Monday, January 23, 2012

My Kids are Failing School (And I’m Proud of Them)

I suppose when my child brings home a 52 on a test, I should feel ashamed. I should push him to study more. I should devote more time to his education. I do do all those things, but mostly I feel proud.

You see, my twins are in a Chinese public school after living the first 5 years of their lives in the US not speaking much Chinese besides farting words and watermelon. After a year of immersion in a nursery school, then pre-school, they entered primary school.

They’ve tolerated it very well, even thrived. Yet we constantly battle the high expectations that most parents have of their children – understandably in an overpopulated country. Fortunately for us, as bilingual kids with a US passport, they will have plenty of opportunities in life so we can be relaxed.

Don't get me wrong, we do expect them to be constantly learning. So when they bring home a semester report card with a 100 in English, 92 in Math (amazing by itself considering the emphasis on math here and that problems require reading Chinese) and 50 in Chinese, I’m quite okay with that.


  1. So nice to hear from you over on Djibouti Jones. I clicked on your blog and this first post is so wonderful because I wrote about this as well: Also with twins! Amazing how even across the world, mama's have similar experiences. Now I'm off to check out the other links you sent. Thank you!

  2. my email is and I would love to hear more about blogging for travelingmom. I've been trying to find a good expat mom site and this looks like a great one.

  3. Given the situation, their class failure makes sense. You can't expect a child to learn a language that is practically foreign to them, overnight. The good thing is, they are trying hard and your are devoting time to their education. And yes, we should expect them to continue learning in every way. Life won't make sense when you stop learning. =) Daniele @