Monday, November 7, 2011

Missionary Kid Monday: French Elementary School

{For more on this series, click here}

Going to public school in France was much different than the private Christian school I had just come from in California.

Things I remember from elementary school:

  • Getting a 90 minute lunch and helping with the cafeteria dishes
  • Reciting poems in front of the class on Fridays
  • Very little positive reinforcement but lots of threats of punishment
  • Strict teachers
  • Mastering Chinese Jump Rope at recess
  • French cursive - yes it is actually different!
  • Ending the school day between 4:30 and 5:00 PM
  • Working in both ballpoint and fountain pens (pencils only for geometry)
  • No spelling tests, but paragraph long dictations 
  • My nickname: "L'Americaine"
This became the new normal for me. After a while I didn't realize how different it all was until we went back to the States for a year when I was in sixth grade.

I made lots of little friends as a child. My parents say that the connections they made with other parents on our play dates were instrumental in sharing the gospel over there. I had no idea.... I was just having a grand ol' time!


  1. Yuck, ending the school day between 4:30 and 5:00 would be no fun! However, perhaps having a 90 minute lunch would help Americans not to be in such a rush. Teachers can eat lunch in probably 10 minutes or less, not convinced that's a good thing. HAHA Sounds like you had a good time in school.

  2. I am really enjoying catching up on this series! Sounds so cool! If we ever met up I would probably ask you loads and loads of questions about your travels. It's all so interesting to me, especially the school stuff. Ha, I'm sure you can understand why. I hope that this week at school is better than last week for you! (double commenting, sorry!) I really love that you are sharing more about this time in your life. :)

  3. That's awesome! Chinese jump rope!

  4. Oh my this reminds me of Catholic school! We actually used a nib pen and an INK WELL how funny is that. ... and I think it was something like second grade!My kids aren't even being taught cursive so sad!

  5. this sounds fun and not fun at the same time! haha a perfect blend of what ministry life is. some things are great and some things are not so much. i'd love to see you write in "french cursive"!

  6. Sounds like a long day! I only write with pens now, but that would've been tough as a kid.!/MandyCrandell

  7. huh! I didn't know that there was such a thing as french cursive! How interesting.

  8. 90 minutes of lunch/recess is an idea Americans should embrace! and something you'd need with all those threats ;)

  9. French cursive? Ok, that is so cool! I want to learn now ;) It sounds like you had an amazing experience. I always thought it was interesting that other countries have much longer school days than we do. Thank you for sharing your experience!!

  10. Somehow I missed this post's been a long!

    Sounds like a long school day but I love the helping out with cleaning up after lunch..that's a skill a lot of kids need learn!

  11. i love reading about other places & cultures. really enjoyed reading this!

  12. I don't know how I missed this post! What a long day you had. Sounds like recess was the best part!