THE KIDS IN ASC HOSTFAMILIES are normally at age 3-15. According to the introduction in “China’s Education System”, These kids will have to make change to their lifestyle to adapt each level of education. We hope it’ll be helpful for you to get to know the Chinese children’s life in general before you make up your mind to come.
3-5 years: they will be in kindergarten from 9.00-16.00 (the time may various from school to school); they won’t have much “homework” to do after school and can always need a companion. Maybe an A Yi (nanny in Chinese) or grandparents. Therefore, unless otherwise specified, an aupair in family with 3-5 years old kids will have at least one helping hand.
5-6 years: the kids will be dealing with their first challenge in their life-to prepare for school. There’re all kinds of training centers around the city or just set in the kindergarten. Almost all Chinese parents will “have to” send their kids to after school training centers to attend “pre-school training classes” to study Chinese Pinyin (phonetics), English, basic mathematics etc.
6-7 years: this is a relatively critical period for Chinese kids. The primary school life is totally different than in kindergarten: more homework; much strict teachers; higher requirement to their behaviors etc. The kids may be very tired when they get home, but they still enjoy little chitchat with whoever cares about their interests. Among ASC host families, kids in this age already have basic English skills, therefore the communication will be easier to carry out.
7-11 years: They’ve already adapted to school education and school life. They start to grow interests in science and nature. Some ASC host families’ kids are studying in international schools, that means, the kids’ English level will be much better for they have foreign teachers at school.
11-12 years: Although there will be no national wide entrance exam for students upgrading from primary to secondary education, the best secondary schools still can be selective. At this stage, parents who want their kids to be in top secondary schools will have to prepare their kids for these schools’ entrance exams and interviews. The exams and interviews will include: Chinese, English, Mathematics and sometimes Problem-Solving.
12-15 years:As you may have found from “Chinese Educational System” introduction, after compulsory education stage, the student will have his/her own target to achieve – to take the senior high school entrance exam. Actually, during recent 5-6 years, more and more Chinese families started to send their teenage kids to abroad. No matter from which perspective, the aupair family with teenagers would normally want the aupair to prepare their kids: get use to English environment is what they want the most.