning to search curriculum. Each curriculum out there is linked to one of the homeschooling styles (traditional, classical, eclectic, etc.). When you are looking for a good fit for your family, you want to find a curriculum that is clearly written for your instructional style. For example, if you prefer a classical approach, you may want to avoid curriculum that is clearly eclectic or unschooling styles. In addition, many homeschool parents piece-meal different curriculums together in order to find the best fit for their child. Just know that this is okay. Your homeschool journey should be family-specific; it’s not supposed to be a one-size-fits-all approach.
However, perhaps you’re having a difficult time getting started. You don’t know where to begin or what is available. Below you can find a list of popular curriculum used by many of our overseas homeschooling families with great success.
Spectrum Workbooks—Many parents use Spectrum curriculum for Reading and Phonics; however, Spectrum has workbooks available for other subjects as well and for many grade levels.
Singapore Math—Singapore Math includes textbooks, workbooks, and instructor guidebooks complete with lesson plans and fun “math games” to help kids learn. It all follows Common Core curriculum as well.
All in One Homeschool—All in One Homeschool is an online, all-inclusive homeschool program with online and print resources available, and the best part is—its’ FREE!
Time4Learning.com—Time for Learning has lesson plans by subject or grade level available for a low monthly rate.
Khan Academy—Khan Academy is a great free resource to help supplement what you’re already doing with your homeschooler in Math, Science, and even fun courses like Pixar’s Movie Maker Studio—plus, many more!
Five in a Row—Five in a Row curriculum uses the Charlotte Mason method of story-telling to teach children across all subjects. It works best with supplemental instruction in mathematics and science since it is stronger in English and Social Studies. But…they ship to China!
Laurel Springs—Laurel Springs is an accredited online academy for grades K-12. They provide all curriculum, manipulatives, and online system for submitting grades. Each child is assigned a teacher, so parents can expect parent-teacher conferences in addition to online virtual field trips, clubs, and much more.
Sterling Academy—Sterling Academy is an accredited online academy for middle school and high school. It comes HIGHLY recommended for high schoolers.
If your child is between the ages of 3 and 5, you can enroll them in the Sias Kindergarten. Students enrolled in the Sias Kindergarten will be assigned two Chinese teachers, and there will be at least two teachers present in the classroom at all times. Class sizes range from 25 to 32 students, and foreign students are mixed in with Chinese nationals.
Kindergarten classes begin at 9:00 a.m. The children change classes every hour on the hour with a bathroom and water break at the 30 minute mark. So, for example, if class 1 begins at 9:00 a.m., the children would have a short water break at 9:30 a.m. and then begin class 2 at 10:00 a.m. Lunch begins at 11:00 a.m. and lasts for about 30 minutes, followed soon after by nap time. (Most foreign children leave around 11:00 a.m. to return to Peter Hall and eat lunch with their families.)
Sample class schedule below:
Class 1 begins (bathroom break at 9:30 a.m.)
Class 2 begins (bathroom break at 10:30 a.m.)
Nap Time Ends/ Snack Time Begins
Class 3 begins (bathroom break at 3:30 p.m.)
Eating snack/ light dinner
If parents choose to have their child participate in the full Sias Kindergarten schedule, parents are required to pay for the child’s bedding at nap time, art and craft supplies, lunch and snacks, and for winter and summer uniforms for their child to wear to school.
International Foreign Faculty Children’s School
Children over the age of 5 can attend the International Foreign Faculty Children’s School. At the school, they can take classes such as Chinese, Art, P.E., and English Reading. Classes are typically 45 minutes to 90 minutes depending on the subject and take up about 6-8 hours a week. All classes are taught by Chinese faculty and in a mix of English and Chinese language, and all foreign children will attend these classes together. Unlike the Sias Kindergarten, foreign children are not put into classrooms with Chinese national students. The school is within walking distance from the foreign residencies, and classes are free for the children of foreign faculty.
Build Your Educational Team
There are many opportunities for your child’s educational growth just by living in a community of foreign educators. Many instructors host group class or individual tutoring sessions for children living in a community for a small, hourly fee. These classes change each semester, but in the past, children have enjoyed classes in Science, Reading, and Art.
In addition, many Chinese students also offer tutoring services in Chinese and host classes, such as Kung Fu, for the children of foreign faculty. Most tutoring sessions are set up on an individual basis by contacting the student directly.
Article written by Kayla Dean
Read more about teaching, community, adventures, and food in our FAQ.
Aaron grew up in the Bay Area, California. His father worked as a pilot for commercial airlines and from a young age, Aaron began traveling globally. While attending Cal Poly (SLO) he volunteered as a youth mentor and currently spends free time serving through CEO Global USA programs. He met Rachael in 2007 shortly after both of them completed their MA degrees and within a year they were married and moved to China. They now have four children who consider Peter Hall faculty housing their “home” even though they are on the road 6+ months of the year outside of China.