Surviving the local school system

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I have been lurking on this site for several years and have benefited immensely from the thoughtful and amusing articles by Mr. Tall and Mr. Balding, and the helpful comments from readers, especially those on choosing a school system and negotiating the application process. Certainly for our family, reading batgung had a significant influence on our decision to send our children to school in the local system.

Is there any chance of an update on the ongoing adventures of Daughers Tall and Balding (and their elders) through primary school? I suspect I am not the only reader waiting breathlessly for the next installment. I would love to hear from others about how one manages homework and exams; finding good tutors; balancing non-school activities; how workload progresses over time; the dreaded TSA (HK-wide exam given in the 3rd grade); the middle-school exams; recommendations for bookstores with good children's materials; social issues (school far from home, so classmates do not equal playmates; I am different from my classmates in my languages/family background/why don't my friends in ESF / internationsl schools seem to have any homework?); dealing with success (what to do when suddenly your kid is fine with Chinese but hates English?)....well, you get the picture, and I have to stop and go get in line at a kindergarten, so....

Mr. Tall and Mr. Balding, you helped us get here; can you help us make it through?

positive experience at local school

Geoexpat has a detailed post "expat kids at local school: the ins and outs" describing the experience of a half Australian-half Chinese family with 4 children in a local school; this mother seems happier with her experience in the HK local system than with the schooling in Australia. I found it pretty interesing.

Some readers found the original post hard to read; scroll down to the bottom of the first page for a more legible version (and to skip a bunch of unnecessary sniping).

She has some description of how she manages notices, work, schedules, and preparation.