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    #184913 - 03/14/14 03:51 PM Re: advice for an unhappy 1st grader [Re: KnittingMama]
    binip Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/10/14
    Posts: 96
    "Binip, do your kids ever complain or act out because school is not what they expect ?"

    The tl;dr here is that I sent her in with low expectations of what she could get from school in terms of personal satisfaction, and high expectations of her behavior in the face of adversity, boredom, and/or interests that didn't align with the task at hand. So she doesn't complain that much because she didn't expect it to be different from what it is like. I asked her while writing this post if school was fun. She said, "Is it supposed to be fun?"

    "Reading under the table is not allowed in my child's school -- it is actually seen as disrespect."

    Well, it is disrespectful, but then you just take the mark down. It's better than getting a mark down for running down the halls. Civil disobedience vs. disruption.

    I want school to be interesting for my kids but I view that as a bonus. I don't want to spoil them for it.

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    #184917 - 03/14/14 04:11 PM Re: advice for an unhappy 1st grader [Re: KnittingMama]
    polarbear Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/29/11
    Posts: 3363
    KnittingMama, I am sorry your dd is having a tough year. I would wonder about a few things - first, do you think any of her unhappiness with school is coming from wishing she was homeschooled like her brother? I would want to know more about the situation with not having friends at school. There can be 1 million different reasons for that - ranging from things within your dd's control, things with your dd that she can't control, and things with the other kids that are beyond her control. Whatever is going on with that, I'd want to know and understand. It could be as simple as she's happy the way things are and doesn't need a close friend, but the hiding in the bathroom and general unhappiness with school combined with not having a friend would nudge me to consider what might be going on beyond simply being a bored gifted student.

    Originally Posted By: KnittingMama
    DD is starting to go down the same path DS did in 1st grade, and if she remains on the same trajectory, it will be a disaster.


    This, too, would nudge me to consider is there more to this than just a bored gifted student? I did a quick look back at your posts re your ds and his year of school previous to homeschool. It sounds like he had some similar issues with school and that there may be something else at play than just boredom.

    Best wishes,

    polarbear

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    #184926 - 03/14/14 06:14 PM Re: advice for an unhappy 1st grader [Re: polarbear]
    KnittingMama Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/04/12
    Posts: 267
    Loc: California
    I think some of DD's unhappiness is directly related to seeing her brother being homeschooled. But that also might mean she is able to better articulate what she wants (DS asked for homeschooling early on, too, but since he didn't know such a thing existed at the time, his request sounded different).

    DD's teacher says that the other kids in class like DD, and I know DD says she likes the kids in her class. Just not playing with them much of the time. (She *does* play with other kids at school, several times a week, but not daily.) It doesn't seem like it bothers her, but a friend would at least provide a compelling reason to go to school each day.

    DS has some sensory and social skills issues that DD does not have; this contributed to some of his problems in school (and he might have been bullied by other kids because of these problems, further complicating things). DD is messy and a bit unorganized, but otherwise doesn't seem to have any LDs. Both kids are independent thinkers, strong willed, and autodidacts. There is possibly something else going on, but I can't tease it out.

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    #184931 - 03/14/14 07:06 PM Re: advice for an unhappy 1st grader [Re: KnittingMama]
    binip Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/10/14
    Posts: 96
    "DS has some sensory and social skills issues that DD does not have"

    They might be showing up differently in a girl, though. Was sensitivity to fluorescent lights an issue with your son?

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    #184933 - 03/14/14 07:21 PM Re: advice for an unhappy 1st grader [Re: binip]
    KnittingMama Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/04/12
    Posts: 267
    Loc: California
    Originally Posted By: binip
    "DS has some sensory and social skills issues that DD does not have"

    They might be showing up differently in a girl, though. Was sensitivity to fluorescent lights an issue with your son?


    He has more of a sensitivity to loud noise and certain kinds of clothing. I haven't noticed him being sensitive to fluorescent lights, but of course I can't rule it out. I also wouldn't completely rule out sensitivities for DD, but compared to DS she is quite NT in this regard.

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    #184939 - 03/14/14 09:39 PM Re: advice for an unhappy 1st grader [Re: binip]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4957
    Originally Posted By: KnittingMama
    ...says she hates school, mostly refuses to do her homework, and has become an emotional, angry wreck at home.
    Although the teacher is wonderful, has advocated for her own children, and DD adores her, the fact that the teacher may be seeing a different child at school than you are at home complicates matters. Sounds like kiddo may benefit for evaluation for a possible grade skip before she becomes a social isolate. Just my 2 cents.

    Originally Posted By: binip
    One thing we do with my children is home education, during which they get to learn about their own interests and challenge themselves in math at home.
    Agreed. Many families do this and call it "after-schooling", enrichment, or having an enriched environment (lots of library books for example).

    Quote:
    We've also talked about the purpose of school... Nobody's telling you to enjoy something you don't enjoy.
    I agree with the work ethic, coping mechanisms, and many of the thoughts expressed. At the same time children benefit from capitalizing on their educational opportunity to learn all they can, at a rather challenging/stimulating level, so they do not learn to passively underachieve. If a child consistently knows the material being taught in the grade-level curriculum, that child may benefit from advanced academics. There is research on underachievement. There are books written for general audiences including parents... Delisle is just one well-known author of books & articles on underachievement.

    Helping gifted kids avoid underachievement and dropping out is why we advocate for gifted kids. We call this helping them reach their potential so they may be part of the population of productive adults that you mentioned.

    Anecdotal evidence suggests that kiddos may erupt with outbursts prior to giving up, checking out and underachieving. Working extensively with kiddos at this stage to help them build vocabulary to enable them to express what is bothering them, may provide parents with insight as to the child's lived experience.

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    #184940 - 03/14/14 10:21 PM Re: advice for an unhappy 1st grader [Re: KnittingMama]
    binip Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/10/14
    Posts: 96
    "Anecdotal evidence suggests that kiddos may erupt with outbursts prior to giving up, checking out and underachieving."

    I totally understand and agree this. I'm not opposed to gifted education at all!

    However, there are two reasons that I would make sure my child had appropriate expectations and coping mechanisms, even assuming she'd be bored for 7 hours a day. The first is that it's honest and the bull that we feed kids about "learning is fun!" can be really demoralizing when they wonder why school isn't fun for them.

    The second is that while every child should have a tailored education to meet their every need, in a supportive community, which also helps them become mature adults, the fact is that our country doesn't spend resources that way. So you need to be prepared to help your kids reach their potential outside of school, and to help kids cope while they're at school.

    Not everyone can homeschool, after all, though I think when the homeschooling parent is highly educated and skilled and/or the child is in need of a drastically different program just to survive mentally, it is a great option. (I wanted to be homeschooled, but my mom had to work. frown My own kids don't want to be homeschooled.)

    I'm not bashing meeting the child's needs, but trying to think of ways to help the kid cope with the reality while they figure out what those needs are.

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    #184941 - 03/14/14 11:31 PM Re: advice for an unhappy 1st grader [Re: binip]
    puffin Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/11/12
    Posts: 2035
    If you can get her through this year would you be prepared to homes hook both kids next year? If I were her I would resent having to go to school when my brother didn't (bad enough when the sibling is a pre-schooler). If you explain (possible for the 100th time) that you can't do it now but you will next year and come up with a plan for her she may rise to the challenge. I would also check out the specials teachers - maybe she is scared of them or their classrooms or something.

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    #184945 - 03/15/14 06:59 AM Re: advice for an unhappy 1st grader [Re: ultramarina]
    MightySchmoePong Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 02/13/14
    Posts: 5
    Originally Posted By: ultramarina
    Could there be a bullying problem? I wonder when I hear that a child loves the teacher but hates school.


    I hate to agree, but this bears looking into. My 1st grader had some of the same issues and it turned out to be a really bad bullying situation at school. We eventually pulled her out into private for a couple of years when the school couldn't/wouldn't do anything about the situation.

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    #184946 - 03/15/14 07:13 AM Re: advice for an unhappy 1st grader [Re: KnittingMama]
    Zen Scanner Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/13/12
    Posts: 1478
    Loc: NC
    One of the most helpful questions I've found to get to the core of an issue is to ask my ds if he had the power to change anything about xxx what would he change.

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