Preschool in Jordan

Soooo….you thought choosing a daycare in the US was difficult.  Try finding a preschool in Amman!  In general, choosing any school is a difficult and confusing process whether it be preschool, grade school, or highschool!  What could be so difficult about choosing a preschool you ask?!  Let me explain the choices and decisions that need to be made:

First, there is not a predefined school your child must attend, you can choose for her to attend ANY school in ALL across Amman. 

There are public schools that are free to attend; however, from what I have heard is they are not the better schools.  Personal experience is that I work in a public hospital and I would NEVER go there for my medical needs…so why would the school be any different..?!  So this was a quick and easy, “No, Thank you.”

Public schools, there are many ranging in price.  As one would expect, you get what you pay for.  Price range for preschool can vary from 200JD a year to 2500JD per year ($300-$3200 per year).  The lesser expensive schools offer the basics, whereas the expensive schools offer what I would consider ‘normal’ based on my experience in the US.  In other words, they offer the basics plus extracurricular activities such as taekwondo, gymnastics, swimming, nice computer labs, large classroom sizes, good teacher to child ratio, etc.  One must also keep in mind, that these expensive schools may look great from a distance; however, many parents complain about the children being from families where “Wasta” goes a long ways…what does this mena?!…Basically the teachers will bend the rules/cheat the test scores/etc for these children, so they can keep the parents/children/school satisfied.

What language do you want your child to learn in? Arabic, English, German, French?  What percentage of the chosen languages?  90% Arabic/10% English, 50% Arabic/50% English, 10% Arabic/90% English?

What program do you want your child to study, International or Jordanian?

Do you want Islamic or Christian school, or do you want neither?

Do you want girls only school or mixed classes?

Do you want preschool and kindergarten as a separate school vs Preschool thru 12th grade available at the same school?

Do you need a bus…one way or both ways?  Which are of town depends on the price of between 150JD – 500 JD per year ($200-750 per year).

**Remember the average income here is roughly $3600-$5000 per year, so these school prices are not cheap compared to average income!

After searching the internet, receiving recommendations, interviewing many schools, thinking and rethinking….What we finally decided upon is a Private school priced middle of the road, 80% English/20% Arabic, International Program, Islamic American School, mixed gender, Preschool-10th grade offered at the same school, no bus transportation.  Ah, what a exhausting decision it has been to make!  Inshallah, it will be a great first school experience for our little lady!

Golfing Down Memory Lane

Welcome to my new blog!  For those who are new to me, you can read about our first 2 years in Amman at my first blog!  Otherwise, I am starting this blog where we left off….

Golf. As you know, we were home in Minnesota visiting recently. During our visit, my husband went golfing with my father, brother-in-law, and his brothers on quite a few occasions. My husband has golfed here and there over the years and has always enjoyed; however, this vacation I think he fell in love! He bought a set of clubs, has been watching the PGA Tour, and has been to the driving range a few times since we returned to Jordan. It’s been fun to watch him get excited about golf.

My father has always loved to golf and taught each of us girls to golf when we were little. I am not exactly sure when I held my first golf club, but I am pretty sure I was around the age of 4 or 5 years. My Dad took one of his old golf clubs, sawed it down, taped up the end, and called it my own. We played in the backyard, hitting balls into the lake (well he hit them into the lake, I just hit them down the hill).

Today, brought back a lot of fond memories of my Dad teaching me how to golf. As we were all at the driving range. My 4-year-old daughter and 2.5 year old son wanted their turns hitting the ball. I sat back and watched my husband stand behind my daughter helping her line up her feet. I vividly remembered my Dad trying to move my feet in the proper alignment with difficulty because my legs were stiff and not fluid to his movement. I remember holding awkwardly on to the club that was still a little too big and then trying to hit the ball, as I in shyness, listened intently without being too obvious, and prided herself with excitement her club made contact with the ball….lofting it in the air…and landing about 2 feet in front of her. “I am so strong and I can really hit the ball far!” she declared as she flexed her biceps, danced in a small circle, and eyes showed her certainty!

As a lady who hasn’t hit a golf ball in over 4 years, I was tempted to pick up the clubs and hit some shag balls; yet, as a women who is 8 months pregnant I thought I better not. However, I did managed to hit a few balls. I was excited to see that I could still hit the ball fairly solid, big belly and all.

Tonight, my little 4-year-old ‘golfer’ is requesting her Dad to cut down the club to make one for her own. We aren’t professionals, not even close, but Alhumdillah, we are building memories and having fun doing so!