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footballhound
14-09-2009, 12:10
My two children have been in Russian state schools (two different schools, since my kids have different talents) for several years now.

They are getting a really good education and having a great time.

A few American children and three Germans as well as my two Brits in the schools.

What experiences have other people had of local schools here?

FatAndy
14-09-2009, 12:39
It depends on schools ;)

Bels
14-09-2009, 12:51
I would also think it has a lot to do with the age of the child and how much Russian he or she knows. Of course if there were some extra classes in learning Russian as a second language it would be a bonus.

kirk10071
14-09-2009, 14:01
I would love to put my children in a Russian school, but I have heard that (i) if they are not perfectly bilingual when they get there, the school will strongly discourage it and even tell you it's illegal and (ii) you have to pay almost as much as you would for private school (i.e. it's NOT free although the required payments are "unofficial") and (iii) the Russian kids are brutal and mean and my children will be scarred for life after three hellish days. Oh, and (iv) the lunch sucks.

I would love to know that these points are not true. My children, by the way, and not teenagers yet, but they are well past the kindergarten stage and at a point where friends and academic achievement are important to them. Is it not too late for Russian school?

footballhound
14-09-2009, 14:30
I would love to put my children in a Russian school, but I have heard that (i) if they are not perfectly bilingual when they get there, the school will strongly discourage it and even tell you it's illegal and (ii) you have to pay almost as much as you would for private school (i.e. it's NOT free although the required payments are "unofficial") and (iii) the Russian kids are brutal and mean and my children will be scarred for life after three hellish days. Oh, and (iv) the lunch sucks.

I would love to know that these points are not true. My children, by the way, and not teenagers yet, but they are well past the kindergarten stage and at a point where friends and academic achievement are important to them. Is it not too late for Russian school?

The lunch does suck, any school dinners suck...

1) Depends on the school, many a greatful to have a native speaker in their English cl**** enlist the help of Russian parents with kids the same age.

2)I pay around 10000 rur per annum for "extras" for both my children (mainly text books, school trips etc all through the PTA all accounted ). Its a hell of a lot cheeper than international schools or private Russian schools.

3)Kids can be beasts in any school any where. My children have never had any trouble in their Russian school. Russian kids they bring home are polite and friendly. My only complaint is that all the teenage boys and some girls smoke. They go out on to the stairs to smoke but it still stinks :rolleyes:

For the first six months to a year get them private tuition in Russian. The school will probably recommend someone.

Choose the school with care, as Fat Andy says, "it depends on the school". There are pleanty of really grotty state schools and some great ones :)

kirk10071
14-09-2009, 14:32
Extremely helpful response. Thanks.

FatAndy
14-09-2009, 14:47
2)I pay around 10000 rur per annum for "extras" for both my children - if your childern 1) feel comfortable psychologicaly in this school and 2) get decent knowledge level - it is very-very good bargain, I would say. :thumbsup:
I put in this order intentionally because sometimes (not very rare) you can face the situation when school gives a good or very good education but depresses children in big degree, and to cure this issue will cost a lot of efforts, time and money in future than to cure knowledge issues...

J.D.
14-09-2009, 15:02
My son does fine though he is totally bilingual. He has a non-Russian name but still he has no problem. I'd guess I pay about 10,000 rubles a year in books and holiday gifts and such.
My concern is that I hear Russian schools just throw tons of knowledge at the students without regard for any critical thinking skills. I'll keep this in mind and see how it goes for the next couple of years.

TD
15-09-2009, 01:18
My daughter studied in Russian schools since 1st grade - of course being born in Moscow her language skills were not an issue. As far as the level of education goes, when we enrolled her in US high school last year (10th grade) she was at a minimum 2 years ahead of the students here, and could have graduated this year if she had wanted. This could be more about how bad the US system is than how good the Russian one however :-)

Even in 9th grade in Moscow a lot of her friends smoked and drank - thankfully that sort of thing is illegal here.

My one beef with the Russian school system is the necessity to bribe teachers to grade students fairly - this is not always the case, but comes up often enough that I consider it an issue worth mentioning.

footballhound
15-09-2009, 01:36
My daughter studied in Russian schools since 1st grade - of course being born in Moscow her language skills were not an issue. As far as the level of education goes, when we enrolled her in US high school last year (10th grade) she was at a minimum 2 years ahead of the students here, and could have graduated this year if she had wanted. This could be more about how bad the US system is than how good the Russian one however :-)

Even in 9th grade in Moscow a lot of her friends smoked and drank - thankfully that sort of thing is illegal here.

My one beef with the Russian school system is the necessity to bribe teachers to grade students fairly - this is not always the case, but comes up often enough that I consider it an issue worth mentioning.

My eldest had a teacher who was grading her unfairly. I stopped my Russian ex going in with all guns blazing. My girl negociated this all by her self, no money changed hands. My girl won :) The teacher has since resigned

Bels
20-09-2009, 13:53
As a matter of interest have you managed to keep your daughter bi-langual? Is her English as good as her Russian? And has it been difficult achieving this?


My daughter studied in Russian schools since 1st grade - of course being born in Moscow her language skills were not an issue. As far as the level of education goes, when we enrolled her in US high school last year (10th grade) she was at a minimum 2 years ahead of the students here, and could have graduated this year if she had wanted. This could be more about how bad the US system is than how good the Russian one however :-)

Even in 9th grade in Moscow a lot of her friends smoked and drank - thankfully that sort of thing is illegal here.

My one beef with the Russian school system is the necessity to bribe teachers to grade students fairly - this is not always the case, but comes up often enough that I consider it an issue worth mentioning.

CatGirl
20-09-2009, 14:04
Positive experience:
When I was at school, a girl from Kuba entered our class :) She was very talented mosctly in English and Spannish :) Also, she got lucky to enter our class than other. I made friend with her and I'm still so shocked she had studied at Kube for 10 years and came to Russia (Moscow) to graduate the school education. Her knowledge in Russian language was amazing coz she had never been to Russia before!

FatAndy
21-09-2009, 19:05
Her knowledge in Russian language was amazing coz she had never been to Russia before! - it depends on personal language abilities... and on environment, especially if "immersed" into language.
Here is a story - not about children but youngsters...
Once upon a time there were a couple of guys from Cuba, who entered 1st year at Uni at 1983 together with myself. Both spoke Russian at... let's say, acceptable (to understand) level.
But after 1st year and common 2-month "field practice" one of them remained to seat at Moscow and second one has got into 1-month expedition to Komandorsky Islands with his Russian classmate who previously served Soviet Pacific Navy as sergeant of mariners special forces. They both sit at one of islands and performed zoological survelliance on some birds and animals, no other people for hundreds of kilometers around.
You could imagine how his vocabulary was enriched upon arrival back to Moscow at September 1984.
He had his Cuban/Spanish accent till the end of his successfull education, but all guys collected to listen to his absolutely perfect multi-layer grammar constructions in Russian, when he, for example, got burn in the kitchen... ;)

CatGirl
21-09-2009, 19:49
...when he, for example, got burn in the kitchen...
:D

And... have -you- had a chance to know him?

Bels
21-09-2009, 20:42
I would love to put my children in a Russian school, but I have heard that (i) if they are not perfectly bilingual when they get there, the school will strongly discourage it and even tell you it's illegal and (ii) you have to pay almost as much as you would for private school (i.e. it's NOT free although the required payments are "unofficial") and (iii) the Russian kids are brutal and mean and my children will be scarred for life after three hellish days. Oh, and (iv) the lunch sucks.

I would love to know that these points are not true. My children, by the way, and not teenagers yet, but they are well past the kindergarten stage and at a point where friends and academic achievement are important to them. Is it not too late for Russian school?

Are they currently mixing with Russian children at play? As that would be great start. Hopefully you are not shut away in some expat envioronment.

Bels
21-09-2009, 20:50
Positive experience:
When I was at school, a girl from Kuba entered our class :) She was very talented mosctly in English and Spannish :) Also, she got lucky to enter our class than other. I made friend with her and I'm still so shocked she had studied at Kube for 10 years and came to Russia (Moscow) to graduate the school education. Her knowledge in Russian language was amazing coz she had never been to Russia before!

Am I right in assuming that Russia has close relations with Russia? And the cuban girl learned Russian at her school as a second language. If this is so there is no doubt her Russian vastly improved on being educated in Russia immesed totally with Russians. A great experience for a child I believe. Those who become bi or even tri-lingual, because in the end these students excel themselves by comparison to those with just one language.

FatAndy
22-09-2009, 11:45
2 CatGirl:
have -you- had a chance to know him? - of course, he was at same dept as me, and we lived one year at same room in Uni hostel.

CatGirl
22-09-2009, 12:32
Bels, that's possible. But for me in that age it looked as an increadibly talented student has come to our school from abroad. Hope, you undertand what I mean :) As for her natioanllity - she's cuban :) Her last name is Pino-Leon. :D

FatAndy, curious experience..)

BTW, our school specialized on learning English and every year we had American or British student come to Moscow and to share out language experience, showing Moscow and ect.. That was the thing no other school had. I took part in only 2 meetings, because the plan was to afford as many students as possible to go through it. :)

Bels
22-09-2009, 13:45
It looks like your school could benefit in having some expat English native pupils. Sounds like your school was a gymnasium as Russians call it, specialising in the English language.

CatGirl
22-09-2009, 13:51
Bels, as it was officially called: 'State Middle School #1413 with deep study of English language'. Ordinary middle school :) And, of course, it is state institute, and free of charge. :)

Bels
22-09-2009, 13:55
Bels, as it was officially called: 'State Middle School #1413 with deep study of English language'. Ordinary middle school :) And, of course, it is state institute, and free of charge. :)

Would it be a good lead for expat kids with little Russian language knowledge to enquire about enrolling?

Adieu
29-09-2009, 06:21
Would it be a good lead for expat kids with little Russian language knowledge to enquire about enrolling?

Do some recon first. Some schools are full of the former Soviet scientific elite's kids, who tend towards rather poor but highly developed and intelligent. Others are dominated by minor businessmen and civil servants' offspring, daft, rich, haughty, and somewhat troublesome. Others yet are entirely post-industrial urban undercl**** highly delinquent, criminalized, and dangerous.

In other words, look for the signs: geeks and nerds, gold and Versace, or gopniki (all-around identical to chavs) and pregnant or barely-dressed 14yo girls.

I strongly suggest leaning towards the geeks and nerds when choosing a school, especially seeing how such kids are a lot more socially active and integrated in Russia. However, be prepared that your kids will minor in computer gaming and anime at the geek schools!