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Has anyone moved to Normandy with children?

Posted by polly-780903 - Created: 15 years ago
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10 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 10)

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Posted by Stephanie-781810 - 13 years ago

I moved about 12 years ago with a non-French speaking 9 year old daughter, whom I callously threw into the local, very rural Primary school! Within three months she was correcting my every word (still does!) Her two sisters were both born and educated in France from the age of two and loved it. Sadly we are now back in London and the kids are astounded at the standard of work at school (far too easy in their opinion - and they are not the brightest children in town, either, to be truthful) and the lack of discipline appals them.

I hope you have a fantastic time in Normandy and wish you every success.

Kind regards

( jealous)  Stephanie

London, unfortunately after 14 years...

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Posted by mendes-783783 - 13 years ago

Hi Polly,

I moved here 11 years ago with 3 children aged 6 9 and 12. Found the local primary school very helpful and there was no problem with the children learning french. Nobody in our village speaks english so we were all forced to speak the language or sink!

The three children are still in education here..lycee through to university and at least in my opinion have more career chances than if we'd stayed in england.

Sometimes you have to take a chance in life otherwise you will always have regrets!


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Posted by C&T-783667 - 13 years ago

Hi polly, we moved here with our 11 year old son in august, and he started school in September, having only been there for a few weeks (with no french language skills when he started) and he is now correcting us on the language side of things! watching him go on the first day was quiet heart wrenching and we spent all day feeling guilty, until 5pm when he got off the bus grinning like a cheshire cat, and things just keep getting easier for him. So my opinion is go for it, life's not a rehearsal and there is life after the UK (and a much better one at that)C&T

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Posted by Marion-782321 - 13 years ago

We moved here over ten years ago ,our son started in the local private school here at two and a half, so he is more french than english.I taught adults and adolecents  in England for nearly twenty years and sad to say, I was glad to leave it as it was on its way down.But I have now taught here. on and off for 6 years and I have great difficulty finding fault with the system.I teach the special needs students in a local college , as I have lot of experience in this area whilst not many in the college have  my experience. I also do a lot of charity work in the area so we mix mainly with the french.Infact when we came we were the only brits in our region.SO dont fret..............just mingle and realise that this is not England...........The french way of life more than makes up for the lack of Chedder cheese............ Marion
Friardel, 14.

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Posted by kelly-783755 - 13 years ago

I moved here a year ago and put my 2 children into normal french school and not private...they are 7 and 11...

The elder one picked up french extremely quick, i thought the younger one would but she is more timid...

They both are fluent now and love the freedom that life offers here and my husband and i are at home all day with them,,,

We are in our 30s and have just bought another house to renovate and either Gire or resell, not sure but we are finding the card my husband needs to be Artisan a nightmare to get as his french is limited...

We have met some lovely french people through our children but the conversation can become somewhat strained as the barrier of language..

Because my husband and i dont work we dont mix too much with the french as we are always doing our little bits and bops but always attend the commune get togethers which are grt fun...

I really would not worry on the children settling as it will be like water of a ducks back...my kids love it....

It took a year to sell our house in England and we were living here and we could have returned at anytime, but we know the last place we wish to be would be England!!!

France to me is going back 50-60yrs of how England used to be, good manners in the children and friendly people...we live near to St Pierre Sur Dives and enjoy our new way of life although you become very laid back like the french in no tiime at all,,,no rushing around...

Some things are more expensive  ie  Car Insurance, school dinners and electric and water on par ,food but much better quality??

Hope this helps


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Posted by Richard.Creighton - 15 years ago

Hi Karen


With out a doubt work is the most difficult thing to find, in the uk i ran an estate agents, and wanted to get away from the pressure of the industry, on arrival in france i took six months off and then began looking for work, any work, the problem seems to be your first job, in france job agencies cannot give you your first job ? for what reason i still do not know, with my previous experience and lack of french language i had no choice but to return to estate agency albeit in france, although now i realise the french work ethic is totally different more relaxed and we are not viewed as the sharks we are made out to be in the uk. but i truly belive if you are prepared to embrace the french system and put in the legwork you will find work of some description. We live in basse normandy close to Pont Farcy




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Posted by polly-780903 - 15 years ago

Thanks for all the replies, it looks mostly positive and your comments about the little darlings in schools here struck a chord Jeni - i suppose that we would just have to try it and see, every family is different after all - have most people just upped sticks or did they rent first to try it out i wonder?



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Posted by kismet-780927 - 15 years ago


Hate to say it, but you won't be much quicker to get to the doctor here either!  Usually our appointments are one to two days after calling for the normal doctor, but specialists can take a very long time... here in Le Havre, an appointment with a gynecologist is usually about 6 months wait, and with an optomologist it's more like 8!


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Posted by hodgey-780878 - 15 years ago

Hi Richard,

My husband myself and daughter are hoping to move to Normandy next year.  After what you have said I feel much more confident about moving our 10 year old to Normandy.  How did you find it seeking work in Normandy? Everything that I see and hear about people who have moved to Normandy make me sure of wanting to move. 

What part of Normandy do you live?




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Posted by Jeni-780887 - 15 years ago

I am sure for everybody contemplating a move to another country the happiness of their children is THE most worrying thing. I am planning to move in July with my 5 children the eldest being 16 and the youngest is 3. I am fully aware of all the difficulties that my children will go through but I am absolutely determined to be as positive as I can and make the move and settling in as easy as I can. I know that in the end it will be alright and that my children will be better off. Where we live in England my children would only be able to buy a house of their own if they won the lottery!!!!!! Their school is so busy "boosting the confidence" of kids that write graffiti over every available surface and stealing cars that all the resources are disappearing, and my son developed a rash on his legs last week and when I phoned for a doctors appointment they had nothing before this Thursday!!!!!!!

Best wishes