Playing Hooky-Sort Of…

It’s Wednesday afternoon in Amsterdam and the kids have a half-day from school. I’ve organised a babysitter for the first time ever on this half-day wonder of the Dutch school system. And am sitting in a cafe about 500 metres from my home. Decadent! I’ve decided lately to orient myself towards someone in need of…

Should my child attend a Bilingual school or an all-Dutch school?

This vexed question comes up regularly for expat/immigrant parents who are facing the task of sending their teen to secondary school/middelbareschool in The Netherlands. I admit I have a pretty simple view on this: choose a Dutch school. A view that I came to by considering quite a few variables. Namely: It seems like a…

Oh New York, You’re a Dame for Sure 🍏

Shortly after I arrived in JFK on a sleepless 8 hour KLM flight from Amsterdam, customs was unexpectedly cleared in 20 minutes and I was let loose. A quick gut decision ( a lifelong personality trait ) was made to take an airport train then hop on a subway to mid-town. All told an hour’s…

Gifted kids and Dutch Education

Dutch school education is characterised by a range of philosophies that inform parents’ school options. It ranges from Montessori, Dalton to Steiner-Waldorf to regular schools. My younger kids attend Montessori in the city. In the Dutch primary system, kids are tested twice yearly using national standardised tests which focus on maths, dutch language, spelling and…

High-school in Amsterdam and Why My Kids Love It.

Several recent reports have found that Dutch teens are among the happiest in the world, and having lived here for almost six years with my family, I have to concur. When we arrived here, we had no idea how it would unfold: moving abroad with a family and no social support, to a new culture,…

Stepping out of the Fray

This is a follow on post about our experience of choosing a Dutch middelbare school. We’ve visited nine schools in a month and it’s not even an understatement to say we’ve run the gamut from exciting to frustrating, touching on slightly torturous through to funny times. Rather like my tween’s personality these days. My son’s reluctance…

Helping your kids integrate into Dutch School

Two years after we moved here, I wrote an article about the early days of my kids’ dutch school experience. There are tips and a few anecdotes and hopefully it might be helpful for new families moving to the Netherlands. It was published on the website of Amsterdam Mamas, a wonderful international parents’ group based…

Once more into the Fray: The Wonderful World of Dutch Schools

When our family moved here in 2012, we decided for a number of reasons to send our kids to a local dutch school instead of international school. This decision was arrived at easily as private school fees for three children were not really a smart financial option for us and instinctively we knew it would…