Why is 11 the worst possible age? The children are not automatically put back a year and I don't know of any 11 year olds in with 6 year olds. Of course there is loads of caution to be had and the move with children is a major decision that needs thorough consideration, but we must not over do the warnings, just make sure they are clear and let people make their well informed and thoroughly thought out decisions. As long as they are thoroughly thought out and researched.
Message posted by janmanessi on 03 April 2010 at 1:29pm - IP Logged
GUV 1 Why is 11 the worst possible age? The children are not automatically put back a year and I don't know of any 11 year olds in with 6 year olds
With the language problem she may well have to do classes with 1st year pupils.
Also 11 is the age where you begin formulating plans for exams, and heading for more formal education etc. and to be put into a totally different system can be daunting- maybe not, but I reiterate, look at the other threads on this subject on this same topic
Sorry but I disagree. With four children at a Greek school (spread across all three schools) the challenges are enourmous and is not a decision that anyone can ever make lightly but only after serious consideration and thought, visiting differnt schools, meeting the staff, checking the needs of your children in the same way as if you were relocating in the UK. There is no worst age. There is not necessarily the perfect time either. The rounded education can be more important than just exam results. Quality of life and culture play an important part too in a child's upbringing. Personally we didn't want to leave our kids behind as soon as they'd finished their schooling and then come to Greece to die. But I would not criticise those who choose that option. The thread is understandably emotive. It reminds me a little of when my wife was first pregnant and we got all the horror stories such as a friend's aunty's cousin's neighbour's best friend who was in labour for 67 days. We learnt to take advice just from those who had done it. There are many on the thread who have and their words of advice / caution (warts & all) should be taken into account by those wanting to make an informed decision. Those asking are not asking about exchange rates or sea temperatures but a key life changing decision.
Message posted by Susanna on 05 April 2010 at 12:16am - IP Logged
I think one thing to consider, GUV1, is what your kids will do when they finish their Greek education. Maybe they will find employment in Corfu, but it is far more likely that they will have to go back to the UK without the recognizable qualifications that their contemporaries have, and without the parental home to live in whilst they look for work.
You are right in saying that quality of life and culture are very important, and I think (hope) that our four children who are half Greek feel as if they belong in two places rather than not being quite at home in either of their two countries, but only one of ours is actually living in Corfu, and we find that quite hard - miss them to bits.
Maybe it depends where in the UK you are starting from - some places are obviously less attractive and more likely to tempt you to Corfu in the first place.
As Jan says, it is worth reading the other threads on this topic before making any decisions.
Of the people I know almost all of them who brought children from the UK during their education returned them or returned with them to complete their education in Britain. Most of the children seem to return eventually to the UK when they are old enough and as Susanna says, many of them struggle to get a decent job due to lack of qualifications. As we all know, it is almost impossible to find decent employment with any career prospects here in Corfu, only bar work and building labourers. A lucky few get good jobs at places like the port police or in the town halls and banks but strangely enough, they all seem to be Greeks born from Greek parents and Greek grandparents
They were 15, 14, 13 & 8. Their Greek was very very basic. The school we chose has taken them out of "non essential" lessons and gives them 1-1 tuition at no charge. There is a lot of truth about the younger you are etc. etc but that's only really because at that age their peers can only say things in English like "the cat is on the table" so you have to learn Greek. The older ones' peers speak fluent English to a much higher standard than UK children learning a second language at a UK school (generalising greatly I accept). The eldest was allowed to take her 9 GCSEs one year early in the UK due to our move and scored A's and A stars. Some subjects here she finds easier (e.g. French) whilst others are harder (e.g. Maths. She has checked with her UK Maths staff and the Greek syllabus is covering UK university material not even touched on by UK secondary schools.) The system overall is far from perfect (is anywhere?) and the way they describe it and my conversations with staff reminds me very much of UK education back in the days when I was at school. We chose this school after much research as it has a reputation for supporting immigrants (they have them from UK, South Africa, Australia, USA, Albania, Ukraine etc. etc. It has been a major move for the children but we involved them at every step. It has not been easy for them and there will be some disadvantages to their education but for us the advantages outweigh them. Those who want further education may well continue that in the UK or somewhere else other than Greece but the world is so small nowadays, that's not really an issue. Like I say, I do not envisage all four of them living in Greece for the rest of their lives. Likewise if we lived in the UK they may not have stayed there for the rest of their lives either. to anyone thinking of doing this, I stress that the words of advice / caution given on this and associated threads should be read thoroughly & digested.
Message posted by planthead on 06 April 2010 at 8:46am - IP Logged
I brought my daughter at the age of 11 to live in Corfu. She is a very confident well adjusted young lady now, fluent in Greek but left school here without passing exams as she just couldnt get the results she was expected to. I couldnt afford extra lessons.
Now it is so expensive to live here I find I cant support her and myself on the wages paid. She has always managed to get work but its either in bars or on the marina where the work is very hard for young girls.
So her choice is to return to the UK and go back into the education system.
As I am the type of parent who believes in giving her all the support she needs, I too am returning there.
It is going to be a major upheavel and very sad for us both to leave friends and the beauty of the island.
I seriously think the step she is taking will be harder than the decision I made to come here.
It will be difficult to get used to the way of life in the UK after the freedom enjoyed here for the last 8 years but we both agree that this move must be made in order for her to make anything of her life.
Hopefully she will work hard, get some qualifications, then the world is her oyster!
Message posted by Ellenjay on 06 April 2010 at 9:11am - IP Logged
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