Moving back home temporarily for education issues

52 posts in this topic

Posted

I am just brainstorming and was wondering if anyone had done something similar. We are thinking of moving back sans spouse (who has a job here) for a year so the kids can attend school in the U.S. Our plan was to enroll them in Grundschule, and move when one of them is in 2nd grade, and move back to Germany after one school year. There are several reasons for us to do this--one being language immersion. I just wanted to know if anyone has done this before and how did it work out.

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Posted

Go and read your "Topics"...

 

Then ask yourself... Is this for a year?? Is this really about the kids?

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Posted

 

Go and read your "Topics"...

 

Then ask yourself... Is this for a year?? Is this really about the kids?

 

Huh? How did you come to that conclusion? Yes, this is about the kids. It will be a joint decision.

I know it may be disruptive but it is the same as when families move for jobs back and forth. I worked with such families and their kids were just fine. I am more concerned about being held back when we move back to Germany. Or having limited options regarding education here. Bullying? Any other experiences if people have done that.

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Posted

I went back for a while, I wanted to make myself more employable here. I spent a couple of years getting fighting fit through extra academic and professional qualifications, language skills and job experience. I was able to come back and get a job which I wouldn't hav got before.

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Posted

Wow! Awesome information. Thanks so much. There are so many things you've mentioned that I didn't even think about. Although, I am beginning to fear this transition (if it ever happens) with today's news rampant on every network.

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Posted

 

Your plan sounds like it would be disruptive for the whole family. Being taken from one school system to another and then having to adapt all over again a year later? Not much fun.

 

No reason why the kids can't learn adequate English here. Lots of parents on this board are raising bilingual children very successfully.

 

Agree. If the kids are already learning English here, and I believe it's compulsory anyway, then why not wait till they finish high school, and then they can go on and do a sabbatical in the States or wherever?

 

Move could be disruptive, but then again, depends how all concerned handle it. A year's not very long to go through all the hassle once and then twice in settling abroad, then resettling over here. Very energy-consuming, but then, that's just me I guess.

 

Wishing you luck, whatever you choose to do!

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Posted

If it's about language skills, couldn't you split the difference and put them in some summer camp in the US every year or supplement the English education at home in Germany? There are also loads of English enrichment activities available in most cities (playgroups, music, clubs, small libraries...)

 

I can understand the concern about them losing the opportunity to really experience the US, but it's hard to have it both ways. Plus, if you go back, you've got immigration, health insurance, separation from their other parent, adjustment issues, coordinating the two education systems so they don't lose a year...

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Posted

 

Not to be indiscreet, but if there are some tensions in your relationship, I highly doubt it would help for you to take off with the kids for a year. Your German partner MUST feel 100% involved and engaged with this decision.

You know, when a bicultural couple has met and established itself in one country, and then moves (especially with kids) to the spouse's country, it generally unleashes a rollercoaster of issues and struggles. The whole balance of need / caregiving / support in the couple is thrown off. I've seen more than one marriage split up at this point.

 

YES, read, rinse, repeat. I was on this roller coaster, and nearly ended up divorced.

 

 

separation from their other parent

Let's not forget separation of the spouses. Probably more detrimental! Sex is important. Fact.

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Posted

mlovett, I agree with you but we are both from this mindset that children come first...for now.

It's not just about the language skills. I do want them to experience being American and not see it from the outside only. I could put them in day camps or summer camps and that will definitely be an option. But since I have the resources at home to educate them, have a place to live etc. I thought we'd give it a try.

I also want to reiterate that there is nothing wrong with our marriage--well, not any more than than the usual stuff. Both of us are in the brainstorming stage as we have about 3-4 years before this would happen. And yes, we would BOTH be on board if this went through. My spouse knows that I didn't want to move to Germany. It is not a place that has grown on me. It might still. And this is his compromise. I am not threatening to leave. We are discussing what's best for our kids and what our own values and world views for our children are. I don't want my kids to grow up being entirely German (even if that's offensive to some) and since they are also my kids, I get to have a voice in their upbringing. Hubby is fully aware of this and he is very understanding. However, things might change and I might grow to love Germany and want to remain here.

I think children are resilient and adaptable. As I mentioned before, (German) kids that I taught adapted to their environment very quickly. Other kids have moved with their families from city to city or country to country. It doesn't matter. It is disruptive but it's not a bad disruptive. It doesn't have to be. I agree with Justanne on this.

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Posted

 

If it's about language skills, couldn't you split the difference and put them in some summer camp in the US every year or supplement the English education at home in Germany? There are also loads of English enrichment activities available in most cities (playgroups, music, clubs, small libraries...)

 

I can understand the concern about them losing the opportunity to really experience the US, but it's hard to have it both ways. Plus, if you go back, you've got immigration, health insurance, separation from their other parent, adjustment issues, coordinating the two education systems so they don't lose a year...

 

I didn't think about the health insurance. You're right...it is hard to have it both ways. Although, it's also not impossible. As Justanne wrote, I have to be super organized about everything.

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Posted

Would you plan to put them back into German public school when you returned, or would they attend an international school?

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Posted

Justanne are you still together with the father though?

 

I cant imagine why a father would 'give up' his kids for a year or two - cant see why that would be good?

 

 

I don't want my kids to grow up being entirely German (even if that's offensive to some) and since they are also my kids, I get to have a voice in their upbringing.

to be honest I cant see 1 year making much difference in that way

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Posted

 

Would you plan to put them back into German public school when you returned, or would they attend an international school?

 

I really don't know westvan. We were thinking of going the German school route for Grundschule and evaluating what needs to be done for secondary school. So, I don't know.

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Posted

 

Justanne are you still together with the father though?

 

I cant imagine why a father would 'give up' his kids for a year or two - cant see why that would be good?

 

to be honest I cant see 1 year making much difference in that way

 

I would have to disagree. And their father is not giving them up. How ridiculous! You do know they have planes to get from one place to another?

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Posted

How would you keep their German up in the U.S. if you decided to put them back in German elementary school?

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Posted

boomtown -- no. Her (German) dad, who was the reason we decided to move here in the first place, left me four years ago and moved to France. I stuck it out here for three years, with her flying occasionally, solo, to see him, or him coming here. (Those who've been on the forum for a while might remember this: Is 6 too young to fly alone?) Then, since Germany still hadn't really "grown on me" (sorry to disappoint, muchado, but expats seem to find this a hard place to grow to love!), I offered myself a "sabbatical year" back home. Her dad has co-custody, so I did need his approval to do this. Fortunately, he's become a pretty reasonable guy, so he agreed to this.

 

Ironically, just as I am on the brink of deciding to really and truly give up on Germany and move back to the U.S. for good, my ex seems about to give up on his French girlfriend and move back to Berlin. This throws a hitch in the works! Now what do I do?? Still mulling it over. To be honest, 20 dead children in a gun-obsessed land of loonies is not helping my deliberations at the moment.

 

Muchado, about health care: I have private insurance here. I "suspended" my coverage for the year, paying a nominal amount per month in order to ensure I could return at the same rate I already had. (They told me that if I cancelled and then signed up anew, it would cost much more.) Meanwhile, in the U.S., I was lucky enough to be living in Massachusetts, where we enjoy the benefits of Mitt Romney's universal health care package (!!!). I'm low-income, so the kid and I ended up with free healthcare the whole time we were there. Go figure.

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Posted

I haven't figured out how to support my child's English in Hamburg (no offense to Hamburg, just I haven't found a way so far) affordably so I sympathise with Muchado. If money were no option and I intended my German-speaking child to graduate from the public German school system and still have some active English I'd try to let my child do one year in an English speaking environment before grade 4 and the German school stress starts. Might doing a half school year out of Germany be a possible compromise? Maybe less painful for the parent who won't be seeing the child during the time. Then repeat while a teenager?

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