2013 ist schon da! A new Kaffeeklatsch thread for the New Year - living in Germany and Austria

(923 Posts)
LinzerTorte Tue 08-Jan-13 11:48:02

All welcome - whether you're living in Germany or Austria, have questions about life in those countries or just want to chat. smile

Previous thread here.

wow, good memory, yes, we got a flat in Brighton. due to family ill health not had as much use as we'd hoped for, but it's great to have it and we go at least every school holidays, so we'll be over for a fortnight at easter.

I am ssuper unfit. I tried langlauf for the 1st time (thursday Friday and Monday. I won't be winning any prizes for style speed or grace, but it was cool to find a winter sport I liked (dh and all dc do Ski Alpin and I'm normally a billy no mates at home, so it was fun going skiing and meeting up for lunch. Could barely lift my legs on Monday night?

Ploom Tue 19-Feb-13 21:33:49

Yeah after 3 days of langlauf you would be exhausted. I can do downhill skiing but feel so nervous going down a hill on Langlauf skis as I cant control my speed at all. Dh keeps saying to me "just lift a ski out the tracks" - that'd be sure fire way to make me fall!

How old are your dc now? Have you got 3?

Got a meeting with ds2's teacher tomorrow - the great start he made at school fell away in the few weeks before the holidays & he was being naughty, not listening very well & had been fighting with another boy. We had many chats with him about it all, (and I had many tears), banned him from playing wii till his behaviour improved & brought the reward chart back out. Also organised this appt for tomorrow with the teacher. But we had a good half term week & he tells me that these last 2 days have been better. Bin gespannt as to whether the teacher agrees. Have written down the things I want to say so that I dont forget. Dont want him to get labelled as naughty especially after it started out so well. Will report back tomorrow.

LinzerTorte Wed 20-Feb-13 05:02:56

Morning all,

Haven't had time to post the last couple of days as I've been busy with work, but am hoping to have it finished later this morning; there's some more on the way, but probably not till next week so I'm hoping for a day or two off in between to catch up with the washing and other exciting things. grin

Ploom Hope the meeting goes well later. It sounds like you're dealing with it really well, which hopefully the teacher will appreciate. Yes, Swype, that was it - I was trying to remember the name as I wanted to see whether I can get it for my phone.

I'm very mean and still insist that the DC are in bed by around 7.30-8pm (earlier if I can manage it, as DS really needs a 7 pm bedtime). They're allowed to read for a while, though (the girls longer than DS), and tbh they do need the sleep.

Ernest Hello, I remember you as well. I've only tried cross-country skiing once and found it exhausting; it was OK for a morning but I remember thinking at the time I couldn't spend a whole week doing it! Where did you go skiing - were you on a skiing holiday?

admylin How did the AGM go?

outnumbered Good luck with this morning and have a good journey! Will await your updates from the Kur. grin

hupa Sorry you haven't been well; there are lots of viruses going round here too.

MrTumbles Hope the first lesson went well!

Lentil Well done on reducing your online time; I've been doing quite well with MN lately but not so well with FB. blush

Good news on DD1's maths test. Her answer was right after all, as I suspected; dozens of - well, quite a few - MNers can't be wrong. grin As the question was worth a whole three points, her grade has now gone up to a 2. She has an English Schularbeit this morning but her written English has come on amazingly since she started middle school, so she should do OK.

admylin Wed 20-Feb-13 07:18:04

Linzer that's great news about your dd's test. Just shows that it's worth checking and going back. Did your dh just write a note about it?

ploom how did the meeting go? Good idea to write it all down, must remember that next time I have to go! I'm still working on the wording for a note to the German teacher about dd's dyslexia and mutism problem. The teacher reckons that dd doesn't show any signs at all of being dyslexic (rings bells for outnumbered maybe) rather than to praise the fact that her therapy sessions have obviously helped loads, no - she's totally cured. I think the teacher just doesn't want to give dd the Ausgleich.

ernest langlauf sounds good and not quite as scary as downhill!

The AGM was OK but as usual I didn't get the jokes! I manage to understand the factual serious stuff (more or less) but every time someone cracked a joke I missed the point! Oh well, I just smiled and laughed when everyone else did.

Ploom Wed 20-Feb-13 07:34:20

The meeting isnt till 9.50 so have got time for some MNetting housework first.

Sorry hupa - I sometimes post from the MN app & cant look back at previous posts so end up missing posts. Glad you're feeling better this week - I'm also over winter already but it looks like we've got a bit longer to suffer yet.

Well done to your dd linzer - she must be chuffed. I'm still waiting for my dd's last Maths test to come back - think it'll be a 4 (if she's lucky!).

admylin - isnt dyslexia something that can never be cured?? Isnt it that your dd has got some techniques in place to help her learn better? I wonder where these teachers were taught sometimes!

hupa Wed 20-Feb-13 09:21:40

Ploom How did the meeting go? What´s his teacher like? The teacher´s attitude can make such a difference. There are teachers in our school who really work together with parents to help solve problems and a couple who don´t see it has anything to do with them and let the bad behaviour escalate which isn´t helpful to anyone. Al least you know after the good start he made that he is capable - hopefully he´ll back on the right track soon.

Linzer I bet dd was pleased to move up a grade.

outnumbered I hope the journey goes well.
I live about 20km from Kassel and lived there for a year when I first moved to Germany. Does your dad ever go back? Unless he still has family there, I can´t imagine there would be much to go back for. It´s definitely not one of Germany´s more attractive towns, unless you like concrete.

ernest I remember you as well. Dh is always on about buying a flat in England, but I´m never sure that we would make enough use of it. Do you worry about it when you´re not there or have you got someone who keeps an eye on it?

I´ve only ever tried downhill skiing. I must admit just looking at people doing cross country makes me feel exhausted, but it must be brilliant for fitness training.

DD went for a Schnuppertag at the Gesamtschule last week. They had an hour of English and dd said the teacher had such a strong German accent when she spoke English that she could hardly understand a word she said. I´m just hoping there´s more than one English teacher and we get someone else.

LinzerTorte Wed 20-Feb-13 10:12:59

Just a quick post as my next lot of work has already arrived...

hupa From what I can tell, DD1's English teacher's accent is also very strong; she seems really nice, but I'm not overly impressed with her English! DD2 often commments about her (primary school) teacher's English accent too, which she finds very funny.

Ploom How did the meeting go?

admylin How frustrating that the teacher won't recognise your DD'S dyslexia. The right therapy can make a huge difference, but it sounds like the teacher isn't aware of that. DD1 is doing so much better now thanks to the combination of a new school, dyslexia training and possibly even her age (apparently the brain starts to correct itself in the teenage years, at least according to a book that DH read).

admylin Wed 20-Feb-13 11:02:28

Linzer yes, that's what the first therapist told us. She said that dd was at the right age and probably a year or year and a half would be all she needs to improve. She'll always have dyslexia but has learned to improve using techniques etc.
It's so annoying that this teacher thinks she knows better than the professionals who assessed dd using established tests, not as if you can cheat on them or anything.

ploom hope the meeting went well.

hupa it'll get even more frustrating for your dd if the teacher corrects her accent! That's what has happened to my 2 as we have a slight northern british accent, grrrr, just got to live with it I suppose.
How did your dd like the school? Have you decided which one to send her to yet?

Ploom Wed 20-Feb-13 11:16:53

you would imagine the teachers would be up-to-date about dyslexia - its not like it was 20 or 30 years ago when we were younger where the techniques werent as well known.

hupa - when do you all have to decide which school your dd will go to? It worries me that English is being taught by teacher with such strong accents. Apart from that did your dd like it?

The meeting went really well - was with the teacher for about 45 mins so we had plenty of time to discuss ds2. She's a nice, friendly teacher who wants the best for him so I knew the meeting would not be confrontational but I still felt nervous beforehand.She agreed that things were better these last few days but that he was still not putting his hand up and shouting out and there had been a bit of messing around but not as much as before the holidays. We agreed on a few ways to go forward - he's got a very bad habit of clamming up if there's been trouble and she wants me to see if I can get him to talk a bit more. Not sure how to do that but will give it a go. She's also going to put a wee face in his hausaufgabenheft as to how she thinks the morning has gone and that gives me a chance to talk about it with him. She is optimistic that it'll get better especially as he gets older (he's one of the youngest).

AntiqueMuppet Wed 20-Feb-13 12:36:22

Ploom It's good that the meeting with the teacher went well and that she's optimistic about things improving with your DS2. Fingers crossed things do improve fairly quickly and with minimal tears smile

How annoying that that teacher thinks she knows better than the professionals, admylin. That must be quite demotivating (is that a word?) for your DD. Good news that the dyslexia therapy has had a big effect though!

Linzer Good news about the maths test! I bet your DD id really pleased she's moved up a grade!

Hi ernest (I used to be Gator), hupa, outnumbered & anyone else I've missed and welcome to the thread, bingeddy. I'm not too far from Frankfurt either - whereabouts are you?

Sorry to not namecheck more but I'm typing one handed as my left wrist is out of action after trying to get the buggy through loads of snow on the way back from the supermarket yesterday morning. Ouch!

hope your meeting went well ploom. My ds had a nightmare start to Grundschule. I ended up volunteering 1 day a week (to keep an eye on him and to keep the teacher sweet). He settled down. It's stressful isn't it?

Hi to everyone else.

Our flat in Brighton is great and I love going back. We don't have anyone to keep an eye on it for us, but It's 3rd floor and pretty secure building, so I generally don't worry about it (though am now, thanks!!) We would like to use it more but like I said, family illness has hindered that for about a year. We could I suppose do holiday lets (though technically in lease can't, shhh). But it's been done up so nice, nicer than our 'proper' home, I can't bear the thought of it, but we'll see.

The langlauf was really knackering. I was been overtaken by loads of grannies with buns of steel while I grunted and hobbled my way (by day 3). I'm still aching now a bit blush

Admylin, I can't believe you still have hassles with your poor dd and the dyslexia. how frustrating (understatement).

My ds1 has been away since Monday with the class. Back sometime today. He is one lazy little toe rag that one. Let's see how big he is on Friday when the Zwischenzeugnis come out (I think) I thought I would have a quiet few days but ds2 & 3 seemed to decide to fill his vacuum. Dd being quite sweet though thank goodness.

Admylin how frustrating for you and your DD about that teacher.

Hupa I am rather dreading my kids starting English from what I've read on here!

Ploom glad the teacher was understanding at least - good luck getting your DS to talk. My 2 eldest kids are both late Sept birthdays which makes them the youngest in their designated year groups too, but I am doing everything in my power to keep DS1 out of school so he can be the eldest the following year. We got a doctor's report for him yesterday - the doc just nodded when I said when his birthday and wrote a paragraph without actually even speaking to DS1, everyone seems in agreement that being the youngest is always a rough deal, esp for boys - I wish they'd never changed the school intake rules, its not too many years ago the youngest were June born, which meant they were 6 and 1/4 when they started - now the youngest are 5 and 11 months, and at that age it does make a difference!

Hello Ernest I think we "talked" on here once when I had a different name - I'm 40km north of Munich, think you're the other side?

DD is having huge problems at school now, yet again - she just got a maths test back with "Was ist los mit dir, DD? Du Kannst doch rechnen. Du musst nur schneller werden." written on it and 22 out of 42 written on it, and she has missed out about half the questions - the ones she did are mostly right. She says the other children laugh at her because she is the worst at maths - I don't know if this is quite true but either way it is rubbish, and something needs to be done, so I'm looking into a Junge VHS course called 'Konzentriert läuft's wie gechmiert' - there is a course for 1st and 2nd class. It says its for children who "in die Schule leicht ablenkbar sind und bei den Hausaufgaben Problem haben" - it sounds just like her and I think it is well worth a try for her but she had an absolute total hysterical melt down when I suggested it... ARGH. She used to be really confident and outgoing and this does seem to be slowly being sapped - it is weird because she comes home from school bouncing and happy and says she's had a good day, its only when the homework and the tests that I have to sign that I've seen comes out it all goes wrong, and there are tears and tantrums (for both of us) its wrecking term time afternoons and it seems all wrong - she's only 7.

Has anyone heard of Marburger Konzentrationstraining (MKT)? That's the approach behind the course - it would be 6x 90 min sessions for DD and 5 x 90 minute sessions for me (not much chance of DH going even though he's the native German speaker), and would cost over €100, so its not as if I want to do it (especially giving up 5 Friday evenings) but if there's a reasonable chance of it helping it has to be worth it sad

Hey all! Just briefly checking in as I can't use the WLAN until some time tomorrow sad

The journey was ok considering. Ds3 was being a little overtired terror again until he finally gave in and fell asleep for a couple of hours.

Dinner was a nightmare with ds2&3 chasing each other is the Speisesaal. I hope it was just because they'd spend 8 hours in the car. If they keep it up though I'd probably lose lots of weight just by not actually being able to eat...

Both went to bed without major hiccups, and I think it's all quiet now. I'll probably follow very soon too.

I do wish I had a Begleitperson here ( not sure if I mentioned that my frie d, who was going to help out the first week, is ill?). I seem to be the only one hereby myself!

Anyway, will try to catch up with everyone's news once the WLAN is on!

platanos Wed 20-Feb-13 19:31:17

good to hear you got there okay outnumbered. I am sure dinner routines will improve as you all settle in. sorry to hear your friend could not make it - can she come at some other point during your stay?

mrtumbles that all sounds very stressful for dd and you. not sure teacher's comment is exactly encouraging - sounds a bit aggressive on paper? or is it well meant? anyway, i would be tempted to give the course a go...esp if it is all affecting her with tantrums etc. ...but sorry, don't know anything about it. my dd2 goes through stages where homework is hell, and she gets put into the office in the hort so she HAS to do it. at one point they thought she had adhd but rewards and being on her own have so far helped her.

ernest hello, I also remember you, you were moving house when I joined the thread way back when....

ploom sounds like you have a plan! teacher sounds nice...lucky you!

linzer good to hear we were not all wrong, or mad about the maths test. hope your work is going well. has your phone arrived?

sorry to hear about sprains, and teacher not taking expert results seriously make me really angry and sad for the affected dc.

hi to everyone else, must go and sort out some washing before collapsing into bed.

LentilAsAnything Wed 20-Feb-13 20:16:18

Ploom, my trying to reduce my online time is in part thrust upon me, with DS being ever busy, I just can't get online so much. It was much easier when he was a baby!
admylin, he has a few German words, can count, but he isn't really exposed to enough German day to day. Whenever we make local friends, they all speak English, and my German is so rubbish, it makes for a tedious conversation for anyone should I try.

LentilAsAnything Wed 20-Feb-13 20:18:43

admylin, that really sucks about your DD's teacher. So sorry. I don't suppose she can change schools?
Ploom, glad your teacher at least is a good one.

admylin Wed 20-Feb-13 21:59:38

lentils it's just this one teacher so a shame to have to move because of her. Otherwise dd is really happy at this school and loves going there.

tumbles sounds like stress for your dd, for the maths would you have time to do some with her? We used this book and and I would do the Aufgaben with dd in a race, sometimes ds would join in and the first person to finish all the sums on a page got a sweet or a sticker. Dd was always very slow too and got a 4 in year 2 in maths. After this book and race game at home she got a 2! We had some tears and concentration problems too.

Arghh, my internet has been on/off all afternoon and night. Fed up with it. Hope it's fixed itself tomorrow.

LinzerTorte Thu 21-Feb-13 07:27:39

admylin Yes, we were also told that DD1 would need around a year of therapy; it's quite good to have an end in sight, so to speak (unlike with her previous dyslexia tutor). It's good that your DD is happy at school otherwise, but still very frustrating about the German teacher.

platanos My phone arrived on Monday and it's great to have it "back", although I definitely wouldn't have paid for an upgrade otherwise (the main difference seems to be that I can now take panorama photos hmm). Btw am still loving my Kindle and spent far too long reading it in bed yesterday, with the result that I overslept this morning.

outnumbered Glad you survived the journey; I hope that mealtimes improve soon and that you're able to enjoy some R&R.

MrTumbles It's such a shame when children are put under so much pressure at school, especially at such a young age. Speed at maths seems to be very important here; DD2 brings home a maths test every couple of weeks and it always has her position (i.e. how quickly she finished) written on the top - it must be very demoralising if you're regularly one of the last. Anyway, none of that is much help to you... like admylin, I've found that extra practice at home can make a lot of difference, even if DD1 and I complained about it at the time. I've never heard of MKT, but the course sounds good too.

Antique Ouch, that sounds painful; hope it's better soon. Whenever I've complained about the snow this year, I've had to remind myself that it could be worse and that I could be struggling through it with a pushchair - buggies and snow really aren't an ideal combination.

Ploom Good news about the meeting; it sounds like it was very productive. I've always struggled to get the DC to talk to me about school; it's actually DS who will tell me the most, but only when he's in bed at night for some reason. I've heard that a good way to get children to open up is to talk to them when you're busy doing another activity so that they don't feel put on the spot (but must admit it's never really worked for me as the DC want to concentrate on whatever activity we're going and not bother about school...).

Even better news about DD1's maths test - she had it back yesterday and it's now been upgraded to a 1. I can't quite understand how just one question makes two grades difference, so am a bit confused about the maths teacher's maths. grin

Must start work now, but I'll be able to work for most of the afternoon as well for once as DD1 has a theatre trip and the other two are going to a birthday party at the soft play centre. There was talk of the soft play party being tomorrow instead, so I was quite relieved when the mother decided to stick to today after all. grin

Ploom Thu 21-Feb-13 08:15:46

Morning!

linzer - excellent news about your dd's maths test. But agree its puzzling how one grade can change it from a 3 to a 1 hmm. Hope you dont have to wrok too hard and can enjoy some of the novelty of having an afternoon to yourself. Thanks for the advice about getting ds2 to open up. I dont think dc ever really tell you what goes on at school until they decide they want to tell. I sometimes find though that they are a bit more chatty when we're in the car maybe since I'm not looking at them.

lentil - is your ds 2? I get muddled as to how old everyone's dc are blush.

mrtumbles - how frustrating for your dd. They seem fixed on how fast the dc can do tests here - ds has come home with written work with "35 mins" written on the top and I'm never sure whether thats good or bad. Agree admylin's solution seems like a good one to do some practice tests at home to make her faster. Can you speak to the teacher about it and about whether the other dc really are being that mean to her? I hope not sad. Have never heard of those courses but it sounds like its worth a try.

outnumbered - glad you got there and everything will surely settle down once you get into a daily rhythm.

platanos - hope you got a good sleep & that a magical washing fairy came and sorted out the washing for you (or is it just me who dreams of her??)

antique - hope your wrist gets better soon. Bet thats sore when you have to lift your ds sad.

Remember I mentioned a while ago that I might have a possibility of a job well I think it will happen but how and when I'm still not sure. Dh thinks it will be a mini job to start off with but maybe once it gets going and they get participate in more studies then it might develop into something more. I just had a go at doing a German CV - just put Lebenslauf into google and copied the format of one of those. Just found it difficult to trnslate my job titles from the UK since the job doesnt really exist over here.

But my question is about health insurance - dh just has the normal health insurance and we are all insured through him. What would happen if I had a job - would I then be responsible for my own health insurance?

hupa Thu 21-Feb-13 09:05:23

Ploom I´m glad the chat went well with the teacher. I can never get my two to talk about school, but luckily I´ve got a friend who has also got children in both classes and they seem to go into minute detail about everything, so I manage to have a pretty good idea about what is going on.

That´s really encouraging news about the job. I´m not sure about the insurance. I used to be privately insured through dh when I wasn´t working, then I had a mini job and now I´m paid more than a mini job. I´m now publicly insured, but I´m not sure if I had to do this when I started the mini-job or when I started earning a bit more. I´ll ask dh if he can remember because he was the one who filled out most of the paperwork.

MtTumbles I really feel sorry for youur dd. It´s really horrible having to put up with so much pressure at such a young age. I haven´t heard of the course, but I think I´d probably give it a go. It will hopefully give you a few new strategies to try. If your dd likes having a go on the computer this is a good site with lots of maths games. You might have to look through it a bit to find games at the right level, but my dc have really enjoyed using it. I´m surprised at how many children have times written on their work - that´s never happened here, so I´ll make sure I never mention it in case someone thinks it would be a good idea.

outnumbered I´m glad you made it there safely. What a shame that your friend couldn´t go with you. Hopefully in a couple of days the boys will have settled down and you can relax a bit more.

Linzer Your dd must be even more chuffed. Dd´s maths teacher here also uses some very creative maths. Children can get 2 or 3 questions wrong and still end up with full marks by earning points back at the end. I´m always a bit hmm.

admylin It´s must be such a frustrating situation with your dd´s German teacher - as if you would have gone to all the time and trouble of getting her help if she didn´t have a problem.

For whoever asked, dd enjoyed the visit to the Gesamtschule. She will definitely be going there because it´s on the same site as the Grundschule and only a 5 minute walk from home. All of the children from the Grundschule go there and it´s got a good reputation, so we´ve been saved the dilemma of having to choose a school.

I better stop now as this is turning into an essay.

admylin Thu 21-Feb-13 09:10:37

ploom Great that the job is going to work out. I was wondering the same thing about insurance after hearing about Linzer's payments. I found this online
....wenn der geringfügig Beschäftigte in einer Familienversicherung krankenversichert ist. Bei Ehegatten, wo der Mann einer sozialversicherungspflichtigen Beschäftigung nachgeht, ist die Frau automatisch über den Mann krankenversichert und braucht bei der Ausübung der geringfügigen Beschäftigung keine eigene Krankenversicherung.

Linzer great for your dd1 that her grade is now a 1 but it sort of makes the marking system a bit of a joke when one sum can change a 3 to a 2! For my 2 it's so frustrating when a teacher says you're only half a point away from a 2 so I had to give you a 3! From now on I'll get them to double check all their marked tests.
Is your dd at that theatre trip that you mentioned before about it being too late? Hope she enjoys it and oyu can make good use of your quiet time.

ernest how was your ds after his trip? Is he in year 8 now?

Antique hope your wrist is better soon. Can you sue anyone for not clearing snow?! A friend of mine got a few thousand from the Stadtverwaltung when they didn't clear the pavements and she fell with her baby dd. I guess you'd have to have proof and a doctor letter so probably too much hassle.

Ds is out of school just after 11am today so we're going to look for shoes, wish me luck. He hates shoe shopping so much that he is forcing his big feet into tight winter boots rather than go to the shops. Anyway, I've told him he has no choice and he has to come today. Hopefully it'll be quiet if we get there just after 11 so it won't be too traumatic for him!

admylin Thu 21-Feb-13 09:13:47

hupa that's great that you've found a school that you and dd like. It's also great to live near so you save on early morning getting up times! We searched for ages for a flat nearer to school to make their life easier. It's a 10 minute walk.

Ploom Thu 21-Feb-13 09:38:25

Thanks for that admylin - wonder what the limit is before you have to pay it yourself? Hope the shoe shopping isnt too painful smile.

hupa - thats good news about the school. But can I ask how it works if its a Gesamtschule - is there seperation within the school into the typical German system or is it more like a comprehensive in the UK? Its interesting how different the schools are within the one country.

Ploom Thu 21-Feb-13 09:41:39

And thanks in advance for asking your dh hupa. My dh has no idea how half the things in the German system work since he lived away for such a long time.

LinzerTorte Thu 21-Feb-13 10:56:50

Ploom That's great news about the job. I'm not much help with health insurance as I always worked full-time when I lived in Germany, but if it's the same as it is here you shouldn't need to pay insurance if it's just a Minijob (and it sounds like that would be the case from what admylin said) and would only need to sort out your own insurance once you're earning more than the limit.

admylin Good luck with the shoe shopping! DS is very fussy about shoes and is atm forcing his feet into misshapen shoes (thanks to DH putting them into the washing machine) rather than wear his winter boots, despite the snow.
Yes, it's the same theatre club but thankfully at a much more sensible time this time, from 2.30-6.30 pm (the fact that it coincides with the birthday party is an added bonus!).

hupa Glad your DD enjoyed the visit; having primary and secondary schools on the same site must be so handy. I'll probably have DC at three different schools once DD2 moves up to secondary as she doesn't want to go to the same one as DD1, but at least two of them are 10-15 mins walk away and the DC are a lot more independent than the last time I had them at three different places (nursery/KiGa/primary school)!

Have finished my work just in time before DS gets home so, unless anything else arrives in the meantime, I should have a couple of hours to myself this afternoon. smile

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