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Moving with older child

Moving with older child

Old Aug 24th 2019, 1:08 pm
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Default Moving with older child

Hi all, does anyone have recent experience of moving to the US with a child nearing GCSE age? My eldest child is 13 (August birthday), going into Y9 next month. My younger two are only 10 and 5, so I don’t have the same concerns about their transition. Realistically it would be early summer 2020 if we move at all, so they’d be going into Y2, Y7 and Y10 in the British system. Those who have done this, are you happy you did? How have you found the schools? The move would be to Massachusetts. Thank you.
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Old Aug 24th 2019, 1:57 pm
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Default Re: Moving with older child

Originally Posted by familyofive View Post
Hi all, does anyone have recent experience of moving to the US with a child nearing GCSE age? My eldest child is 13 (August birthday), going into Y9 next month. My younger two are only 10 and 5, so I don’t have the same concerns about their transition. Realistically it would be early summer 2020 if we move at all, so they’d be going into Y2, Y7 and Y10 in the British system. Those who have done this, are you happy you did? How have you found the schools? The move would be to Massachusetts. Thank you.
Our younger son was 14 when we moved 5 years ago, he did exceptionally well in the US system, and got a "free ride" for his university where he started last August, He got fantastic grades at high school, and has been promoted to his third year after his first
So, the system here has been good to him and us. I think he has a grand total of $700 in fees for the semester, and is currently working for the school as head of sound in one of their theatres, marking math papers, and mentoring guys in the first two years.

Schools in the US vary from town to town very much, let alone from state to state. You need to do some research about PRECISELY where you want to go - there is none of the going to schools outside your area like there is in the UK - unless you pay something like 10 grand a year for the privilege. So pick a great school, and expect to pay for rent a rate commensurate with the fact.

Schools also start earlier than the UK, so its probably a good plan to be here for the start in August.

Last edited by steveq; Aug 24th 2019 at 2:03 pm.
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Old Aug 24th 2019, 2:12 pm
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Default Re: Moving with older child

We live in MA although my kids have only ever gone to school over here. The previous poster is right in that every town/school district can be completely different to another so you need to know exactly where you would move to. However, some school districts do allow school choice so you can go to school in a neighboring town if that town allows it - the money follows the child.
Your 14 year old would be a freshman (first year) in high school so it would be an opportune time to start schooling here. I’ve found the elementary schools here similar to UK schools (I was a UK teacher) but high school is a whole different system and takes some getting used to. From my experience, your child would maybe be behind in social studies (history and geography) because that’s very US specific in lower grades. Also - math seems to race ahead here compared to the UK - my daughter is going into her freshman year and because she did pre-algebra in middle school she’s now a year ahead in high school.
Lastly - high school takes 4 years here (14-18) so if you’re planning to move back before then I’m not sure how it would work for you.
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Old Aug 24th 2019, 2:20 pm
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Default Re: Moving with older child

Thank you, no if we moved then it would be permanent, so college (and cost!) is also a consideration. I know that holding summer borns back a year can be done too, would you think starting my (then) 14 year old in 8th grade instead of high school would be considered in most towns? He is of average ability, so I wondered if that would help him adjust/make friends before HS.
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Old Aug 24th 2019, 2:55 pm
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Default Re: Moving with older child

Originally Posted by familyofive View Post
Thank you, no if we moved then it would be permanent, so college (and cost!) is also a consideration. I know that holding summer borns back a year can be done too, would you think starting my (then) 14 year old in 8th grade instead of high school would be considered in most towns? He is of average ability, so I wondered if that would help him adjust/make friends before HS.
Since your children have already been in school they will be entered into the appropriate grade according to their schooling in the UK, not based on their date of birth. My two granddaughters were born June 26 and July 29 and both started school (kindergarten) when they were 5. The one grandson who wasn't 5 until September 16th, could not enter kindergarten at age 5 because his birthday occurred the day after the closing date which in Mississippi is September 15th. However, that cutoff date is up to the particular school district. My way of thinking is that fall born children are the ones that get the short end of the stick as they miss the cutoff date, not summer born children.
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Old Aug 24th 2019, 3:13 pm
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Default Re: Moving with older child

Once again, holding your son back a grade will totally be down to the school district you choose. Our town has the cut off date of September 1st. My daughter has friends who are in her grade but turned 15 in August - the difference will be that they were held back before starting Kindergarten so they’ve gone through school with their peers. As he’s coming from the UK anyway that won’t make a difference- it will totally depend on the rules of your school district.
As a FYI I’m almost positive that coming in with an English accent will work in his favor, especially with the teenage girls lol! My nephew came to visit for a few summers and my daughter’s friends loved him and his accent😉
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Old Aug 24th 2019, 10:32 pm
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Default Re: Moving with older child

Our two had a couple of hours testing with a school counsellor to check their skill levels on admission.
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Old Aug 25th 2019, 7:39 pm
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Default Re: Moving with older child

Much depends on the child, to be honest, and how prepared you are, as schooling over here is very different from the UK and varies from State to State. I know from friends, that Massachusetts is a very good state for schools unlike Texas. Some kids as you will see from posts on this site, do exceedingly well and others, like my middle son, struggle. Moving him at 13 was a big mistake but on reflection, he would had issues even if he had stayed in Scotland. That is his personality. If you do decide to come over, just be prepared to be a huge shoulder to lean on to, even the younger ones as they will have their moments. My youngest daughter who turned 30 yesterday, always says the best thing we did for her, was to get a good therapist for her when middle son was doing crazy stuff!
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Old Aug 26th 2019, 3:13 pm
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Default Re: Moving with older child

Change can be both difficult and exciting for children. It may not become apparent right away that they are struggling with the relocation. To help them cope you may try to help them see the positives such as giving them an opportunity to decorate a new room or including them in the packing so that they feel like they have an important part to play. Be sure not to get rid of children's items before the move. It will be hard enough to adjust to the change, don't add on the additional emotional stress of loosing a favorite stuffed animal.
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Old Aug 26th 2019, 9:16 pm
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Default Re: Moving with older child

Thanks all. It’s so hard to decide what to do, but I feel that we are at a crossroads of ‘go soon or wait a very long time’ as our children are quite spaced apart, so one or the other will soon be at a crucial point at school. The kids are very keen to go, which is positive, but they definitely view it with rose tinted spectacles.
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Old Aug 26th 2019, 9:41 pm
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Default Re: Moving with older child

Although my kids never went to school in the UK I do have experience as a teacher in England. I’ve found that the academic choices my high schooler has now are mind boggling and although she is pushed hard in the core subjects, her choices for electives are creative and there seems to be something for most kids to tap into their interests! And the sports, at least in our school district, are second to none. Teenagers over here seem to be kept busy either with school, school sports or local sports leagues, which I like!
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Old Aug 27th 2019, 3:02 am
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Default Re: Moving with older child

Originally Posted by familyofive View Post
Thanks all. It’s so hard to decide what to do, but I feel that we are at a crossroads of ‘go soon or wait a very long time’ as our children are quite spaced apart, so one or the other will soon be at a crucial point at school. The kids are very keen to go, which is positive, but they definitely view it with rose tinted spectacles.
And it's not a bad thing for a kid to do either, let them keep their rose tinted specs as long as you can!

My two were 10 and 11 when we moved here ( 30 yrs ago) and honestly they just adjusted with little to no problems from the start. We looked for a small school district in a very small town which worked to our advantage. For a while it was me and their dad that had the hard time adjusting, they were fine!

Good luck to you, it will fall into place eventually.
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