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Old 11-10-2008, 05:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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hi everybody,
we are currently living in France and are considering a move to Germany (Hamburgh) within the next year or two. If anybody could help me plan towards this by answering a few questions, that would be lovely

My first question is about schools. I know they are compulsory in Germany (not so in France, and my dd is currently homeschooled as she reacted very badly to public school here). Are the schools therefore very good quality ? Or average ? What is the schedule like - by this I mean, do the kids end school early enough in the day, or do they end around 5pm, the way French school do ? Is it easy enough to find Montessori/alternative/international schools ? Here in France, two of my children and myself use the local music school for lessons. Is it easy/difficult to access music lessons in Germany ? (hmmmm this last question is probably silly....)

Are many moms SAHMs ? Or do most moms work ? I sahm, and I often feel lonely here, where the overwhelming majority of moms work.

If France we get about 300 euros each month from 'the system', because we have 3 children. Should we plan on dh getting an equivalent raise on moving, to compensate for the loss of this income, or does the German system also subsidize having children ?

I think that's about it for now Thanks a lot for any answers !
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Old 11-10-2008, 05:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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oh, I forgot... At this point, I don't speak German. I suspect that many Germans would understand English or French, though. How should I approach learning German ? I could at least introduce the concept to myself and my family over the next year...
thanks again !
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Old 11-10-2008, 06:46 AM
 
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Ok, well, first, it's Hamburg, not Hamburgh.

School generally starts early, at around 830 or early, and ends at 1 or 1:30 PM, at which time, children go home for the day (and lunch is at home, not at school). However, this is changing because families were complaining about finding childcare, so you really have to check with the school district where you are.

You will find many alternative schools, such as Montessori and especially Waldorf. Public kindergarten is purely play-based and academic work only starts in elementary school starts at age 6.

Can't tell you much more than that, as I don't live there, but I sense that it is VERY different from the French system (which I find kind of harsh and rigid, personally).

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Old 11-10-2008, 07:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by RomanGoddess View Post
Ok, well, first, it's Hamburg, not Hamburgh.
oops

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Can't tell you much more than that, as I don't live there, but I sense that it is VERY different from the French system (which I find kind of harsh and rigid, personally).
I find it harsh and rigid, too... If German schools are really mcuh better, than yay for that !
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Old 11-10-2008, 09:00 AM
 
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Having lived in both countries, I will say that Germany has many more stay at home moms (I was one there for five years). Since school finishes so early, it is quite difficult to find after school day care (but not impossible) so most moms stay at home. A few with family close by manage to work part time.
I don't know how it is in Hamburg, but in SW germany there weren't any canteens or cafeterias in the primary schools, so children had to go home for lunch.
There are Montessori/Waldorf schools everywhere, and even in state run kindergartens/schools you can often find directors who have implimented one of these programmes in their schools.

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Old 11-10-2008, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for the replies !

I read somewhere on the web that schools start at 7:30 am - well, I hope not *all* schools do, that sounds really early to me :
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Old 11-11-2008, 09:10 AM
 
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Not everyday. Only once or twice a week.

Single mama to a 5yo and 8yo

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Old 11-11-2008, 09:33 AM
 
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And if I'm not mistaken, there might also be school on Saturdays.

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Old 11-11-2008, 05:05 PM
 
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Germany does give you money for raising the kids but I'm not sure when you're eligible for it. are you EEG citizens? then the answer is yes.

schools vary but you can find alternative schools, however, they might cost you money if they're private schools. many SAHMs here, you'll surely meet some at some point!

oh: don't expect anyone to speak French, it's not a compulsory subject in school. but English is widely spoken. and Hamburg is a big town with lots of international inhabitants, so it's easier there.

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Old 12-11-2008, 09:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamanOiseau View Post
hi everybody,
I know they are compulsory in Germany (not so in France, and my dd is currently homeschooled as she reacted very badly to public school here). Are the schools therefore very good quality ? Or average ? What is the schedule like
Hamburg is big enough that there should be many school options. I have a friend there whose children are in the Italian school and they are very happy. They had also visited the English International school and were not impressed. Something happened during the school visit to put them off, but I don't remember what. I don't know about the Waldorf/Montessouri options there.

I am out in a rural area north of Hamburg and our experience has been bad, but my son is older and did not adjust well to the relocation. They now attend an alternative, Montessouri-like school to the north of us, and it's an awkward commute, but in Hamburg commuting should not be as big an issue. Tuition there is a little over €300 a month. My daughter was happy enough at the gov't school, but the alternative school required both children to transfer. The alternative school runs from 8:30 to 12:15. His previous government school was from 7:30-12:20 or 1, depending on classes.

We are US citizens and recieve a little over €300 a month as kindergeld, which is the monthly child allowance deposited directly into our account. My Hamburg friends moved there from near Rome last spring and are very happy. It is too far away for me to visit more than about once a month, but it seems like a nice city, with a fairly large expat community, and many options available for families.
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