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Athena

To return or not?

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11 hours ago, HappyHeart said:

My advice....don't do it. In my experience the kids need stability and established friendships are more important than you'd imagine. Shifting them at that age can be tricky. They go from one world to another and are desperate to fit in and not be 'different'. If they can do all their growing up and schooling in one country...That's preferable. You'll get other opinions but that's my take on it. 

My advice - differs from yours. Moving a kid at the start of secondary is a good move, there's so much movement around that time that long established friendships are going to start splintering at that point anyway.  People moving in the opposite direction never have the slightest compunction about moving a kid from UK at any age! 

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11 minutes ago, Quoll said:

My advice - differs from yours. Moving a kid at the start of secondary is a good move, there's so much movement around that time that long established friendships are going to start splintering at that point anyway.  People moving in the opposite direction never have the slightest compunction about moving a kid from UK at any age! 

Good points. As I say, my opinion is based on mine and my daughter's experience. She (as an adult) reflects that it would have been easier to make it through high school here had she been part of an established friendship group and more 'Aussie' less 'new girl'. She struggled big time so that colours her (and my) judgement. 

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35 minutes ago, Marisawright said:

But do you really think she's been scarred for life? 

No, but I'm not commenting to justify my choices only to offer an opinion. Her teen years were hellish though....I can only listen and take note when she tells me why. She's happy and settled now but it came at a price. 

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Just now, HappyHeart said:

Good points. As I say, my opinion is based on mine and my daughter's experience. She (as an adult) reflects that it would have been easier to make it through high school here had she been part of an established friendship group and more 'Aussie' less 'new girl'. She struggled big time so that colours her (and my) judgement. 

However, consider that if she'd stayed in the UK, she might not have had an established friendship group in her secondary school.   I went to school in Scotland, and not one of my primary s school classmates ended up in the same secondary school as I did.  I just checked with my husband, who did all his schooling in Sydney from the age of 8 - he had the same experience.    

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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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Just now, Marisawright said:

However, consider that if she'd stayed in the UK, she might not have had an established friendship group in her secondary school.   I went to school in Scotland, and not one of my primary s school classmates ended up in the same secondary school as I did.  I just checked with my husband, who did all his schooling in Sydney from the age of 8 - he had the same experience.    

When we moved she had to do 3 months at high school with her primary friends (we came in Jan) and then entered final year primary here (which we thought would help with the transition to high school) I'm not saying we moved at the wrong time...is there a right time? Just offering my experiences and observations. Our son who was 2 has had a much easier ride. He doesnt remember the UK in any meaningful way other than return trips. All kids are different though. Put it this way, she has no interest in going back to the UK now. Her life is here. I just wonder would she have had an easier ride had we come when she was a bit younger (as was the original plan) 

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In addition, my son is year 10 next year and I wouldn't DREAM of shifting him at this age/stage. Way too disruptive. I hope I never  have to eat my words but prepared to sacrifice our own wishes for his sake right now. My daughter also commented that she went to 'too many schools' 

Edited by HappyHeart

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28 minutes ago, HappyHeart said:

In addition, my son is year 10 next year and I wouldn't DREAM of shifting him at this age/stage. Way too disruptive. 

Yes, that's what I meant when I mentioned how quickly time can run out to make the move.   Obviously it's easier the younger the children are, and once they're in Year 10 it can be really disruptive


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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I just asked my daughter (to clarify her thoughts and make sure I wasn't speaking for her) This is what she said:

"Never a good time to uproot a kids life. I'd say best time would be before school.
Bad timing for me because i just started new high school then move to aus to primary school =anxiety for life lol

Just my personal option though.... I'd rather have moved when we did now regardless but i didnt feel that way at the time"

She's 23 now and was 11 when we came. 

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We came when our daughters were 3 and 1 and then had 2 more children. They all grew up as Aussies because they went to school here and 3 of them went back to live in London (separately) when they finished uni. They loved it there but after a couple of years they had had enough and came home. One of them went back after she had had children for a while but hated it and the way she considered they treated little kids. She then went to New York and loved every minute of it. Now they are all back here in Australia, probably for good. They don’t have any pull towards the UK and we don’t either now though on the rare occasions we visit we always love it ( as tourists). Home is where your immediate family is as far as I’m concerned. A place is just a place really.

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Honestly children move schools and countries at all ages, and survive. As a child it the 1950’s  I went to 5 different primary schools in both Germany and then UK,, as my father was in the army and I started senior school in a different county and I didn’t know anyone. 

I wasn’t scarred for life.

My 3 children have also had disrupted schooling as my husband like thousands of others was in the forces. Changed schools every 2 years for a while. We moved our daughter halfway through GCSE’s, of course it was not done lightly, but she was at ballet school and struggling with the regime. Guess what she passed everything. 

In some people’s ideal world we would never move anywhere and children would have an idyllic life. Reality is that circumstances change and everyone has to adapt,  the important thing is they have your support and love wherever you live. 

Mind  are in their 40’s now, all got on with their adult  lives, despite disrupted schooling, as have the children of our ex service and expats friends and the children of our friends who still live in our old village, all with a mix of how their lives panned out, despite their different schooling experiences.

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9 hours ago, HappyHeart said:

In addition, my son is year 10 next year and I wouldn't DREAM of shifting him at this age/stage. Way too disruptive. I hope I never  have to eat my words but prepared to sacrifice our own wishes for his sake right now. My daughter also commented that she went to 'too many schools' 

I agree with you there. I wouldn’t be moving a kid after year 8 at the very latest.  We were faced with the possibility of that at one point but our kids were at a school which did boarding so we were prepared to board them if we moved. 
 

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On 11/10/2020 at 05:08, Marisawright said:

I would just say to the OP (or to anyone else thinking of moving back):  if you're truly not settled in Australia, don't let the economy put you off.

It's far too easy to think, "We've got a nice house and good jobs, let's just save for a few more years and then we'll go".   But by that time, the kids are in secondary school and you're worried about disrupting their education - so you think you'll wait till they finish school.  But oh dear, now the kids want to go to university and they'd have to pay full international fees in the UK.  So you'll have to wait till they finish uni.

But by the time the kid finishes university, they're 100% Aussie, all their friends are in Australia and they may even have an Australian partner and a baby on the way.  So now it's a choice between missing your country or missing your children.  So you make up your mind to stay because, kids are more important.

Fast forward, you're over 50 and longing to spend your retirement in the UK.  But then you discover you can't collect your pension if you move overseas, your superannuation will be taxed by the British taxman, and all in all, you can't afford it. You spend a miserable old age in Australia as your homesickness grows ever stronger, until you die.

I know it seems like a long way in the future, but we've seen so many members find themselves in exactly that posiition.    

It's more important to be where your heart is than to be where the money is.

Solid advice there!

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