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The Family Room Want to know the best place to buy baby clothing or toys, are diapers available in Thaliand? What about the best hospitals, the pitfalls of hiring a nanny or helper. How to keep teenagers amused in Bangkok, can I hire a carseat when I travel? Which children's medications are available?

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Old 06-07-2010, 11:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Educational options for children in Thailand

Would you go with a bilingual school, an international school or a Thai school?

What international school is the best in Thailand? In Bangkok?

What is the worst?

Where do you send your kids?

What is the average tuition cost?

Does anyone home school their kids?

What are you thoughts on home schooling - bad or good? I know in the US people say it is bad because the children miss out on the social aspect of being in school with other kids. But really, do you want your child socializing with some of these thicko kids in Thailand?

TIA
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Old 06-07-2010, 11:32 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Chi, mine go to a government EP school. They study Literature, Algebra, Science and IT in English. The textbooks are great, McGraw Hill out of the USA. The other courses are in Thai. Its about 80% of what I would like. They are home schooled by me in US History, World History, and Geography. Its not an ideal situation but its good enough for now. At the end of M3 I will take them home though. So two more years.

I can afford a top notch international school, but dont feel its worth it. I would rather save that money and use it for a down on a nice house in a nice school district back home. With twins the costs can be quite impressive.

I would send them to Harrow over ISB which I personally think are the two best international school here.

It costs about 60,000 baht a year per kid, plus about 8,000 for the books a year, as we buy new and keep them at the end.
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Old 06-07-2010, 11:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It seems ISB and Harrow are both 600,000 plus baht a year.

http://www.harrowschool.ac.th/sites/...02009-2010.pdf

http://www.isb.ac.th/Tuition_Fees/default.aspx
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Old 06-07-2010, 12:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Harrow when you add in the uniforms, meals, after school classes that are mandatory, and sport you are up over 700,000 for an 8th grader.
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Old 06-07-2010, 12:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Home schooling is a hell of a commitment.

The socializing aspect can be balanced with extra curricular activities.

The pressure on the parent/s however is extreme.
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Old 06-07-2010, 01:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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JJ those subjects are not taught in Thai schools, only Thai history. Its fun to learn and with a good book easy. All is use is a globe, maps and topo maps to teach geography which they love.
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Old 06-07-2010, 01:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aging one
JJ those subjects are not taught in Thai schools, only Thai history. Its fun to learn and with a good book easy. All is use is a globe, maps and topo maps to teach geography which they love.
Fully understand that AO.

I was talking about full on Home schooling, as in parents attempting to cover a whole curriculum at home.

What you're doing is admirable. I wish more parents would do the same.
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Old 06-07-2010, 01:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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aging one, I am not familiar with the term "government EP school". Can you explain? I have a daughter in K3 now.
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Old 06-07-2010, 06:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aging one
All is use is a globe, maps and topo maps to teach geography which they love.
And Google Earth ?
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Old 06-07-2010, 06:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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ISB and NIST are the best international schools.
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:40 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dilbert
aging one, I am not familiar with the term "government EP school". Can you explain? I have a daughter in K3 now.
Dilbert once you get to Matayom you choose if you want your kid in government or Rattaban school, or a private one. Government tend to be cheaper and with more rules, but in my case better on the Thai and EP side. EP is simply an English Program as I posted they take Algebra, Science, Literature, and IT from native speaker teachers. The rest of the subjects are in Thai.

Silly rules like goofy uniforms and short hair cuts for both boys and girls. Luckily this year my kids got a waiver and dont have to cut their hair, but must pull it back with a bow in the school colors.
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Old 08-12-2010, 04:27 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I posted this at another forum that we don't mention by name, enjoy or hate

Education – That's a subject I have been passionately interested in all my adult life and even more so after I settled down in Thailand in the early 90'.

Discussion subject is: Thailand is a bit different, how to best combine schools, teaching techniques, culture and tradition to provide the best possible education and future for our kids.
And possitive and negative effects with the different education systems. Anyone want to discuss?

How not to do it… the Thai way
Better off Thais I know tend to decide school based on reputation and name, then try to deal with the travelling time. It is not unusual to see 5 year olds being dragged out-of-bed before 5:30 in the morning. I recommend the other way around. Find all decent schools within reasonable distance from home, then decide for one as close as possible. All my Thai friends know about the importance of sleep but are bad at enforcing it; their kids are all around 10% below what western child psychiatrists recommend. I have occasionally asked them Why…? And although I most of the time don't get an answer, the answer is clear: In their view the difference is not big enough to matter. Some argue; We must wake him up at 5:30 if we live here and he goes to the Satit school there, not home until 5:30 because of the traffic, then there's 1.5 hours homework (in K3) every day… To innocently ask Why didn't you choose a closer (non-Satit) school is like blasphemy for the parents. Common language in my home is Thai, I speak Thai with my wife and my daughter (well, spoke anyway), and I speak Thai at work below manager level so I have plenty of Thai friends to base my opinion on. Here's one truth to consider: Westerners asking Thais for advice regarding education is also getting Thai values in the answer.

How not to do it… My way
Common language in my home is Thai so I only spoke Thai with my daughter for the first 2.5 years. Don't do that…

Thai education overview
Thai education value academic knowledge… Thai parents value academic knowledge... All private kindergartens I know and have heard of have the goal that the kids should be able to read and write 2 languages by the time they do the entrance exam to first grade. Including the supposedly partly Montessori school I send my daughter to. Why not? If they can't do that, then they won't pass the Satit entrance exam… And if the school management and the teachers are smart enough to know that it is not really good for the kids, then they are surely also smart enough not to say anything, if they want Thai parents to send their kids to their school… My daughter is 4 years and 10 months old and she has 7 to 10 home work assignments per week. I asked the Thai teacher why and as an answer to that question she replied that the (Thai) parents come to her and request more home work…

All adult Thais are good at remembering but many are less good at other brain activities like problem solving and logical thinking. Being actively involved in my daughters education (and others), it all falls nicely in place. Yes, that's surely enforced by the Thai educational system. Here are a couple of more things to consider;

The first years are the most important ones for kids, that is where the foundation for the rest of their lives is laid (not only the rest of their education)
There is no such thing as "secondary school matters more". If anything, then it should be elementary school matters more because kids attitudes and learning styles are formed there and it's very hard to change what already has become a habit
It's better to be the oldest than the youngest in the class; A year of development matters a lot at young age. Don't fall for starting early unless you absolutely have to
Homework in Thailand is generally get it today and finish it by tomorrow
Too much homework is going to be the norm – As parent, learn to accept no time to finish it all, better do what we can and do it well
How many languages can a young kid learn at the same time? 4 easily so don't worry.
Problem solving is very important in Thailand. They have so many problems… No, not because of that but because the Thai educational system and the Thais don't put any emphasis (what-so-ever) on encouraging problem solving and people generally get pretty bad at it graduating from an environment like that. My daughter has a subject called problem solving and I asked about it at school one day. Funny farang, I was the first one ever asking about it… Clearly a DIY subject

There are 4 types of schools in Thailand;

International:
There are too many now a days and that a school has the title "international" doesn't necessarily mean that it is good any longer. Cost 300,000 to 500,000 bath per child and year. Beware of the extras, e.g., Thai and many other things are not included in the base price. For me, international school is not an option economically, I can't afford it, but even if I could, I still wouldn't send my daughter to one. She would grow up not really being Thai and I don't think that's going to be easy for her. She would miss part of the good of being Thai and living in Thailand. If a child is most likely going to grow up and have a future in Thailand, then I don't recommend both primary and secondary education in an International school. You decide what the most suitable combination for your child is. A few other observations;

British curriculum is still hot; many international schools (using British curriculum) seem to have a surprising amount of information about Native American Indians and Abraham Lincoln in them though. It's like American school books are cheaper to buy or something.

Why do so many kids from international schools behave like they own the world? Why are they so loud? Why are they somewhat impolite? This applies more to Thai children than westerners but like it or not, it applies to some extent to western kids too. Or have I been in Thailand for too long maybe?

Bilingual school:
Best of 2 worlds IMO and FMS (for my situation…) Still Thai and also influenced by western thinking and values. I think I'm lucky, I have a good bilingual school only 2.3 km from home. It's 65,000 per child per year for Kindergarten and 110,000 for Grade 1. That is for 2 semesters. Add 25% for extras, 60% if the kid is to join 3rd semester Mar to May. The 2 international schools close charge closer to half a million bath per year. A couple of things to consider for bilingual schools;

Teachers need to be checked, all Bilingual schools are not using good native speaking teachers.
A bilingual school will not make you bad in both languages. Who was the "ixxxt" that wrote that?
Most/All (All that I know of) are using the Thai semesters
A bilingual education is worth its weight in gold. Some could argue that gold is cheap in Thailand so the value of Thai language may not be worth it but it's not only that. It's widening horizons, it's culture and tradition that is very good to have learnt, it's Asia is the future and America is the past economically, regardless of if we like it or not
There are more of them around than we think
There are also many Thai Catholic schools around. I just found out about another one close to the intersection between Ratchada – Latprao only the other day. They generally don't push religion and education is good. They are also cheap. Good value for money.

"Satit" government schools
Satit Chula is probably good but the others I am not so sure. All rich Thai's try to get their kids into Satit schools. No Thai would question if a Satit school is good or not, that would be like question the king... They are government schools, entrance exams are academic and difficult, tea money certainly helps. I had a Thai friend who said that they paid 600,000 bath under the table to get their son in and that was in the mid-90s (I've heard it's much cheaper now but not sure about the going rate). But once they are in, then it is dirt cheap.

Kindergarten pushing academic knowledge is a necessity; the kid will be too far behind when it comes to knowledge otherwise
Must be able to read and write 2 languages to pass entrance exam to grade 1 (Thai and English)
50 students in each class with a primary teacher and one or 2 help teachers (Satit Prasarnmit)
Academic knowledge pushed, good memory more important than creativity and imagination
More than 80% of the students cheat on the exams and the teachers know it and ignore it (first hand information!)
It's important to be careful discussing how "good" Satit schools are; chances are that your Thai managers and supervisors went to one and that their kids go to one
Lot's of homework, get today, ready tomorrow, memorise, memorise, memorise
The myth about going to one to get connections doesn't hold, most connections are done at university anyway
Not a bad idea to go to a Satit school if you plan to go to Thammasart University later in life, teaching methods match
Competiveness among fellow students is surprisingly hard - and unfair

Other private Thai schools
See "Satit" (more or less)

Other government schools
Some are actually good, most of them not that good though
Unlikely to foster aggressive American style competiveness
Excessive spirit and positiveness likely to be pushed down

All the Best
Michael
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Old 08-12-2010, 07:53 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Great first post !

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeyIdea
How not to do it… the Thai way
Better off Thais I know tend to decide school based on reputation and name, then try to deal with the travelling time.

Yup. My advice too, choose a school close to you.
A second rate school close to home is MUCH better than a first rate school miles and miles away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeyIdea
How not to do it… My way
Common language in my home is Thai so I only spoke Thai with my daughter for the first 2.5 years. Don't do that…
There is a wealth of evidence to support this. Speak both languages at home, it does not matter if the child takes a little bit longer to learn to speak (they are learning too languages at once after all. Later in life they will learn both languages faster then. Its about the foundation.

Also a big one, is each parent must speak one language only to the child. Thai parent speak thai, the other parent speak the other language, do not mix and match otherwise the child will struggle to know which words and sounds belong to which language.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeyIdea
The first years are the most important ones for kids, that is where the foundation for the rest of their lives is laid (not only the rest of their education)
There is no such thing as "secondary school matters more". If anything, then it should be elementary school matters more because kids attitudes and learning styles are formed there and it's very hard to change what already has become a habit
TOTALLY AGREE.
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:53 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Would you go with a bilingual school, an international school or a Thai school?
Mikey - Bilingual, best of 2 worlds IMO

What international school is the best in Thailand? In Bangkok?
Mikey - Bangkok Patana - has been known to be the best school in Thailand for at least 20 years straight

What is the worst?
Mikey - Don't know

Where do you send your kids?
Mikey - Pranuntanit now, BBS (Bangkok Bilingal School) next year

What is the average tuition cost?
Mikey - 45,000 per term now, 65,000 next year

Does anyone home school their kids?
Mikey - Never

What are you thoughts on home schooling - bad or good? I know in the US people say it is bad because the children miss out on the social aspect of being in school with other kids. But really, do you want your child socializing with some of these thicko kids in Thailand?
Mikey - IMO, Bad Idea. And not all Thai kids fall into the category thicko kids that you describe, some of them are smarter than both your and my kids

I don't think that anyone (non-Thai that is) question that Thailand has an educational problem, the problem is that this educational problem has its roots in the Thai culture. And I don't want to change that, where would I move if all Thai's become like Germans or Americans?

I have 3 goals; 1) I want my daughter to have a happy childhood filled with laughter 2) I want my daughter to be well prepared for what will be required of her as an adult 3) I want her to understand when it is time to just feel satisfied

Unfortunately, the world gets more and more competitive. America is leading the development and also the consumption of anti-depressants. How do I prepare my daughter for what is to come? Is a good education academically going to be enough? Certainly not

A toddler today will finish university in 20 years time, she will then work for 40 years after that. Half way down this toddlers working life, that's 40 (forty) years from now by the way, China will be the world leader economically, India will be second and America and the EU will have struggled to stand still economically for the last 20 years. The Asian economies on overdrive driven by several billion diligent people who are pushed forward not only by the positive feeling of living in a country where things gets better every year, but also by an improved educational system will have taken over the world economy. America and the EU will still be powerful of course but it is going to be at the level of struggling to stand still.

Few people would question that Bangkok Patana is the best school in Thailand, it's been that for 20 years straight now, the education a child gets there beats most education you get in America or Europe. The problem is just that most people will not really see any opportunities in America or Europe in 15 to 20 years time and will probably not want to leave Asia. Going to an international school all the time here, they will have grown up in an expat style community without having any real roots either in "their own home country" or in Thailand. Most people need somewhere that we don't only call home but also feel home. We may be OK knowing that we're "outside and we'll always be outside" but should we assume that our kids will be OK feeling that all their lives too? This is why I don't recommend both primary and secondary education in international school. Part of the education in a good bilingual school will make a small difference academically and will give the kids the advantage of having one western foot and one eastern foot and the ability to feel at home in both societies, not only be able to bridge the cultural differences between east and west but also naturally understand them.

A good education academically is necessary but it is not enough. If it hasn't been a happy time, then it hasn't been a good time, regardless of what future success it has the potential to bring… And a bit of Asia in the education is more than just good, it's an opportunity

Mikey
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:13 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Great stuff..........With everything said, does anyone know the best route for a good bilingual education in the Udon Thani area?
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:32 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeyIdea
Few people would question that Bangkok Patana is the best school in Thailand, it's been that for 20 years straight now,
It's in the top 3 but it's not the best. In terms of exam results, class size and facilities etc..
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:25 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickschoppers View Post
Great stuff..........With everything said, does anyone know the best route for a good bilingual education in the Udon Thani area?
Not in Udon, anyone else who can help please?
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Old 13-12-2010, 10:11 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeyIdea
Few people would question that Bangkok Patana is the best school in Thailand, it's been that for 20 years straight now,
It's in the top 3 but it's not the best. In terms of exam results, class size and facilities etc..
Good info, is UN school on Sukh 15 one of the 3? Which are in your opinion the top 3?
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Old 13-12-2010, 10:16 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I have 2 kids (at the moment) in a kindergarten bilingual programme
30k per term each plus some extras
Here in Minburi there are many to chose from
when they get to P3 I will think again
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Old 13-12-2010, 01:06 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by MikeyIdea
Good info, is UN school on Sukh 15 one of the 3? Which are in your opinion the top 3?
Yep, the top 3 are ISB, Nist and Bangkok Pattana. ISB has an American bias, NIST is very international (UN affiliated) and Bangkok Pattana has a British bias. My opinion is that ISB and NIST are better than Bangkok Pattana as they have smaller class sizes and achieve significantly higher results at IB level.
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Old 13-12-2010, 01:15 PM   #21 (permalink)
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what about harrow? I rate it high, way above pattana.
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Old 13-12-2010, 01:27 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Why do you rate Harrow over Bangkok Pattana?

Harrow is good but old fashioned and they do A levels rather than IB. It is usually considered in the top 5 but not as high as the 3 I previously mentioned.
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Old 13-12-2010, 01:43 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Shrewsbury isn't bad
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Old 13-12-2010, 01:47 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I guess just a major difference of opinion. I dont have much regard for the graduates of Pattana. Seems to me Harrow places more students in better universities than Pattana.. I do like Nist as well. I would take it over ISB
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Old 13-12-2010, 02:51 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I agree, ISB is far too American biased, I think NIST gives a much more rounded education and school atmosphere.
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