It has been a while I did not write anything for my blog. I still live here, in California. Time flies. Life goes on. Things became pretty familiar and somehow aren't worth describing them.

Though I still see things that suprise, impress or even profoundly disturb me here in the USA.

My 2 years old daughter goes to the American daycare twice a week. I also consider to put her later in a Russian daycare. There are some of them here in the Bay Area: teachers are Russian and speak Russian with students, the way they deal with kids is somehow also familiar and known from our childhoods.

From what I saw until now, there are 2 main differences between Russian and American approaches to early childhood education. For convenience I'd call them "treatment" and "methodology".

1) treatment.

I will never say that Russian or American daycares treatments are better or worse. They are just different and basically reflect what we call "normal" in our respective societies.

a) food.

Russians, we all know what "goryachee pitanie" means. I'd translate it as "hot lunch" but it is not a word-for-word translation because in American culture you just do not have such a phenomenon. While in Russian daycares lunches are provided by a school with almost no exception, in American daycares lunches are often provided by parents and can be just a sandwich and chips, macaroni, cheese, carrots. Sometimes kid's lunch is the same as snack is, big snack but still a snack: one or two cheese slices, baby carrots, goldfish crackers and a fruit, no fish or meat included.

b) nap.

In most Russian daycares kids nap in pajamas, in beds. In American daycares kids nap with their shoes on (for fire safety reasons) and on the cots with or without a blanket. I am really not sure kids need those shoes on while napping but it is obligatory.

2) methodology.

Russian moms ofter want their children at an early age and later, of course, to learn. Do you remember Lenin's "learn, learn, learn"? Yes, we all remember it and basically follow this way. In American daycares academics are not so important at least for children 1 to 5-6 years old, social skills are, fun is. At American daycares teachers are here to accompany rather then to teach. If a child does not want, they do not force, sometimes do not even insist. They let it go.