Teacher thinks my child should repeat grade 2.

51 posts in this topic

17 minutes ago, PandaMunich said:

There's the disconnect.

You have a native speaker at home and you haven't been using him?

 

A child your son's age should have picked up German at native level within a year.

I suspect the problem is not so much his German, but that you haven't been exercising with him after school.

Grundschule in Germany expects the parents to be assistant teachers, i.e. to check the child's homework and to do exercises with the child at home.

Your husband should have told you about this, and since he's the native speaker, he should have been doing these tasks with your son, every day.

 

 

There is no disconnect. My husband helps with his homework and I do as well and speaks to him solely in German since we moved here. He has two days extra 

deutsch class at school but the teacher hasn’t been showing up lately. 

 

Im not sure why you’re so accusatory as you didn’t even have the facts before jumping to such harsh conclusions. We aren’t naive to think he didn’t need help. We did and are doing as best as we can. EVERYDAY. He has come on leaps and bounds having only learnt the language two years ago. He reads perfectly for his age but needs help with explaining a situation or context. Writing skills. 

 

In any case thank you for the links.

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I feel like I have to defend the father of my child. Yes, he is a native speaker but we were living in my birth country which has its national language and English. We both spoke to him in these two languages as we had no plan to move here until something happened and we had to make a quick decision. Also to note that us being of mixed heritage with a few languages already under our belt, we felt more comfortable in English and my mother tongue. Do we wish we started german with him earlier? Yes. But there’s nothing we can do about tha now. 

 

He was enrolled in extra german classes in the afternoon twice a week and was doing really well. But lately the teacher isnt able to make it. 

 

We both help our son with his homework and he always completes it. His teacher had made it clear that it is not his ability in reading that’s lacking (he’s on paar with his other classmates there) it’s his comprehension and writing. So yes we will now get a tutor as well as continue what we are already doing. 

 

Both my husband and I would do anything for him. That is why I came on this board to hear others perspectives, tips and advice. 

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Hi Yomilshak,

 

If your son is already getting all this extra help, I would really consider letting him retake the year. He might be able to go from one of the worst students to one of the best and that alone will give him an extra boost of confidence instead of always having to play catch up. There's only so much extra work you can make a seven year old do, before it eventually backfires (i.e. the first time you are not around to hover over him). He can still see his friends in the afternoons, maybe even more so if he doesn't get too bogged down in homework.

I don't know why the teacher doesn't want to talk to you right now, maybe she's just not very good, or she thinks that if you are *just* coming to hear what you have to do to let your child continue, that you aren't listening to her in the first place.

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We all want to do the best for our children, and most teachers do, too.  Just because the teacher is defensive doesn't mean she's wrong.  With five children, I spent a lot of time being defensive myself, even when I was right. 

I know @YomiIshak will make the best decision she can.

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5 hours ago, YomiIshak said:

I feel like I have to defend the father of my child. Yes, he is a native speaker but we were living in my birth country which has its national language and English. We both spoke to him in these two languages as we had no plan to move here until something happened and we had to make a quick decision. Also to note that us being of mixed heritage with a few languages already under our belt, we felt more comfortable in English and my mother tongue. Do we wish we started german with him earlier? Yes. But there’s nothing we can do about tha now. 

 

He was enrolled in extra german classes in the afternoon twice a week and was doing really well. But lately the teacher isnt able to make it. 

 

I know, in a very multi-cultural and multi-language environment it's not so easy to keep all languages. You do have to make a choice between languages.

 

It is better to repeat Grade 2 rather than Grade 3. If you wait more time, there may be too many gaps and it can be difficult to catch up. However, I feel this should not be decided now, rather wait to the end of the year. 

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9 hours ago, kiplette said:

Repeating is a brilliant offer in the German system.

I repeated twice (grades 5 and 10) and entered Gymnasium only after grade 5. Didn´t hurt me. Some kids only start feeling the zest for learning when they are older.

On another note: somebody wrote that the recommendation for the tier of school was given after grade 3 already. I doubt this. In Bavaria at least it´s after grade 4 only and as my example shows you can still change tier after grade 5.

You can also upgrade later from Realschule or even Hauptschule provided the marks are sufficient. E. g. my daughter went from Hauptschule to Gymnasium after grade 10.

Whatever you decide, if I was you not making him feel pressurised would be a priority for me so he doesn´t lose the joy of learning.

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8 hours ago, PandaMunich said:

 

 

There's the disconnect.

You have a native speaker at home and you haven't been using him?

 

...

 

It doesn't always work.

 

I had a German colleague who moved to the US and had a son there with his american wife.  He spoke only German to the child (unless they were out or had friends round), but while his son understood everything he refused to speak German back.

 

They then moved back to Germany, but still the son refused to speak even a single German word.  It took something like 4 months before he spoke any German at all with his father.  But he said one day he just started talking German, and never looked back. But of course he was not on the same level as other kids his age.

 

(The family later moved back to the US, so I don't know how things would have worked out over a longer period).

 

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The OP got all defensive with the language comments but I honestly think there was a language mistake done. Normally the best option is that the parents speak their native language to the kids. Yes, kids might not want to speak back but you have to persist. What I've normally noticed is parents who failed to teach their languages to their kids was because they gave up because it is not easy.

With the provided information, I would let the kid repeat the year. Repeating a year here does not have the bad stigma it has in another countries. You see it as failure and you are probably passing that feeling to your kid. Do not make that mistake.

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10 minutes ago, Krieg said:

The OP got all defensive with the language comments but I honestly think there was a language mistake done. Normally the best option is that the parents speak their native language to the kids.

 

Hindsight is 20/20. The child already had to speak two languages and they probably didn't want to overload him, especially since they were "never" going to live in Germany. When my oldest son was 3 or 4 (bilingual since he could speak) he refused to speak German when we were in the US on vacation. As soon as we got on the plane back to Germany, he turned to my wife and said, "ok. Jetzt kannst du mit mir deutsch reden".

 

Was it a mistake? In hindsight yes. Had they stayed in Malaysia or wherever and his English and/or <insert other language here> had suffered due to the overload of different languages, she'd be getting blamed for that, too.

 

All of the could have/should have doesn't help anything, anyway.

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There is no overload, kids can cope with multiple languages without any problem. I've seen it literaly a bunch of times.

My mother language is Spanish and both of my kids speak Spanish quite decently, on top of that they go to a German-English school (the speak English to the mother).

If I didn't teach Spanish to my kids it would be pretty unnatural to me talking to them all the time in a non-native language. And then how were the kids supposed to talk to my family who only speak Spanish? Should my kids grow up without the chance to talk to anyone on my side of the family? That would be pretty sad.

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3 minutes ago, Krieg said:

If I didn't teach Spanish to my kids it would be pretty unnatural to me talking to them all the time in a non-native language. And then how were the kids supposed to talk to my family who only speak Spanish? Should my kids grow up without the chance to talk to anyone on my side of the family? That would be pretty sad.

 

I talk to my kids in my native language, too. Well, most of the time, anyway.

 

I just think it is unfair to apply what worked for us to anyone else. They had/have their Situation, we had ours. I often wonder if my Kids would have ever really learned German, if we had moved to the US. I suspect they wouldn't have.

 

Plus, each child is different. Our two boys picked up English relatively easily. My daughter struggles a lot more with it. Would I have suggested she take French, as well? Hell no.

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Bad analogy, except if your wife were French. Yes, you daughter might have struggled with English, probably because you were not around all the time, that's normal, but you didn't give up and now you are profiting from your efforts.

The situation here seems to be that the father did not even try. And right now, instead of taking the bull by the horns the OP is considering taking a tutor. It is all in a path to failure. As someone already mentioned in this thread, the German education system is a bit different to what we have in other countries, here it is expected that the parents are a big part of the process.

Except if the father is always traveling, or working shifts, I think it is the job of the father to support the kid in the German language. Relying on tutors is is in my eyes more for subjects that the parents really don't feel confident with.

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Krieg,

 

I got defensive because this is about my child and how we raised him. You’re getting presumptuous and rude. I already explained our regrets about this. My husband is involved more than you think and hiring a tutor for twice a week when he can’t be home because of work is not a crime. 

 

 

Everyone else, 

 

In anycase we’ve decided to involve my son in all this and if he starts feeling pressured, we will pull back. I’m ok with him repeating second grade if this is the teachers final recommendation. This board has helped me understand that it can actually be a good thing. Thank you for the advice and your pass experiences. ?? 

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2 hours ago, Krieg said:

The OP got all defensive with the language comments but I honestly think there was a language mistake done. Normally the best option is that the parents speak their native language to the kids. Yes, kids might not want to speak back but you have to persist. What I've normally noticed is parents who failed to teach their languages to their kids was because they gave up because it is not easy.

With the provided information, I would let the kid repeat the year. Repeating a year here does not have the bad stigma it has in another countries. You see it as failure and you are probably passing that feeling to your kid. Do not make that mistake.

 

I was slightly defensive when we moved here from the UK 7 years ago and all teachers insisted I speak only german to my daughter.  I'd never taught her any german other than basics once we knew we were moving here.  Although I'm german, my grammar was poor having never learned the language properly from my parents...just broad Hessisch, the article for everything being just 'd'. Easy though!

 

I ignored all advice and maintained speaking only English.  Now at 16, my daughter has learned perfect german from school, private tutors and my german husband. She helps me now with my german grammar.  She also has a very good and mature grasp of English with the added bonus of being dialect free.  

 

To the OP, PandaMunich linked all of my former school related posts...thanks for that...it was a great reminder of our previous woes and thankfully, dare I say it, all is now harmonious.  I would also say that if your son has the opportunity to repeat a year now, just go with that.  There really is absolutely no stigma and no failure...you as parents and your child.  I worried about my daughter missing friends when she restarted a year though with a bit of effort, it's easy to arrange meet ups with former class mates.  At least they will still be in the same school.  New class mates can be a major bonus too.  Always worth trying to organize any social activity with neighbour kids too even if they are in different schools.  Sounds like this repeat year comes at a really good time and will help to avoid too much pressure on all of you in the future.  At that age, language learning will come through play and social activity in general. 

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You are assuming people are telling you their opinions with bad intentions. As far as I can see everyone here has been very polite.

I am not sure what you expected then from an open forum if telling your potential pitfalls with the little information you provided was not supposed to be allowed.

I still suspect you are most probably not approaching the education of your kid how it is expected here, it seems to be a lack of involvement. But you will read this again as an insult. So I wish you the best to you and specially to your kid.

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Actually no Krieg. It’s just you. Everyone has been very helpful. You’re the only that’s been rude and preumptuous. But hey, whatever rocks your boat. It’s an open forum after all. ??‍♀️ 

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If he's not already doing it, your husband should start speaking exclusively in German to him. It will be difficult for both at first, but that is "free" extra tuition.

 

Does your son do any extra-curricular activities? Sport? Every minute of extra contact with German children would help and if it's enjoyable it helps even more

 

Repeating a year carries no stigma, but it is usually done because a child doesn't have the required level. If the only problem is language but he is good at other subjects he will get bored repeating the same stuff, and in some cases that is worse than having slightly lower grades because of some language problems. 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 2/13/2018, 6:09:32, jeba said:

On another note: somebody wrote that the recommendation for the tier of school was given after grade 3 already. I doubt this. In Bavaria at least it´s after grade 4 only and as my example shows you can still change tier after grade 5.

 

 

That was me.  In Heidelberg, the child receives his/her written, signed secondary-school recommendation with the year 4 mid-year report card; the official parent-teacher meeting to discuss the weiterführende Schulen necessarily takes place prior to that, some time in the first half of the school year. (Ours was in early November of year 4). The only grades available to the teacher at that point are the grades from year 3 and earlier.  Similarly, private Gymnasien in our area accept applications and run admissions programmes (interviews, etc.) based on year 3 grades; they ask you to "nachreichen" the half-year grades from year 4 and the official recommendation once you receive them, but initially all they have are the year 3 grades. As I noted, this may be different in different places, but it is certainly true here. 

 

I'm amazed to hear that Bavarians wait until *after* grade 4 to decide what type of secondary school a child should attend - let alone which specific school.  They can do all of that in the 6 weeks between 4th and 5th grade (and still manage to go on holiday)?  Talk about German efficiency! 

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12 minutes ago, liebling said:

I'm amazed to hear that Bavarians wait until *after* grade 4 to decide what type of secondary school a child should attend - let alone which specific school.  They can do all of that in the 6 weeks between 4th and 5th grade (and still manage to go on holiday)?  Talk about German efficiency! 

 

I'm amazed that Germany labels and divides kids at the age of 10. And they say Britain has a class system...

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