What age to start school?

53 posts in this topic

Posted

I tried to search for this but could not really answer my question.

 

We will move to Hamburg in a few months.

My daughter was born in November 2009. She has 3 languages (Japanese first, Italian second, English third) but does not know any German.

 

When can she start school?

Of course we will send her to kindergarten first, at least to learn language etc.

 

I fear she wil have to wait until September 2016, so by the time she starts she has already passed her 6th birthday. But that seems too old, she will soon turn 7.

Can we send her to school in Semptember 2015 (just before she turns 6)? Of course her German will be much behind children of the same age.

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Posted

 

Of course her German will be much behind children of the same age.

 

I wouldn't bet on it, you will be surprised at how easily children her age pick up a new language in Kindergarten.

After a year in Kindergarten she will be completely fluent.

 

Don't worry, you are allowed to send her to school in Hamburg before her 6th birthday as long as she passes a small interview where they will test whether she can already pay enough attention to be allowed into 1st grade (source, this is for entry into first grade in 2013!):

 

  • 2. Vorzeitige Einschulung:
    Kinder, die nach dem 01. Juli 2006 geboren sind, können auf Antrag der Sorgeberechtigten unter Berücksichtigung ihres geistigen, seelischen, körperlichen und sprachlichen Entwicklungsstandes vorzeitig
    eingeschult werden.

 

Here's an article on what kind of questions can come in this small interview or what kind of actions she will have to be able to perform.

 

******************************

 

If you will work at DESY, you may also take into consideration living in Niedersachsen.

Even if you want to live in Hamburg, Hamburg schools have such bad results that many parents send their children into surrounding Niedersachsen to school.

 

Should this question come up for other Bundesländer, here's the overview for "Kann/Darf-Kinder" or "vorzeitige Einschulung" (= children that are allowed in, but are not yet of an age to have to attend school) for all of Germany.

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Posted

Thanks Panda.

 

I heard before about the "test". Not sure how much the test will check her language skills, sure she will learn at kinderkarten but I still fear she will be somehow behind. We will see...

 

Strange you say bad things about schools in Hamburg, first time I hear. (no, I did not hear positive comments either).

 

Yes, I will be working at DESY. But I am not attracted by living in Niedersachsen (crossing the Elbe seems to be a terrible thing to do, because of the traffic, never mind I will be cycling). Likely we will be living in Schleswig-Holstein.

 

Thanks,

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Posted

 

But I am not attracted by living in Niedersachsen (crossing the Elbe seems to be a terrible thing to do, because of the traffic,

 

Wise move. The Elbtunnel can be OK out of rush-hour (but not always even then), but don't bet even on that. Generally its torture.

 

 

Likely we will be living in Schleswig-Holstein.

 

Schenefeld?

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Posted

I spent half day of my life through Wedel Pinneberg Quickborn Halstenbek Schenefeld. And spent long learning things on this forum. I still need to learn more about all areas but for the little I know now I would say we'll be either North or West of DESY, grenn and max 20-25km distance. Schenefeld could be.

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Posted

Some German children are put in school early, but don't forget that if she starts school at five, she'll be one of the youngest in the class throughout her school life. If she's a naturally mature child that won't be a problem, but if she's anything like I was (socially babyish!) then being the youngest may not help. Why not take advantage of the fact that school starts later in Germany and use the time to teach her some English reading skills or even just 'enjoy her childhood', as people constantly go on about here?

 

My kids were born in December and started school the autumn before they turned seven.

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Posted

So that would mean Schleswig-Holstein schools, right? Not Hamburg ones, then. Yes, Hamburg does consistently poorly in within-Germany comparisons of education systems and pupil achievement. See, e.g. "Hamburg far behind in comparisons of German schools". Mind you, they don't say good things about Schleswig-Holstein schools, either.

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Posted

Why did you specifically mention art school in the subject title? Am I right in thinking it has been edited to include the word "art"? I didn't notice it before and you don't mention it in your first post.

...

Hmmm.. Title edited again to remove the word "art". People will think I'm crazy, but the word WAS there in both title and subtitle a minute ago!

 

ETA: Was it? Wasn't it? Was it? Am I really going crazy? PLease tell me someone else saw it!

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Posted

 

Strange you say bad things about schools in Hamburg, first time I hear. (no, I did not hear positive comments either).

 

Every year, they do a comparison of how well elementary school children can read and calculate, this is called the Grundschulleistungsvergleich.

 

Here are the 2012 results, Lesen = to read, Rechnen = to calculate:

 

post-24869-13588571486143.jpg

 

And before you ask, these results are about the same order, but even more divergent for secondary school, i.e. Hamburg is even worse there.

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Posted

 

I spent half day of my life through Wedel Pinneberg Quickborn Halstenbek Schenefeld.

 

My then-girlfriend (now wife of 24 years) used to live in Wedel (in the Altstadt) & she worked @ DESY (in the computer center). True she did occasionally cycle in but usually travelled by car. Bus & S-Bahn is rather long-winded. I lived in same flat for a couple of years until we moved to outskirts of Pinneberg. Wedel is a rather sought-after area & hence expensive - no way we could afford a house there.

 

Schools? The impression I get around here is not too brilliant but we got both our kids through school & Abitur.

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Posted

We put our son into school marginally early - the cut-off date was the end of June and his birthday was 3 July. I still don't know if it was wise. He got his Abi and is studying happily now but maybe it would have been better for him to have been older.

 

Our daughter, born in December, started achool when she was six and a half and sailed through.

 

Our son startd in Hamburg and then we moved to Lower Saxony. It's true that the standards in Lower Saxony are higher, but there are advantages to going to school in Hamburg. A lot of kids from our kids' Gymnasium changed to Hamburg in the Oberstufe to take advantage of more flexible course systems, more modern curricula, etc. A friend's son moved from the Realschule here to a school in Hamburg where he was allowed to submit films as part of his Abi work and managed to get his Abi and also find his profession. The kids who moved to Hamburg schools also had a jump in their marks which came in useful in applying to Uni. Swings and roundabouts.

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Posted

OK, Hamburg is near the bottom of the list. But I'd be cautious to give too much significance to such a list. Sure it must be influenced but many many factors like number of immigrants with different native languages, etc. Plus, no idea what those points are but top to bottom difference is 10 per cent, I'd say that is rather small.

 

Someone mentioned teaching her English. We are not native English speakers, so we rather teach her our own languages, English would be good but that's actually numebr four.

 

If there was the "art" word in the title that was a spelling mistake, sorry.

 

I give a prize to anyone who can tell me ONE western country where public schools enjoy good reputation... or actually ANY country...

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Posted

 

I give a prize to anyone who can tell me ONE western country where public schools enjoy good reputation... or actually ANY country...

 

Germany.

 

Here, from the general population, only kids that can't make the cut in public schools go to German private schools.

Ask any German.

 

Of course, expats who only stay a while and whose employers pay the high fees for an expensive international school are a different kettle of fish.

 

For some background reading please see Share Experiences with Bilingual Schools in Munich.

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Posted

 

Someone mentioned teaching her English. We are not native English speakers, so we rather teach her our own languages, English would be good but that's actually numebr four.

 

Sorry, my faulty memory thought you said English was first, not third :-) I didn't mean that you should teach her English, but that you could use the time before she starts school to help her learn to read in her minority language(s). After they start school they have less time.

 

When you all say public school, you mean state schools, right?

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Posted

Our daughter was born on 3 March, so she started school at the perfect age of 6,5 (perfect for Germany). The cut-off date in both Baden-Württemberg (where we lived first) and Bavaria (where we live now) is 30 September. Which means she should be somewhere in the middle age-wise(theoretically). But, strange as it may seem, she is now still one of the youngest kids in her class (4th grade).

I am not sure it is always such a good idea to send kids to school too early. School life can be hard - it might be better to be more mature. I am not talking about learning skills - I mean more stuff like social skills and stress resistance. Especially if a kid is petite (being the smallest in class is also not necessarily very pleasant)and not very mature. So, if you are not sure, why not wait another year?

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Posted

 

Hmmm.. Title edited again to remove the word "art". People will think I'm crazy, but the word WAS there in both title and subtitle a minute ago!ETA: Was it? Wasn't it? Was it? Am I really going crazy? PLease tell me someone else saw it!

You're not crazy :) . If you click on button Edit on your top right of the thread, you can see the history (see below).

 

 

I give a prize to anyone who can tell me ONE western country where public schools enjoy good reputation... or actually ANY country...

Kingdom of the Netherlands and any Scandinavian country where private schools are scarce.

post-147368-13588694041329.jpg

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Posted

Why did sarabyrd change the subtitle tp "Art..."????

 

Yes, scandinavian countries have good reputation for public (state) schools.

 

Here in the UK (I'm not Brit) the reputation of state schools is very mixed, but most are not great. The situation in Britain is: all the few who can afford it send their kids to private schools (apart from the Prime Minister, he is a milionaire but can't afford it politically to be seen as rich posh and out of touch, so he was "forced" to send his children to public school, I guess by now he already quietly moved them over...).

 

Private schools in Britain ARE better (best Uni admit only by looking at academic skills and they get many many more students from private schools than from public). Cost for private schools in UK start at about 10k/yr.

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Posted

Well, tuition fees at public universities in Britain have been increased now to £ 9000 per year. Very expensive in comparison to other European countries (Germany: free or €1K per year in some Bundesländer like Bavaria, Scandinavia: free, Netherlands: €1800 per year)and leads to high debts.

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Posted

Read today in some magazine for parents, picked up at Kinderarzt:

from next year on there should be no minimal age required to start school and theoretically even 4 years old could be sent to school. Recent finding from neurobiology area seem to support it - children up to 6 years old have an enormous learning potential (just repeating after the maagazine...)

 

However:

Would child sent to school with 4 or 5 benefit from that, or enjoy that? I'm very doubtful about that. Surely there might be cases where such early start could be recommended, but most likely most of such children would be very much behind their older peers in term of physical development, social skills, maturity and even mental skills, such as abstract thinking etc. Why disadvantage the little ones and put them where they don't yet fit?

 

Please don't forget that unlike the UK, where, as I understand, children start school early but spend first years mostly playing - here school for the first-graders is quite a serious affair. Can't really understand why are you so keen to send your child to school much earlier than other children, especially as you point out that your kid might be not even speaking German properly by that time (which I very much doubt, by the way, but that's another thing).

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Posted

 

and theoretically even 4 years old could be sent to school.

 

I started school (in Sheffield, UK) at 3 3/4 - that was because my mother was an infant teacher & had to go back to work in order to help finance the family (my father was a lowly-paid assistant lecturer).

 

 

Please don't forget that unlike the UK, where, as I understand, children start school early but spend first years mostly playing - here school for the first-graders is quite a serious affair.

 

Later in life (in Southern Manchester area) my mother restarted teaching & took the second year infants. They could all manage the 3 "R"s.

 

Comparing my brother's children with mine - at the time his could read mine were not that far & his kids were three years younger :(

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