Schooling Abroad

Where do I begin? Perhaps a photo diary will help bring it all together….

We have started the Australian schooling hours in the morning seeing as that is when the boys are alert, focussed and looking for something to do….Image

Their teachers in Australia have sent us parcels full of readers, math tools, work books and CD ROM’s for them to work from, alas, they haven’t turned up yet. When we went to the Italian post-office to see if the parcels could be traced, our lovely assistant shrugged her shoulders as if to say we were insane and then proceeded to tell us that if we didn’t have a ‘delivered when your out’ docket then the parcel hasn’t arrived.

Hmmmm….. After explaining it was sent at the beginning of June and that maybe was a long time to wait?? We were told ‘not so long……NEXT!’

So the joys of home schooling thousands of miles from home without 80% of the materials needed to teach isn’t as much fun as I had hoped (I think I had steam streaming from my ears at one point). I seem to be doing a lot of trolling on the internet to find work for the boys to do while waiting for their teachers to send through the work digitally…..


The boys seem to think this means it is time to do a bit of classroom activity and cannot understand why I start losing the plot when they don’t do what I ask them. The first week was completely challenging for both them and me. Being told by your mum to do school work that she has never even looked at before doesn’t install a great amount of confidence in them, especially Alex who apparently knows all there is to know. To put it bluntly, the first week was hell on legs and I am so happy it is behind us. 


We are half way through week two and I am happy to report we have had a shift in attitude. No longer do the boys run wild in ‘school time’ and I no longer wish aliens would beam me up to take the pain away. Don’t get me wrong, it is still a lot of work and I get sick of pulling them into line (I might have to have a shot of Botox when I get back to hide all the creases on my face), but we seem to have a nice flow happening with our Aussie teachers and each other. It also helps that we bought a printer/scanner the other day, so we can send work back without the use of the postal system!

Max has decided this is actually the real deal so has started working brilliantly which seems to of rubbed off onto his brother who is getting much better at listening to me; as I am getting better at listening to them too.

The boys will be starting Italian school in mid September when the rest of the Italian kids return from holidays so that will be another barrier to break through. However, I am extremely happy to be there for the boys when they COME HOME from school instead of home being school (and yet, they will continue their Australian work?! What am I saying??). If you think this sounds a little harsh then I suggest you take your kids out of school for a week and try to ‘teach/supervise’ them, then get back to me with your feedback.

I love the little chitlens but I much prefer sending them to school than being the school.



12 thoughts on “Schooling Abroad

  1. Does not sound harsh. Still, seems as if the worst bit might have been making the adjustment. Hopefully it’ll be smoother sailing from here on in!

      • Well I can understand from their point of view that expectations had to be established in this new situation. I don’t envy the job of establishing them (or enforcing them, but especially the former) though.

  2. How frustrating! I’m with you – I love teachers! I don’t have the patience for teaching children. But still, this move is a big adjustment for them (and you). Try to be gentle on yourself and them – I’m sure you’ve given yourself too little credit 🙂

    • Yes it is a big move and they/ we are all still adjusting. I’m sure we will all look back in a month and wonder what all the fuss is about!
      But seriously- teachers DON’T get enough respect for what they do with all of our children, no matter where you live!

  3. I have so much respect for those homeschoolers. I couldn’t do it! I love the Northwestern T shirt in the photos, I forget you were stateside! I am excited to hear about Italian school….and not surprised about the Post Office. Sounds a little like my cranky P.O. workers!

    • Ha,ha post workers seem to be the same all over the world!
      You have to come over Susie,you would love it so much…..and I’m only talking a out the food! We ad beef and pancetta burgers last night that were awesome!!

  4. Sounds as if you have all made the adjustment quite quickly. Definitely worth carrying on. PO sounds very Italian. Maybe things will turn up in the mail this month. but best to go digital as much as possible.

  5. Ok, so this is the one thing I am not envious about with your return to Florence! Although I love being a teacher (substitute teaching now), I don’t think I could teach my own children and survive for more than two days. Well maybe Ethan as he is pretty independent and his math skills already far surpass mine. When I look at the standards he is expected to master in science and social studies, I think that I really should go back to 6th grade because I don’t remember any of it! I’m sure you’ll make it through until mid-September, and then just think about how fabulous that will be when they go off to school. Mine started school last week and we are all so much happier!

    • I couldn’t agree with you more Amy! Bring on September I say, it takes up a lot of time and I need to google a bit to actually get a grasp of some of Max’s maths too 🙂

  6. It will be interesting to see if what they learn in Italian school is similar to what they learn in Australian school. What types of things is Max studying this year? Ethan’s learning about the geography, culture, and economic systems in Europe, Canada, and Central/South America. I think science this year is matter and energy, Earth/Moon/Sun systems, and biology. Not sure if you have access to it, but google Khan Academy- it’s lots of free short videos on all sorts of topics. Could be handy for math!

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