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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Quick background:
We are have been living in Hungary for 2 yrs. Here we are stuck in the house - DH takes car to work and public transportation is not an option. Even with transportation there is no place to "go" - yes lots of local history type stuff, we've done it. But no swim lesson, dance, gymnastics, etc the kids can do. Those things may be here (can't find any) but all the instructions would be in Hungarian which the kids and I don't speak.

Situation:
DH got a call from the "home office" last night. There is a BIG project going on and they are short handed. Can he come for an extended business trip? The plant is slow here,so timing's good. The company is real good to us, and will continue to be as the kids and I (and dog) can come, too. We don't know how long we will be there (Ohio). We just got back from the US 2 weeks ago tomorrow - just recovered from jet-lag this early this week!

We are moving back to the US in Nov this year. Oct will be packing and sorting. Kids and I will be in US getting the house ready in either June or Sept (yet to be determined). Hungarian plant shut down is the end of July (mandatory vacation time - we will explore something in Europe). So...due to our move and vacation the kids could be "out of school" from Jun-to mid Aug, school mid Aug to Sept, then no school till Jan 2010, OR Schools out mid July to Jan 2010. YES they will be learning during this time....but my kids do regress when we have more then 4 weeks off at a time. We have only been back to school at 1/2 to3/4 load for 2 weeks, from the last trip (a 5-6 week break!). And there has defiantly been a regression.

Help me think part:
What do I do for school while in the US?? Math and English are a must, I'll take that with us. The kids have no fiends here (Hungary), so I want them to get to see their American friends while we are there (we will be in a "hotel" in our home county, 20 mins from "home"). We will have library access. The thing is we found this all out last night, and may be on a plane by next Wed!!! I am a planner and there is no time to plan! How much should we do?? Can I afford to go "school light" with the up coming schedule?? These are questions I'm asking myself, and my poor brain is on "TILT".

I asked kids what kinds of things they might like to study (thinking unit study - since there will be a library). Ancient Egypt (have a nice file on that) and Fruits and Veg. The kids know nothing about our up coming trip. We want a few details first - like when and how long. Families also know nothing of this - both live within an hour and a half of where we will be, so we will visit with them, but we just saw everyone at Christmas, so it's not a major visit - catch up kind of thing.

Any and ALL suggestions appreciated!!!
 

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How old are your kids?

I'd take the math and language arts materials (backpacks are wonderful things), and plan some exploring and planning time while back in the US. I understand that you're moving back permanently at the end of the year -- why not use this time to explore. As you said, it's not going to be a big visit with family, as you were just home -- I know when I go "home" (to where I was raised and where my family still lives) there is seldom time to do stuff that doesn't involve family. Maybe you should use this time for that, while doing "school light" -- keeping the kids current with their math and LA lessons in the mornings.
 

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Hey Jen,
Remind me how old your kids are? That would impact the answer to your question. Also, in terms of where you think they should be right now academially, are they ahead or behind? If we are talking about high school, and credits, and graduation, you may not be able to afford to take the time. If we are talking about kids who are lagging behind -or will get behind after the long lag coming), you may have to bring and do school. But if the kids are working ahead of that, you can afford the the time. Take Math and English, then do whatever else you want to do... take all the "trial" classes in town, like gymnastics, karate, whatever (a lot of places will allow one week of a trial class for free to see if your kids like it). ...all the stuff you can't do in hungary. give them a different kind of education. Go to the library and do unit studies on things that they want to learn. Relax (and don't pay to ship all of those school books back to the US for just a couple of weeks! WOW that would be expensive!)
Sorry, I didn't really answer your question. I don't know where you guys are academically, so I can't say what I'd do in your case. Clear as mud?
Have a *great* trip.
Cindyc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Kids are: DD 6 (1st grade) and just turned DS 10 (4/5th grade). DS is an avid reader, so being near a big library again will be a major thing for him. But he really doesn't like Non-Fiction books, so it will be more of a Lit thing. DD is just starting to read and still sees it as a school chore, shes fine to do it during school - but not interested in reading to herself "outside" school, yet (DS was reading on a 2nd grade level at age 4, so having a "normal" kid is new to me).

DS no longer remembers how to double digit multiply or how to divide after a 5 week Christmas break. Another day of walking him through multiplying and we might be able to move on to the "division issue".

DD has forgotten some phonics in that same time frame if I ask her with flash cards, but when reading she misses fewer and since reading is the goal, I'm not worried about forgetting the vowel combos when they are on a flash card.

I read to the kids, regularly. We should finish The Horse and His Boy (one of the Narnia books) this week. Then I'll hold off till we know if we are going or not (they need to do the cost analysis before they buy tickets - maybe a 60% or more chance we are going as of now) to choose the next book. If we go, I'll find something at the library there, where we already have cards - so no explaining our transient situation to the library staff.
 

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Is there a Sam's Club near "home"? If so I would just go there when you get into Ohio and get workbooks that are level appropriate. The last time I checked they were under $15 each if you buy the whole cirriculum or the few workbooks by subject are cheaper. Wal-mart now carries some workbooks too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Is there a Sam's Club near "home"? If so I would just go there when you get into Ohio and get workbooks that are level appropriate. The last time I checked they were under $15 each if you buy the whole cirriculum or the few workbooks by subject are cheaper. Wal-mart now carries some workbooks too.
I've been out of the country too long!! I so forgot about those. Yes, there is a Sam and a BJ's near where we will be. I wonder how much it costs for a 1 day pass to those places??? I'll have to find out when we get there - there are a few teacher stores in the area, too. Might be able to find similar there as well.
 

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Hey Jen,
You know what? The more I think about this, the more I wonder. You've been there for two years right? That is just about the time it takes to get acclaimated to a new place. Do you think your kids are going to go through a bit of culture shock coming back? (Or "re-entry" shock as they call it?) They may not do that on a short trip, but when you really come back for good, do you think they will? Some people are *completely surpised* that, even though living in another country is hard, coming home isn't easy either. Especially for the kids. They even have a special name for kids who are born in one country and raised in another. They call them "third culture kids". My husband is a third culture kid, and it has served him well in life, in that he can get along with anybody from anywhere. But he describes the time when he "came home" as one of the hardest times in his life. Do you think that if you get to take this trip, it might be good to let it be as much of a vacation as possible, so that you can begin deliberately building a sense of excitement about coming home for them, just in case they may struggle with re-entry? Dh's parents were completely unprepared for his reaction to their homecoming. I dunno? What do you think? Just a though. :)
Hope you have a great trip,
Cindyc.
 

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Have you thought about picking up an Accerlerated Achivement CD? Even the sample one is pretty good and has suggested curriculum. I'llpost the site I have been using it for my kids and will probably be using it more as I switch to a more classical curriculum. If you have a laptop or can get to a regular computer its a lot easier than lugging books. And it's a nice change of pace.


http://www.accelerated-achievement.com/
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
We come back to the US twice a year (2-3 weeks in the summer and 2 weeks at Christmas) Unfortunately, we don't really mix with the people here. The we have learned none of the language or culture, BUT I am aware of the TCK issues and did buy a book about it before we moved over. From my kids view (and ours really) it's not that much different then living in the US on the grand scale of things. The bigger shock might be no longer living in a huge city (Budapest) and going back to our hometown (pop 15,000 - maybe). By the time we move home we will have been here almost 3 years and DD will have gone from age 4 to 7.
 

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May I ask why you haven't made it a priority to learn the local language and culture? Seems like a lost opportunity to me - Hungarian is a very interesting language, and Budapest is a fantastic city. Your kids would have learned the language in a matter of months had they been in public kindergarten and school (which by the way are quite good in Eastern Europe as a rule). Within a year they would have sounded like native speakers. What an asset for their later life, to be fluent in Hungarian! It's more challenging for us adults to learn a new language, but it certainly can be done, and you get a lot of positive reinforcement from the native speakers around you who appreciate your (sometimes comical) efforts at speaking with them. Integrating into the community where you live is a lot more rewarding than living as an outsider. Just my opinion, after living 10 years outside the US.
 
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