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Urgent need to admit to a Preschool for 3 years old for this FALL

  1. #9
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    just to clarify, i am in no way saying that this would be the right choice for everyone, but to dismiss it out of hand by saying,
    "oh, it's too difficult, no one at home speaks chinese."

    is not only sometimes inaccurate, it can be downright wrong. yes, it is more challenging that going to kindergarten in your native language, but learning a new language is SUPPOSED to be challenging!

    for us, the benefits outweigh the negatives by a mile.

  2. #10
    jvn
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    I would think it would depend on the personality of the child as well, some will thrive but perhaps for some moving countries followed rapidly by going to a school where they don't understand the language could be too much change all at once. Sometimes it's unavoidable but I probably wouldn't do both things at the same time with my son knowing his personality.

  3. #11
    AndreaSB is offline Registered User
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    If putting them in a Chinese school, in my opinion, Mandarin will be more beneficial to them...

  4. #12
    carang's Avatar
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    not necessarily. most local kindergartens teach mandarin anyway. just the other day while i was driving, my two kids started singing mandarin songs.... i had no idea what they were singing, but they sure seemed to enjoy it!

    a couple of reasons we wanted cantonese:
    1) so they could speak to their grandparents
    2) so they could fit in with the locals
    3) if you know cantonese, it is easier to learn mandarin later
    4) cantonese kindergarten was FREE.

  5. #13
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    Cara -- I agree with your comment.

    Many expats who see Cantonese / Chinese as such an enormous hurdle seem unaware of what most local families go through all the time.

    Turn the tables. Imagine trying to give children English-language education / exposure when both parents are native Chinese speakers. They put ALOT of effort into this, from classes to tutors to trying to learn / speak English themselves. OK, it's often over the top. But if Chinese parents can make an effort to give their kids English exposure, then the opposite can be true, too. Watching my local cousins learn English -- and some of them are near-fluent in this second-language -- I saw that they had to be more independent, too. They couldn't just run home to mom and dad for homework help!

    As for Canto vs. Mando -- when the kids are this young, I think it doesn't really matter. I think it's crazy when people start making decisions for 3 or 4 year olds based on which language is tried to the greater economic power (that would be Mandarin, hands down).

    At this age, kids are sponges. It only makes sense that a child should have some exposure to the language spoken by 90% of the local population (that would be Cantonese). Could you imagine being an immigrant to Britain, or France, or Spain, and not having your kid learn English, French or Spanish?

    With either Canto or Mando, the basics of the Chinese language will be there -- the basic structures, the characters, etc. If your kid is getting regular Cantonese exposure at a young age -- and mixing with kids with Hong Kong locals -- learning Mandarin and understanding Chinese culture will be much easier later on.

  6. #14
    AngieO is offline Registered User
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    Have you also considered International kindergartens (as opposed to kindergarten sections of through schools)? If you go to Directory - Education - International kindergartens and preschools it has a list of international kindergartens. I can't help with the areas you are looking at, sorry.

  7. #15
    starbucks2 is offline Registered User
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    Totally agree that it depends on the family and the child. All I said was it was much harder if the parents don't speak Chinese. And I totally stand by that (both before and after the usual heated opinionated posts).

    Stephanie - I agree with geomum that Woodlands is a good option. I have lots of friends with kids in there. Really depends on where you are wanting to live. If you are going to be here more than a couple of years then think longer term about primary schools and start putting names down on lists now (for International schools anyway). As far as I am aware, for ESF primary schools you can only put your child's name down the year before they are due to start. But you can think about living in an area which has slightly shorter waitlists if that is possible. Our catchment ESF primary school is Bradbury on HK Island and it is massively oversubscribed this year.

    We live in DB and there are lots of options here for kindergartens - Sunshine House, Montessori and DMK to name a few. All of these ones take kids up to around 6 years old so gives you some time to wait for a slot at another school.

    Good luck. IMO schooling is a drama in HK.
    Last edited by starbucks2; 07-02-2011 at 08:52 PM.

  8. #16
    carang's Avatar
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    there is nothing wrong with opinionated posts. we don't all have to agree. that's the whole point of forums isn't it. to post our opinions, please don't make it sound like a bad thing.

    as it is, i didn't disagree with what you said, rather i qualified it.

    no, it isn't for everyone. but neither is it the impossibility that many make it out to be.

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