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  #21  
Old 24.07.2012, 08:36
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Re: home schooling

So much depends on the individual teachers and the other pupils in the class. My son arrived aged 11, with no German. He was fortunate that his teacher had spent 7 years teaching in England.

My younger daughter was in a good school, in a good area, yet her teacher was convinced that she wasn't good enough to go to the middle stream, so she went into the lower (when she left primary). She was not a happy girl with this particular teacher who just didn't seem to be able to interact with her, despite her being a fluent German speaker.

Four months later, she was back in the middle stream, with excellent teachers, and much happier.

My middle daughter in the same school, didn't really enjoy her time there.

They all integrated well with their class mates quite quickly. That aspect you really don't have to worry about.

Choosing school - well, it's pot luck. Same school, different teacher or even different class can make the world of difference. A school recommendation won't help - most are going to be ok. I think the area you the school is in is a better indicator. Zürchers here should be able to advise you on that.
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  #22  
Old 24.07.2012, 09:19
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Re: home schooling

If they are indeed as literate and bright as you describe, then there will be absolutely no problem for them to learn German which will also be useful to them in later life.

Your kids will be speaking fluent German before you know what.
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  #23  
Old 24.07.2012, 11:50
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Re: home schooling

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I don't doubt that, but why didn't you negotiate the fees of international schooling from the employer?
Is the employment market so employer-friendly nowadays that they don't even to have to make this effort anymore to get oversee skilled workers?
Some - perhaps many - companies have stopped offering such perks.

With the influx of EU folks some conpanies have found there is little need to offer enticements to any but the most highly qualified and sought-after employees. If the driving factor is the employee's desire to move to Switzerland, the ball's in the employer's court.

And - some companies can no longer afford to be so liberal with the typical expat packages of yesteryear. Hard to justify the expense (or the inequity) these days, especially if equally qualified but less demanding candidates are available.

The times they are a-changin'.

Last edited by meloncollie; 24.07.2012 at 12:03.
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Old 24.07.2012, 12:31
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Re: home schooling

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Some - perhaps many - companies have stopped offering such perks.

With the influx of EU folks some conpanies have found there is little need to offer enticements to any but the most highly qualified and sought-after employees. If the driving factor is the employee's desire to move to Switzerland, the ball's in the employer's court.

And - some companies can no longer afford to be so liberal with the typical expat packages of yesteryear. Hard to justify the expense (or the inequity) these days, especially if equally qualified but less demanding candidates are available.

The times they are a-changin'.
Agreed. And not just EU folk are coming on local contracts. We came from North America on one, as did a group of my husband's colleagues. In most cases, the children were young enough to go into the local schools and are apparently doing fine. One family with three daughters in the 10 - 14 age range tried a combination of home schooling, local school, and international school. They went back home after one year. We came at the beginning of my daughter's last year of high school, which she spent at an international school before going back to the US for college.
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  #25  
Old 24.07.2012, 23:43
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Re: home schooling

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Some - perhaps many - companies have stopped offering such perks.

With the influx of EU folks some conpanies have found there is little need to offer enticements to any but the most highly qualified and sought-after employees. If the driving factor is the employee's desire to move to Switzerland, the ball's in the employer's court.

And - some companies can no longer afford to be so liberal with the typical expat packages of yesteryear. Hard to justify the expense (or the inequity) these days, especially if equally qualified but less demanding candidates are available.

The times they are a-changin'.
Another point to recall is that any school fees your employer pays counts as part of your salary for tax purposes ...
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  #26  
Old 25.07.2012, 01:00
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Re: home schooling

In Switzerland you can't choose the school. You can choose the area but you will be placed in a school and a class by the authorities. So choosd the area where you want to live the rest will be taken care of. Where does your husband work? Does he want to commute by car? How long a comute does he want? Ask yourself those questions and wd might be able to help. See some of my oldef post for similar questions. Good luck with the move!
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Old 25.07.2012, 01:08
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Re: home schooling

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Hi, we have the opportunity to move to Zurich for work but having looked at the cost of the international schools we realise that our only realistic option would be to home school. It seems from previous posts that this is possible so I'm curious to hear from anyone who home schools their children. Is there a network of people who homeschool? What about an English speaking social network for kids?

Thank you.
Shirley.
Hi Shirley

Me and my husband moved to the USA when our kids were 2, 4 and 7 ( icelandic) the only words my oldest one knew was Michael Jordan and basketball It was very hard for him for the first few weeks but in 3 months him and his siblings spoke english fluently. He went to public school.

When they were 11,13 and 15 we moved to Norway it took them not even 2 months until they spoke Norweigan fluently.( they did not know Norweigan at all)
They also went to public schools in Norway.

This is our experience so I would recommend you putting your kids into public schools but not homeschool them as they would not have the same opportunity making friends.( I don't have anything against homeschooling as I have friends who has done it successfully. I tried it and it was not for me

I wish you and your family all the best
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  #28  
Old 25.07.2012, 01:12
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I agree you should try local school. If it doesn't work within 6 months move that child to a bi lingual school - but it will work. I've heard so many cases where kids with no German speaking fluently and keeping up in class within 6 mths.

A Portuguese speaking boy joined my 9 yo sons class in Dec and is going up to next grade with the rest. With English as the first language your kids will be the BEST in English (which is taught from 2nd Grade in Kt Zurich).

Lisa
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  #29  
Old 25.07.2012, 09:01
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Re: home schooling

I am surprised about all the sugar coating in this thread. For a 12 year old in Zurich the first year would be really tough. It is the streaming year after all. There is close to no chance he could pass the gymi exams at the end of the year, you need 2 years to get German in good enough shape. The OP would need to choose potential areas where to live carefully and talk to the schools.
To all the people talking about fluency in 6 months- for a 12 year old? In biology, history, geography? Having spent countless hours helping my kids with their vocab in these subjects, there is a lot more difficulty and more frustration in this area than picking up general playground vocab.
In my opinion it is all still worth it, but is a major commitment for the children and the parents. At least one parent would have to invest heavily in learning german in order to help the kids. I am at B2, but a 5 page article about glaciers is still a challenge.
The 8 year old should not have many issues. If anything, school would seem too easy, leaving the language as the only challenge.
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  #30  
Old 25.07.2012, 09:52
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Re: home schooling

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I am surprised about all the sugar coating in this thread. For a 12 year old in Zurich the first year would be really tough. It is the streaming year after all. There is close to no chance he could pass the gymi exams at the end of the year, you need 2 years to get German in good enough shape. The OP would need to choose potential areas where to live carefully and talk to the schools.
To all the people talking about fluency in 6 months- for a 12 year old? In biology, history, geography? Having spent countless hours helping my kids with their vocab in these subjects, there is a lot more difficulty and more frustration in this area than picking up general playground vocab.
In my opinion it is all still worth it, but is a major commitment for the children and the parents. At least one parent would have to invest heavily in learning german in order to help the kids. I am at B2, but a 5 page article about glaciers is still a challenge.
The 8 year old should not have many issues. If anything, school would seem too easy, leaving the language as the only challenge.
I agree with you. That's why I said in my first post that they should look into a bilingual option for the older one. Streaming is one thing if they stay in Switzerland: he can start in Sekundarschule and still move to the Gymnasium after 2 or even 3 years but if they only stay for 2 years the learning he got might differ a lot from what he will have to put up with once they're back in the other country
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  #31  
Old 25.07.2012, 10:09
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Re: home schooling

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I am surprised about all the sugar coating in this thread. For a 12 year old in Zurich the first year would be really tough. It is the streaming year after all. There is close to no chance he could pass the gymi exams at the end of the year, you need 2 years to get German in good enough shape. The OP would need to choose potential areas where to live carefully and talk to the schools.
To all the people talking about fluency in 6 months- for a 12 year old? In biology, history, geography? Having spent countless hours helping my kids with their vocab in these subjects, there is a lot more difficulty and more frustration in this area than picking up general playground vocab.
In my opinion it is all still worth it, but is a major commitment for the children and the parents. At least one parent would have to invest heavily in learning german in order to help the kids. I am at B2, but a 5 page article about glaciers is still a challenge.
The 8 year old should not have many issues. If anything, school would seem too easy, leaving the language as the only challenge.
Same here, NO WAY, sorry. 12 is possibly the worst age to arrive, as it is the year they the vocational versus the academic routes are chosen, by exam and by the teacher/s. There are ways to catch up and make it across at a later age, but it is a tough call and needs a lot of support from parents and specialist teachers. A younger child may 'appear' to be bi-lingual orally in 6 months- but to pass into the Abitur/Matura/Baccaulerat section you need to be able to write essays, with accurate grammar and spelling, and sophisticated sentence construction + you need a good level of a second national language (so French or Italian if you are in the German speaking part).

PLEASE, PLEASE parents who are considering coming here to CH- the Swiss system is excellent, but NOT for foreign children arriving beyond the age of 9, and if at all possible earlier.
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  #32  
Old 25.07.2012, 10:17
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Re: home schooling

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Same here, NO WAY, sorry. 12 is possibly the worst age to arrive, as it is the year they the vocational versus the academic routes are chosen, by exam and by the teacher/s. There are ways to catch up and make it across at a later age, but it is a tough call and needs a lot of support from parents and specialist teachers.
With 12 the child will be in August either in the 6th primary or 1st secondary (according to the date of birth). The best solution in this case would be to repeat the 5th or 6th class. Mind you, this works best when you plan to stay more than a year or two.
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Old 25.07.2012, 10:55
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Re: home schooling

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I am surprised about all the sugar coating (...)There is close to no chance he could pass the gymi exams at the end of the year.
Absolutely, but what is the problem with having a child in Fachmittelschule? Streaming is not a declaration of war against parents. It would be nice if the parents didn't declare war if they don't get what they want out of obscure reasons, the main one being that they are used to a school system where there is a one-high-school-fits-all approach.
Zurich teachers would be able to confirm, but changing from Fachmittelschule to Gymnasium at some point in Sek.1 is neither forbidden, discouraged nor made difficult. Probably in grade 8 or 9. The child might to want that change anyway, Fachmaturität is perfectly fine too.
I just don't get all the fuzz about streaming. Perhaps I am used to it from Germany, but I also experienced the late-streaming French system. Usually, the main problem with students coming from different systems is not the streaming, but the fact that too many parents do not understand the importance of the second national language in the academic career in Switzerland. Catching up on maths and science is a piece of cake compared to the language issues that must be dealt with right away and stay the main focus for some years.
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  #34  
Old 25.07.2012, 11:23
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Re: home schooling

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Zurich teachers would be able to confirm, but changing from Fachmittelschule to Gymnasium at some point in Sek.1 is neither forbidden, discouraged nor made difficult. Probably in grade 8 or 9. The child might to want that change anyway, Fachmaturität is perfectly fine too.
I just don't get all the fuzz about streaming.
I think there are a lot of variations by Canton on this one, even significant localised differences in the same Canton. The streaming situation and the ability to move among the streams is generally improving but perhaps still way off the mark in many places. Further, once a kid is streamed, they are labelled for life. And the psychologial aspects of such a label carry a long time and can become a demotivating element throughout life.
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Old 25.07.2012, 11:35
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Re: home schooling

Maybe it is different in Germany, but in my son's class as well as from what I have heard from many Zurich parents, the streaming year was a very stressful one. It can also be very confusing for the foreign parents. It is just not the best time to start in a new system in a language you don't understand if you know that you are only here for 2 years. Recommendation to repeat 5th grade, to have a start in a "normal" year is very common in some of the local schools. The other way in is via an integration class, but it also "loses" a year and depends on the quality of the particular integration program. The OP should talk to the specific schools to see their recommendations for placement and DaZ support.
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Old 25.07.2012, 12:50
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Re: home schooling

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Further, once a kid is streamed, they are labelled for life. And the psychologial aspects of such a label carry a long time and can become a demotivating element throughout life.
Wow, report it to the UN, it's child abuse.
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  #37  
Old 25.07.2012, 13:31
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Re: home schooling

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IFurther, once a kid is streamed, they are labelled for life. And the psychologial aspects of such a label carry a long time and can become a demotivating element throughout life.
I wonder where you got that one from. A student can change level in the three years of secondary school. I know quite a few foreign kids who started in the Real and got the recommendation for Gymnasium after an additional fourth year at secondary school . And even if he does'nt get admission to the Gymnasium, he has plenty of options after compulsory school do learn whatever he wants and on different ways. (In contrast to some other countries, which I don't have to mention).
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Old 25.07.2012, 14:38
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Re: home schooling

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And even if he does'nt get admission to the Gymnasium, he has plenty of options after compulsory school do learn whatever he wants and on different ways. (In contrast to some other countries, which I don't have to mention).
But - given that many families are not planning on settling here - does the child have options outside Switzerland?


(Honest question, from a non-parent who knows very little about the Swiss system.)
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Old 25.07.2012, 15:11
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But - given that many families are not planning on settling here - does the child have options outside Switzerland?


(Honest question, from a non-parent who knows very little about the Swiss system.)
If they stay just for one year or two, the Swiss system won't do them any harm. When returning to their country, they might be behind in a couple of subjects, but they will for sure be ahead in others e.g.foreign languages. As every country has its own system one couldn't possibly expect that a student returning to his old school would be able to reintegrate as if he had never been away.
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  #40  
Old 25.07.2012, 15:20
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Re: home schooling

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...PLEASE, PLEASE parents who are considering coming here to CH- the Swiss system is excellent, but NOT for foreign children arriving beyond the age of 9, and if at all possible earlier.
I agree totally. My son did very well, despite being 10 years old when we arrive. But then, he is brilliant.

Also, do bear in mind in this instance, the family will only be here for two years. I'd be more concerned about the effect on the older child's prospects after the return - hence my comment about home school him anyway.
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