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Thread: Tying timing of move to start of school year for younger kid?

  1. #1
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    Default Tying timing of move to start of school year for younger kid?

    I'm interested to know if anyone has moved midway through the school year with a younger child? I will have a 6, 4, 3 and 1 year old and trying to figure out whether its that important to try and arrive for January so the 6 year old can start with all the other new kids. I figure at 6 they're pretty adaptable and it may not matter as much vs a teen. Other option is to come at the beginning of Term 3 which would time better for when we would sell our house in the US.

    I'm also interested to know whether people tried to rent in the area they hoped to buy in so that the kids wouldn't have to change schools 6 months or a year into arriving in NZ once a permanent home was found. We don't want to buy sight unseen so plan to go into a short term rental while we look to buy.

    Just hearing others experiences or things to consider would be helpful. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAndrews View Post
    I'm interested to know if anyone has moved midway through the school year with a younger child? I will have a 6, 4, 3 and 1 year old and trying to figure out whether its that important to try and arrive for January so the 6 year old can start with all the other new kids. I figure at 6 they're pretty adaptable and it may not matter as much vs a teen. Other option is to come at the beginning of Term 3 which would time better for when we would sell our house in the US.

    I'm also interested to know whether people tried to rent in the area they hoped to buy in so that the kids wouldn't have to change schools 6 months or a year into arriving in NZ once a permanent home was found. We don't want to buy sight unseen so plan to go into a short term rental while we look to buy.

    Just hearing others experiences or things to consider would be helpful. Thanks!
    The legal requirement in NZ, is that a child is enrolled in a school by their 6th Birthday. In practice most start school at the time they turn 5. Unlike other countries, that's not at the start of a new term, but rather as each child turns 5.
    You might be better taking a longer term view as to where you want to live and have children at school, with two more to start school in the coming years. I've seem some pick the school they want, then look to rent in the area, until they but a house nearby. Others chose the house and then go with whatever school is appropriate.
    It might also depend on whether you are looking at a state school (with zoning), or if you are looking for a private or integrated school.

  3. #3
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    Just starting to consider the same questions.

    - Thinking that ours (will be 7 and 5) would start beginning term 3, since looking moving in July. Might be a short "summer" for them.

    - Definitely renting first - we'll take all the advice we can on where, and of course schools will be a major factor, but also recognise that choosing the right place to live takes a bit of time, so if 6-12 months later we find we have to change schools, we would consider it.

  4. #4
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    Maybe a short "summer" for them, but then a much longer Christmas and New Year's summer holiday to make up for it! That will be a year sort of without a winter for you.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by JandM View Post
    Maybe a short "summer" for them, but then a much longer Christmas and New Year's summer holiday to make up for it! That will be a year sort of without a winter for you.
    And there was I thinking it was always winter in Dunedin :-) (or maybe that is just inside nz's uninsulated houses!)

    Yes, I think the kids will be fine.

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  7. #7
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    My son was 5 when we moved here and he started that year in September. It was good because he had already done a year of primary school in the US and so that last term and a half was review. Not having the pressure to learn new things made it quite relaxed for him to learn the different school social structure, get used to the new accent (his Dad is a kiwi but he still had to adjust), and other cultural differences. He was ready to go no worries the beginning of the next year.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for all the replies! I know you can't time everything perfectly and at the end of the day I think they're at an age where they're young enough to adapt to the change.

  9. #9
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    My kids were 4 and 6 when we moved. Came from a crappy school system in VA and school was basically a wasted year there. So we came here beginning of term 3, started in yr 2 and then was so behind kiwi kids we had him repeat yr 2. best thing we ever did. Mr 4 started 3 weeks after we got here when he turned 5 and has adapted just fine. Now kids are 11 and 3, doing awesome. Good luck with the move.

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