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What should a 9-10 year old be able to do academically?

(12 Posts)
HoneyandRum Sat 27-Apr-13 10:39:55

My middle child is 9, 10 in May. We are in Germany, I am British but my kids are American (American husband) and we moved here about 4 years ago. My eldest is now in the equivalent of Grammar in the German system and very happy. My youngest is right on target for his age in an International school and is fine. My middle child was the one most affected academically by our move here and has been in and out of German and International schools (the first International school was awful and we had to put our children into the German system). Currently she is in an International School and is generally very happy. She is fluent in German as she spent two years at our local German primary. However, like many bilingual children she is intermediate in both languages. I would say her reading is probably behind - she still likes all the Fairy and Puppy easy chapter books although I have seen an improvement in her fluency and expression when reading in English this year. Her spelling is all over the place as she gets German and English muddled. I would like to help her and will speak to her teacher after the weekend. She just moved into this school in November so we wanted to let her settle in.

Can you give me a list or idea of reasonable expectations of a child of her age? I am completely lost with the British educational system now as my children have never been part of it, but if you have links for age appropriate activities or curriculum (with specifics) that would be great. I think her math is fine - it's mostly literacy that I need guidance with.

learnandsay Sat 27-Apr-13 10:57:17

Here are some Year 5/6 - free English resources. (I can't vouch for the quality or accuracy of any of it, but it might give you some idea.)

Recommended reading lists for year groups

HoneyandRum Sat 27-Apr-13 11:00:58

Thanks so much learnandsay so what year/grade would she be in England? In the US they start school at 5 and in Germany at 6!

learnandsay Sat 27-Apr-13 11:05:58

If she's nine going on ten then I think she would be in Year 5

NotTreadingGrapes Sat 27-Apr-13 11:12:32

I am also an expat with a 9 yr old in the Italian system. I would say OP, that it's a bit misleading in a way to compare with the UK system and it might confuse you even more! (I have stopped looking!) What I noticed is the UK system is much more "hands on" and "practical" whereas here in Italy it definitely is not. Much more theory, writing etc here than in the UK. I kind of imagine Germany to be the same?

Can you clarify what you mean by fluent in German but "intermediate in both languages" (because fluent is not intermediate!) Do you think her English reading ability is lower than her German reading ability? Dd's will be 10 in October and she is reading The Hobbit at the mo'. Her English reading is definitely not as strong as her Italian, but I put that down to not only her schooling but to Italian being phonetically regular unlike English.

HoneyandRum Sat 27-Apr-13 11:14:41

Thank you! Had a quick look at some of the reading lists for year 5. She lives Roald Dahl but I think the prose in the Narnia books and the Hobbit may be a bit dense for her. It may be the subject matter as she still prefers cute and cuddly to dark and dastardly. Her sister at the same age had already virtually memorized all of Harry Potter, in fact I think she just re-read the whole series and nothing else for what seemed three years.

My 9 year old does listen to books on CD daily (her choice) and these are often somewhat above her reading level. I also read to her and her younger brother. Right now we are reading "The Sign of the Beaver" by Elizabeth George Speare - it's an American children's classic - about a boy on the early frontier in Maine who is left in the wilderness by his father to guard the new cabin he and his son have built while the father goes to get the mother and siblings. Very exciting.

NotTreadingGrapes Sat 27-Apr-13 11:18:25

That sounds about the same as my dd tbh. (though she likes the hairy toed magickry!)

I wouldn't worry about her abilities in the language not of the country tbh. Dd spells atrociously in English but until we live there (not likely in near future) I'm not concerned.

Bilingual section might be able to give you some tips too!

HoneyandRum Sat 27-Apr-13 11:24:41

Nottreadinggrapes thanks so much for your imput. Yep the German system is a lot more traditional than the US or British system. My elder daughter is thriving (although she is in a newer "all-day" school and in the Sports Class which means she has extra sports training every day). They stream the kids here in Germany at the age of 10 (after 4 years of school) and we didn't feel our second daughter would do so well to be streamed so early. The International School she is in now has the IB system which suits her much better and it is also very hands on, warm and friendly. She was not unhappy in the German system but once I understood more about the secondary level I thought the IB system would suit her better.

She is a fluent speaker in German but her reading and writing needs work as obviously she does not have two native-German speakers at home to make sure she is perfect. The international school has an hour of German every day and she is in the top class (they are streamed for German) but is the only non-native speaker. Just like in English her reading and writing needs work so I guess that's why I described it as intermediate! I plan on getting more help for her in German but her German teacher was just sacked (!) so am waiting for the new teacher to see if I can work more with him/her.

Her class teacher has told me she is in the middle of the pack in both languages which he said was unusual as typically the school has children who are very strong in one language and weak in the other.

HoneyandRum Sat 27-Apr-13 11:29:36

To clarify, she is in an English medium school now. I want to help her improve her English as she wants to achieve higher grades and we could move back to the US at some point.

mrz Sat 27-Apr-13 13:32:34

Perhaps you should look at the US common core state standards rather than the English curriculum which is due to change in 2014.

HoneyandRum Sat 27-Apr-13 13:49:19

Thanks Mrz, could do but I find UK literacy standards to be higher. Also the IB Diploma is based on what Oxford and Cambridge like to see in their applicants so UK standards can be more helpful for IB students. An IB diploma holder can get up to a years credit at US & Canadian universities compared to an average American high school grad. In fact an American high school grad would not be considered qualified to enter university here in Germany.

mrz Sat 27-Apr-13 14:03:53

Most UK schools however don't follow the IB

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