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Aliya transition for kids ages 3-10

 
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amother




OP
 

Post Sat, Jul 24 2021, 11:48 pm
What was the aliya experience like for your kids? When did they start understanding what was happening in class, comfortably speaking Hebrew etc. Did they talk of moving back to America etc.

We are an American yeshivish family from the five towns and will probably end up in Rbs.
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amother




Amber
 

Post Sun, Jul 25 2021, 1:23 am
Every child is different. Some have easy going personalities, some are good at picking up languages, some make friends and adapt easily to new surroundings. And some don't.

So long as kids feel secure and loved and accepted by their parents, they will be fine. No timeline works for everyone.

The joke is that people tell you that the kids will be speaking fluent Hebrew by Channukah - but they don't tell you Channukah of which year.
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amother




OP
 

Post Sun, Jul 25 2021, 1:30 am
The learning to speak Hebrew is really my main question. I know every age has a range but what was your experience with your kids?

A few years a back an Israeli family moved on my block because the father was doing a two year residency here. It took the 4 yr old till pesach to speak a good English.
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amother




Apricot
 

Post Sun, Jul 25 2021, 1:34 am
It can take a while, especially when you move to a place like RBS where they don't have to work to communicate with other kids in Hebrew outside of school for sure.

The younger the kid, the quicker they pick it up generally. Their brains have an easier time, and they are less inhibited to try and sound silly.
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amother




Amber
 

Post Sun, Jul 25 2021, 1:39 am
Within my family there was a huge range -from a teenager who was fluent (and eloquent) within two months to an 8 year old who still struggled a year later. And it's all fine. Don't push kids. They will get the language when they get it.
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amother




Plum
 

Post Sun, Jul 25 2021, 1:40 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
What was the aliya experience like for your kids? When did they start understanding what was happening in class, comfortably speaking Hebrew etc. Did they talk of moving back to America etc.

We are an American yeshivish family from the five towns and will probably end up in Rbs.


We had similar ages.
Each one had their own transition in completely different ways. Now, the younger ones are completely fluent in Hebrew. The older ones are more American than Israeli and prefer English.
If u move to RBS, keep in mind that they will take longer to learn Hebrew because it’s so American there. Especially for the 10 yr old. It’s a soft landing though because of the English so that helps them feel at home. But you can choose a more Israeli school in RBS and in general the boys schools are usually more Israeli.
None of my kids every talked about moving back b”H
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amother




Midnight
 

Post Sun, Jul 25 2021, 2:00 am
We moved with kids roughly the same ages.
Took most of the kids at least 6 months to pick up the language. Oddly enough my 12 year old picked it up the fastest.
My nephew in RBS was born here and still barely speaks Hebrew. Says he understands everything but prefers to speak English.
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Teomima




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Jul 25 2021, 2:18 am
I didn't make aliyah with kids in that age range, but I moved here when my brother and I (the youngest two in our family) were in that range-ish (I was 11, he was 9. Everyone I know who's come when they were on the younger side had a much easier time).

The aliyah experience was tough. We were leaving everything and everyone we knew behind. Israel back then was very different though. It was a major culture shock. These days it's more of a soft landing, but still you must be prepared for some major changes. Your kids however will follow your cue, so stay positive and it'll help them.

It took me a long time to manage comfortably in Hebrew. In school I never really caught up and ended up going back to the States for college. My brother, however, acclimated just fine. It took him a couple of years and a school change to really find his place, but has since done splendidly and went on to earn a bachelors and masters, all in Hebrew. However we both managed socially in Hebrew. We learned there language before we came and that helped a lot (little kids will do fine without Hebrew at first, though. My sabra children were all raised in an almost entirely English-language environment for their first 3-4 years, since we speak English at home and I sent them all to English-speaking gan, and it took a year or two once they started regular municipal gan in Hebrew, but then they adjusted and b"h so far everyone has come out fluently bilingual.)

My brother has never talked about moving back. I have, and as I said I did for college, but I found by then I didn't really fit in to American culture anymore, either. I came back, met my dh, and have been here ever since. I've never had any issues living here on any functional level, as in it's never been a problem for me to fit into Israeli society, maintain a job, make friends, deal with bureaucracy, etc in Israel, in Hebrew. That said I still to this day feel more comfortable in English and tend to gravitate towards other English speakers. But I think that's true of most olim. Fortunately nowadays there's plenty of us here.
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amother




OP
 

Post Sun, Jul 25 2021, 10:16 am
Thanks all! Are there programs and stuff
For the kids to help them learn Hebrew and how exactly does it work with the kids being in a classroom where they don’t understand what’s going on? I imagine the older kids will need tutoring after school to be taught in English what the teachers taught in Hebrew that day.
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amother




Amber
 

Post Sun, Jul 25 2021, 10:33 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Thanks all! Are there programs and stuff
For the kids to help them learn Hebrew and how exactly does it work with the kids being in a classroom where they don’t understand what’s going on? I imagine the older kids will need tutoring after school to be taught in English what the teachers taught in Hebrew that day.


Tutoring is vital.

Some towns/schools run ulpan for new olim. My kids were taken out of class regularly until Tu Be'Shvat for ulpan classes, and their report cards reflected the adjusted expectations of the schools.

That first year, focus on the social piece of things. The academics will fall into place eventually.
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