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On a sliding scale, how mad would I be to take on a 6th DC?

(15 Posts)
survivingthechildren Mon 02-Sep-13 04:04:41

Not another baby, but a big lad of 16! DS1(15) and his cousin are thick as thieves. We moved to NZ earlier this year, which has been pretty hard on all the children, but my older DC especially.

They've settled in well socially for the most part, (DS1 is getting a fair bit of attention from the ladies as a result of a broad Scouse accent! grin), but they miss their friends and family from back home.

DN and DS1 have just approached me with a request - that DN come and stay for the next school year (Jan-Dec). DN is a great lad, and he's a good influence on the DC particularly DS1 who is a bit of a loose cannon, so to speak. I don't really have any worries about his on the behavioural front, and DH and I are great friends with DN's parents, so I feel confident we could approach them with any issues.

However... 6 children!! <passesoutwithginbottleinhand>

Does anyone have any experience with long term exchange students? What is it like going home after that fact - will this mess up his GCSEs? Any issues with having another child that is not yours in the house?

Twooter Mon 02-Sep-13 04:52:33

I wouldn't worry about it until you've spoken to his dparents. No way would I allow a 16yo dc to do that. It would have a huge pact on his schooling.

survivingthechildren Mon 02-Sep-13 05:02:31

Oops! That was probably a point to include in the OP... DN's parents are willing to have a look into the idea. They wanted to chat with us first and see how we felt before we put any further research into it!

Twooter in what sense? Is that due to very different curriculums? Would it simply be too much to come back into senior school midway through the year?

My personal thoughts are that 6 months would be better, as we could then start again with the UK schooling year.

StrawberryMojito Mon 02-Sep-13 05:09:12

What uk school year is he? Would he be missing his GCSEs?

Those issues aside, if you have the room and his parents are willing and will pay for his upkeep, sounds like it might work.

TheFunStopsHere Mon 02-Sep-13 05:17:40

I don't think you'd be mad - could be a great experience for all.
But 6 months does seem to be more common here (in NZ) for exchanges at that age due to differences in schooling and school year. Have a look at info on student exchange on the NZ Ministry of Education website. I know this isn't an exchange (although you might be able to make it an official one - otherwise there could be issues of the domestic v international status of your nephew and they may have to pay fees), but the info re school year and how assessment and progress are affected is probably still relevant.

survivingthechildren Mon 02-Sep-13 05:17:58

He's newly turned 16, so starting year 11 in the UK.

Surely families have moved between NZ and the UK with teens before? I can imagine that the senior curriculum between two anglophone countries is so widely different. Will need to speak to the secondary school here and see what they say before we go any further though.

flow4 Mon 02-Sep-13 08:42:01

I'd say after GCSEs, to be honest. It would have a massive impact on those: if he's just starting year 11, and he came to you Jan-Dec, he'd actually miss his exams! June is not much later than Jan, if instead he came to you after finishing them.

survivingthechildren Mon 02-Sep-13 09:11:10

How would that work with A-levels though flow4? If he didn't take his GCSEs, would that mean he couldn't go straight on to A-levels?

flow4 Mon 02-Sep-13 09:31:41

Yes, if he doesn't take his GCSEs, he probably won't get accepted onto an A level course. He would most likely be expected to take GCSEs the following year instead, thus 'losing' a year.

Unfortunately, the plans for him to stay Jan-Dec don't work for that either, because he'd miss the first term of the following year too! Unless his parents are prepared for him to disrupt two school years, he'd need to be back in the UK for Sept.

It would probably be better for him to come to you after his exams (May or June, depending on subject) and stay until Sept if he wants to go straight on to A levels, or longer if he's having a year 'out'.

The tricky thing is that the UK and NZ school years are different. I can see it would be easier for you if he could time things right for the NZ year; but really, it makes sense for a kid to stay in sync with the calendar of their 'home' country, if at all possible.

survivingthechildren Mon 02-Sep-13 09:59:38

Ah OK, cheers flow4! I'll have a chat with the school at our end, and SIL will poke around the UK side of things.

I imagine he can at least come to us for the UK summer, dunno if he'll be too keen on school in his summer though! grin

I think DN coming here is a better idea then DS1's original proposal of boarding back in England! I'd miss the lad too much!

Twooter Mon 02-Sep-13 13:45:55

How does your sil feel about it? Is she happy with the concept?

survivingthechildren Tue 03-Sep-13 09:21:22

Twooter It's all very preliminary at this point, but SIL and I (married to DH's brother) have a great relationship, and when we lived in the UK, they were like an extension of our own nuclear family. We spent a lot of time together, and so everyone knows each other well.

She thinks it's a great opportunity if there is a way to do it without messing up DN's schooling. I think at the very least he will come over during the UK summer, but I'm a little worried about the impact that will have on DS1's schooling if his best mate comes to stay in the middle of term!

purpleroses Tue 03-Sep-13 11:27:34

If you can sort out the schooling issues then I don't see why not. DP and I have 6 DCs between us aged 10-16. Sometimes we holiday with only 5 of them, and sometimes with 6. Makes no difference really to the logistics, etc. In fact probably easier with 6 in our case as they pair off happily, whereas with 5, DSC2 gets left out.

6 older children is FAR easier than a toddler and a baby.

oranges Tue 03-Sep-13 11:35:38

This sounds a bit extreme, but could he come after the GCSE's and complete the rest of his schooling in NZ? I'd imagine those qualifications would be accepted at universities anywhere? A year is more disruptive than two, in this case.

livinginwonderland Wed 04-Sep-13 06:45:37

Could he do his GCSE's, take six months "out" to work or whatever (either in UK or NZ) and do his A-level equivalents in NZ starting the following January? He would be away from his parents for 2 years or so though and it would be a BIG decision.

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