European Living

United Homeschoolers of Germany - Homeschool Group in the Ramstein/Kaiserslautern area of Germany. 

We moved to Germany in July of 2009 and have enjoyed it immensely. This is our first time living outside of the United States and upon moving here I had no idea what to expect. We wanted to find a way to get involved with the German culture. I'm glad we did.

My kids are very active and love sports. I figured German kids must play sports too, so we searched out the activities the kids were interested in and then signed them up. In the beginning the kids didn't speak any German and I could ask for directions or for an item at a restaurant.... but I wouldn't understand the response. Now my German is descent. Sometimes I need to try to say something a few different ways before the meaning comes across. I'm sure my grammar is terrible, but I can communicate with most native speakers.

The kids on the other hand have far surpassed me. They can speak very well. Sports was the perfect medium to learn German, have fun and get involved. They didn't have to speak in the beginning. When the other kids got in a line all they had to do was watch and follow. Eventually the language skills caught up.

In addition to the local dance group my girls are infatuated with, my son plays tennis and we have done a lot of traveling. It can be difficult to find accommodations for more than four people. If you plan to make a European Vacation in the future and are looking for places to stay here are some of the lodgings we have used. Most sleep five or more and are inexpensive by comparison. By browsing the links below you can join us on a virtual German living and travel experience.


Living in Germany

Around the House and Neighborhood

Chimney Sweep
German Police - Speeding Tickets
The German Mailman - Deutsche Post
Buying a Car in Germany
Smart Cars
Winter Solstice
Street Signs
Crane Construction 
Wind Power
German Communities
Walking and Nordic Walking
Motorcycle Business
Gas is Expensive
The Egg Truck
City Centers
German Folk Music
Swimming Pools
Soccer
Tennis
Handball
Gym Class
Camping in Germany
The Village School
Kindergarten (Preschool)
Shoes off in Kindergarten
Pre-School Playground
German Schools
German Houses Were Built to Last
Our House
Our House and Car
Honey House
Schranks - No Built in Closets
Windows
Washers and Dryers
Small Ovens, Small Refrigerators
European Power
Recycling
Teeter-Todders
Clean Sidewalks
Small Villages
Narrow Streets
Beautiful Flowers
Wonderful Trails
Round-a-Bouts
Toboggan
Benches in the Woods

Nature and Wildlife

Snails
Wild Boar
White Storks
German Birds
Roe Deer 
Cows
Spring Flowers
Fall
Horse Chestnuts
Walnuts
Boston Ivy
Chinese Lantern Flowers
Stinging Nettle

Festivals and Special Events

Happy New Year
Three Kings Day
Torch Walk
Spring and Easter Markets 
Corpus Christi Day
Medieval Festivals
Roman Festival
Fabric Markets
Kerwe
Wein Lauf
Harvest Festival in Kindergarten
Harvest Festival in Homburg
St. Martin's Day
More on St. Martin's Day - November
Start of Fasching - November 11
Tree Lighting Party
Christmas Markets
St. Nikolas Day - December 6
Christmas Parties
Christkind
Silvesterlauf - December 31 

Fasching - German Carnival

Traditional German Dance
Fasching Season 
Fasching in the Pre-school
Kinderfasching
The Princess and Other Fasching Characters
Shows
Dance Maschieren
Gardetanz
Regenworm Dance
Hexe Dance
Fasching Parade 2012
Fasching Parade 2010
Asterix and Obelix
Show Dances
My Dance Camp
Summer Festival
Competitions
Show Dance Competition
My Dance Competition
South Germany Dance Championship Competition

Day Trips from the Ramstein Area of Germany

Weisbaden Ropes Course
Maginot Line (France)
Digging for Gemstones - Idar-Oberstein
Marksburg Castle
Homburg - Roman Settlement
Mannheim Planetarium
Saalburg - Roman Fort
Metz, France - Gothic Cathedrals
Rail Bike Tour
Eight Great Day Trips with our Without Kids 
Bremerhof Bier Garten
Homburg Flea Market
Potzberg Wild Animal Park 
Luisenpark in Mannheim
Volklingen Steel Factory
Bitche Citadel
Gutenberg Museum
Keltendorf
Celtic Ringwall  - Otzenhausen
Freilicht Museum - Outdoor Living German History Museum
Freilicht Museum - Second Visit
Alpine Slide
Farm Golf
Bock Casemates
Luxembourg-American Cemetery and Memorial at Hamm
Connecting Travel with Books - Germany 

Ramstein Area Playgrounds

Ohmbachsee
Natural Swimming Pool
Vogelwoog - Great Park in Kaiserslautern
Barenloch Park in Kindsbach
Pirate Ship Park - Homburg 
Rehab Park in Landstuhl - Wheelchair Accessible 

Nearby Cities

Metz, France
Idar-Oberstein
Bacharach
Stahlech Castle
Mainz
Oppenheim
Rudesheim
Annweiler am Triefels
Heidelberg
Luxembourg City
Trier
Bernkastel-Kues

Castles and Palaces

Palais Grand-Ducal - Luxembourg
Hohenecken Castle
Burg Nanstein - Landstuhl
Heidelberg Castle
Rhine River Castles
Burg Eltz
Cochem Castle
Litchtenberg - Kusel

Churches and Cathedrals

Gothic Cathedrals in Metz
Der Mainzer Dom Sankt Martin - Mainz
Neumunster Abbey - Luxembourg
Cathedrale Notre-Dame - Luxembourg City - Luxembourg
Wernerkapelle - Bacharach
St. Peter's Church - Bacharach
Oppenheim Church

Travel

Austria

The Alps
Innsbruck

Salzburg, Austria

Festung Hohensalzburg
Salzburg Residenz
St. Peter's Church
Franziskanerkirche
Salzburger Dom
Hallein Saltmine
Hallein Celtic Museum 
Schloss Hellbrunn - Trick Fountain Castle
Stone Theater
Salzburg Zoo
The Sound of Music
Mozart
Stiegl Brauerei
Meat and Potatoes - Traditional Austrian Food

 

Belgium

Oostende, Belgium
Brugges
Brugges Market Square
Canals in Brugges
Handmade Candy
Lace Making
Horse and Buggies
Bikes
Stepped Facade
Windmills
Swing Bridges
Belgium Food
Brussels;
St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral
The Headquarters of the European Union

Croatia

Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik Churches
Onofrio's Fountains
War Evidence 
Dubrovnik Wall 
Swimming in the Adriatic

Czech Republic

Hradcany
Prague Architecture
Charles Bridge
Wenceslas Square
Old Town Square
Josefov - Jewish Quarter
St. Vitus Cathedral
Lennon Wall
David Cerny Sculptures
Vltava River
Marionettes
Czech Money
Czech Food
Czech Bakeries
Trdlo
Czech Beer
Music
Coat of Arms
Sidewalks
Czech Republic Recycling

England

Buckingham Palace
London Bridge
Phone Booths
Double Decker Buses
The Tube
Peter Pan

France

Bitche Citadel
Metz - Gothic Cathedrals
Normandy - Clam Digging 
Normandy - D-Day Beaches 

Strasbourg, France

Canals in Strasbourg
Notre Dame, Strasbourg
Palais Rohan
Half-Timbered Houses
Crepes and Quiche

Paris

Eiffel Tower
Notre-Dame
Arc de Triomphe
Louvre Museum
Gargoyles
Basilique du Sacre-Coeur
Paris - Crepes

Gibraltar

Moorish Castle, Gibraltar
Ibrahim-al-Ibrahim Mosque, Gibraltar
Straits of Gibraltar
Gibraltar Siege Tunnels
Gibraltar Streets
Monkeys

Germany

Rothenburg ob der Tauber - Medieval Town Frozen in Time
Dachau - Concentration Camp
Munich - Ludwig's Castles
Nurnberg - Hitler's Podium
Mittenwald - Small Town in Bavaria
The Baltic Sea
Cologne - Famous Cathedrale
Black Forest

Greece

The Olympics - Olympia, Greece
Orange Trees

Italy

Venice, Italy

Palazzo Ducale
Rialto Bridge
Canals
The Grand Canal
Kinds of Boats
Gondola Boats
St. Mark's Basilica
Basilica di Santa Maria

Bari, Italy

San Sabino Cathedral
Castello Normanno-Svevo

Verona, Italy

Verona City Walls
Castelvecchio
Roman Arena
Roman Theatre
Juliette's House
Basilica di San Zeno
Church of Saint Anastasia
Church of Saint Fermo
Horse Meatballs and Aperitif

Pisa

Leaning Tower of Pisa
Arno River

Lake Como

Italian Mountains
Church of San Giorgio - Varenna, Italy
Plants and Lizards

Cinque Terre, Italy

Italian Houses
Mediterranean Sea
Church of St. John the Baptist
Trouble with Pirates
Love Padlocks
Italian Clothes Dryers
Italian Recycling
Potties

Rome

Rome Landmarks
Fountains
Twin Churches

Vatican City

St. Peter's Basilica

Ostia Antica

Italian Wine
Italian Food
Italian Food
Panini

Netherlands

Canals
Wooden Shoes
Wooden Shoes Round 2
Cheese
Windmills
North Sea

Norway

Vikings
Stave Church
Bunad
City Life Mural
Norwegian Houses
Fjord

Poland

Krakow - Things to See and Do

Portugal

Porto - Things to See and Do

Spain

Spanish Market
Spanish Plants
Spanish Beaches
Spanish Cemeteries

Madrid

Royal Palace of Madrid
Madrid Plazas
Flamenco - Spanish Clothing
Spanish Food

Switzerland

Tunnels in Switzerland

Turkey

Silk - From Cocoon to Rug
Turkish Rugs
Turkish Food
Izmir Port

Istanbul

The Blue Mosque
Hagia Sophia
Hippodrome in Istanbul
Basilica Cistern
Hand Carts in Istanbul
Shopping in Turkey

Ephesus, Turkey


Need some ideas on places to stay for your European vacation. Here are a few recommendations.

 





8 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh! This is a WONDERFUL list! Thank you!
    We'll be moving to Germany, Stationed at Landstuhl, on the first of April, and this is just what I have been looking for!

    I'm a homeschooling mama to one Kindergartener and a tot. Found your blog linked in KIHSS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome! I hope we will be able go get out again this spring and summer. I look forward to meeting you.

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  2. This is really a good site! We lived in Stuttgart, Germany for two years before children. We often think about moving back but not sure how well that would go with three children. I am wondering how old your children were when you moved there. Our children are 10, 7, and 2.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The older two are the perfect age for exploring Europe. Ours were 3, 6 and 8. Traveling with the 3 year old has always been difficult and now that she's 6, she's still difficult. Maybe it's just her. Some little guys are perfectly happy to go anywhere. They have learned so much just by being here and traveling.

      On the flip side, she is the one who has been the most immersed in the culture. Since she was only 3, she was young enough to be enrolled in the German pre-school. Now she can speak better than the rest of us. I wouldn't hesitate. There are many American living in the area with small kids and babies too.

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  3. Oh that's awesome!! Thank you so much for your reply!!

    Do any of your children still go to the German schools? Or do you homeschool all of them? If you homeschool, have you had any problems with the German people? I have heard homeschooling is illegal in their country. We homeschool as well and really like it. We are planning to homeschool all the way through high school. I need to look around your website more. It is very well set up! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stacey - I homeschool all three kids and we have lots of German friends. It is illegal for Germans to homeschool, but we are protected through my husband's job with Americans. Here's a post I wrote about homeschooling in Germany.

      http://highhillhomeschool.blogspot.com/2012/02/homeschooling-in-germany.html

      Most of our German friends have never heard of homeschooling and tend to have a lot of questions such as "are you a certified teacher?" Once I explain what the kids do each day they just nod and say interesting.

      I do know a few Americans that use the German schools. Both of them have lived here since their children were 2 or 3 years old. The kids became fluent in preschool and have been successful in the German schools.

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  4. I'm pretty sure our two your old is on par with yours!! She's definitely a child outside of the box!! :) However, she is a great adventure and always keeps us on our toes! We have downloaded your Speed game and it is great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you are enjoying Speed! My husband worked hard on the electronic version so that's really nice to hear. I will let him know. - Thank you

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