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Eliab

American Elementary Vs Sa Primary School

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Hi All,

 

My niece 9 (Grade 5) and nephews (2,6, and 8) the grades for the 6 yrs old (grade 1) and 8 yrs old (grade 4). I wanted to find out how my sister can get their education up to US standard in the next two years before they move. Are there school packages I can purchase for them? and they can use I private tutor to get them up to speed. Because I am terrified that they are behind and if they moved here meaning the US they would struggle and not be able tp cope with load of school work.

 

And is the huge difference between US school system versus SA school system. What else on our side can we do to make sure the kids are ready.

 

Ps. Its just that when I look at my friends kids in the US, they seem more advance than I was in primary school and the projects they are working on, I did in High school if I was lucky. All I remember is sleeping through primary school.

 

All your input is appreciated.

 

Thanks,

Eli

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1360157126[/url]' post='61883']

Hi All,

 

My niece 9 (Grade 5) and nephews (2,6, and 8) the grades for the 6 yrs old (grade 1) and 8 yrs old (grade 4). I wanted to find out how my sister can get their education up to US standard in the next two years before they move. Are there school packages I can purchase for them? and they can use I private tutor to get them up to speed. Because I am terrified that they are behind and if they moved here meaning the US they would struggle and not be able tp cope with load of school work.

 

And is the huge difference between US school system versus SA school system. What else on our side can we do to make sure the kids are ready.

 

Ps. Its just that when I look at my friends kids in the US, they seem more advance than I was in primary school and the projects they are working on, I did in High school if I was lucky. All I remember is sleeping through primary school.

 

All your input is appreciated.

 

Thanks,

Eli

 

I'm not sure where your sister is or how much cash she has to burn, but the easiest way to ensure this would be to send them to an American school here (there are ones in both Jhb and Cape Town as far as I know). However, if you look through previous threads here, people don't seem to have had major issues with their kids moving from SA to US schools. (This obviously assumes your sister's kids aren't e.g. at a terrible rural public school.) We looked at both the US and UK curriculum based schools here (in CPT), and for our younger one the US elementary school curriculum didn't seem very different to SA schools - to our surprise. My older daughter (grade 6) is certainly doing more advanced stuff than i was in Std 4. So you may be worrying unnecessarily, but hopefully people who have actually made the move can chip in too. (The UK one is a much bigger gap to SA btw - our 4-year old is there now and reading already!)

Edited by SJ27

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My daughter arrived here in Grade 3 and I had the same fears, 10 years ago.

I didn't find that they were that much different, although I have heard recently that they like the kids to be able to read simple sentences by the time they start Grade 1.

I think most kids in SA are attending Grade 0 and nursery school now, so they all know their numbers, colours and alphabet. The only thing that was a bit of a problem is history and geography. The kids learn about their state history and geography from grade one. It is also a problem when they change state as we did and your child isn't up to speed on the new state.

SA kids are not stupid and the American school system is not as advanced as they make it out to be.

One thing I did like about the USA system is that if you have a child with a mental handicap like autism or down's syndrome - they have special programs that keep the kids in school and make them feel as normal as possible. They can stay in school until they turn 21 and they try to teach the children some sort of life-skills. We had a young man from our school working as a dishwasher in the school kitchen.

I recently worked in a school and discovered that one of the handicapped children was doing university type courses in maths and science - and he is a computer whizz kid! Unfortunately, he will never work or be able to use this information. He barely talks and cannot cope with too many people near him.

I home schooled my daughter because I wanted her to be ready to start the new USA school year which is in August. I used a system that uses computers and gave me a lot of help as well as being accepted by quite a few states. They have some readiness tests that you can use to see how your kids measure up.

Bev

Home school online and another K-5 Benchmarks

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I will pass on the information. Treverly thank you for the information about kids with special needs. My youngest nephew the two year old has hydrocephalus so he will need help the first couple of years getting around preK and elementary school.

 

SJ27 thank you, its just sometimes you are in doubt and she and I were worried. My sister said she would definately return to SA if her kids were struggling or not happy/settling in the US. Her husband wasn't impressed with that statement. American School not an option for them unfortunately, its too expensive and they need to save all they can for this journey. East Rand public schools are not bad I think but I think my mother is to blame as well because she compares my sisters kids to us and her generation and so forth. (She likes to say my kids started reading at 4 and someones child is reading at 3) and start placing the seed of doubt about the teachers, curriculum the kids etc.

 

We will look into the programs and she can start testing them slowly.I would rather they were more advanced so they dont go back a grade and be in a class with kids in the same age.

 

Eli

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1360171110[/url]' post='61889']

I will pass on the information. Treverly thank you for the information about kids with special needs. My youngest nephew the two year old has hydrocephalus so he will need help the first couple of years getting around preK and elementary school.

 

SJ27 thank you, its just sometimes you are in doubt and she and I were worried. My sister said she would definately return to SA if her kids were struggling or not happy/settling in the US. Her husband wasn't impressed with that statement. American School not an option for them unfortunately, its too expensive and they need to save all they can for this journey. East Rand public schools are not bad I think but I think my mother is to blame as well because she compares my sisters kids to us and her generation and so forth. (She likes to say my kids started reading at 4 and someones child is reading at 3) and start placing the seed of doubt about the teachers, curriculum the kids etc.

 

We will look into the programs and she can start testing them slowly.I would rather they were more advanced so they dont go back a grade and be in a class with kids in the same age.

 

Eli

 

The older generation really have this thing about competition between kids! Maybe you should have a quiet word to your mom.... Schools these days, US, SA, everywhere, are much more inclusive and able to handle both kids that are ahead and behind the average - so that the "slower" kids don't struggle and the brighter kids don't get bored. Treverly gave you some good links I think. I also think if one can, starting when the new school year starts is great not just for obvious reasons but because you've got that long summer holiday to help if any catching up is needed.

Re your sister's fears about the kids: if they are adjudged to be slightly behind, they may get effectively put back 6 months. It seems to happen reasonably often with transplants and there is not enough of an age difference for it to be "obvious". And the overwhelming feedback I have from both forums and people I know, is that after the initial adjustment to the different system, kids adapt very quickly and settle down fast - usually much faster than the adults. [i can see this with our younger daughter, who went from typical SA preschool to a much more formal UK structure (uniforms, PT lessons, reading, writing, homework, personal responsibility etc at age 4!) and we were really worried it would be a hard adjustment for her - and it was - but for literally less than a week. She's only a few weeks into the new routine and already happy and settled. Of course if we had moved home etc at the same time it might be harder, but I think the bottom line is kids are much more adaptable and resilient than we give them credit for!]

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I agree. The kids will settle in much easier than you will.

Go to CNA and look at the home school books that are available - especially for maths and English. Get the age and grade appropriate books and see what the kids are doing at school. Make it a game that they do a few questions everyday. I used to act stupid and let my dd explain how I had to do the sums. ;)

YOur children may well be put back a year. My daughter's birthday (October) was the wrong side of September (The children have to be 7 before the 1st of September in Florida) and there was NO WAY they would let her go to the next grade. In the long run it worked out well as she was almost the oldest in her class. That extra little bit of maturity helped her so much. Get them reading too. Americans are big readers. Read to them and with them. :)

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Good advise from all. I must say that I think in general kids - especially elementary school kids - seem to have no problem adjusting. They are so malleable, and the international language of 'Play' is the same everywhere.

Florida has just adopted the Common Core Standards which are national standards, voluntarily "adopted with almost all states on board." You/they should be able to check standards pretty easily using those. There are tons of Homeschool curricullum available, including on'line courses. A lot are religious, but there are some that aren't. Trinity school curriculum seems pretty welknown here. I found Oak Meadow very interesting - more Waldorffy. If they know they are coming here, there is no reason for them not to start on one of the available curriculum. Schools start 3 months earlier here. They run from the end of August to early June. So if they got here in June, they might not have completed enough of whatever grade they were in to move on to the next one. We made the move just in time for my oldest to start Kindergarten here.

Hope this helps.

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To echo what others have said in this thread - the kids seem to adjust very well and my 7 year old is doing very well here. We moved when she was 4, and so she went into daycare, then preschool, kindergarten and has just completed first grade. We moved from the northern suburbs of Joburg to a tiny rural town in south central Kentucky, so I was really nervous about the standard of education. Once I got over the more informal feel of schooling here (no "sir" or "ma'am", no school uniforms etc) and looked past the rather unintelligent sounding country accent, I was pleasantly surprised by the high standards and exceptional quality here. I actually feel that for the most part you are getting close-to private school education for free! My daughter easily switches between a South African accent and a Kentucky drawl because kids are like chameleons - they know how to integrate better than we do. I love that the classrooms are full of diversity in terms of ethnicity and race as well as abilities and disabilities and differing economic backgrounds. I feel that the kids get a better feeling for the real world, that everyone has a right to be there. Sometimes on my bad days when I am missing home I take strength from seeing how well my daughter has integrated. As for the level of education it seems pretty advanced even in our small school. I don't think that at the elementary or even middle school level that there is anything to worry about. My daughter is thriving academically because SAffers do have high standards and I think we pay attention to schooling. Something that may take some time for parents to get used to as we are from a different generation - is the idea that here in the US - everyone is a winner. It seems like positive reinforcement happens all the time - and I was a bit perturbed at first...... but, that seems to be a cultural thing - so I guess it's a " when in Rome" kind of a thing! I can't compare current SA standards to here, but so far it's been an easy adjustment and a pleasant surprise! Best of luck to your niece and nephews!

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To echo what others have said in this thread - the kids seem to adjust very well and my 7 year old is doing very well here. We moved when she was 4, and so she went into daycare, then preschool, kindergarten and has just completed first grade. We moved from the northern suburbs of Joburg to a tiny rural town in south central Kentucky, so I was really nervous about the standard of education. Once I got over the more informal feel of schooling here (no "sir" or "ma'am", no school uniforms etc) and looked past the rather unintelligent sounding country accent, I was pleasantly surprised by the high standards and exceptional quality here. I actually feel that for the most part you are getting close-to private school education for free! My daughter easily switches between a South African accent and a Kentucky drawl because kids are like chameleons - they know how to integrate better than we do. I love that the classrooms are full of diversity in terms of ethnicity and race as well as abilities and disabilities and differing economic backgrounds. I feel that the kids get a better feeling for the real world, that everyone has a right to be there. Sometimes on my bad days when I am missing home I take strength from seeing how well my daughter has integrated. As for the level of education it seems pretty advanced even in our small school. I don't think that at the elementary or even middle school level that there is anything to worry about. My daughter is thriving academically because SAffers do have high standards and I think we pay attention to schooling. Something that may take some time for parents to get used to as we are from a different generation - is the idea that here in the US - everyone is a winner. It seems like positive reinforcement happens all the time - and I was a bit perturbed at first...... but, that seems to be a cultural thing - so I guess it's a " when in Rome" kind of a thing! I can't compare current SA standards to here, but so far it's been an easy adjustment and a pleasant surprise! Best of luck to your niece and nephews!

Great post and insight.

 

I just wanted to mention, my kids are at two different schools here (as in, still in SA) and this "everyone is a winner" permeates it here too.

 

I can't wait for my kids to go to public school there... I am so sick of the private school environment.

Edited by SJ27
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Just my 2cents, the www.khanacademy.org is a great resource for the American education system. Over 2million Americans use it in conjunction with regular school and is funded by the bill gates foundation so it's totally free. They break each subject into smaller topics and have test questions etc so u can work at your own pace.

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Khan Academy is fantastic!

My daughter is a senior (4th year) at University of Tennessee and still uses Khan to help with homework problems in chemistry, calculus and physics.

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Hi everyone. We are leaving for the USA in a few months. My son will be turning 3 in October this year. As we have given up our home I'm staying at my parents. He doesn't go to a baby school crèche as I am on maternity leave.... For my baby girl.

So just reading all the above. He will be home with me for a year hey until he turns 4 in USA?? Then only start pre k? Is this right? Then is there things I should be doing to him to teach him for USA or is he young enough and I shouldn't start something? Obviously we play, I read to him, paint, but is there something else I should be doing??? Rather tired with new baby but of so will of course make a plan and fit it in.

Thanks in advance!!! He pretty much plays around during the day with reading and stiff although the coloring is more just him scratching lines etc on the paper!!!!

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Whiteloren, i don't think you have to stress too much. Schools take it pretty much step by step and they try their best not to "leave a child behind".

 

Keep in mind that schools start in September, and not January, as we were used to. So:

 

Kindergarten = Age 5

Elementary School = Age 6 - 10 (Grades 1 - 5)

Middle School = Age 11 - 13 (Grades 6 - 8)

High School = Age 14 - 17 (Grades 9 - 12)

 

If your child turns 5 after the start of a new school year, you could face a dilemma and might have to hold the child back for another year. However, most schools allow this limit to be exceeded by a few days, but not by many.

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That's how I have it - Grade 1 at age 6.

 

The site below has a detailed analysis of how American schooling works:

 

Path2USA

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