OK, I have a question for the families whose kids are in Dutch school but had to go through the "language school" first (also the newcomer's school). Did you find that they fell way behind? I'm concerned because it seems like the kids are getting almost no other teaching beyond learning Dutch and they are supposed to be there 1-1.5 years. Doesn't this put them way behind their peers? Won't they have problems integrating into their class when they haven't had math (really), science, social studies, etc? (Note, the math they get is very simplistic).
Let me know, especially those whose kids have gone through this and are in Dutch School now.
It depends on the age when they move here, and the school they attend.
My older children had a 75/25 mix between intensive Dutch and regular lessons. One had integration issues (down to personality and teen rebelliousness, I think) and the other has several groups of friends.
My younger children developed the skill of learning everying twice as fast as their Dutch peers (they were reading/writing/speaking two languages) and as a result, are way ahead of their peers. No integration issues.
You can't help but expect your child to fall behind at first. If you moved to a business where the company language was Chinese, would you expect your career to go from leaps to bounds initially? Kids have no choice in this.
If you're here short stay and in a good job, put them in an international school. If you're here long term, then they will catch up and they will find friends, and they will speak the language much better than you ever could.
Your children won't be considered 'lesser' because they'll see their HAVO/MAVO as equal to your (country's) college leaving certificate, even if you see the teaching as 'simplistic'. I have gripes with the schools here too - mainly because they seem too intrusive on 'wellbeing' and less so on 'academia'... or in finding substitute teachers so that some weeks, 20% of lessons are cancelled. But no matter what you feel, your child (teenager) will measure themselves against their peers always, not what their fossil-parents consider was better 'back in the old country'.
Expatica, stop employing cheap-*** coders who can't even add a captcha without ******** up the formatting of posts!
The Dutch Language School First:
Warning i am having one of those i Hate Dutch Wonderland days due to this issue
So we started our 2nd child in school at age 4 in August at his big brothers school. First son went when he was 5 and learning dutch in school was a challange but now in Group 6 he is reading in dutch far above his group level so it worked out. Back to son #2, the 4yr old loved school the first week 2nd week he refussed to enter to classroom, the Dutch Teacher standing over us in the hall while trying to console my hysterical 4 yrs old Ranted "Now he is the boss of you". So helpful - really Not. I am now beginning to see why he won't even enter the room. This continues for a week Hubby carries the boy in he bolts out the room with the teacher grabbing to catch him only to knock him off balance causing him to fall out into the hall way screaming. This is the point i cracked and took him home. Teacher calls the house insisting to have a face to face the following day on the 1/2 day wednesday, i respond with well Hubby is out at work so i don;t know his schedule i will let you know in the morning at drop off time. Not good enough for her she must know now. Can i call your husband on his mobile Nope sorry he left it home here with me. Ok so after she hangs up she calls hubby mobile any way and i Laugh at her saying i told you he left it home. Next morning yup hubby has work can;t make a noon conference, Teacher runs out of class screaming the Directors name to tell on me LOL Leaving her class of 4 year old un attended Very Professional. This was the course of the first 2 months of school for 4 yr old. The day we showed up and he had on other clothes and sack with pee'ed on clothes with No Phone to parents No Note not even bothered to come over to me at the play yard and explain is when i knew leaving my 4 yr old in her care was NO longer an option. My son has been potty trained since before he was 1.
So after many talks with Director 4yr old is out we will try again next September when he is 5yrs old and must do school. At this point the director mentioned getting back to us with insturctions for dutch as a 2nd language for our son to better prepare him for school. Its now June 25 today. Director says school won't take my son until he goes to Dutch Language school, they had 3 students this year from 1 from russia and 2 black kids from some other country with no dutch skills (this is the directors language). Its too hard for the teachers and students, the dutch language school is the best way to go. This coming from the International School that is suppose to be teaching all students English LOL, can;t handle a child speaking their second language and has been home learning dutch from his father all this time. Talk about miss opportunity if the Director had given us the info about a dutch language school in October maybe he could be ready by now? As the director explained our son might only need a few months of school to be good enough at dutch to go to their school. OMG yes i will put my 5 yr old child on a school bus to go to another city alone to go to a language school. what is the problem can;t anyone in this city teach dutch???? LOL Beyond bizzare.
First son went when he was 5 and learning dutch in school was a challange but now in Group 6 he is reading in dutch far above his group level so it worked out.
This is the case for my daughter too (although she's in a regular Dutch school).
But, just wow! Your poor son. Seriously, how difficult would it have been to have just moved your son to a class with a different teacher? In a more relaxed environment, I'm sure your son would have blossomed. It sounds like this frustrated biahatch has the headmaster running scared, so the kids dont have much chance! I've also met teachers like this (almost always blonde, 30s and female), but our directeur has taken my side and dealt with issues when they've arose.
Please though - let us know which city this charming international school is at. It reminds me of a story by an old poster called Laurel, and I'm wondering if it's the same one.
Incidently, have you thought about a regular dutch school for your son? You'll have more choices, and might just find one with a directeur who has a set of b@lls.
Our 11 yr old son sits in group 6 at the OBS (open bar school - public) to our knowledge this is a normal typical dutch school. Last school year they the school began promoting themselves as an International School while offering English lessons. Finally an easy class for my oldest boy! LOL
So this year they are having a hard time figuring out what English curriculm to follow much to the disappointment of the parents at ouders avonde who have children in groups 6,7,8 preparing for dutch high school with much more english lessons.
It has been a challenge and learning experience if nothing else learning how far my patience will last most days. We tried with the little one wanted him to get that early start You know how fast they learn when they are little, even with his Daddy Dutch lessons He corrects my bad dutch pronunciations LOL
I really wish the director had told us that dutch language school was neccessary but he had no such requirement last August with little 4 yr old funny 10 months can change so much in one school. My dutch hubby is furious having wasted all this time not finding new schools and how pathetic NOT to offer dutch lessons to children in this city. I really just dont have the heart to put my son on a bus every day and send him off at 5 yrs old to another city to have dutch lessons alone. I am sure this is a cultural thing but i would be out of my mind nervous and worried about him the whole time with strangers so far away.
thanks very much Osita for the kind thoughts they are very appreciated truely
philly_girl your situation sounds extremely stressful and I hope you work it out. But as your older son has shown, young kids can assimilate a new language really fast. Maybe not speaking Dutch is not the main issue - his teacher sounds really scary. Re potty training, most first year classes tend to have spare clothes because accidents do happen - I wouldn't worry about that at all. We sent our boy to a bilingual nursery for a couple of months before starting school so maybe there are options for some informal socialising with Dutch kids to build his confidence up a bit rather than a formal method. The approach of the school where we sent our son was very much - no problem. He'll pick up Dutch really quickly, trust in him and let him get on with it. We were very lucky. Good schools and good teachers focus on the needs of the children, not the parents. And if your husband is Dutch, surely he can help!
oh i agree,
last year when we started our 4 yr old at his brothers OBS school De Linde there was no mention of he needs to go to a dutch language school first. Only after complaining over the horrid experience with mean teacher did they string us along for 9 months then insist on this. I know i felt that ok this is my american ideals/culture clash. So we spoke to all the parents of the class mates of our older son all know this Teacher. We could find No One who had a nice thing to say about her. Everyone we spoke to around 10 parents we know said oh yeah Her! Also my son happily wanted to enter class when it was the Young student teacher they have on thursday & friday. This showed me that the issued along with a language barrier that her behaviour and treatment where a root cause for all this drama. My issue with the accident is the complete lack of Teacher communication toward us over the incident. I am mom of 3 i know about accidents. Little 4 yr old has a dutch speaking Dad, brother & Grandparents along with all the kids that are friends with his older son. Never has he had any issues socializing with dutch kids on any of the play yards or with dutch visitors at our home. I guess the thing that bugs is we have been in constant communication with school about both our boys. When i say constant i mean we are at school almost daily, so having Director wait this long to spring this surprise wasting all our time is just incredible. After reading over their website how they Promote the extensive International Ness of their school along with 20% of lessons Starting in Group 1 in English -- to Turn away a child with some dutch skills who speaks their Bragged about 2nd language as too difficult for them is just shocking and disappointing.