I'm a happily married mum of two boys, aged 17 and 19, and as a family we moved to France eleven years ago. My husband works for a French company, I teach English to French people aged 6 - 60, and English reading and writing to the English-speaking children of the area. We are part of an English speaking church in Lyon. I love to shop for French vintage lace, fabric and household items, and to combine them with my British and global treasures in interesting ways.
Thanks for coming over to my British-meets-French Vintage blog! Please leave a comment - I love to hear from anyone who takes the time to read my posts, and I try to pop back and visit your blogs whenever I can.
If you'd like to know what my blog's name means, click here for the explanation!
I am not a perfect mother or housewife. There is dog hair under the sofa and the boys eat with their elbows on the table, however much they're nagged. I just assume you'd rather see the pretty stuff!
Forget-me-nots from Niki's garden (Nostalgia at the Stonehouse)
Thursday, September 3, 2009
C'est la Rentrée Giveaway!
Bonjour a tout et a tous - c'est la Rentrée!
(Hello one and all - it's Back to School!) Ahh, but really, la Rentrée is so much more than Back to School. It's the time of new starts, new resolutions, new outfits, new decor, new projects... So much more sensible to do all this in September, when the weather is good and the children are off our hands again, than in the New Year, when we British tend to make our resolutions. I can't keep a resolution when I'm cold and miserable...So, in honour of the very important French Rentrée, I have decided to tell you a bit about French education, and have a small giveaway with two prizes - not really big ones, I have to add. Firstly, here are two French school certificates from Lululiz's wonderful collection. She kindly sent me the photos when she heard I was planning this post. French schools start, at the nursery level, with a few half days a week, aged two. This is the beginning of Maternelle school, which is basically all about socialising and learning how to get on with people - not a lot of formal education takes place but you learn how to be a good little French citizen.
In the year you turn 7, you go into the big school, the Ecole. This is later than the UK but it works pretty well - the children will have learned a bit about letters, numbers and writing in Grand Section Maternelle but basically, in their first term (starting today) they will catch up or even overtake English children of the same age in really intensive reading and writing lessons. They have homework and everything is taken very seriously.
They remain in the Ecole Primaire until the year they turn 11, whereupon they start at College. This is why Son 2, aged only 10 and a half, is now at Big School! He would only be in Year 6 in England! (Gulp.) I am really pleased with the local College. I volunteer as a parent representative on the Class Councils and, although the educational ethos is staggeringly different to the English approach, I am happy with how things are going there.
At the age of 15 they take the Brevet, and passing that allows them to go on to Lycee, which is basically High School. All this, plus their final Baccalaureat exams, is yet to come for us... So, now on to the Giveaway. I want to award one prize at random. As I did before, you can have up to three chances to win. All followers have one chance. Anyone who leaves a comment on this post will have another chance. And if you copy the image at the top of this post and put a link to my giveaway on your blog, please leave me a second comment telling me what you've done and that will make your third entry!
So, what can you win? I've got a mixture of old and new French schooling and childhood ephemera. This prize includes a lovely old school book, with a beautifully written lesson on how to make a shirt - it's a needlework exercise book. I've added a modern School Year Diary (recycled 'green' version) with lots of excellent info about France and French culture, but perfectly useful in any language... In addition there are some smart French 'etiquettes', used to label school books or anything else you find useful, and some sweet retro pictures and 'vouchers' for nice things for Maman! The other prize is similar, but the winner will have to do something! In your comment below, please let me know about a resolution of your own. Your comment will then have a chance to win both the prize above, and the one below! Wow, that could be four chances to win! Typical French resolutions for the Rentrée might be to try something new - my choir and my gym class used to double in size each Rentrée, which was always fun. My resolutions are to:
Watch the French news on TV every night. Keep up my cycling every (or nearly every) morning. Write in my spiritual Journal every day. Not take on committments unless I have the time to do them properly (more on that later).
What is your resolution? Let me know and I'lll award this prize to the one that 'clicks' with me! Might be funny, might be serious... I won't know until I read something that makes me go 'Wow!' (help, this sounds exactly like what I say to my pupils about how I award House Points!)... The agenda and etiquettes are similar, as are the retro vouchers for mums. The ephemera are different - two vintage schooling papers and a rather battered but very cute French school picture. I am actually going shopping in a super Stationery store (in La Capitole, Toulouse) tomorrow, so it's just possible that I'll find something else small to add to these two prizes....
Meanwhile, please do join in by: Leaving a comment here, hopefully with a resolution attatched. Joining my list of Friendly Followers if you'd like to and if you're not already there! Making a link to my giveaway on your blog and letting me know by leaving a second comment.
I'll have lots more Rentrée news over the next few days - the town Forum des Associations is on Saturday, where every organisation takes on new members...
I'll make the selection of my winners next Thursday, September 10th, so you have a week to enter. Best of luck - I look forward to hearing from you!