Sending children with learning difficulties to German schools

12 posts in this topic

Does anyone have any experience of sending children with learning difficulties to German schools? 

 

We relocated from New Zealand to Germany 3 years ago. 

 

Our youngest son (6 years old) went to the local Kindergarten for 2 years and he is now in 1st grade at the local primary school. However because of lockdown, he has so far only been to school for 13 weeks. 

 

He has always been a slow learner and he struggles with basic maths (addition and subtraction) and it is almost impossible for him to do kopfrechnen. We suspect he has dyscalculia.  

 

We are keeping closely in touch with the school and his teacher and they are aware of our concern. We have also got an offer from the school for him to attend one to one intensive maths lessons once a week. However once again because of Lockdown it hasn't happened yet, and it is most likely he won't be able to achieve the required maths level in order to move to the 2nd grade from September. 

 

We have no problem with him repeating the 1st grade again, but maybe we should also look at the other options, Förderschule or Montessori school.     

 

Thank you so much for reading my post and it would be greatly appreciated if you could give us some advice and thoughts.  

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Can you try to work with him yourself or get a private tutor?  If he doesn't pass, it will not be the end of the world to re-do a year.  Maybe try that before you consider förderschule.

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Have you used the search function yet? There are many threads on the German school system answered by the same posters with same arguments. 

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It might also be worth putting your location more precisely since geography is likely relevant to your options.

 

The offer of one-to-one maths lessons is stunning from a German school. That's well above and beyond. That suggests you have got a good school and repeating might be better than moving.

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@LeonG

Thank you so much for your comment and yes you are absolutely right! I really need to train myself to be more patient :-) 

 

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@engelchen

Thank you so much for your suggestion! I have already had a quick look through other posts but I will do it again later on :-)

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@kiplette

Thank you so much for your comment! Good point! We are deep in the Bavarian Forest. Yes very true, the school has always been very supportive for all our 3 children for the last 3 years :-) 

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A Montessori school may be a good option for several raesons. Firstly, their teaching method and materials make it easier to comprehend math and secondly they don´t usually separate kids into different classes based on age. That means he might not even realise if that he "repeats" a school year as he won´t lose his classmates and friends. I´d suggest to have a test-session to see how he reacts to the Montessori math-materials (of course, it has to be presented to him by a teacher familiar with the Montessori method). I´ve personally seen a Montessori teacher teaching kindergarten-kids to multiply up to 1000 within 20 minutes. Those Montessori math-materials are brilliant. Worth a try as there is nothing to lose.

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If your son is diagnosed with dyscalculia, there should be additional help. Check with your school. I know that dyslexic children will get more time to write their tests or materials, sometimes tutoring is available etc. Förderschulen are usually for kids that struggle with all school materials and are slower learning in general. If your son only has a problem with Maths, I wouldn't even consider it. 

 

It sounds like your school is very supportive. Definitely make use of that. But also do some research elsewhere because, sadly, German school are extremely far behind other countries in terms of the inclusion of children with learning disabilities. I have never heard of there being a Versetzung between grade one and two as the kids don't receive grades yet. Also, if your son has dyscalculia, being taught the same stuff with the same methods all over again is probably not going to make much of a difference. He needs the teaching method to cater to his way of understanding.  

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One thing we did was get an Integrationshilfer. 

 

In our town they are sourced through the Paritätische Dienst. The Landkreis ed psych came and observed my son being his usual self for one lesson (CAPD), agreed that the teacher couldn't possibly teach him successfully in a class setting and that help was required, and we got a bit of paper to take to the Stadt who then requested and funded a helper for him.

 

Your town may have a different system, but in general I think it is unexpected for us non-Germans that this is essentially not to do with the school, but ordered from an outside agency and provided to you and your kid.

 

Sometimes they are shared, depending on the situation and the needs - in our local IGS the autistic kids get grouped and share one helper. Your area might be able to send someone round just for maths. They then might be able to spare someone who has the knowledge to support him properly as Maxie says.

It may be worth a try. It would be a long term solution whilst you live in that area. Ours lasted from 3-12 class.

 

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@jeba

@maxie

@kiplette

 

Thank you so much for taking the time and sharing your knowledge and experience with me :-)

It is not easy working with him everyday at home helping him to get all his school work done. 

PLUS my patience is wearing very thin these days...

I guess all I can do at the moment is to keep working with him at home and being hopeful schools will reopen sometime soon so that we can try to seek some extra help as well as visit a local Montessori school.

 

Thanks again, everyone!

 

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20 hours ago, kilnao said:

visit a local Montessori school

Be aware that places in Montessori schools are usually in short supply. Better get on the waiting list asap. You can always get off it should you decide to not send him there.

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