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Old 22.02.2008, 00:20
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Re: Advice is needed: how to get a child to year 2 of Swiss Kindergarten?

Hi Lana,

Having almost got two kids through kindergarten now, it strikes me that perhaps you need to have a fresh look at things.

First of all most kids start school at about 7 years old, so having your child start at 7.5 years is not going to be such a big deal and of course she will not be the only one! Secondly, there is not much of a difference between the first and second year in kindergarten, other than the amount of time they put in, so again it should not be a big deal to switch between one and the other.

Most foreign kids need the extra year in kindergarten to really master the language, so if she needs the extra year so be it. At the end of the day a year one way or the other will not make a difference in the over all plan of things.

During the school year you will have several chances to meet with the teacher and discuss your childs progress and what you both think is best for her. I had to deal with at least 6 kindergarten teachers over the past while and it has been my experience that in the end they always try to do their very best for the childern in their care. So have a little faith, I'm sure it will work out just fine.

One thing I have found is that the teachers do not like to hear much about the child at the start. They prefer to work with the child for a while and then at the first partent teach meeting, get to know all the back ground stuff. In the first meeting with the teacher they ususally set out what they have found out, their impressions and so on and then ask you if that matches up with your knowledge of the child, after that they go on to discuss how they expect the year will work out and what your expectations for the child are - it is at this point I would bring up the idea of only doing one year in the kindergarten and see how it goes.

Now before you say I'm mad, let me tell you that I am the father of a problem child - the experts can't agree on what the problem is, other than that there is a problem. I experienced my child going into the KKD, only to be follow by a period where they compressed 1 year of school into 6 months and pushed him up two classes and then having him stay back a year. Over the period I've met with all kinds of officials from the education department, so perhaps I have a different attitude that others might have on this.

I hope I have not offended you, but I really think you should chill out and stop pushing so hard. It will all work out in the end.

Best Regards,

Jim
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