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help needed for relocating with older children

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fivegomad
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help needed for relocating with older children

Postby fivegomad » Tue, 14 Jan 2014 6:43 am

Hi all,

We are in the early stages of planning to relocate to Singapore with three children and hopefully the dog too! All sounds quite straightforward, but it seems we are unusual in that our children are older and with varying needs. Our eldest is almost 16 and so, we are looking at sixth forms for him.

Can anyone give us any help, advice, suggestions or just some experience of moving with a child (young man really) this age? All the forums have loads of advice for those with young children just starting school.

Our younger Son is 13 and has Down's Syndrome. Again, it seems we are unusual here. I've looked at a few special needs schools and feel visits to them will give me a better idea. AGain, anyone who has relocated with a child with special needs out there?

Last - but not least - our daughter who is 8. She seems to be the easiest to find schooling info about and I think our biggest issue with her will be choosing the right school. Tanglin seems to be thrust at us from all levels and I've no doubt it's a great school. But there must be other good ones - with shorter wait lists?

Really the whole move rests on getting our eldest Son on board. For obvious reasons we are guessing he'll be against the idea completely. So before we turn his world upside down, we want to be clear in our heads we are making the right choice for all of us.

Feeling quite overwhelmed at the moment and whilst we do not want to rush in to anything, we do have the fact that we may have to speed things up slightly to get our eldest in to sixth form by the next school year - eek!

Any response, advice, suggestions, whatever will be greatly appreciated.

I'm also going to post this in the school advice section. Hope that's ok?

Thanks.

:???:

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Postby PrimroseHill » Tue, 14 Jan 2014 9:09 am

We moved with our daughter she is nearly 15 now. Moving with an older child isn't easy as they have established roots and friendship.
In our case, we only have 1 daughter. In terms of education, she was already in a COGNITA school in North London, so at first we aim for a transfer from North Bridge House to SAIS and both schools were accomodating enough in the transfer.
Anyhow, she is now at OFS and seems happy enough. She is doing well academically. The strange thing was thsi - she had always thought that UK is the end all and be all for her, in terms of university etc. Now, being here has opened up her eyes and ears to other options - Canada/US. So, in that sense it is good.
There will be ups and downs, there were days when she is really happy and then days when she was really down - in the begining. When it is downhill - it was like it sucks here, SG sucks, time zone sucks, my friends have broken off for XX already. On and on it goes. I guess just be prepared for it and just have to ride the storm.
In terms of specialist school, I don't think that there's school like that here.

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Postby JR8 » Tue, 14 Jan 2014 9:55 am

I think as a teenager I would have almost killed to get posted somewhere exotic like Singapore (or anywhere really lol) :)

Perhaps try and play up the benefits for him, i.e. his personal interests (food, culture, music, watersports, hot birds etc). Not so easy if he's in the emo-teen 'Kevin' phase I know. Alternatively present it as a fait accompli, 'It's happening, you can stay behind if you prefer'. Then stick him in a UK boarding school for 2 years. (several of my schoolmates, incl my room-mate were 'parked back home' expat children)

- re: 'special needs' education
Google on 'singapore special needs school' ... it seems plenty comes up... good luck!

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Postby Beeroclock » Tue, 14 Jan 2014 10:10 am

Commenting without personal experience, but I would say teenager relocation will be challenging no matter where the location.

If it was me, one thing I would be mindful of in Singapore is the different legal system and consequences for possible teenage experimentation / coming of age episodes, which in the West might be commonplace / slap on the wrist, but here could be much more severe. Of course education, accommodation, etc are more primary concerns, but just to put this point too for consideration. I don't think it's a reason not to do it, but probably warrants some thought/plan.

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Tanuki
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Re: help needed for relocating with older children

Postby Tanuki » Tue, 14 Jan 2014 10:56 am

fivegomad wrote:Hi all,

We are in the early stages of planning to relocate to Singapore with three children and hopefully the dog too! All sounds quite straightforward, but it seems we are unusual in that our children are older and with varying needs. Our eldest is almost 16 and so, we are looking at sixth forms for him.

While I have no experience on the schools issue, you should take a look at what the kids do in their spare time. The options are not as numerous here, as obviously one can't take a "road trip" quite so easily, for example.

If you want to bring your dog, get to the vet ASAP and start the process to get approved with AVA. Make quarantine reservations as far in advance as possible. It's an ugly mess to make it all happen on time.

Good luck!

fivegomad
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Postby fivegomad » Wed, 15 Jan 2014 4:44 pm

Thanks all. Chatter, we are fortunate in that our eldest Son is a lovely lad and we have no worries about him in that respect. (not a 'kevin, lol!) Although obviously something like a huge move could tip the balance.
Tanuki, when you say the options aren't as numerous, what do you mean? He does a LOT of sport - I assuem there are football teams, basketball, etc going on?
The thing that's keeping me up at night at the moment is the time frame.
Whilst my husbands company are very accommodating and happy for us to take our time, so we are not being rushed in that sense. I feel we've got to get on with it as he'll need to be there for the start of sixth form THIS August. Is this doable I wonder????
:roll:

fivegomad
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Postby fivegomad » Wed, 15 Jan 2014 4:46 pm

Chatter - I forgot to say, what is OFS?

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the lynx
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Postby the lynx » Wed, 15 Jan 2014 4:47 pm

fivegomad wrote:Chatter - I forgot to say, what is OFS?


Overseas Family School http://www.ofs.edu.sg/

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Postby katbh » Wed, 15 Jan 2014 6:03 pm

I have four teenagers in Singapore. there is plenty to do, LOTS of sport, and as long as they are not into recreational drugs....it is safe.
Your issue will be your middle child. Think carefully and check out the schools first. Some are pretty dire. Your best bet would be, I believe, to look at a standard International School with assistance, if that is at all possible.

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Postby JR8 » Wed, 15 Jan 2014 6:06 pm

fivegomad wrote:The thing that's keeping me up at night at the moment is the time frame.Whilst my husbands company are very accommodating and happy for us to take our time, so we are not being rushed in that sense. I feel we've got to get on with it as he'll need to be there for the start of sixth form THIS August. Is this doable I wonder???? :roll:


Good heavens yes.

I felt pressed moving at two weeks notice, but 7 months, come on.

There comes a point at which a task will fill the time available for it.

fivegomad
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Postby fivegomad » Wed, 15 Jan 2014 6:56 pm

JR8 - am LOL! You are so right. It's more the idea of what there is to sort out...

katbh - thank you, haven't heard from anyone with teenagers and was starting to think they didn't exist. Ha! Good to hear there's plenty for them to do. What school do they attend? Do you have any opinions on sixth form choices?
Thank you all so much.

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Postby katbh » Wed, 15 Jan 2014 8:14 pm

My children are local schooled. It would be difficult for your eldest to do local education unless he is ahead of his classmates (in UK I assume). The local school curriculum is much further advanced on Maths and Science - so unlikely to be able to catch up. Your youngest however, would go into P2 which is do-able. However I assume you are looking at International Schools. Some of the decision will depend on where you live - but school buses will take your child from school door to your door wherever you are located. But also you should consider the school curriculum and whether or not you would be moving again during their schooling time. You would then need a system that he/she can slot back into on return to your home country or on your next posting.

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Postby JR8 » Wed, 15 Jan 2014 8:47 pm

fivegomad wrote:JR8 - am LOL! You are so right. It's more the idea of what there is to sort out...



Yes, it's an interesting psychology. Your mind seems to go from a complete blurrr ('this is too much, how ever can I deal with it?). To some semblance of a plan. And on. The last week can be almost anti-climactic, as everything is on full complete auto-pilot...

My next move, out of here, will be my 9th (IIRC) international move, and hopefully my last. The biggest gripe for me these days is the packers/removers stealing stuff. And just the complexity of filing taxes in multiple jurisdictions, and the lack of a sense of 'my home, my neighbours, my neighbourhood'. Eventually being a gypsy gets tired...
Last edited by JR8 on Mon, 20 Jan 2014 9:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby movingtospore » Sat, 18 Jan 2014 11:14 am

There is a down syndrome association in Singapore - you might want to contact them about support programs through local community associations etc. I've not heard of any International Schools with support but there may be some and I just don't know. My guess is that the local system would actually be better for this - your child probably wouldn't be part of the regular stream but there should be some options. Check out minds.org.sg - they could put you in touch with others.

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Postby Hannieroo » Sat, 18 Jan 2014 4:56 pm

Teenagers love it here. There's plenty to do, it's safe and public transport is cheap and easy. My coming up 16 year old loves it. Unlike the UK the weather rarely gets in the way.

7 months is loads of time. We did it in 2 months. The car, house and school were sorted in a week's trip. I'd find 7 months harder because the feeling of being suspended, waiting, is worse.

Were are you coming from? I came in from the UK and didn't need to put my dog in quarantine. We used an agency at each end to make life easier.


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