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Old 01.04.2008, 16:48
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Re: Advice is needed: how to get a child to year 2 of Swiss Kindergarten?

We are in a similar position as you, but have a very different outlook. Our son is a fluent English/Russian speaker and was enrolled in a private english speaking pre-school at ages 3-4. When we received the invite for the Swiss kindergarten, we explicitly wanted him to go for both of the 2 years of Swiss kindergarten and took him out of the english school, in order for him to intergrate here better.

At the english school he was definitely learning more (came home with little arts&crafts projects, they taught the alphabet and writing exercises, etc.) compared to the Swiss kindergarten (now he rarely brings home any drawings or makes anything, they never learned the alphabet, or numbers, etc.). But the Swiss kindergarten is all about social skills and learning to play together and communicate. And since 1/3 of his class is foreigners, that communicating part is really important!

We still teach him at home reading and counting and things like that, but think the social and intergration skills he learns in the Swiss kindergarten are far more important for him at this age. And we for sure wanted him to get both of the 2 years before progressing to the first year of school.

Actually, alot of the other foreign kids in his class had german-speaking play groups previously and can speak some german (or Swiss-german), so our son is just learning now and is alittle behind most of the other kids. But he's learning, and having fun there. And by the time he finishes both years of kindergarten, we're sure he'll have a much easier entry into the first grade.
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