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expat kids at local school the ins and outs

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  1. #1

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    Nov 2009
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    expat kids at local school the ins and outs

    well the kids are half chinese and half Aussie but spent their early years in Australia therefore no real local kindy experience. We have 4 kids all now in a local primary school 2 older kids spoke a bit of chinese and the 3rd picked it up as soon as we got back to Hong Kong 4th and youngest expected all Hong Kongers to learn english and was having nothing of this new language. Even going to relatives was not helpful. The 3 eldest went to school in Australia the eldest receiving a D for english because the teacher could not read his writing. As I picked the kids up from school and saw her five days a week I thought she maybe could of pulled me aside and mentioned this earlier than the end of year test results. No homework and books not corrected really used to irk me. Anyway fast forward to Hong Kong arrived 1 month before the school year which was terrible because could only get an interview about 2 weeks before the school year. Had a list of the 5 closest school and picked the best one thinking we would work our way down the list. Went up for the interview and was accepted on the spot with big smiles. Armed with uniform and book lists that was it. Children could not write chinese they went into p1&3. 2 smaller children went into a local kindy big mistake elder one was ok but the little one got lost. 3rd one entered P1 and thought of sending youngest to Australian School. As truly a last resort and I believe the most important thing was we found an excellent international kindy (our kindy did a summer program so had I known this earlier she could have hung out at the kindy to get her bearings which would have made first day better it was about $4500/month )and put her in the local stream. 1st day tragic, 2nd day just bearable after the 1st week it was a breeze she loved it the other kids could speak passable english and she had so many friends she wanted to learn cantonese to speak to them. Milestone was asking to use my mobile and then listen to her chatting away in cantonese with her friend seriously within 6 months. Our kids are far from the local children stereotype very outgoing confident (nice for loud). Heres the best thing about the local school the kids don't get left behind. There is a homework diary which they write in every day and you use to communicate with the teacher the teacher will write in red when homework is not completed (and she will give you a red mark when finger nails get too long ha ha) You know what homework there is every day (P1 teacher would take a photo and email to their school account so it was easier this was a huge help) Their dad is self employed and has no real schedule so we rely on a tutor 3 hours a day 5 days a week and weekends before test time. P3 son is behind in maths and the teacher asked if he would like to join her afterschool maths class for some extra help that was great. Teachers a very willing to go the extra mile calling if theres a problem you can call after school and be put thru and speak to the teacher directly they work really hard. Actually the english is not that bad but I think when their older they will have hopefully 2 more languages under their belt when they go job hunting 2 more than what I had . Their lunch list comes once a month and they sit around and choose between 3 types of lunches delivered to their classroom (this was important for me because in OZ I was forever finding their lunch in their school bags because they would rather go to the oval than eat). You can get the book list early so if you can get a tutor to com in the hols then they could do extra school work before the school year (I am lucky enough to keep the previous year school books so they can get in some extra work) I would say on a bad day they would have about 2 hours of homework but it comes down to being organized we have a floor to ceiling mirror in our lounge which is the notice board where we keep everything important (I get red marks for losing things as well) we also blutack up a schedule of the week where we write down uniforms art days sport days etc so we have it covered also if they will be late they need to write it up. The thing is the teachers are very helpful they love that the kids speak good english and choose them for important stuff like showing people from other countries around, creative english classes, english drama classes english speaking comps it makes the kids feel good. Could not have done it without a tutor and I think it is important to go to learn the key words while in kindy. Our tutor costs $90 an hour and books are around $1000-$1400 2 times a year then theres the odd trip $20/30/50. Children can bring money for tuckshop P1 $10 and it goes up watched our little one getting something one day and she just pointed staff didn't mind we told her even if she didn't know the word a please,thank you and smile is okay. Had a bullying problem minor but was handled within days (had a bullying problem in OZ lasted a few months the school did not really help). Its not for everyone and a couple of times our tutor couldn't make it I wrote in the book sorry tutor couldn't make it we tried our best. Please don't critisize saw a few post on local schools and thought I would add some of the inside info. If our children were ever to go back to an Australian school I think they would bounce back and pick up their english but for now it works. Our eldest will enter high school soon and he is choosing a school which teaches in English. Good luck


  2. #2

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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by saishaduplex
    well the kids are half chinese and half Aussie but spent their early years in Australia therefore no real local kindy experience. We have 4 kids all now in a local primary school 2 older kids spoke a bit of chinese and the 3rd picked it up as soon as we got back to Hong Kong 4th and youngest expected all Hong Kongers to learn english and was having nothing of this new language. Even going to relatives was not helpful. The 3 eldest went to school in Australia the eldest receiving a D for english because the teacher could not read his writing. As I picked the kids up from school and saw her five days a week I thought she maybe could of pulled me aside and mentioned this earlier than the end of year test results. No homework and books not corrected really used to irk me. Anyway fast forward to Hong Kong arrived 1 month before the school year which was terrible because could only get an interview about 2 weeks before the school year. Had a list of the 5 closest school and picked the best one thinking we would work our way down the list. Went up for the interview and was accepted on the spot with big smiles. Armed with uniform and book lists that was it. Children could not write chinese they went into p1&3. 2 smaller children went into a local kindy big mistake elder one was ok but the little one got lost. 3rd one entered P1 and thought of sending youngest to Australian School. As truly a last resort and I believe the most important thing was we found an excellent international kindy (our kindy did a summer program so had I known this earlier she could have hung out at the kindy to get her bearings which would have made first day better it was about $4500/month )and put her in the local stream. 1st day tragic, 2nd day just bearable after the 1st week it was a breeze she loved it the other kids could speak passable english and she had so many friends she wanted to learn cantonese to speak to them. Milestone was asking to use my mobile and then listen to her chatting away in cantonese with her friend seriously within 6 months. Our kids are far from the local children stereotype very outgoing confident (nice for loud). Heres the best thing about the local school the kids don't get left behind. There is a homework diary which they write in every day and you use to communicate with the teacher the teacher will write in red when homework is not completed (and she will give you a red mark when finger nails get too long ha ha) You know what homework there is every day (P1 teacher would take a photo and email to their school account so it was easier this was a huge help) Their dad is self employed and has no real schedule so we rely on a tutor 3 hours a day 5 days a week and weekends before test time. P3 son is behind in maths and the teacher asked if he would like to join her afterschool maths class for some extra help that was great. Teachers a very willing to go the extra mile calling if theres a problem you can call after school and be put thru and speak to the teacher directly they work really hard. Actually the english is not that bad but I think when their older they will have hopefully 2 more languages under their belt when they go job hunting 2 more than what I had . Their lunch list comes once a month and they sit around and choose between 3 types of lunches delivered to their classroom (this was important for me because in OZ I was forever finding their lunch in their school bags because they would rather go to the oval than eat). You can get the book list early so if you can get a tutor to com in the hols then they could do extra school work before the school year (I am lucky enough to keep the previous year school books so they can get in some extra work) I would say on a bad day they would have about 2 hours of homework but it comes down to being organized we have a floor to ceiling mirror in our lounge which is the notice board where we keep everything important (I get red marks for losing things as well) we also blutack up a schedule of the week where we write down uniforms art days sport days etc so we have it covered also if they will be late they need to write it up. The thing is the teachers are very helpful they love that the kids speak good english and choose them for important stuff like showing people from other countries around, creative english classes, english drama classes english speaking comps it makes the kids feel good. Could not have done it without a tutor and I think it is important to go to learn the key words while in kindy. Our tutor costs $90 an hour and books are around $1000-$1400 2 times a year then theres the odd trip $20/30/50. Children can bring money for tuckshop P1 $10 and it goes up watched our little one getting something one day and she just pointed staff didn't mind we told her even if she didn't know the word a please,thank you and smile is okay. Had a bullying problem minor but was handled within days (had a bullying problem in OZ lasted a few months the school did not really help). Its not for everyone and a couple of times our tutor couldn't make it I wrote in the book sorry tutor couldn't make it we tried our best. Please don't critisize saw a few post on local schools and thought I would add some of the inside info. If our children were ever to go back to an Australian school I think they would bounce back and pick up their english but for now it works. Our eldest will enter high school soon and he is choosing a school which teaches in English. Good luck
    I personally think you need to go back to school and learn how to write in paragraphs.

  4. #4

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    Now that's what I call a wall of text.


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    very sorry but with 4 kids thats actually how I think I was only trying to be helpful and yes I probably could do with going back to school didn't know I would get kicked in the teeth for not checking my punctuation etc. Sorry if my rambling offended you. Thank god I have a tutor


  6. #6

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    Oct 2005
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    Walls of text like yours is very difficult to read that's all.
    Posted via Mobile Device


  7. #7
    bdw
    bdw is offline

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    I tried to read your post because my kids are also half Australian and I have lots of stories and advice regarding kindergarten and primary schools in HK.

    Unfortunately, reading your post gave me a headache. I got half way down and had to stop.


  8. #8

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    Nov 2009
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    seriously someone gives some helpful?? advice and you need to tell them it gave you a headache. If it was not helpful just don't read it. I see a lot of posts about the expectations of local schools and thought I could help. I have read some absolute rubbish posted on this site but have never once thought of posting back about there punctuation, grammar inadequacies. I have fun reading the posts about everything and am thankful for any info I have absorbed.


  9. #9

    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    bdw Unfortunately, reading your post gave me a headache. I got half way down and had to stop.

    Sorry but after more than 20 years in Hong Kong was just trying to help


  10. #10

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    Mar 2006
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    OK edited for the OP but not perfectly. It appears she started this post when the four kids were all in local primary and finishes it when the oldest is now ready for high school. I hope the OP doesn't help her kids with their homework!

    I didn't fix all the errors - I didn't have all night but here it is:

    Op says:


    "The kids are half chinese and half Aussie but spent their early years in Australia therefore no real local kindy experience. 4 kids all now in a local primary school


    2 older kids spoke a bit of chinese and the 3rd picked it up as soon as we got back to Hong Kong

    4th and youngest expected all Hong Kongers to learn english and was having nothing of this new language. Even going to relatives was not helpful.

    The 3 eldest went to school in Australia the eldest receiving a D for english because the teacher could not read his writing. As I picked the kids up from school and saw her five days a week I thought she maybe could have pulled me aside and mentioned this earlier than the end of year test results. No homework and books not corrected really used to irk me.

    Anyway fast forward to Hong Kong. We arrived 1 month before the school year which was terrible because could only get an interview about 2 weeks before the school year. Had a list of the 5 closest schools and picked the best one thinking we would work our way down the list. Went up for the interview and was accepted on the spot with big smiles. Armed with uniform and book lists that was it.

    Children could not write chinese they went into p1&3.

    2 smaller children went into a local kindy. Big mistake as elder one was ok but the little one got lost. 3rd one entered P1 and we thought of sending youngest to Australian School.

    As truly a last resort and I believe the most important thing was we found an excellent international kindy (our kindy did a summer program so had I known this earlier she could have hung out at the kindy to get her bearings which would have made first day better it was about $4500/month )and put her in the local stream. 1

    st day tragic, 2nd day just bearable after the 1st week it was a breeze she loved it the other kids could speak passable english and she had so many friends she wanted to learn cantonese to speak to them.

    Milestone was asking to use my mobile and then listen to her chatting away in cantonese with her friend seriously within 6 months. Our kids are far from the local children stereotype very outgoing confident (nice for loud).

    Here's the best thing about the local school ---the kids don't get left behind.

    There is a homework diary which they write in every day and you use to communicate with the teacher.

    The teacher will write in red when homework is not completed (and she will give you a red mark when finger nails get too long ha ha).

    You know what homework there is every day (P1 teacher would take a photo and email to their school account so it was easier this was a huge help)

    Their dad is self employed and has no real schedule so we rely on a tutor 3 hours a day 5 days a week and weekends before test time.

    P3 son is behind in maths and the teacher asked if he would like to join her afterschool maths class for some extra help that was great.

    Teachers are very willing to go the extra mile calling if there's a problem you can call after school and be put thru and speak to the teacher directly they work really hard.

    Actually the english is not that bad but I think when their older they will have hopefully 2 more languages under their belt when they go job hunting 2 more than what I had .

    Their lunch list comes once a month and they sit around and choose between 3 types of lunches delivered to their classroom (this was important for me because in OZ I was forever finding their lunch in their school bags because they would rather go to the oval than eat).

    You can get the book list early so if you can get a tutor to com in the hols then they could do extra school work before the school year (I am lucky enough to keep the previous year school books so they can get in some extra work)

    I would say on a bad day they would have about 2 hours of homework but it comes down to being organized.

    We have a floor to ceiling mirror in our lounge which is the notice board where we keep everything important (I get red marks for losing things as well). We also blutack up a schedule of the week where we write down uniforms, art days, sport days etc so we have it covered. Also if they will be late they need to write it up.

    The thing is the teachers are very helpful and they love that the kids speak good english and choose them for important stuff like showing people from other countries around, creative english classes, english drama classes english speaking comps it makes the kids feel good.

    Could not have done it without a tutor and I think it is important to go to learn the key words while in kindy. Our tutor costs $90 an hour and books are around $1000-$1400 2 times a year then there's the odd trip $20/30/50.

    Children can bring money for tuckshop P1 $10 and it goes up ---- Watched our little one getting something one day and she just pointed. Staff didn't mind we told her even if she didn't know the word a please,thank you and smile is okay.

    Had a bullying problem - minor - but was handled within days (had a bullying problem in OZ lasted a few months the school did not really help).

    Its not for everyone and a couple of times our tutor couldn't make it I wrote in the book --- sorry tutor couldn't make it we tried our best.

    Please don't criticize - saw a few post on local schools and thought I would add some of the inside info.

    If our children were ever to go back to an Australian school I think they would bounce back and pick up their english but for now it works.

    Our eldest will enter high school soon and he is choosing a school which teaches in English. Good luck"

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