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Raising Kids in Modern Russia

World Culture for Kids at Mama Smiles Joyful Parenting

Today Amanda Boyarshinov of The Educators’ Spin On It has graciously joined us to share this post on raising children in modern Russia, written with help from her husband, who is from Russia. Amanda is a master teacher and mom to three. She has traveled the world and strongly believes in raising globally aware children. With the help of her husband, their family is attempting to be bilingual. To see more of their adventures with the Russian language and culture, stop by their world culture for kids page at The Educators’ Spin On It. While you’re there, check out these adorable penguin math counters, and this collection of indoor play ideas – perfect for winter!

Raising Children in Modern Russia

Photo taken in Votkinsk, Russia

From my experiences with other cultures, it appears that the majority of parents are striving to be the best parents they can be to raise, healthy, happy children who will grow up to become productive members of society. I cannot characterize parenting tactics in general for a nation, as this is individualized for each family, rather comment upon slight differences as a whole. My husband, who is a native of Russia, has helped me to write this list about raising children in modern Russia to share with you. We often talk about what we can do to be better parents and feel fortunate to be able to look at how two different countries view raising children, which is a very important job for all!

Raising Kids in Modern Russia, the Benefits and Challenges for Families

Benefits of Raising Children in Russia:

1. Academically Strong Schools: The Russian education system encourages high achieving, academically strong students. Students in most grades have several hours of homework nightly and summer reading requirements.

2. Bilingual Language Skills: Students in many schools have the opportunity to learn another language and become fluent by their high school years, this is also encouraged by parents in the home setting as well. Spanish, English, and French are three languages that may be taught.

3. Family Support: Many Russians still live close to their families and work together to prove basic needs for the children. This may include child care and housing.

4. Community Playgrounds: As families traditionally live in apartment flats, the children gather for afternoon games of street soccer, riding, bike, or just playing with friends near the entrance of their homes.

Challenges of Raising Children in Russia:

1. Expenses: The cost of everyday goods in comparison to working wages is a significant difference. Families rely on hand-me downs and purchase the necessities.

2. Space: Many apartments are very small. A one room flat may house a family. For this reason, large furniture items, such as couches, also fold out into beds for sleeping at night.

3. In Russia, school is about academics.  Anything extra would be ‘clubs’ outside of school by choice of parents. If a student has potential to be an athlete, then some parents enroll children in “sport schools,” where emphasis is heavily made on athletics, with minor emphasis on academics. This leads to mostly an all or nothing approach. My husband went to a “linguistics” school and studied English and French. After school he played soccer in the nearby club.

As in all countries, there are wonderful things about being parents, these are just a few benefits and challenges of raising children in modern Russia.

Thank you for this look at the Russian school system, Amanda! I always love learning about differences in education from country to country! What is school like where you live?


Interested in contributing to this series? You can write a post about any part of the world you know well; use your own photos and a child-friendly voice. Email me at mamasmilesblog at gmail dot com for more information!

MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

10 thoughts on “Raising Kids in Modern Russia”

  1. Elisa | blissfulE

    What a great glimpse at schooling in modern Russia! I can identify with high cost of living and using a lot of hand-me-downs, but it’s harder when you don’t live near family. So I think it’s great that families stay close to one another in Russia.

    I’m curious: is homeschooling is allowed in Russia? That might give a balance between the all-or-nothing approach to academics.

  2. SOunds so much like the set-up we have here. Strong academics, learning of more than one language and having family close-by – all this resonate our living style as well. I think every place has its own advantages and challenges, but I agree raising globally aware kids is very important. Here Aarya talks in Hindi (national language) but all of his school instructions and exams are in English and he is supposed to be fluent in that when he grows up. And he needs to learn one more language in school, which mostly is the state-language (local) or Hindi.

  3. teachingyoungchildren

    Great post. I grew up in “modern Russia” (well, in Belarus), and I only wish my daughter’s school here in US was anything like my school back home. Of course, that would require teachers to actually be able to teach more than one grade ;)

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