We visited the school yesterday. Charlotte is a bit on the oldish side for going into the 2nd grade as she’ll be 8 in September. In Germany, she was a “must” child for entering 1st grade in the 2007-2008 school year. Last year, she was a “can”. Teachers in Germany tend to be very conservative about when to start children in school. Charlotte was intellectually capable of already starting last year, but she was not really as comfortable among her classmates and the teachers recommended we not already send her. Being the oldest, versus being the youngest confers a degree of social standing.
I was very conscious of this and felt a need to explain this to the principal when we met her. I wanted the to understand that Charlotte did not start a year earlier on German teacher recommendations and that German teachers tend to be conservative and not want to push kids too early.
“Oh I personally completely agree with that way and wish it was so here, but we’re a nation in a hurry and so children start earlier”.
They don’t consider Charlotte strange at all and understand the German system as they have already had several children from there. That is a relief.
I think nation in hurry is an apt description.