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nicky33

kids coping with the change

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nicky33

Hi guys how did your kids cope? In have 2 small kids and are so worried. don't know how they will cope and adapted in a new country and in new schools. they are still in Afr.schools. 

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Jules

The younger they are the easier and faster they adapt. Kids often arrive from countries where they dont speak a word of English. A few months later the kids are speaking English and happy.

Anything under 5 years old they have zero problems. Kids around 6 to 8 adapt easy but might need a month or two. The preteen "tweens" might need an extra couple of months. It gets tricky from the teenage years. Our 15 year old cried every day for months and months. Our 5 year old adapted almost instantly.  

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MaryJane

My child was 8 when we landed and she struggled a little bit at first. Missed her SA friends a lot. Even wrote to them once we settled. It gets easier though. Time does that. I'm thankful she started school immediately. Made new friends and it slowly eased the longing.

My then 16 year old landed like she was born Canadian. Integrated well into high school life.

How old are your small kids?

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SunshineGirl

@MaryJane, my son is a pre-teen & my daughter a similar age to your youngest when you all landed.  I have to admit that I'm stressing about them picking up French so late in the game.  How do the schools handle the second language & all the missed years of not learning French?  XX

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MaryJane

My eldest did not have to learn the language at school as she did not choose the language as one of her subjects in high school.

For the youngest, she went into Grade 5 and was given a lot of resources (videos, materials, etc.) The teacher also spent some time with her to help her with the basics at first. Her friends also helped a bit. We learnt to count together and name colours in French together while walking home from school. Today, French is one of her strong subjects although I've never heard her speak a word of it. My daughter has even offered to help me with my French (now non-existent :lol: ).

Children pick it up so quickly. She may not become a fluent speaker but will learn enough to pass the language and then some.

PS Just a note that French learning starts in Grade 4.

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SunshineGirl

@MaryJane, before I start making assumptions, please could I check with you?  In high school, is it compulsory for kids to take an additional language subject (additional to English?)..  Thx in advance!

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MaryJane

I think French is compulsory in Grade 9 and thereafter it becomes a choice for the student if they wish to continue or not.

To obtain an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), a student needs to have 30 credits (18 compulsory, 12 optional), plus 40 hours of community service, plus passing (of course). A French credit is one of the compulsory ones.

When I looked up the secondary curriculum in Ontario, it states that the student needs to have had 600 hours of French instruction as at the end of Grade 8 to be accepted into core French. If your child is assessed to go to Grade 9 and have had no French instruction prior, I'm not sure if he/she will still need to take French, or is there an alternative.

This flyer may help you understand the secondary school system in Ontario better.

My comments are limited to Ontario as that is where I am based.

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Jules
3 hours ago, SunshineGirl said:

@MaryJane, before I start making assumptions, please could I check with you?  In high school, is it compulsory for kids to take an additional language subject (additional to English?)..  Thx in advance!

Second language schooling in Canada is not at the level of second languages in SA. Most Canadians graduate high school with very limited understanding of French. I can't emphasize enough how bad the English speakers are in French. 

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Nettie
24 minutes ago, Jules said:

Second language schooling in Canada is not at the level of second languages in SA. Most Canadians graduate high school with very limited understanding of French. I can't emphasize enough how bad the English speakers are in French. 

I can second that. Most people decide not to do French in school at all, even in Ottawa and most English speakers don't speak French, even in Ottawa.

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SunshineGirl

@Jules & @Nettie, gosh - that is interesting.  Selfishly a little bit of a relief on behalf of my kids (blush!)

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Jules

My son went through the whole school system here from grade 1 and he recently graduated from high school. Neither he or any of his friends can hold a basic conversation in French. They can barely complete a sentence in French. Very few regions in Canada are truly bilingual. 

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Nettie
3 hours ago, SunshineGirl said:

@Jules & @Nettie, gosh - that is interesting.  Selfishly a little bit of a relief on behalf of my kids (blush!)

It is always helpful to speak another language. The more languages you know, the easier it is to learn a new one. Interestingly, both my kids are fluent in Spanish (in addition to Afrikaans and English) and the one also speaks Swedish and German (by their own choice).

Regarding the French: Even though society doesn't present with a lot of bilingual people, some of the job requirements are French and English (and they have started to add Arabic too). In the provinces like New Brunswick and Quebec, some people speak French only. New Brunswick is the only officially bilingual province.  If I had to do it over, I would encourage my children to learn French too. Keep in mind that the French that they speak here, is Quebecois, which is different from the French that is spoken in France. I still think it would be helpful to know it though, but I've been told that the French (in France) prefer to speak English to Quebecois people. 

Edited by Nettie
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Jules

Nettie is correct regarding job opportunities especially government services. Bilingual does boost job prospects in some fields. 

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Freddy
1 hour ago, Jules said:

My son went through the whole school system here from grade 1 and he recently graduated from high school. Neither he or any of his friends can hold a basic conversation in French. They can barely complete a sentence in French. Very few regions in Canada are truly bilingual. 

I'm with you@Jules. My son went through high school and going to second year university cant converse in French.

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GerdaT

Hi all,

I have another question regarding kids. What do kids do after school? My husband and I will both be working, and our children are in primary school. At this stage we make use of after school programmes (naskool) and our domestic worker to keep an eye during the afternoons.

Once in Canada, we wont have the luxury of a domestic lady. Does the school hours end later than here? Or are there afterschool supervision or, ideally, activities with transport. Not yet comfortable with leaving my little one alone at home... I just want to know what I should budget or plan for.

Thanks!

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Nelline

Some schools do offer after school care (for a fee) but many people choose to use private after school organisations, which usually cater for ages up to 12. Same goes for summer daycamps - usually up to age 12. Schools start between 8am and 9am, depending on how they organize their schedule, and end between 2:30pm and 3pm. What with taking the bus, you may find your children safely taken care of from 7:30am to 3:30pm depending on how far you live from school and the hours they keep etc. The daycare people fetch the kiddies from school and either transport or walk them back to the facility. From age 12 children are usually deemed to be ok to stay at home without supervision (with the odd exception). Organised after school "extra curricular activities" are rare - these are usually organized via private options, or via community sports programmes, so don't bank on that as "after school care"

Depending on your line of work you may find employers to be open to flexible working hours. For example, hubby stays with the children until they get on the bus, while wifey gets to work at 7am and works through to 3pm, hubby then works on to 5pm or later but wifey gets to the bus stop on time to meet the kids. This is just an example though. In our case, my employer is happy for me to be flexible in my hours and I can choose to either work from home all day (on PD days when schools are closed to students, for example) or part of the day. I have my laptop and an extra monitor set up at home, and I will often only go into the office for part of the day, but am always home to meet the bus.

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GerdaT

Thanks @Nellie! This is such a relief.

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Tracey22

In our area, most kids are at home alone from 11.

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LiezelJ

Can anyone here advise.

When we land and the children have to be assessed before they are placed in the appropriate grade. How does that work? My kids are grade 2 and 4 currently in Afrikaans schools. I am scared that because Canada might be totally different than what they are used to, that they will have to go back a grade or two which will be devastating for them and me! :o

Anyone went through this and can give more information?

 

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Lizelle

I have almost never heard of a kid going back a grade when they got here (especially in the lower grades).  In general they will slot you into the age group, and then work from there.  There are a lot of English as second language kids that get extra help and classes.

This article talks about how quickly kids integrate: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-40708421

 

Edited by Lizelle

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MaryJane

I had the same worries but Lizelle is right. Kids are assessed and then slot into their age group. The school principal explained to me that being with the same age group helps the kid integrate better (which it does).

The school teachers are also very helpful if they see that a child needs assistance with certain subjects.

That has been my experience.

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Sharma
3 hours ago, LiezelJ said:

Can anyone here advise.

When we land and the children have to be assessed before they are placed in the appropriate grade. How does that work? My kids are grade 2 and 4 currently in Afrikaans schools. I am scared that because Canada might be totally different than what they are used to, that they will have to go back a grade or two which will be devastating for them and me! :o

Anyone went through this and can give more information?

 

Dont worry too much. The assessment is mostly for English and Maths. My son did his assessment last week and it was easy.

And at grade 2 and 4 it is mostly age based enrollment.

 

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GerdaT

It's good to hear that kids do better than expected... however, I am still worried.

We are going to Montreal and according to Bill 101 (or something like that!), my kids have to attend a French public school or Private school. At this stage, the plan is to send my son (now in Gr7) to an English public school, and my daughter (GrR) to the French public school as I only have enough money per month to send one to a private school... I also cannot send to any private school, luckily we found one that is semi-affordable.

I will also asses my son by the Montreal school board, perhaps he can go to a French public school , and redo his Gr7 year? But, I'm leaving those decisions to end Oct when I have had a chance to discuss this with the school boards in person. At this stage all the phone calls are answered by a machine that only speaks French.

On the one hand we are making the move for the kids, but at this stage - I'm worried that they might be worse off due to the French being compulsory! On a unrelated note, I need to get some anti-anxiety meds asap!

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Sharma
4 hours ago, GerdaT said:

It's good to hear that kids do better than expected... however, I am still worried.

We are going to Montreal and according to Bill 101 (or something like that!), my kids have to attend a French public school or Private school. At this stage, the plan is to send my son (now in Gr7) to an English public school, and my daughter (GrR) to the French public school as I only have enough money per month to send one to a private school... I also cannot send to any private school, luckily we found one that is semi-affordable.

I will also asses my son by the Montreal school board, perhaps he can go to a French public school , and redo his Gr7 year? But, I'm leaving those decisions to end Oct when I have had a chance to discuss this with the school boards in person. At this stage all the phone calls are answered by a machine that only speaks French.

On the one hand we are making the move for the kids, but at this stage - I'm worried that they might be worse off due to the French being compulsory! On a unrelated note, I need to get some anti-anxiety meds asap!

You are getting worried too  much about schooling. From my one month's experience, Canada is designed around immigrants. You will do just fine. The kids will have a blast. (They dont have to pay the bills :-) ).

My son was given a calculator during the assessment. He did not use it. :-). Said it was too simple.

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SunshineGirl
10 hours ago, GerdaT said:

On the one hand we are making the move for the kids, but at this stage - I'm worried that they might be worse off due to the French being compulsory! On a unrelated note, I need to get some anti-anxiety meds asap!

@GerdaT, my kids are in grade 6 & 3 here in SA.  Hubby & I are looking at moving them from their current school as the school treats the WCED Caps syllabus as a "guideline" (ie. doesn't cover the full syllabus) & charges us 4 times the price of a government school - makes total sense (rolling eyes).   They are currently learning English & Afrikaans at school & to move them to most government schools nearby will mean that they need to learn Xhosa in addition at this late stage.  So, your kids will not be worse off - the challenges of learning new languages at a later stage are here in SA too.  Personally, hubby & I are toying with the idea of sourcing a tutor for French on this side before we (hopefully) go, in addition to their sessions of French on DuoLingo.    Hmm... a date with DuoLingo with a platter of cheese, chocolate & wine for parents - what could be more french?

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