School's out. Well, not really, but the marks are all in, the books given back, and the fête du collège no more than a memory (if you attended it, which my youngest did not, saying it was going to be way too boring...). The actual end of school is July 4, but think of it as an administrative date because my youngest and all his friends have been off school for days. It serves no purpose actually going to school because the teachers are all occupied with the Brevet for kids in 3e, so kids in lower years are just babysat and do nothing useful: no revision, no catch-up, no preparation for next year - nothing except drawing and watching the odd film (again).
Doubtful that my son has acquired all there is to learn during the year (from his marks), I bought an exercise book of the whole syllabus and he is instructed to do a page of maths and SVT (sort of biology) per day. His SVT teacher was a disaster this year; the whole class have had consistently bad marks, and my son has hated the lessons. I mark it at the end of the day and go through it with him, and although it's not really the best way to chill after a hard day's graft at the coal face (no comparison with an icy glass of rosé and a packet of S&V crisps, for example), it is serving a useful purpose that even my youngest can't deny. He is revising, catching up and learning that which he had zapped during the year - especially important in maths!
My eldest has finished his Bac. I'm hoping and praying he's done better than scrape through by the skin of his teeth, although it's what he deserves considering the amount of work he's done. He's been accepted at the Law Fac in Montpellier so he just needs to pass. Skin of Teeth or Mention Très Bien, it makes no difference. How's that for a motivating force? Personally I think it's a disastrous system and I know I'm not the only one. Many in and out of l'Education National (but mostly out) believe the system needs a huge overhaul. When 90% of kids who take the Bac pass it and then mostly fail in their first year at the Fac after wasted a pointless year in a place where they have no business being, it's time to do something sensible and reform the system. Not much sensible in l'Education National though so I expect the status quo to be with us for many a year yet.
My son's plan next year is to share a flat with some mates (a coloc) and have a riotous time. He also intends to do some work. School, he said, was boring and pointless (except Philosophy) and he was fed up with it. Life will start at the Fac and he says he's going to take it seriously. I'm hoping he doesn't forget after a week or two...
In the meantime, with both boys slobbing about at home, the place resembles Beirut all the time. The kitchen is a one-way zone: walk in, make mess, walk out. There is no return journey to clean up, or indeed to remove the plates, bowls and glasses that accumulate from the one-way system. I can't even walk in and rant because the chances are, they won't be there. They'll be out and about and I'm supposed to be grateful they haven't taken root in front of the XBox or some stupid reality show like Angels. By the time they come sauntering home (not always the case with my eldest...), I've cleaned up in order to make dinner and lost the will to vent.
In other news, I was behind an old woman with a thick peasant accent in La Poste the other week who had a perfect moustache. It was salt and pepper coloured, and she kept it nicely trimmed over her top lip. There was even a tuft under her bottom lip. I wonder if she sings...
It's amazing how a good teacher can motivate a class well, Ed has been doing German this year and has a great teacher who has made the lessons so fun. He is off as they don't want non brevet students getting in the way and spends his days playing German music, a youth band the teacher introduced them too! Ed lives for his music so I've had him playing along with his guitar and singing in German all day long!ReplyDelete
Who'd have thought?! It's true a good teacher is a treasure, but unfortunately there are not many truly inspiring ones about. I think my eldest encountered two in his whole school career - one in maths in the private school he went to in 4e and 5e, and his philosophy teacher this year. I'm not sure the philo teacher was that inspiring, but my eldest liked his cynical and sarcastic approach to his students.Delete
Why can't the school cope with what must be an annual phenomenon...though it sounds as if your system does a lot more good!ReplyDelete
It's probably the unions scuppering any common sense. You know what they're like!Delete
"My eldest has finished his Bac. I'm hoping and praying he's done better than scrape through by the skin of his teeth, although it's what he deserves considering the amount of work he's done. He's been accepted at the Law Fac in Montpellier so he just needs to pass.ReplyDelete
So he got in on the strength of his school grades - that's great! is that for Law? Here they can do the SATs again and again though they do find that after two times the grade doesn't really change however much you study, which is interesting. Sadly I think there are some people who are good at exams and some who are not and nowadays kids are judged totally on that.
That moustachioed )sp??) lady could be me, if I was trapped somewhere without a good waxer. Very much there for the grace of God go I...
He has to pass his Bac, but yes, he's been accepted at the Law Fac to study law. Personally I think there are enough lawyers in the world, but he could divert to something connected if he decides he doesn't want to be an actual lawyer. :)Delete
Isn't it annoying how body hair goes mad once you reach a certain age?!
Haha - your house sounds just like mine when both kids are home. what mostly hacks me off is the leaving of dirty dishes/cups/bowls ON TOP of the dishwasher. What's so hard about putting them IN the flipping dishwasher?? Kids! *moan, rant*ReplyDelete
That's what my youngest does too. Drives me nuts. It's like they've deigned to clear away, but only up to a certain point, and expecting more is taking the piss. :)Delete
Fascinating to read about the French education system. Let's hope our boys have done enough to get to the next stage. Am with you all the way xReplyDelete
Thanks Trish. :) Rory sounds a lot more sensible and mature tbh.Delete
I'm a firm believer in revision. Without it, a child's mind becomes jello. Our household is all packed away, on its way to Europe, so I'm a little short on what I can do with my little one. Rest assured, when we reach Berlin in a week or so, we're headed to the bookstore.ReplyDelete
It's heavy going though! And necessitates much nagging. Still, getting there!Delete
This takes me back to the days when our two were doing O and A Levels and the term basically ended for them when the exams were over, whereas the other forms were still stuck with classes. Now it's the eldest grandson's turn with 3 GCSEs sat this year and the rest to follow next and DD and her husband trying very hard to make up for the deficiencies of some of the teachers.ReplyDelete
Good luck to your eldest and I do hope he's one of the ones that bucks the trend and makes it all the way through. With the rise in the numbers going to uni here, the drop-out rate is going up all the time and it means young people are leaving courses whey were never really suited for, with debts hanging over their heads to be paid off. :-(
Oh, good luck to your grandson. I hope he did well in his exams. :)Delete
There is a lot of criticism of the system here where huge numbers can go to university just because they got the Bac. Many are not suited and waste a year of their lives, two if they try again. It's time and money down the drain which would be better spent on doing something more suitable, but 'going to the fac' and 'becoming a fonctionnaire' seem to be the sad but safe aspiration of many of today's youngsters.
I feel your pain, girl. My three have been off school for weeks before the school holiday official date, too - trying to concentrate on work with the three of them trooping in and out, inviting pals round, and creating Beirut in the kitchen as you so aptly scribe is nothing short of impossible.ReplyDelete
Bigfoot's got his bac and is in to Uni too - mechanical engineering for him. He promises me that the work will be done because he chose this, and there's no philosophy involved. The parents are taking it all with philosophy...
My eldest also passed his Bac (thank God!), and assures me he'll work better next year because, like Bigfoot, it's something he's chosen, and there'll be no more maths. :)Delete
He's now involved in flat-hunting with two mates...