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Anyone with children in Madrid?

 
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jr1965



Joined: 09 Jul 2004
Posts: 175

PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2004 3:43 pm    Post subject: Anyone with children in Madrid? Reply with quote

Hi everyone,

My husband, daughter, and I are planning to move back to (Madrid) Spain from the US early next year. My husband is a Spanish citizen and I'm a certified ESL teacher (I've also taught EFL in the States and Asia). Our daughter is 8 (and is both a US and Spanish citizen).

My question is not about locating work, but rather about raising kids in Madrid. Have any of you moved/relocated to Madrid with children? If so, what's your experiece been like? Where are you sending your child(ren) to school? Would you recommend the school your child goes to?

Any thoughts/advice you'd like to share with a family getting ready to make the move would be much appreciated!

jr
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myprofe



Joined: 29 Jun 2004
Posts: 22
Location: Madrid

PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2004 9:14 pm    Post subject: School Reply with quote

You didnít mention whether or not, and if so for how long, your daughter has lived in Spain, or if this move is going to be permanent.

Iím big on roots and thatís why I made the decision to stay in Madrid until my kids had grown up. The question is how you want your daughter to consider herself. The school she attends and the environment you create for her will determine whether she considers herself an expatriate living in Spain or a Spaniard with family in the States.

Iíve known Americans living in Europe who never become totally integrated and I donít think this is a healthy situation. Theyíre always thinking about going back home.

Home should be where you are.

Gordon Wink
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jr1965



Joined: 09 Jul 2004
Posts: 175

PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2004 3:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gordon,

Thanks for your questions.

Yes, we are planning to move to Spain for the long term. We've been living in California since the birth of our daughter and she's grown up here, though we've spent winter and summer holidays in Madrid with my in-laws (she's close to them and has a connection to Spain). We're planning the move to Madrid for many reasons: my in-laws are getting older and need the help; we're more likely to be able to save $ in Spain (have an apt and won't have to pay crazy rents like we do here in the States), etc.

You said " The school she attends and the environment you create for her will determine whether she considers herself an expatriate living in Spain or a Spaniard with family in the States."

I completely agree. It sounds like your kids are now grown, but tell me, what was their experience growing up in Madrid? Did they go to public school or attend private school? Which would you recommend? Were your children born in Madrid or did you relocate there at some point after they were born, and if so, how did that go?


Thanks in advance for your thoughts,

JR
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myprofe



Joined: 29 Jun 2004
Posts: 22
Location: Madrid

PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2004 4:28 pm    Post subject: Best of both worlds! Reply with quote

Hi JR,
Our original plans were to live in the States but some unexpected, last minute events changed that all around and we decided to live in Spain. Both our children, now in college, were born in Spain and we decided to put them in public schools so as not to make them feel any different from the rest of the kids in the neighbourhood. The only problem we had to deal with was with their English. There was no provision in the school for kids who had a higher level of English than the rest of the students and, in some cases, the teachers. This was very frustrating for them. Many, many times they would come home and complain that the teacher had corrected them in class or on an exam when, in fact, it was the teacher who was wrong. Rarely did they run across a teacher who was not threatened by them and made them feel productive in class. And every time I tried to intervene it only made things worse. Hopefully your daughter will not have to deal with people like this.
Iíve never regretted our decision to live in Spain. I think my kids have a much broader view of the world and a better and more well-rounded education than the average child would get in the USA. Knowing the two languages and being recognized as a citizen of both Spain and the USA has many advantages. The most recent example for us was my daughterís summer job at Jo-Annís Fabric. Sheís got the best of both worlds.
Gordon Wink
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