Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Homework club

At my son's school, parents are in the dreamy days where their kids get shipped off to school all day but have not yet brought back any homework. But the homework packet, when it comes, will be a week's worth of misery.
Maybe Joe needs to drink more Peptein.

Homework follows a formula in our house: forty minutes of wailing, fidgeting and dropping of pencils and 10 minutes of working. But this summer, a very wise woman suggested to me a homework club, where the kids gather right after school, in the school, to complete all their homework for the week.

That got me imagining a world where Leon and I didn't have to fight with Joe every night (at least not about homework -- there's always tooth-brushing). We wouldn't have to line up multiple pencils on the table, ready to be knocked off and never seen again. We wouldn't have to choose between getting an assignment done and taking advantage of Bangkok's endless summer with a swim or brutally competitive family soccer game.

So guess who's starting a homework club? But even Joe is enthusiastic. I gave him the choice of being in the homework club or the soccer club, which will be held on the same day. He picked the homework club. He says he wouldn't be able to finish his homework otherwise. Good kid!


  1. Hi,

    I live in Toronto and am considering moving to BKK for a about 10 years to spend time with my Son and to get away from the rat race. I'm about 40 yr old and can budget about 100-130k baht / month indefinitely. I would be coming with my wife and son.

    My main concerns are schooling and the heat (visited before, but never lived for an extended period). Do you find the level of schooling sufficient to allow your child to reintegrate into the top universities in North America?

    Have you acclimated to the weather in BKK? or is the heat still barely tolerable?

    Any feedback is greatly appreciated!

    1. Hi Brian, you may have to make some sacrifices to live in BKK on that money. We live on about 140,000 baht monthly after taxes and truthfully, it's not enough. School tuition is enormously expensive. We pay the equivalent of US $14G annually for our son's school and bus service and we are at one of the cheaper places. Our rent is about $1,200 (also relatively cheap) and electricity can be as high as $250 a month in the hot season because of the A/C. Western food, which we buy because our son won't eat Asian food, costs a fortune. Same with toys. Cheap clothing tends to be sized to petite Asians, so either plan on buying your clothing in North America or be prepared to pay for overpriced expat-oriented clothes.

      I am pleased with the overall level of schooling. This school follows the British curriculum. Teachers are decent. Like anywhere, I find I have to be engaged in my child's learning to ensure he is getting the most that he can out of his school experience -- that means I have to make sure he does his homework and check it over and talk frequently with his teacher. Other schools here have a better reputation, but we like this school because of its small class size, friendly atmosphere and proximity to our house. I know some schools here send kids to good North American schools, but none of them are Ivy League factories the way some high schools in the U.S. are. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my son's expat experience will give him an edge in the application process -- but that's a long way off for us.