Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Family matters/health  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 15.12.2010, 22:50
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Schwarzenberg LU
Posts: 73
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 73 Times in 21 Posts
bobma has earned some respectbobma has earned some respect
Backward Step

We have got my 5yo son into the local school (part time kindergarten is all that is on offer).
However, I am concerned at the level of education he is receiving.
He has been at full time school in the UK since age 2y 6m and is already a competent reader and writer.
When we ask him what he does at school he always says "just playing again".
We see him in the playground and he is happy enough running around with other kids and has a couple of friends to go sledging with etc.

But he does not seem to be doing anything for his academic progress and never has any homework which I used to love doing with him. He is a bright boy but now seems bored by the sudden loss of mental stimulation.
I have started doing my own independent 3Rs with him as I don't want him to fall behind should we end up back in the UK.

Is this normal in Switzerland? Should I stop worrying? The only plus side is he is picking up German faster than me or the wife.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 15.12.2010, 22:58
lost_inbroad's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Town or region
Posts: 11,491
Groaned at 655 Times in 417 Posts
Thanked 16,388 Times in 6,379 Posts
lost_inbroad has a reputation beyond reputelost_inbroad has a reputation beyond reputelost_inbroad has a reputation beyond reputelost_inbroad has a reputation beyond reputelost_inbroad has a reputation beyond reputelost_inbroad has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Backward Step

Yeah, it's a shame that they don't teach quantitative physics in kindergarten here in Switzerland.
Reply With Quote
The following 12 users would like to thank lost_inbroad for this useful post:
This user groans at lost_inbroad for this post:
  #3  
Old 15.12.2010, 23:01
economisto
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Backward Step

You should talk to Dougals Breakfast about this, but he might say:

1. Multilingual kids only equalise/catch up at around the age of 10.
2. The Swiss seem to end up just fine.

So relax and put your faith in the teachers.
Reply With Quote
The following 5 users would like to thank for this useful post:
  #4  
Old 15.12.2010, 23:09
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Backward Step

When I was a kid we did not start school until aged 6 - homework?! just because YOU enjoy it!

Relax - he is learning all these language and social skills - and will very soon catch up, honest.
Reply With Quote
The following 5 users would like to thank for this useful post:
  #5  
Old 15.12.2010, 23:16
phdoofus's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: City by the Bay
Posts: 2,357
Groaned at 96 Times in 56 Posts
Thanked 3,205 Times in 1,227 Posts
phdoofus has a reputation beyond reputephdoofus has a reputation beyond reputephdoofus has a reputation beyond reputephdoofus has a reputation beyond reputephdoofus has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Backward Step

As someone with way too many years of academe under his belt and too many years at some of the world's most challenging institutions of higher learning I just have this to say: lighten the frak up and let junior be a kid. And before you start thinking 'I'll just read him some of Plato's Republic because I enjoy it so'.....don't. Just stop it.
Reply With Quote
The following 5 users would like to thank phdoofus for this useful post:
  #6  
Old 15.12.2010, 23:17
Nickers's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Zurich
Posts: 3,693
Groaned at 41 Times in 35 Posts
Thanked 4,899 Times in 1,697 Posts
Nickers has a reputation beyond reputeNickers has a reputation beyond reputeNickers has a reputation beyond reputeNickers has a reputation beyond reputeNickers has a reputation beyond reputeNickers has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Backward Step

Seriously should 5 year olds get homework? I used to get so annoyed how much the high rated ofsted school my neice and nephew go to give them from the age of 4 back home. Kids should be able to play and not have stresses of homework and offsted reports
Reply With Quote
The following 4 users would like to thank Nickers for this useful post:
  #7  
Old 15.12.2010, 23:26
wellmood's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Vaud region
Posts: 53
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 29 Times in 16 Posts
wellmood has earned some respectwellmood has earned some respect
Re: Backward Step

Hi,

well, if he is really bored overthere.. you can do some writing and reading games with him.
But 5 yo.. mine is 4 and I am happy he can still be in the garderie until august - he loves playing, especially in the toddler's area with his little brother I am glad he gets to play and isn't squeezed in the achievemt business yet !
ps don't forget that 'playing' [drawing, building stuff, playdough, social issues etc] stimulates his development as well!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 15.12.2010, 23:35
kodokan's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Phoenix AZ, USA
Posts: 1,299
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 930 Times in 460 Posts
kodokan has a reputation beyond reputekodokan has a reputation beyond reputekodokan has a reputation beyond reputekodokan has a reputation beyond reputekodokan has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Backward Step

Quote:
View Post
He is a bright boy but now seems bored by the sudden loss of mental stimulation... The only plus side is he is picking up German faster than me or the wife.
Let's see - he's in kindergarten for perhaps 3 hours a day, during which he is in full foreign language immersion. So I'd suggest there's a vast amount of mental stimulation going on right there. And since it's only 3 hours, if he's suddenly become bored then you've plenty of hours left to 'fix' it, right?

Only I'd steer clear of anything other than reading and writing in English (excellent idea to keep this up, of course). Don't do maths - you'll just make next year boring for him too, when he redoes it at school.

Do chess. Do card games. Do computer skills. Do origami. Do gardening. Do family history. Do cooking.

Don't worry about tracking along with the UK - if you're here until he's around 9, it all equals out anyway; they really do move along quite briskly here once they get going, as it's easier and faster to teach stuff to 6-8 yr olds than it is to teach 4-6 yr olds. And worst case you could make up any gaps in a matter of hours or days; my 10 yr old hasn't done fractions or decimals here yet, but I could cover that off with him in an afternoon if we suddenly had to drop him back into the National Curriculum.

Don't underestimate what they do in kindergarten, assuming he has a decent teacher. When I really thought about what my daughter learnt in two years' of enfantine, in terms of literacy and numeracy, it was actually very good - a keen sense of number, shape and pattern recognition, advanced comprehension and anticipation of events for stories, understanding of rhyme and structure, fine motor skills from all that pricking out of pictures, etc.

They even did science - experiments with water and ice during winter, hatched butterflies, etc. They formed hypotheses, created experiments to test them, monitored progress, discussed their results extensively to work out why things happened/ didn't happen as they expected.

None of any of the above involved a worksheet or a pencil, but don't think that means it doesn't count...

kodokan
__________________
'Chance favours only the prepared mind.'
Reply With Quote
The following 12 users would like to thank kodokan for this useful post:
This user groans at kodokan for this post:
  #9  
Old 15.12.2010, 23:51
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Schwarzenberg LU
Posts: 73
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 73 Times in 21 Posts
bobma has earned some respectbobma has earned some respect
Re: Backward Step

After re-reading my post - the replies are spot on. I didn't mean to give the impression I was trying to "hot-house" him, I also believe a kid should be a kid. (although I am indeed a physicist who enjoys Plato)

However he is the one complaining, maybe he is just missing his old friends from school in the UK, and his CeeBeeBies.

If we stay here I won't be worried, but if we go back in 2 years he will have dropped behind his old classmates, (despite by then hopefully being a good skier and bilingual).
Reply With Quote
The following 5 users would like to thank bobma for this useful post:
  #10  
Old 15.12.2010, 23:52
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Zurich
Posts: 32
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 11 Times in 9 Posts
JenniferF has no particular reputation at present
Re: Backward Step

My Swiss pediatrician explained to me that in Switzerland, schools must start off very slowly because school used to not be compulsory until 6 years old (I think it's 4 now in Zurich). Therefore, from years 4-6, teachers couldn't really teach anything useful in order not to disadvantage the kids with parents who decided to keep them at home until they were 6 years old. However, the quality of education soon becomes very good after age 6. He told me that if my son is ready to learn before then, the best bet would be to send him to an international school where they teach basic things earlier. But we can't afford the fees of like 30K a year (and even then, there are incredible waiting lists!!!), so instead, I send my son once a week to an English reading class.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 15.12.2010, 23:53
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Zurich
Posts: 32
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 11 Times in 9 Posts
JenniferF has no particular reputation at present
Re: Backward Step

Oh yes, I forgot to mention that if you buy the British channels from Cablecom, your son can continue to have CeeBeebies here in the comfort of his own home in Switzerland (Channel 158). My son loves CeeBeebies!!!
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 15.12.2010, 23:57
Clarejane's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Where my heart is
Posts: 349
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 540 Times in 185 Posts
Clarejane has a reputation beyond reputeClarejane has a reputation beyond reputeClarejane has a reputation beyond reputeClarejane has a reputation beyond reputeClarejane has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Backward Step

Relax a little. Like the previous posters have said, do some things at home if you are really that worried. My son often comes home and says how they haven't done much in class, however when I hear his level of German I don't worry so much. He even helped out the lady in the library today as she struggled to find the right words!

Things are done very differently over here and that you have to accept. It doesn't mean that the kids are getting a worse education its just a different way of doing things. I for one am grateful some of the pressure is off my son, after having gone through SATS in the UK last year.

I can see so many things improving with my son already. Just small things, for example his handwriting is so much better. People back home are commenting on how his speech is improving, no more gansta talk from Essex .

My son is 11 so we are encouraging him to write letters to his aged Great Aunts, we have joined the library. There are things you can do with your son to help occupy him. So please give the system here a chance. Agreed it doesn't suit every child but neither does the pressure the kids can be under to over achieve and excel at everything.
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank Clarejane for this useful post:
  #13  
Old 16.12.2010, 13:19
Bookworm's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: near Muri AG
Posts: 181
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 139 Times in 79 Posts
Bookworm has earned some respectBookworm has earned some respect
Re: Backward Step

Quote:
View Post
After re-reading my post - the replies are spot on. I didn't mean to give the impression I was trying to "hot-house" him, I also believe a kid should be a kid. (although I am indeed a physicist who enjoys Plato)

However he is the one complaining, maybe he is just missing his old friends from school in the UK, and his CeeBeeBies.

If we stay here I won't be worried, but if we go back in 2 years he will have dropped behind his old classmates, (despite by then hopefully being a good skier and bilingual).
We have CeeBeeBies on Swisscom TV now and my 6-year-old loves it ... he's also learning math from the programmes they broadcast.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 16.12.2010, 13:45
rrs rrs is offline
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Zuerich
Posts: 986
Groaned at 91 Times in 54 Posts
Thanked 348 Times in 226 Posts
rrs is considered unworthyrrs is considered unworthyrrs is considered unworthyrrs is considered unworthy
Re: Backward Step

Quote:
View Post
We have got my 5yo son into the local school (part time kindergarten is all that is on offer).
However, I am concerned at the level of education he is receiving.
He has been at full time school in the UK since age 2y 6m and is already a competent reader and writer.
When we ask him what he does at school he always says "just playing again".
We see him in the playground and he is happy enough running around with other kids and has a couple of friends to go sledging with etc.

But he does not seem to be doing anything for his academic progress and never has any homework which I used to love doing with him. He is a bright boy but now seems bored by the sudden loss of mental stimulation.
I have started doing my own independent 3Rs with him as I don't want him to fall behind should we end up back in the UK.

Is this normal in Switzerland? Should I stop worrying? The only plus side is he is picking up German faster than me or the wife.
He'll continue on just fine if you return to the UK. Maybe he'll need a bit of an extra push. How many kids in the UK start picking up a second language at age 5. We do try to keep up reading and writing skills with our kid also.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank rrs for this useful post:
  #15  
Old 16.12.2010, 14:14
kodokan's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Phoenix AZ, USA
Posts: 1,299
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 930 Times in 460 Posts
kodokan has a reputation beyond reputekodokan has a reputation beyond reputekodokan has a reputation beyond reputekodokan has a reputation beyond reputekodokan has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Backward Step

I found that in the early days here it helped to take a long term view of my son's education. Leaving aside debates about lifelong learning, I assumed I was aiming for certain skills, knowledge and abilities by the time he was at the end of compulsory schooling.

I made myself stop thinking that there was only one way to reach this goal: the standard schooling approach of taking a layered approach of a little of each subject over a long period (imagine a flat rainbow, perhaps, where each colour is a subject). Instead, for the first year here he would be extremely heavy, almost a solid colour if you like, on Modern Languages. More a modular, block approach to learning. Later on, we may return to the UK or another country where these things aren't as important, and his Languages stripe may be almost non-existent.

Like I said, he's not quite in step with his UK counterparts when it comes to easily measurable things like maths. But in the long run no-one will care whether he learnt long division when he was 9 or 10. And in a few years' time he will speak 3 languages, and have something interesting and different to talk about in his uni interviews.

He's also benefitted in other, not so tangible ways. Before, he was the sort of kid who would take the lead in a group, suggest the games, allocate the roles, etc. Not because he was charismatic or physically domineering - he's quite a little thing - but because he does have good ideas and would just talk and negotiate and 'Yes, but...' at the others until they simply gave in to make him shut up.

This meant he didn't really have any social skills in groups; no real understanding of the roles people take, when to interject, when to step back - he'd never had to really grasp the subtleties. (In fairness, he was only 8.) But within months he got a whole lot better in these things. I would watch him on the playground, and he would be forced to watch the give and take of conversation, see who was in 'charge', judge his moment to make his small contribution... a far cry from his previous steamroller obliviousness. It's been really good for him to stop relying on his articulation and work on his non-verbal communication and empathy.

You seem to have a healthy attitude, so as long as you keep muttering 'not all learning is done with a pencil', you'll be fine.

(But best not to mention 'full-time school at the age of 2.5' to any Swiss friends - they won't appreciate that you just mean daycare, will think you're a sociopath and start mentally calling Child Services...)
__________________
'Chance favours only the prepared mind.'
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank kodokan for this useful post:
  #16  
Old 16.12.2010, 14:30
Nelly_Da_Hefferlump's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Zürich, Switzerland
Posts: 767
Groaned at 8 Times in 7 Posts
Thanked 876 Times in 356 Posts
Nelly_Da_Hefferlump has a reputation beyond reputeNelly_Da_Hefferlump has a reputation beyond reputeNelly_Da_Hefferlump has a reputation beyond reputeNelly_Da_Hefferlump has a reputation beyond reputeNelly_Da_Hefferlump has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Backward Step

Pssst. Age five is perfect to start some music lessons. Fun making noise AND really helps maths and concentration.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 16.12.2010, 15:05
MacGregor's Daughter's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Zug
Posts: 3,169
Groaned at 31 Times in 23 Posts
Thanked 3,563 Times in 1,463 Posts
MacGregor's Daughter has a reputation beyond reputeMacGregor's Daughter has a reputation beyond reputeMacGregor's Daughter has a reputation beyond reputeMacGregor's Daughter has a reputation beyond reputeMacGregor's Daughter has a reputation beyond reputeMacGregor's Daughter has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Backward Step

I fully understand your concern. My daughter had taught herself to read at the age of 5 (she read "real" books, not kids stuff) and she wanted to start school. So we had to go see
1) a psychologist
2) a pediatrician
3) another psychologist who tested her intelligence
4) the school board several times

to make sure she was ready for school and we were not pushing her. Finally she got a special permission to start school at the age of 5 1/2. Now she is in 11th grade, 2 years younger than her classmates but you wouldn't know the difference.

What I'm trying to say is a) kids are different , b) they start school here way too late because c) most kids are curious and want to learn but unfortunately d) at school they get very easily demotivated.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank MacGregor's Daughter for this useful post:
  #18  
Old 16.12.2010, 15:08
itsme
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Backward Step

Hi

My two are aged 7 and 9 years old and have been in the local (Vaud) school since August and having previously been in the UK and completed 3 & 4 years respectively of the UK compulsory curriculum. I understand how different the school systems can appear, however, there can be benefits to the Swiss system.

I am pleased my 2 had a good 'grounding' in the basics, learning to read, maths, written english etc, but there were many contraints of the english system, eg a class of 32 kids (!!), the great spread of academic ability across the class and with so many 'boxes' to tick and things to cover they never really got to spend much quality time on anything before having to move on and do something else. Here, the teachers seem to have more time to spend on each topic and the children appear to be more engrossed and in whatever it is they are doing. My kids did love school in the UK but they do seem to be more engaged with the subjects they cover in the Swiss school, possibly because they spend more time on each topic here?

They are slowly learning french, and although a long way from being able to speak it yet, I know that even if we do return to the UK and they are not fluent or bilingual by then they will have the basic skils of the language (accent, pronunciation and basic grammar) for them to be pick it up easily later in life.

I do keep up with them doing their times tables, having gone to the trouble and struggle of learning them in the first place I don't want them to lose the instant recall of them (I have friends in the UK who teach secondary age kids and they say so many of them struggle with basic maths as they have never learnt their times tables). And we read lots of english language books - reading the Chalet school books with my daughter as this seems very apt for Switzerland.

Another benefit of the Swiss system is that kids are given honest feedback, ie if they have failed at something or not achieved a certain grade they are told. In the UK everyone seemed to excel at everything and no one failed, everyone one got stickers/ reward etc regardless. Here my kids seem to be more aware that not everyone in the class achieves the smiley face in their agenda at the end of each week and that you do have to put the effort in and work to get the results. But I do think they teachers here are better at praising the children and engaging with them.

I know that my kids aren't keeping up with their UK friends as far as the National Curriculum is concerned but like already said I am sure if we were to move back to the UK this is something we could cover over a couple of days with the relevant text books. But what they are learning here more than makes up for that and not just in terms of a second language.

HTH and all goes well with school and your little one.

A
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank for this useful post:
  #19  
Old 16.12.2010, 16:44
kodokan's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Phoenix AZ, USA
Posts: 1,299
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 930 Times in 460 Posts
kodokan has a reputation beyond reputekodokan has a reputation beyond reputekodokan has a reputation beyond reputekodokan has a reputation beyond reputekodokan has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Backward Step

Quote:
View Post
b) they start school here way too late
It's good that you were able to flex the system for your advanced daughter. That would have been almost impossible in the UK, as is holding back a year for the children who are not emotionally/ socially ready at sometimes age 4 and a few days (legal age is 5, but most schools only have one intake in September for anyone who's turned 4 by the 30 August; the alternative is keeping the child out for the first full year of school and having them join their chronological age group the following year, when all the other kids have made friends and learnt to read...)

But if they start way too late here, then pretty much the whole of Europe is wrong: http://www.nfer.ac.uk/nfer/index.cfm...C-8B4F43F54A28

And according to this, it doesn't matter anyway: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/com...cle6876981.ece - EF kids are of course all super bright regardless of age or education system, so will be fine
__________________
'Chance favours only the prepared mind.'
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank kodokan for this useful post:
  #20  
Old 16.12.2010, 17:05
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Backward Step

Quote:
So we had to go see
1) a psychologist
2) a pediatrician
3) another psychologist who tested her intelligence
4) the school board several times

to make sure she was ready for school and we were not pushing her.
You're clearly not pushing her.

While you may not see a problem with the age difference at this point (although I find that hard to believe), you will as she gets older.

Quote:
2. The Swiss seem to end up just fine.
And as such need to import so many qualified foreigners to write their code and work in their banks...

I would suggest that the OP stop taking advice from the internet and follow his/her gut. There are far too many variables at work with your child's specific situation for anyone here to give you suitable advice.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank for this useful post:
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Step by step guide for apartment buying Arya Housing in general 6 05.12.2012 10:26
One step closer swissness Introductions 1 19.11.2010 14:42
Needed step by step advice for self employment nigel xyz Employment 4 25.10.2009 17:57


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 05:59.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0