35 Things To Know About First Grade in Korean Public School

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13 Responses

  1. Lee Leeani says:

    reality…indeed ,my son is going to 2nd grade next week..and im so proud of him survive the 1st grade,,and honestly those days terribly embarrassed me!!!

    • Betchay says:

      It’s embarrassing when we’re lost and we don’t know what to do. For me, I was a bit embarrassed that I couldn’t help with the room cleaning since I had to go to work on those days.

  2. Oegukeen says:

    I live in Europe but Korean first grade actually sounds much more normal and reasonable than in my country.

    I guess the real stress doesn’t start until kids start preparing for University?

    • Betchay says:

      Yes! High school students spend a lot of their time studying even during the holidays. But there is a mom in my son’s class and she sends her child to hagwon until 8 o’clock in the evening, and she’s not even working. So sometimes the parents are to blame for some of the stress students experience.

  3. timbo says:

    A school with all those facilities? That is impressive. Not many school like that around where I live. And I do agree. Parents are the biggest problem in the competitiveness of children.

  4. Gabrielle says:

    Thank you for your informative blog.
    I would like to buy first grade south korean schoolbooks.
    Do you know a website where I can buy them?

  5. chinita1979 says:

    Hi Betchay,

    I’m planning to enrol my 3 year old son next year in Maple Bear which offers the cheapest tuition fee of 1M/month. I’m still looking for other English preschools with 1M below tuition. My son is 100% Pinoy and we are living in Anyang.

    Thank you for your help.


  6. Jennifer says:

    Hello Betchay,

    I’ve been stumbling around the internet trying to find answers to my questions. Maybe you can help?

    I am interested in moving to South Korea. My only concern is my children. By the time I want to move my children will be 5 years old and 3 years old (in American years). Is this old enough for them to start school over there? You mentioned public school was free, is it fairly simple to get the children enrolled? I’m very concerned about the costs associated with their education since I’ll be living off a teacher’s salary.

    This brings me to my next question. I can’t find any information online about the 돌봄교실 you mentioned. Since I haven’t actually accepted a teaching position yet I don’t know what my work schedule will be, but I’m assuming I’ll get off work later than what I’m used to. So to clarify, when the children get out of school early there are after school programs available right there in the school for them?

    Another question I just thought of: What is the sick-day policy for students? My children both currently attend a daycare here in USA and if they are sick I have to pick them up within 30 minutes and they are not allowed to return until 24 hours have passed. This would be very inconvenient for me if it was similar in South Korea.

    All of my above questions pertain to the public schools system.

    Since I’m an education major I could perhaps find a job with an international school. From what I’ve read a lot of them offer free tuition to dependent children of teachers. Although that would be nice, I prefer public schools because I believe my children will assimilate to the Korean culture and language better. Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated!

    • Betchay says:

      Hi Jennifer! I’m so sorry for the super delayed reply. I’ve been so busy the past weeks ~

      Your kids can attend a day care center or kindergarten. They have to be 7 to attend elementary school. Day care center is subsidized by the government but since you’re not Koreans you may not be covered by this. It’s about 300-400 a month. Your children can stay at the day care center (public) until 9pm or sometimes even overnight. Private day care centers operate until 7pm. When my son attended a day care center, he was there from 10am to 9pm.

      Dolbom-kyosil is available at the elementary schools for grades 1 and 2. There are also various after school classes for a minimal fee ~ 30-120 for 3 months depending on the class.

      As for the sick-day policy, day care centers are quite lenient about this. You could leave the child at the day care center and advise the teacher of the medicine they need to take.

  7. Great article. My kids are going into 2nd and 5th grade. How will the transition be for them. Is there a class for international students? Is there any extra help, or are they just thrown in with the normal class from day 1. Thanks.

  8. Joreylou says:

    Hi I am a newly licensed teacher from the Philippines is it possible for me to teach in Korea? I know how to speak and write Korean I also have some friends studying there. THANK YOU

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