Monday, November 5, 2012

Moving from India to US for a second grader (and her mom)

Moving from India to US for a second grader (in the middle of the year) -  

We moved from India to US once in 2010 when my daughter was in KG. At that time I felt kids in India had more in studies than in India so the move was smooth. Then we moved from US to India in 2011 and my daughter did her 1st in India. Now we moved again in October this year (talk of 21st century nomads).

My view:
I am comparing 5 months of 2nd grade in India with two months of 2nd grade in the US. I am comparing 2nd grade in a good SSC school in Pune with the 2nd grade in a good public school (rating 9 on GreatSchools) in LA, California.

When I moved, I was again under the impression that what my children were learning in school in India was way ahead of what they would be studying in the US. That was what most other moms who had moved back and forth had told me too. But I was shocked to see it the other way round. My daughter went to second grade in a SSC school that’s not too aggressive in studies, so you would say that’s the reason but my sis-in-law who also moved this year with her 3rd grader feels the same. Her son went to an ICSC school in Bangalore. Other than the multiplication tables that we do in India (which I really miss here), the syllabus here seems to be ahead of that in India, if not behind. The purpose of this post is not to weigh down what we have in India, but to have a reality check, so that other moms know the truth if they need it!
  • 1.    English – In India my daughter started with punctuation, action verbs, proper nouns and common nouns. Here they have all of that plus – Root words with prefix and suffix, Subject\Predicate, Homophones and homographs (which is hard for children who have just moved as their vocabulary is not as vast) and loads of reading and comprehension.
  • 2.       Math – In India she had basic addition, subtraction and multiplication tables. Here she has addition with regrouping (carry-over), multiplication, basic fractions, very tricky word problems and they just also started with subtraction with regrouping.
  • 3.       Social Science – I haven’t seen much difference yet, so it seems to be at par with our EVS.
  • 4.    Science - She didn't have that subject in India. Not much has progressed in this subject here either, but again it's just been 2 months. 
I know my daughter will come up to speed here soon, because she;s taking a lot of effort and I am helping her out. But it's not going to be as easy as I had thought.

Some thoughts on multiplication tables -
I have seen so many US moms frown on that subject. “Why learn that by heart? Children don’t even know the meaning of it. In India they mug up everything” I had the same thoughts before a very knowledgeable teacher told me why. Thought of sharing her views - At this age, children have tremendous grasping power as well as retention power. Let them learn by heart what 13x7 is even if they don’t completely understand it means 7 groups of 13 or the other way round. Then as they grow up and start using it they slowly understand the meaning. But what they mugged by heart at a very early age they remember for life. 

1 comment:

Deepti said...

Very interesting - I think in India, the core values, focus, syllabus varies quite a bit based on the board as well as the school - the comparison can not be generic.
So choosing the school that fits your needs and meets your expectation is a very difficult task. I still remember our transition phase!