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Everything posted by val2

  1. Yes, my son went regularly for the past two years upto March of this year and it helped him no end. We had to ask the doctor for a prescripton for a "bilan bilingue" and the CPAM and the Mutuelle paid the bills. We were advised by the school to see the Orthophoniste for the same reason as your child as my son has mild dyslexia too. The cost was in the region of about 15 for a half hour appointment but we used to get at least 40mins as she took an interest in my son.
  2. Scrabble clubs with tournaments are quite popular in France if going by reports in the local paper are true. It is available anywhere that sells good board games,although the large hypermarkets in our neck of the woods don't usually stock many toys and games until just a few weeks before xmas. Apart from that try Jou Club if they have branch nearby.
  3. If you mean the size of the printing on the screen, then yes, mine changed suddenly in front of my eyes yesterday when I was having a look through. I don't know a lot about computer language and font dosn't mean anything to me as we had never had any dealings with a PC before 1996 and of course it is all in french anyway. I can't see any way to restore the larger print and would welcome any advice for doing so in easy speak.
  4. I know Plouy as my husband has been doing a large renovation job there for a while. You should speak to your son's teacher about being referred to a proper Orpthophoniste for bilingual speech assistance and you can claim the cost back on your health cover once the local doctor has agreed and put a prescription into the Orphthophoniste to take your son on. My boy did a year as he has mild dyslexia and it did wonders for his french writing and confidence.
  5. Well, english TV after school has never done my kids any harm and they have been right through the french school system passing exams and doing very well. Currently my son in 2nde at Lyce has been recording episodes of the Simpsons and the BBC Airport programmes for his english teacher to keep the class of 16 year old amused whilst they learn english .I was a bit concerned because of the Simpsons being american but as the teacher did a lot of his training in the US he dosn't seem too worried. As for my son, he's having to do more french whilst the others do english some days,but at the end of the day without english TV his english language skills would have suffered. A lot of the kids round here who have grown up with mine have always liked to come round after homework when they were younger to watch english TV because the french is so awful.
  6. I've actually only just received mine for the kids for this year. We returned our declaration to URSSAF as normal back in March,BUT because both are at Lyce you do not get anything until after the start of the new year as the head of the Lyce has to confirm himself to URSSAF/CAF that your child is in fact in full time education and not doing apprenticeship or is in fact just staying at home having dropped out of sight. So for those depending on this payment after collge is finished, you will have to wait a bit longer until you can get the certificate of scolarit issued in Sept. By the way TeamedUp, we are not wearing Vans currently as his feet have grown to a 47 now and no one has any that size in stock, thank God. Still looking for a cheaper alternative that we can agree on and its not easy.
  7. Regarding the children's ages, it is a perfect time as too much older for the 9 year old would be fraught with problems. Mine were 8 & 10 and spoke and wrote fluently after six months ( that was well over eight years ago now) and they have both done extremely well and are at Lyce. Take it from one who been through the experience that they will soon forget their previous lives and make some wonderful and interesting new friends with whom they will continue through the school system with as well.
  8. Sometimes I run the village library here when the usual ladies are on hols etc and we have a good selection plus videos. The bibliobus comes every six months to take and replace books and my son often gets asked to go along and choose some books suitable for the teenagers. It reminds of the old Co-op van (although our dept bibliobus is state of the art engineering) that used to come round when we kids back in the 60's,but everything they sold was stale when you ate it. Our village library will soon be extended and it costs nothing to join or take the videos out, just a small fine if you are late returning and the paperwork is very meticulous with who borrowed what and when etc.
  9. > > . > > >Is there anyone who was in >the same position as we >find ourselves in ? any >help and advice would be >greatfully appreciated. > >1) How quickly did the younger >children get a confident grasp >of the language ? > My two were 8 & 10 when we came permenantly and were speaking fluently within 6 months. We were told that if our daughter had been any older, then it would have been a different story as she would never have caught up in time to get on in collge. >2) Were they confused between learning >English before and now learning >French ? > Not really, they forgot about speaking english except with us at home and even argued and fought in french. >3) Did they feel alienated at >school being 'foreign'? > Not really. We had the press round as they were the very first english children ever to live and go to school in this village and it made them very popular - our house was full of kids every afternoon and still they come now to see us at weekend and holidays. >4) Being so young they will >learn through the French education >system, but do they then >not know how to read >and write in English or >do they study English privately >? >No. They will learn english along with the local kids , just a little bit to start off in primaire and then into it fully at collge and Lyce. There won't be any special help,but then you have come to live in France so therefore french is surely more important for them to learn. Don't forget that in collge they will also HAVE to learn another language,plus Latin if they opt for a career in medicine etc. My son did Breton as well as spanish,english and french and benefitted. I wouldn't worry at all about them, the first couple of weeks will be hard but they are still young enough to forget their previous schooling and adapt to a new life which is surely more important now.
  10. Personally speaking 13 is straight into collge,missing out on valuable education gained in primaire. Some children adapt well,but others will not. If your child had no or very little french language skills,especially in writing I think they will find it extremely tough going as there is no special help available usually in a state collge and they are also expected to take another language at the same time as part of the fixed curiculum,except with an orphthophoniste (speech therapist) for which you will have to apply for via your french doctor for help with the payment. You may want to think of an International type school as the Brevt exam is only a couple of years away at 15/16 years old and you need this to get a specialist Lyce course for the next stage to prepare for the child's future career.
  11. I have two at Lyce and it dosn't get any better or cheaper I can tell you and you still have to fork out every few weeks for specialist subject books that they don't provide us with on the bourse. Clothing is the worst as they all want to either look like well heeled tramps or designer label mules.
  12. You don't say if you are new to sailing or an old hand. I live on the coast and know from neighbours and friends who are fishermen and born locally sailors that the coast is a very dangerous place if you do not know your maps and general seamanship,you only have to look when the tide is low to see the treacherous rocks dotted all over. You should really enquire with the authorities about the implications of sailing as I am pretty sure you do need some sort of certificate of competance. My son sailed catamarans for five years here and all the adults involved there had to be qualified in seamanship and local knowledge. There have been two cases already this summer of experienced skippers putting large pleasure craft on the rocks and injuring many people.
  13. There are no bricks in Brittany, only concrete blocks on the new build and granite stonework on the old buildings. You won't earn a fortune either I am afraid, as wages are controlled according to your qualifications and the boss and also we only work 35 or 39 hour week. There is a huge shortage of building workers,but to join an established firm you need good language skills and will have to have a medical.You would also need to have your papers as well to proove your residency. If it is only bricklaying you are interested in, the more northerly parts of France tend to have brick buildings more than stone.To get a higher wage other than the SMIC which is the basic rate per hour you would need to have qualifications on paper which are recognised (stupid I know with all your years and know-how) but France lives on its paperwork.Don't forget that the social charges come as a shock and you will have to pay compulsory pension, health,unemployment,social securit and a few more which will be deducted at source by your employer. A top maon would only expect to take home approx 1370 euros at the most per month in this region,but meals are usually paid for the boss.
  14. Your notaire should do this for you or at least give you the address of where to go.
  15. We have to buy used granite blocks for lintels and coins in our renovation contracts and have a supplier locally with an extremely large selection of everything you could want to do with granite. Its not cheap though - six blocks and two lintels are nearly 4000F. Try looking in your local paper as there are lots of ads at the weekends for second hand materials.
  16. Do the same as the UK regulations and you won't go far wrong. They are gradually coming over to the british/other european countries way of doing things in France slowly,especially now the thickness of the concrete footings. We used english OSMA fittings and pipework etc to give us the extra space for the waste to flow down for extra protection and to use up all that old stock when we moved here. Happy digging (ours was solid granite and we were almost tempted to dynamite it at one stage)
  17. Ask to actually see the certificate covering the Rsponsibilit Deennale and Civile if you are worried and check that he is covered for what he is proposing to do, the more trades the higher the risk and therefore the premium paid. It is not a common insurance to buy in France and only certain companies will provide this compulsory insurance. As Paul says, that website is good, I have often checked people out in our region to see if they are "on the black" and some surprising results have been found.
  18. If I were you I would visit a local Serrurerie mtallerie and get a quote direct from them for making it, you will be surprised at the difference in price straight from the maker because your builder will have to go there and then add on his percentage. Look in the local les pages jaune under the above heading, I know because I had to order some handrails for our local school which my husband was working on building some outside stairs. They will also deliver and probably come and measure properly anyway if you ask them.
  19. I didn't think people were allowed to advertise businesses on this forum. I agree with Charles and TeamedUp, those of us who are self employed in France and paying our cotisations and horrendous charges for Rsponsibilit Civile et Deennale tend to regard this sort of message as touting for work on the black and therefore putting bonefide artisans out of work.
  20. Don't get confused with certificate for termite treatment and woodworm which is different and does not require a certificate. There are no termites in North Brittany and if everyone who sold a house here had to supply a certificate for woodworm treatment, no properties would ever get sold. Most people treat infestation themselves and no,there are no grants available for treatment especially if it is a holiday home, the commune has more urgent needs for it's funds.
  21. I don't think it is dangerous or you would have known by now. When our meter clicks over at 21.30 to the lower rate it also makes quite a din,but my husband who does electricity installations says it is nothing to worry about, just very noisy french electricity coming down the line. If you are really really worried, call in and ask at the EDF office and they may send a technician out to check it for you. Luckily, our box is in the porch,so we don't hear it in the house but as soon as I go to lock the front door,it can be heard. If things start getting warm like the fusebox or EDF boxes or any cables,then you should get it checked out.
  22. I think you are fairly safe just doing this work, its hardly a building construction is it. If the mairie had to sanction every little piece of alteration to people's gardens, they would never leave the place when you see what some people have achieved with their creativity. No, go ahead and enjoy the fruits of your labours especially with the good weather at the moment.
  23. Sorry, forgot to mention that there are no fees. However once your paperwork goes into the system, your taxe d'habitation will rise to account for the extra living space and if you are in certain areas like the coast or national park, there may be a charge levied by the dept for the upkeep of the area. You will be informed by post with the relevent receipts of documents etc.
  24. Yes, you must have permission from the Mairie and one we are currently doing, has had to have the full permis de construire paperwork for it and that is only for changing the existing garage into a lounge with no upstairs. Unfortunately you must fill in your form and send it back, it is fairly self explainatary and you should also supply current photos of the property showing the garage now and even a little drawing of the proposed change with the different angles because of the windows and door inserts. Permission can take upto three months because most councils only meet monthly and during the months of July and August everything comes to a standstill anyway. Take no notice of what the neighbours say, regulations and rules change constantly, I know, I have a huge file of them and it is the council and the maire who make the final decision. Neighbours can have a hidden agenda because they don't want to be overlooked etc or are jealous of any work to improve the property.
  25. I've yet to see any application pass our council committee for garden gates and wall yet, although if it is going to be a high wall with really large gates and you are in a village, I would just ask at the mairie if they need a declaration de travaux first as you could be infringing the local rules regarding les monuments historique etc. Everyone round here does what they want anyway even if they don't have permission,but not being a local may make you a little more conspicuous.
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