What to do with a 5-year-old kann Kind who speaks no German

36 posts in this topic

First off, thanks for bearing with what will likely be a long post...

 

My family and I will be arriving in Germany in September of this year. My daughter and I are Italian passport holders, and very soon, my wife too. 

 

I may, potentially, land with a job. If that does not pan out, we have sufficient funds to support ourselves for an extended period. We would continue seeking employment but use the time to study German, something we've already started at the Goethe Ins.

 

My daughter currently speaks and reads both English and Chinese, but no German. She turns 6 in late October of 2017. She is tiny, even by Asian standards, and speaks no German, AND we've not visited any schools this past April... so we wish to only start her in primary school in 2018.

 

My first question: According to the German system, is this acceptable?

 

My second question: What do I do with a 5 year old till next year August? 

 

She's been in an Asian version of Montessori. This means she reads, writes and does relatively advanced Math. I want her to socialise with other kids and be immersed in the language. And I don't want her to loose her skills. Ideally, she'd advance them.

 

Any answers would be super helpful. 

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, HIMA said:

My daughter currently speaks and reads both English and Chinese, but no German. She turns 7 in late October.

 

So she is 6 now – and therefore not a "Kann-Kind". She is a "Muss-Kind" and has to go to school. Compulsory school attendance starts at the age of 6. She would be a Kann-Kind if she'd turn 6 in October.

 

 

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, someonesdaughter said:

 

So she is 6 now – and therefore not a "Kann-Kind". She is a "Muss-Kind" and has to go to school. Compulsory school attendance starts at the age of 6. She would be a Kann-Kind if she'd turn 6 in October.

 

 

 

Doh! I put her age incorrectly. Fixed it now.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It will either be München or Berlin. Berlin if we study, München, if my job comes through.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

maybe it's just me, but I still see 5 and 6... 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was 6 and 7 before. I've made a mess of things. Let me clarify:

 

She is 5 now.

 

She turns 6 on the 21st of October of 2017.

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In most states (probably all of them) a kid who turns 6 in October is not required to go to school until the following year. So your kid must to go school after summer 2018.

In the mean time send the kid to a kindergarten in order to learn German.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, HIMA said:

It will either be München or Berlin. Berlin if we study, München, if my job comes through.

 

If she's turning 6 in October, she should start school in 2018.  Until she starts school, she can go to kita (day care).  It will give her the opportunity to learn a bit of German before school.

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, tor said:

edited the title :)

 

 

Thanks, I tried that... ^_^

 

So, great news! Thanks for clarifying that. It's a big weight off my shoulders. :rolleyes:

 

My understanding of Kindergarten is perhaps incorrect, but I've read that they are not really places of education per se, but rather spaces for kids to socialise. I assume Kita is the same?

 

As I understand it, getting into Kindergarten is not something that happens quickly. I've read places are limited with people applying long in advance. Is it easier to get into Kita? 

 

 

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, HIMA said:

 

My understanding of Kindergarten is perhaps incorrect, but I've read that they are not really places of education per se, but rather spaces for kids to socialise. I assume Kita is the same?

 

Your understanding is not incorrect, although there is basic education as learning to read the clock etc. Kindergardens and Kitas are not schools. 

 

10 minutes ago, HIMA said:

 

As I understand it, getting into Kindergarten is not something that happens quickly. I've read places are limited with people applying long in advance. Is it easier to get into Kita? 

 

Nope, it's not easier. 

 

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, HIMA said:

My understanding of Kindergarten is perhaps incorrect, but I've read that they are not really places of education per se, but rather spaces for kids to socialise. I assume Kita is the same?

 

As I understand it, getting into Kindergarten is not something that happens quickly. I've read places are limited with people applying long in advance. Is it easier to get into Kita? 

 

My bad for confusing you about kita vs. kiga.  For me it's the same thing but by defintion, kita is for under 3 yrs. old and kiga is for 3-6, otherwise it's pretty much the same thing as far as I know.  I don't know how much they learn there vs. playing but I doubt they are being pushed very hard.  It's not an Asian private school prep program with algebra before age 6 or something like that ;) 

 

Once you know where you'll live, you have to apply for kiga somewhere and seeing that your child does not speak German and only has a year to learn it, I would say you would probably be put in a priority group.  If you are a member of some church, you might even get further prioritized because most of these places are run by some church or another.

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are correct. But still, it is the best way for your kid to learn German.

They are more or less all the same, they are not very academic, they concentrate in social and motoric skills more than learning ABC. Which can be shocking if you come from Asia.

Some kindergarden offer some sort of pre-school learning, but it is nothing really advanced and the kid won't really need it before going to school.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If she is to continue in the German school system next year, then the focus should be on her German language skills this year, as reading and writing and so on is not expected/wanted before grade 1.

If you are planning on going to another country after kindergarten you might want to consider an international kindergarten where they focus on the educational aspects needed for international children.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My son went to Kita a few months before turning 4 and he picked up the language in 6-8 weeks.   While amazing to me, i don't think he is an exception.    The younger the kid, the easier it is. 

 

The Kita was aggressive.   He learned how to fight and defend himself before turning 4.  

 

I have met a few people who sent their English speaking kids to international school in Berlin.   It seems possible to get by without fully developing German language skills.   

 

Good luck. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The timing is going to be a bit tricky:

-  determining  where you are going

-  getting an place to live/ getting a "permanent address"

-  signing child up for a kindergarten that is conveniently located  and being accepted  (ditto school)

A lot to do and as quickly as possible.

 

Our kindergarden age kids were not permitted to start  " mid-semester " in Bavaria  because that was the "rule"  despite  there being  room for them the group.    Not sure if that  is common or still done that way or if an EU child would be treated differently.

The rules aren't necessarily unfair,  but there tend to be "unbreakable" rules in Germany. 

Lots of  good information on this site worth reading. Also  making  contact with  the local authorities now to find what the policies are  might be a good idea.

 

School year in Bavaria starts 12.09.2017    Berlin 02.09.2017

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can start at any time in Berlin as long as you find the spot and you do the paperwork.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you everyone for taking the time to reply. I really appreciate it.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whichever city you land in, what often parents do is despite warnings of year-long waiting times, get on the list of multiple Kitas and then and then call to follow up now and then, because people move, kids say their play pals are gone and then parents switch Kitas accordingly...so space will probably open up some place and you can also turn to a Tagesmutter to get a break too... you can maybe ask the local Jugendamt for a list of names (or ask on TT when the time comes). Typically they are for very young children but they can take on an older child as well.

 

Some familes have to move twice: get a temporary apartment for at first and then get a longer-term pace... so you may be quite busy!

 

Unless you get the right school and right teacher probably your daughter will not be taught anything new math-wise at school for the first few years here.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now