green and gray scissors

Back to School Prep

I think 2022/23 may be our first ‘normal’ year since the pandemic started, I don’t see border closures in our future which is exciting! It’s also going to be our first full school year as the children continue the school they joined in March and I start a new teaching job. While they are in school full time, we still have curriculum choices to make as well as all of our back to school prep, which will all be covered in this blog post!

pile of books
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Curriculum Choices

I don’t know if it’s because they start school 2 years later than we do in the UK but I find that maths in the French education system is at least 2 years behind what we are learning back home. The children love it because they find their maths lessons at school really easy – I do remind them it’s because they did it all before when we were Home Educating! I don’t know when/if we will return to the UK, so we are sticking to the MEP Curriculum that we were using last year.

We got the Collins Minecraft Official Maths & English workbooks to do over the summer. It really helped me identify the areas that the children struggle with when it comes to English (mainly grammar and creative writing). So this year, while we won’t have a curriculum we will be using various resources – BBC Bitesize, Twinkl, Oak National Academy etc. to focus on expected grammar for Year 3 and Year 5 in addition to creating opportunities for writing such as monthly acrostic poems or picture writing prompts as well as working on our comprehension skills using books from our personal ‘library’.

The children are going to be busy with an almost full week of school (they get two afternoons off a week) so I am only going to be focusing on English and Maths, as they’ll have French, Maths, Science/Environmental Education, Humanities, and Physical Education as well as Music/Art opportunities. I may consider signing them up for after school activities as I really want them to learn to swim properly (they’re more open to the idea now that they can see what they’re missing out on this summer) but I don’t personally feel they need to be signed up to multiple activities, keeping them busy when they may not actually be interested or even enjoy themselves.

school themed flatlay
Photo by olia danilevich on

Back to School Prep

I’ve mentioned this before, but unlike the UK where back to school prep for a primary aged child usually involves buying new school uniform, school bags and pencil cases, we actually have to purchase the school supplies such as art materials, depending on what the school requires. This year our list has included a tablet for maths, passport photos and a placemat for lunch time! We also have to purchase textbooks, but as everyone had difficulty getting them last academic year from local bookshops, the children’s school will be ordering the books on our behalf and we will pay the total cost at the start of the school year (one less job for me!). While I might not need to buy school uniform, we are getting first day back outfits and new haircuts as part of our back to school prep!

What does back to school prep look like where you live? Are you an expat family that also tries to supplement their child’s education in case you ever return to your home country? Let me know in the comments!

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