My boys are going through the French education system in the local schools. My eldest is 9, in CM1 and he seems to be doing okay apart from the fact that he could try harder, but isn't that typical of boys?
However, I am wondering about how to save him from being a typical French student used to being spoon-fed at school and lacking the ability to think for himself. The internet is a wonderful resource for parents because it provides learning without trying too hard. My son considers it a tool for pleasure which means that he is happier to search for information using Google, than open a reference book. I'm trying to encourage him to apply what he learns outside school, too, but it's proving to be an uphill task.
As much of what is on the net is in English, I'm hoping he will also just fall into reading English as a natural progression of speaking. He does like to practice with me which is positive, and I must really set aside some time each week to do this. My aim is for him to read Harry Potter in English. I also believe that the more he reads, the better his grammar will be, so I will be on the lookout for exciting books for boys.
My youngest, nearly 5, is learning to write in school at the moment and tells me he wants to keep a blog. I told him he needs to learn to read first, but that he could definitely do that later on.
What worries me is that the French education system is in a crisis; teachers are depressed and kill the desire to learn in kids who are sometimes only mildly motivated to begin with to the extent that some never want to read a book again. I am lucky in that I live in a comfortable, prosperous area and I am counting, to some extent, on the fact that teachers have an easier time teaching in our local schools than elsewhere, so are hopefully not too jaded or embittered.
Basically, I'm trying to keep an eye out for problems, but if the boys can explore their interests at home, I believe they will survive their education. I think that is what most of us aspire to by the end of our school career.