Thursday, November 20, 2008

Emily's Experience

So what's it like bringing a toddler to Korea? It's not that bad, honestly. We definitely had some concerns coming here, but Korea is really awesome for rugrats. Koreans love 'em, and Emily usually enjoys the attention.

The schools are excellent, at least the preschools. Back in Vegas, Emily was beginning to act out a bit at her preschool; they had a good program, but it was play-based and she was getting bored. We had started looking for an academic program for her, but unfortunately, in the States, there really isn't much in this vein for kids under 3. In education-obsessed Korea, however, that is not a problem.

When we first got here we had planned to put her up in the Army's on-post childcare center, but their program was simple daycare again, so we ruled it out. We then started to explore some of the local options. Language-wise it's not so bad as you'd think: most Koreans are so keen to get their kids speaking English early on that many pre-schools are taught entirely in that language. After checking out several options, we picked a place called Appletree in Seocho-gu. Emily loves it; she's eager to get on the bus in the morning, and when she gets home she is full of stories about what she learned that day. They bus her, feed her, and her teacher calls us every day to give us updates on her progress. My wife specializes in child development, and she thinks it's one of the best programs she has ever seen. My daughter isn't even three yet and she already has half of the alphabet.

All of this costs about $550/month, which is just ridiculously cheap compared to similar programs stateside. Plus she's getting exposed to another culture, and will probably be teaching us Korean if we spend more than a few years here. We both want our daughter to grow up as a world citizen, and I can't imagine a better way to start.

As for grade school, well, I wouldn't want to put Emily into the Korean system; they are bit overzealous in that department. Fortunately we've got access to the US public schools at Yongsan Garrison for that, and the program here is much better than the public schools back in the US.

There is one downside, however.. some days the kid comes home with some serious kimchi-breath.

3 comments:

Jason November 23, 2008 at 8:03 PM  

Hi,

I'm so glad you left a comment on my blog. Your blog looks really interesting and I'll be adding it to my bloglist after December 15th when the university term is over and I have time to do whatever I want . . .

J

Anonymous January 16, 2009 at 4:33 PM  

Hey,

I'm new to your blog, but wondering: when do you plan on teaching your daughter 한글? Is it generally taught in pre-school?

Then again, maybe this question is a little premature.

--비.

Anonymous March 31, 2009 at 12:35 PM  

Hello,
We live in Seoucho Gu. I noticed you were satisfied whith Appletree Nursery. Is she still there? We have been looking for a preschool for our daughter. We had her at PeterPan in Banpo 4 dong (Seorae Ma). Very Bad experience. If you dont mind goiving me a ring Id much appreciate it! Elise 010-2437-8457

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