GerdaT

Best time to start school

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GerdaT

Hi all,

I have a question for those who have gone before us... I read online that people suggest timing your immigration around the middle of the year, to ensure your kids start school in September at the start of a new "school" year. Apparently, this makes the transition for them much easier.

Has this also been your experience? Or do children adapt and fit in, even if they only join in in January?

Thanks!

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MaryJane

We arrived one December and my kids started school in January.  Both had been assessed to place them in the correct level.

My eldest, who finished Grade 10 in SA, started at Grade 11. My youngest, who finished Grade 2 in SA, started at Grade 3. But skipped a grade come September, when she was placed with her age group.

My youngest had a harder time catching up with school work. Perhaps it was more because she was behind in terms of what she had learnt whilst in SA. My eldest seemed like she was a born Canadian all along the way she adapted to life here.

I would not say it had to do with timing. A new school, country, environment and the possibility of friends will always be exciting anytime of the year. ;)

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YolandaB

Hi @GerdaT, im sure you guys will make it there before September.... then you don't have to worry about starting in the middle of the school year ! :)

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DuncanP
9 minutes ago, MaryJane said:

We arrived one December and my kids started school in January.  Both had been assessed to place them in the correct level.

My eldest, who finished Grade 10 in SA, started at Grade 11. My youngest, who finished Grade 2 in SA, started at Grade 3. But skipped a grade come September, when she was placed with her age group.

My youngest had a harder time catching up with school work. Perhaps it was more because she was behind in terms of what she had learnt whilst in SA. My eldest seemed like she was a born Canadian all along the way she adapted to life here.

I would not say it had to do with timing. A new school, country, environment and the possibility of friends will always be exciting anytime of the year. ;)

Thanks for this. When do university years start?

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GerdaT

Thanks @YolandaB, I hope so.

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MaryJane
5 minutes ago, DuncanP said:

Thanks for this. When do university years start?

After high school, Grade 12.

Did you mean the month? September is when school starts.

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DuncanP
37 minutes ago, MaryJane said:

After high school, Grade 12.

Did you mean the month? September is when school starts.

Thanks, yes, so all universities start in September? Even Manitoba?

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MaryJane
20 minutes ago, DuncanP said:

Thanks, yes, so all universities start in September? Even Manitoba?

As far as I know, yes.

The universities have 2 sessions - fall and winter. Fall runs Sep to Dec. Winter runs from Jan to Apr.

Most students normally start their studies in September. However, it is not uncommon to have students start in the winter session as well.

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Jules

Take my advice. Although it seems easier and logical to enroll on day 1 at the start of the school year, remember that the first day of school is rather chaotic at the school and a new kid isn't going to get any special attention or individual treatment. That new-to-Canada child is just another face in the crowd. First day of school is madness. 

But when a new child joins in the middle of the year that child gets extra attention and support from the teacher and fellow pupils. Much easier for the new child. 

Remember that the SA syllabus is not like the Canadian one, so starting on day 1 of a school year or half way through actually makes no difference. But the timing will definitely determine how much attention, help and support a new student gets. 

Enrol your child during the school year! They will have a much softer landing. 

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GerdaT

Thanks @Jules! Never even thought about it from this perspective.

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Nettie
20 hours ago, DuncanP said:

Thanks for this. When do university years start?

@DuncanP

There are 3 semesters:

Fall: Starts in September, Winter -: January Spring -: May/June.  :) Most full time and part time programs start in September, however, you may enrol in individual courses any time of the year. (If you come earlier and want to get going, you can see what courses are needed for a program and may be able to enrol in a course without being admitted into a program). Some full time students use the summer (spring semester) to take courses to accelerate their studies (shorten the program length).

Online studies have different start dates throughout the year. If you or one of your children are planning to enrol in a university/college with a South African education (say if you are coming after Grade 12), you need to allow enough time to get your High School education evaluated (usually by a company like WES, but individual universities have their own requirements.) It would be easier to start this process while you are still in SA.

Here is a link to a typical University/College Academic calendar: http://www7.algonquincollege.com/ro/academic calendar.2016-2017.pdf

 

Edited by Nettie
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Painter lady

@Jules, your reply is more valuable that you will ever realize! Thanks for that perspective. 

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Hennie vdB

I agree with Jules, but have to add one risk of starting later than September, which happened to a boy we know. He started approx. Grade 10 in January, in a school in Calgary. He then had limited subject and class choices, as he had to fit in where classes had capacity. Due to the limited choices he ended up in a few classes with some of the "problem children", who gave him a rough time. He hated first year in school. It was possibly a once-off experience, but worth thinking about.

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Jules

Good point Hennie - fortunately that doesn't apply at elementary school level. And for high school (when they need to choose subjects) that will also be impacted by the school zone: the right neighbourhoods will have very few problem kids in the first place. 

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Tracey22

Our kids started the week after spring break.  it gave them enough time to make friends for the summer vacation, and to join summer camps with other kids  they knew.

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JanSalJanNat

I've been looking at schools and the quotes I got I have to pay for my 4 year old aswell, I was under the impression that from 4 years old their school is free?  Is it only certain schools that's free, do you maybe know where I can get a list of these?

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MaryJane
3 hours ago, JanSalJanNat said:

I've been looking at schools and the quotes I got I have to pay for my 4 year old aswell, I was under the impression that from 4 years old their school is free?  Is it only certain schools that's free, do you maybe know where I can get a list of these?

Quotes from where? The schools? Or daycare?

If you are putting your child through the public school system, schools are free from Kindergarten or Grade 1 (depending what starting level the school is offering). I believe this is age 5 or 6 for the child.

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JanSalJanNat

Kindergarten is from age 4.  I contacted a daycare because my son is 2 so I thought I can put both in the same school but clearly not🙈 I will look for public schools in the area we are planning to live. 

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MaryJane

Daycare is different. You have to pay for that. And it is expensive because the kids are there for a full day. But once your kid goes in the public school system, you will likely only need aftercare (after school), which will then be a slightly lower fee.

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JanSalJanNat

OK.   I will look into that.  

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Tracey22

Kindergarten is free in Ontario.  is this the case for other provinces?

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Nelline
1 hour ago, Tracey22 said:

Kindergarten is free in Ontario.  is this the case for other provinces?

Free in PEI. Only difference is, in ON it is from age 4 as they offer JK and SK, in PEI it is only SK so age 5 onwards.

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SuzieQ
On 1/11/2018 at 10:57 PM, Nelline said:

Free in PEI. Only difference is, in ON it is from age 4 as they offer JK and SK, in PEI it is only SK so age 5 onwards.

Do you know if it is free in NS?

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MaryJane
2 hours ago, SuzieQ said:

Do you know if it is free in NS?

https://novascotiaimmigration.com/live-here/education/

Public education is run by the government and paid for through taxes. In Nova Scotia, most residents attend public school, starting at age 5 with grade primary in elementary school. Primary is followed by grades 1 to 6. After elementary school, youth attend grades 7 to 9 at a junior high school, and high school for grades 10 through 12.”

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MargueriteE

Hi. I read somewhere that the kids are starting school  according to before Sept. and after Sept. birthday age groups. For example my eldest has his birthday in Oct. He is turning 10 this year and currently in Gr4 in SA but because his birthday is in Oct. he would probably start with Grade 4 in Sept along with all the still 9year olds? 

I'm considering homeschooling the second quarter to increase his English iso attending the Afrikaans school. We're planning to move to Vancouver around end July. 

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