Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wednesdays In France

I've been meaning to write this post for months. But because Wednesdays are so busy and fun I never have the time to put it down for you.
Today's the day. As I sit on the terrace, Baby sleeping, Middlest at football and Ma Fille in Barbie heaven from her bday spoils, now's my chance to tell you about the middle of the week.

In most public schools in France there is no school on Wednesdays. That's right. Two days on, one day off, two days on. How's that for lifestyle? I wonder how kids who grow up on this system can imagine anything different...and how they probably respect their free time and know how to relax when they get to be adults.
There are two sides to this story I'm sure; but I like my version.

The school day is long; starting at 9 and ending at 5. There's a two-hour lunch in between, but still. Four hard going days like this deserve a break in the middle. Kids used to go on Saturday mornings too but they've stopped that, thank goodness. I would hate that.

Wednesdays are for extra-curricular activities and that's what we do. Rather than having to stuff it into the afternoons or on weekends we have all our sporty fun mid-week.
Here's the schedule around here:
9-10:30 tennis for both big kids
11-12:30 horses,lunch and a breather
2-4 football for the Middlest
It's go, go, go like most families with three children, but in our case all our fun is packed into one day. And when it's a pretty day like today in the South of France, it doesn't get any better.

What do you think of the school schedule? Could you get on board?


  1. Hasn't today just been gorgeous? Days like this and I believe spring is really on its way.
    I find the school days too long - I would rather they go to school Wednesday and get home at a more reasonable hour. By the time they're home at 5, trying to get homework, dinner, bath, read, bed routine done in 2.5 hrs is crazy. Even worse if my husband is away with work, which happens a bit.
    I had heard that they (the French Govt/school system) were going to review the schedule again, although I guess any changes won't be seen for a year or so. So glad they dropped the Saturday mornings though!

  2. I still can't get used to it! I do like Wednesdays--because of not having to run the kids back and forth to school (boy do I miss school buses!)but on L,M,J,V my oldest is at school from 8:30 to 5:30 with only 50 minutes for lunch--which is a really long day! In the states both kiddos were home by 3 pm! After school we also have trouble getting homework done before dinner. The boys insist that they need to 'rest' after school before homework so then dinner gets pushed to after 8-9ish....ugh! I don't love it--but now I will try to see the bright side of making Wednesdays a favorite day too!


  3. I can't imagine trying to get everything done after 5:30. On the other hand, it's a great schedule for working mothers and fathers who don't have to try to find an afterschool sitter. With a 2 hour lunch they're really in school the same number of hours each day, aren't they? I'm just glad I don't have to think about it anymore! Now I just have to worry about paying college tuition!

  4. Kirsty,
    Gorgeous indeed. Pinching myself.

    It does take getting used to. I never had school buses cause of coming from Ireland so really my comparison with school is from there. The homework part is difficult for me too, esp the French part of it! We've started having lighter dinners at night though and that's helped with timing and all that. Plus on Tuesday night we take it easy and then do that homework Wed afternoon.

    I have to worry about college tuition too...yipes! They do make it easy for working parents here. and there's a Wednesday childcare/activities day set up with school lunches if you can't take the Wed off.

    aidan x

  5. Oh, I had no idea - what an awesome thing for the kids (& something I'll be mentally bookmarking in case we ever have a bambino!)..It is, in a word, awesome! And yesterday was a gorgeous day, glad you had a chance to enjoy it - wish I was a French kid :)


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