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    #123846 - 02/23/12 07:47 AM OMG! We Are getting somewhere.
    sydness Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/07/11
    Posts: 259
    WOW! I have been a pest...In third grade I emailed the teachers and left them notes on homework about making it more challenging...sometimes they did...sometimes they didn't.

    Before 4th I asked for a Math skip.
    This school doesn't do that. I asked again after a month of 4th grade and I had test results to show to back me. Still a "no way." And not changing homework either. I met with the VP a second time and it was decided that the Gifted Coordinator would work with the Math teacher to make the in-class enrichment more forward moving rather than going wide. She also suggested that my dd9 would meet with the librarian ever other week to discuss books. The third thing was for dd to receive some counceling as to how to better advocate for herself in education situations and with friendships and social situations.

    A month later, none of these things happened and she was feeling alone in her LA (homeroom) class as she felt like she was the only child not receiving help or support from the teacher and being ignored...told to figure things out for herself while all the other children were being guided.

    I wrote another email to the VP describing dd's feelings and how she was crying because the very easy tasks that she was given were feeling impossible to complete in her situation (diorama, having to bring in materials from home and working on it only in school, while the people who chose posters were given all the materials and even had maps of their countries pre-traced onto them)...and other things, like the fact that her 6 year old sister was actually doing her Math homework for her. Also, that dd hadn't reported meeting with the librarian or the counselor.

    I got a response from the vp via email telling me to meet with the teachers.

    So I emailed the Math teacher. We spoke. I was convinced that although the homework is crazy easy, dd is working on more complicated things in the class and doesn't always master them right away. I was also told that of the 7 gifted id'd kids in 4th grade, 3 are in her class. I saw some of the work she was doing in class and dd agreed that it was difficult. So, I am mostly satisfied with that.

    But the homework was still too easy. I got an email back saying that the 4th grade team met and that homework is not about having a challenge, but about responsibility, time management and organization. And they would not alter it, but would discuss it with DD.

    I replied


    "I am fine with her being required to do the same homework as everyone else if that is how it has to be. However, what she is learning from it is not responsibility or time management. She is learning that she doesn't ever have to practice her math facts and she can still get them right. She is learning that she can complete her homework in three minutes and therefore doesn't really have to plan to do it. She might be gaining organizational skills though. Like remembering to put her homework back in her binder. I'm not asking for a change. I just want you to hear my point of view if the subject should come up in the future with mine or other students. I feel I give dd opportunities to learn responsibility and time management at home and through ballet and she has always required very little supervision or mom intervention to manage her life. I don't do anything for dd that she can do for herself. So, I don't think the unchallenging homework will effect her negatively THAT much."



    I'm really not sure if this email is what did the trick...BUT she came home yesterday with more appropriate homework...in Math, given to only those id'd as gifted.

    Also, the librarian emailed me to introduce herself, the councilor called to discuss teaching her how to advocate for herself and look for new things she can learn. She wants her to write down 3 questions a week. I guess she doesn't let anyone help her and never asks questions...So, I think this is a good thing. She will also be writing down 3 times that she spoke up for herself.

    So, I am happy. I still think that it is the bare minimum, but I think that if her support system stays at this level, she will do well, feel like part of the school and be challenged a little academically.

    My point is to not give up.

    My only resource for understanding my child and her education has been this forum and other internet sites, and just paying attention to her. I think we have gotten to a good place for now. I will let you know if DD learns enough about advocating for herself to tell the counselor that she needs a grade skip...lol..

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    #123848 - 02/23/12 08:07 AM Re: OMG! We Are getting somewhere. [Re: sydness]
    2giftgirls Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/26/11
    Posts: 342
    Loc: So Cal
    congratulations!!!!
    _________________________
    I get excited when the library lets me know my books are ready for pickup...

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    #123850 - 02/23/12 08:20 AM Re: OMG! We Are getting somewhere. [Re: sydness]
    sydness Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/07/11
    Posts: 259
    Thanks! I've been smiling for two day! Now, maybe I don't have to be "that mom" anymore!

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    #123851 - 02/23/12 08:24 AM Re: OMG! We Are getting somewhere. [Re: sydness]
    ColinsMum Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/08
    Posts: 1898
    Loc: Scotland
    Isn't that interesting - you basically wrote to them saying "OK, don't bother differentiating for her then" and lo and behold, they started to differentiate for her... There's a lesson there somewhere! Congratulations :-)
    _________________________
    Email: my username, followed by 2, at google's mail

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    #123855 - 02/23/12 09:24 AM Re: OMG! We Are getting somewhere. [Re: sydness]
    sydness Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/07/11
    Posts: 259
    YES! CollinsMum! That's exactly what happened! lol! I don't get it...but I'll take the harder homework..DD was happy too. AND she was even happier that ALL three "smart" kids in the class got the homework and not "just her."

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    #123857 - 02/23/12 09:38 AM Re: OMG! We Are getting somewhere. [Re: sydness]
    Iucounu Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/02/10
    Posts: 1457
    That's great!!! I wonder if part of the reason is that you stayed away from any "shes-so-smart" language and couched your email in language that could apply to any unchallenged kid. Bravo.
    _________________________
    Striving to increase my rate of flow, and fight forum gloopiness. sick

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    #123858 - 02/23/12 09:43 AM Re: OMG! We Are getting somewhere. [Re: sydness]
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Originally Posted By: sydness

    I wrote another email to the VP describing dd's feelings and how she was crying ...and other things, like the fact that her 6 year old sister was actually doing her Math homework for her. Also, that dd hadn't reported meeting with the librarian or the counselor.

    I got a response from the vp via email telling me to meet with the teachers.

    So I emailed the Math teacher....But the homework was still too easy. I got an email back saying that the 4th grade team met and that homework is not about having a challenge, but about responsibility, time management and organization....

    I replied


    She is learning that she can complete her homework in three minutes and therefore doesn't really have to plan to do it. ...I'm really not sure if this email is what did the trick...BUT she came home yesterday with more appropriate homework...in Math, given to only those id'd as gifted.

    Also, the librarian emailed me to introduce herself,
    the councilor called

    ...My point is to not give up.


    Beautiful job of Advocacy. You can be proud of two things -
    1) Persistience - you matched them every step of the dance. You didn't over think the VP's response and did as directed. You kept the ball moving down the court. Eventually you got results. This puts you in a great position to get more results if you need them down the line.
    2) Code switching - you spoke their language, 'crying' 'social/emotional problems: feeling lonely' 'learning organizational skills such as planning' - you listened to their concerns and spoke their language! Brava!

    Smiles and more smiles
    Grinity
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #123862 - 02/23/12 11:05 AM Re: OMG! We Are getting somewhere. [Re: sydness]
    sydness Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/07/11
    Posts: 259
    Awww...thanks Grinity. smile I am feeling pretty proud. smile I am giong to enjoy the next month and not think about this anymore...and I know I might have to stay on top of things, but I need to enjoy having gotten this far for a while!

    Iucounu...I am learning so slowly to speak their language...but through this forum and the advice here, I am getting it. It IS tricky! I am such a feeler type person....So, I don't do lists, and this forum has helped me so much. Just reading other people's experiences and learning through them, I can sometimes feel my way....but only if I have read others' experiences.

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    #123918 - 02/23/12 08:19 PM Re: OMG! We Are getting somewhere. [Re: sydness]
    mountainmom2011 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/05/12
    Posts: 404
    That is wonderful news! Kudos to you for being such a great advocate for your dd!

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