Daily Archives: 15 August 2012

We went to Bavaria for two weeks in July…

… and I didn’t get a lot of visiting done because I didn’t take any vacation days because the company has an office in Munich so I took my work laptop and went to a fair bit of trouble and expense to go to the city almost every day to do my job, which was kind of stupid, in hindsight.

Anyway. Ack, where should I start? Let’s start with the Sniglet. As you may recall, I was NOT happy with his first school – you know, where they help foreign kids integrate by making sure they don’t interact with any actual Dutch children for at least a year? Yeah, that one. They finally ran out of excuses to hang onto him, and we got him into a real school, with Dutch children and Dutch teachers who did mention that the integration-school thing wasn’t really a requirement and we probably should have gotten a second opinion. Argh.

But it was a pretty good school, and he had a good time and made friends and all that, but… well… um… if you’re used to Bavaria, the standard of education is not what you’d call rigorous. Frinstance, his teacher did sort of casually mention that the Sniglet hadn’t been doing his homework for the last few weeks – about a week before the school year ended. Huh? I mean, what do you expect me to do about it now? Which shows how much I’ve changed, doesn’t it? Because the German teachers were all over that $#!%, and at the time, my line was, “You’re the teacher, not me. Figure something out.”

Stop looking at me like that. Consistency is for the gainfully employed.

Where was I? Oh, right. So um, Snig really missed Germany, and we kind of felt he was losing out academically, and his German is really slipping, and… we have other reasons, which I will probably address in other posts, for wanting to return to Germany, so we floated the idea to him and he was VERY keen. But we can’t move yet.

But he really shouldn’t do another school year here, because by German standards, he’s well behind his agemates, and after another year here, he’d be even behind-er: see, he’s headed into 8th grade, which is the last year of primary school in the Netherlands, and it’s ALL about testing into  secondary school. The Dutch themselves admit that there is little or no real academic work done in that year, just the CITO test. Which, fair enough – it’s really important to get into the right secondary school (which I don’t mean in the snobby way, it’s just that there are a skillion options and it’s important to find the one that best suits your kid’s personality and needs, and make sure he meets their requirements, which I don’t know what those would be because all the homework I’ve seen was laughably easy but whatever), but he’s not going to a Dutch secondary school. He’s going to a German one, eventually, and the more time he loses, the rougher that transition will be.

So, he’s there, with the Oompas, and in September he’ll start as a fifth grader. At a boarding school.

Um, ack?

Song du jour of the day: The Hogwarts School Song