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US vs UK -- Where is it better to raise your kids?

View Poll Results: Where is it better to raise your kids?
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45.95%
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8.11%
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US vs UK -- Where is it better to raise your kids?

Old Mar 9th 2005, 5:21 pm
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Default US vs UK -- Where is it better to raise your kids?

As Mark is still only a conditional permanent resident, we don't plan on going anywhere, at least until he gets his US citizenship (eligible in spring 2007). But since we're already in our early 30s we're starting to think long-term, starting a family and all that.

We've had some discussions about whether to raise our kids in the US or in the UK. The more we talk about it, the more inclined we are to want to raise them in the UK. We just seem to feel that, given the current political and social climate in the US, our kids would be better off, more well-rounded and more tolerant if raised and educated in the UK.

Part of the problem is that, since we have no children and have no friends who have children, a lot of what we know (or THINK we know) is based on news reports and television. And everyone knows how tricky it is to trust the media in order to form a clear opinion on anything...

SO... My question to all of you -- especially those who have raised kids in both countries -- do you think it's better to bring your kids up in the US or the UK?

There are no right or wrong answers here, just curious about how everyone thinks about it.

~ Jenney

Last edited by Just Jenney; Mar 9th 2005 at 5:23 pm. Reason: correcting a typo
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Old Mar 9th 2005, 5:31 pm
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Default Re: US vs UK -- Where is it better to raise your kids?

Well I guess it all depends on where abouts in either country you would live I should imagine as to the quality of education and social upbringing...

Kind of interested to see what people have to say as well though
But one thing to serious consider, would be university fee's...well down the line, but residency requirements for getting the cheap fees and all that...
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Old Mar 9th 2005, 6:02 pm
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Default Re: US vs UK education

I suspect it depends very much which part of the country you are in, for either country. Our eldest daughter was educated in Perthshire,Scotland for most of her life and on her move to Texas, found it very hard going as everything is segmented over here, ie Maths is taught as 5 separate subjects unlike in Scotland where everything is interweaved so they are learning everything as natural progression. To be honest, the education in this area is not very good and I think that Texas is one of the lowest in the education charts. Only since she started at University as she found herself challenged as she did in Scotland.

However, having seen what little education my nephews and nieces receive in the Medway area, I would not say flat out that education is any better here or there, its very much down the local authority.

My nephew is currently in year 11 at school and to be honest, the only reason I can see for him being there is because he gets an allowance from the government to stay on until he is 18. He did his GCSE's last year and his highest grade apparently was a 'D' and that was only in one subject, all the rest were E's and F's . Seemingly he had to apply for 11th grade and on those results it seem the only requirement must have been his ability to write his name correctly.

I look at some of the the school work my eldest did when she was in year 5 in Scotland and to be honest, it's much better than the standard than expected here, as despite numerous spelling mistakes (compared to your average 4th grader here, where there is a big emphasis on spelling) as it showed she had a lot of understanding of the subject because she did much of the research herself. Here they do much of their work on worksheets even up to 11th grade, the stage my son is now. Its not all bad here though, their spelling is great and my kids seem to be doing ok.

I always console myself that if someone has it in them to succeed they will in the end. I went to school in london in the early 70's which was referred to as a 'sink' school. Basically, it was school full of troubled kids and equally troubled staff. The headmaster was an alcoholic, the deputy headmistress had 2 nervous breakdowns whilst I was there and my Maths/form teacher was too interested in boys to teach us Maths I was really interested in Science but despite having state of the art, lab equipment, we only had 1 science teacher who choose to teach physics. He was a good teacher (one of the few) but unfortunately with my lack of maths, it was near nigh impossible to learn. Fortunately I discovered I was good at art, so that was the direction I went. As the school only went as far as yr10 (fifth yr) I had to transfer schools to go any further or I would have left school when I was 15. In the end I went to work and studied at night school before going to college to get my degree. I wish I had ended up doing a science subject but in the end I managed to find another niche for myself until I became a SAH mum.

Basically as you are only in the planning stage, it would pay to look at School leagues here and the UK. Maybe check out any relatives who have kids and look at their schoolwork. That way you would be able to tell if the kids are actually learning anything or basically studying for the "test" which seems to be growing an alarming rate here and the UK.
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Old Mar 9th 2005, 7:59 pm
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Default Re: US vs UK -- Where is it better to raise your kids?

We are probably in the same boat as you Jenney, early 30s/late 20s. My thinking on it is that it probably makes no odds where you bring the kids up, aside from having little Americans or little Brits, but kids still the same!

I wouldn't say they will be either more tolerant or well rounded in the UK - but will most definately be better at Geography and have a sense of sarcasm!

For us its a case of this is where we now live and so this is where we'll be bringing up any future kids, end of story. It may change down the line, who knows?
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Old Mar 9th 2005, 8:10 pm
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Default Re: US vs UK -- Where is it better to raise your kids?

We've got a 10 year old daughter, and laying aside the acedemic points, something thats not often mentioned is the flip side. In the UK our daughter got plenty of "Downtime"...time to be a kid, roll around in the mud and just mess. Here thats not considered "proper schooling". In the US its all about push push push. Driving kids to continually perform at everything and not let them be kids. Obviously as they get older and nearer adulthood that gets more valid, but at very young ages its not often for the best. A lot more kids here (in the US) seem to suffer burn out and stress related problems than in the UK. So I think if you do have kids here in the US its vital to not get caught up in the American "Parent Trap" of always pushing your kids into everything. I know some of our American friends who already have the plans laid out for thier kids...how they will be academic masters and at the same time becoming sporting heroes. I've seen kids who do a 60 hour week with school and then after-school and weekend activities! Always striving to achieve, never having fun.

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Old Mar 10th 2005, 1:50 am
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Default Re: US vs UK -- Where is it better to raise your kids?

Originally Posted by ImHere
So I think if you do have kids here in the US its vital to not get caught up in the American "Parent Trap" of always pushing your kids into everything. I know some of our American friends who already have the plans laid out for thier kids...how they will be academic masters and at the same time becoming sporting heroes. I've seen kids who do a 60 hour week with school and then after-school and weekend activities! Always striving to achieve, never having fun.
You're spot on here - one of my 3.5 year olds (yes 3.5 years old) friends is already on the treadmill....its virutally impossible to get a playdate - he goes to 'school' 3 days a week 9-3.30 then has some club or other to go to afterwards - soccer, baseball, swimming etc. On his 'days off' he has morning and afternoon activities planned - singing, gym, ballet (ballet for a 3.5 yo ffs), and so on and inbetween he has spelling, reading, maths, science and so on slotted onto his calendar in 30 minute slots. About once a month we get to go to a park to just play. And then his mum is surprised because he can't have fun with or even get on with the other kids, can't ride his bike etc. Its quite simply because he's never had the chance to be a kid. All quite sad. And the sadder thing is that I sometimes find myself thinking that my lad is a bit dim by comparison!! Until I get a dose of reality of course!
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Old Mar 10th 2005, 1:57 am
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Default Re: US vs UK -- Where is it better to raise your kids?

A few people have mentioned comparing school areas - how do you actually do that, other than lots of legwork visiting the shools? I've seen league tables of our local area schools, but no idea how to relate those tables to other areas of the country (talking US here) - someone mentioned that Texas schooling isn't as good as elsewhere in the country - how are the comparisons done?

As I really am not in love with Houston, I wouldn't mind trying somewhere else in the states. Most cities I've visited have been a step up from here, and I've left thinking "hmm,. wouldn't mind living here rather than Houston" (Memphis a couple of weeks ago being a notable exception!). But we keep getting drummed into us that we're in a good school area, so I wouldn't want to move to a worse school area...if anyone knows any resources to look up, I'd be grateful - ta.
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Old Mar 10th 2005, 2:03 am
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Default Re: US vs UK -- Where is it better to raise your kids?

Originally Posted by Yorkieabroad
As I really am not in love with Houston, I wouldn't mind trying somewhere else in the states. Most cities I've visited have been a step up from here, and I've left thinking "hmm,. wouldn't mind living here rather than Houston" (Memphis a couple of weeks ago being a notable exception!). But we keep getting drummed into us that we're in a good school area, so I wouldn't want to move to a worse school area...if anyone knows any resources to look up, I'd be grateful - ta.

Well dont bother with FLorida...we just came 42 out of the 48 contigious states for schools. Ace eh?

I think the comparisions are based on the FCAT results, ie the acedemic achievements of the little dears (suprise surprise).
 
Old Mar 10th 2005, 2:25 am
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Wink Re: US vs UK -- Where is it better to raise your kids?

Originally Posted by Yorkieabroad
A few people have mentioned comparing school areas - how do you actually do that, other than lots of legwork visiting the shools? I've seen league tables of our local area schools, but no idea how to relate those tables to other areas of the country (talking US here) - someone mentioned that Texas schooling isn't as good as elsewhere in the country - how are the comparisons done?

As I really am not in love with Houston, I wouldn't mind trying somewhere else in the states. Most cities I've visited have been a step up from here, and I've left thinking "hmm,. wouldn't mind living here rather than Houston" (Memphis a couple of weeks ago being a notable exception!). But we keep getting drummed into us that we're in a good school area, so I wouldn't want to move to a worse school area...if anyone knows any resources to look up, I'd be grateful - ta.

Well - at least you are fortunate enough to have the option of sending your boy to the British school in Houston! Quite a few ex-Singapore expats that I knew of who relocated to Houston had the intention of sending their offspring there:

http://www.britishschool.org
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Old Mar 10th 2005, 2:29 am
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Default Re: US vs UK -- Where is it better to raise your kids?

Originally Posted by Englishmum
Well - at least you are fortunate enough to have the option of sending your boy to the British school in Houston! Quite a few ex-Singapore expats that I knew of who relocated to Houston had the intention of sending their offspring there:

http://www.britishschool.org
Yeah, but I bet they were on expat postings with accompanying expenses paid arrangements....we're here self-employed............. (and see my other posting under cost of unis :scared: )
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Old Mar 10th 2005, 2:42 am
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Red face Re: US vs UK -- Where is it better to raise your kids?

Originally Posted by Yorkieabroad
Yeah, but I bet they were on expat postings with accompanying expenses paid arrangements....we're here self-employed............. (and see my other posting under cost of unis :scared: )
Come to think of it, a (snobby/unfriendly) British professional couple who lived a couple of floors below us on our condo sadly had a new baby who had Downs Syndrome (despite her taking all the available tests so it was a total shock for them). They moved to Houston as they were informed that facilities for Downs children were almost non-existant in Singapore and that she would get far better treatment in the US. I think they transferred with her employer to Houston and I believe their son was going to be enrolled in the British school.

We're on an expat posting here in the States (husband works for a British company) but they don't pay school fees here as it's an English-speaking country! They did concede to pay towards boarding fees when our eldest chose to take 'A' levels in the UK rather than go to the local High school at the age of 16.

We don't get a company car, a nice big housing rental allowance or country club membership either in our expat package here....

Life was good in the Far East .....
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Old Mar 10th 2005, 3:01 am
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Default Re: US vs UK -- Where is it better to raise your kids?

I came over to the USA after I came over on a Camp America work programme and then met my husband whilst travelling. One thing that really stuck in my mind about working at the camp was seeing how all the kids from Czech, Australia, Poland, Austria, Ireland, Russia, Spain and Britain could sit down on their cigarette break, chat happily all together and play cards and laugh and all relate to each other. The few American kids that worked there would look on, not really being able to join in cause they didn't really 'get it' or were able to relate to the international kids in any way. I remember thinking there and then that, despite my troublesome upbringing I was glad I could have that affinity with people from around the world because I wasn't born and raised in the USA.


(Please no-one chime in with how fantastic americans are, how my husband is american blah blah blah cause it goes without saying, I'm not having a pop at americans, simply offering my own personal observations)

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Old Mar 10th 2005, 3:01 am
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Default Re: US vs UK -- Where is it better to raise your kids?

Originally Posted by Englishmum
Come to think of it, a (snobby/unfriendly) British professional couple who lived a couple of floors below us on our condo sadly had a new baby who had Downs Syndrome (despite her taking all the available tests so it was a total shock for them). They moved to Houston as they were informed that facilities for Downs children were almost non-existant in Singapore and that she would get far better treatment in the US. I think they transferred with her employer to Houston and I believe their son was going to be enrolled in the British school.

Oh, you were in Westpoint Condo were you?
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Old Mar 10th 2005, 3:19 am
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Default Re: US vs UK -- Where is it better to raise your kids?

Originally Posted by Yorkieabroad
Oh, you were in Westpoint Condo were you?
OMG...yes! I loved living there.

I take it you know this couple then?

Small world isn't it?
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Old Mar 10th 2005, 3:43 am
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Default Re: US vs UK -- Where is it better to raise your kids?

Originally Posted by Englishmum
OMG...yes! I loved living there.

I take it you know this couple then?

Small world isn't it?
Just PM'd you
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