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    #185070 - 03/17/14 06:56 AM Re: advice for an unhappy 1st grader [Re: KnittingMama]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Originally Posted By: KnittingMama
    (Just out of curiosity, how old was your daughter when you pulled her out of school?)


    My DD was approaching 6yo and still in K.

    DD9 has only recently revealed that her K teacher was punishing her for failing to pretend not to know things, so it was a bit of an extreme case.

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    #185072 - 03/17/14 07:27 AM Re: advice for an unhappy 1st grader [Re: Dude]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4224
    Quote:
    ... teacher was punishing her for failing to pretend not to know things, so it was a bit of an extreme case.
    Ditto. Teachers may routinely require students to list new vocabulary words acquired from reading an assigned text. Students familiar with all of the words may be punished for truthfully revealing this; Students are rewarded for lying and pretending to find the required number of "new words" (thereby falsifying school records that the assigned reading material was at the appropriate level for them).

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    #185109 - 03/17/14 10:34 AM Re: advice for an unhappy 1st grader [Re: KnittingMama]
    binip Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/10/14
    Posts: 96
    Originally Posted By: KnittingMama
    Thanks binip, you've given me a lot to think about.

    First, I wouldn't say homeschool is out of the question for both kids. This was our first year, and DS is still reeling from 2 years of bad public school experience. Could I have homeschooled both of them last fall? No. But I have no doubt that if DD needed to be home, we could make it work. smile


    Well, that's good. It sounds like your kids are eager to learn and that is great. I wanted to homeschool but I think it would be sub-optimal given my kids' personalities. Funny how these things work out!



    Quote:

    I know that this is true for many kids, but it shouldn't be. In fact, this was a huge problem for DS last year. He had been coasting by for his entire (short) school career. Then all of a sudden he was accelerated 2 years in math, placed in a class where he *didn't* know all of the material, and freaked out. Oops. At some point kids are going to get to a class where it's about learning and not just demonstrating. This may happen in elementary school, or maybe not until college. But it's a disservice to those kids to allow them to think school is not about learning at all.



    I wasn't accelerated, really accelerated, until I got to middle-school math and I failed. Sixth-grade algebra was the first thing I had to learn with my teacher in my entire life. I was 12, going through puberty, a goth, my mom was working and going to school at the same time, and it was extremely stressful. I understand. My mom home-educated us in literature and history but not math as she wasn't good at it.

    Still, what I teach my kids is that you have to take charge of keeping yourself challenged. After all, suppose you're one grade level ahead, but not gifted. It doesn't take that much intelligence to stay one grade level ahead. You're not going to hit a wall until high school when, because you think you're smart, you take AP classes. Those classes are full of kids who have been accelerated by 1 - 3 years their entire career. That would suck!

    So I try to make sure that my kids are challenged no matter what... they fail at home so they can cope with it at school, too.


    Quote:
    I don't think it is bullying, but it could be catty behavior.


    Catty behavior to me is bullying. Girls are taught, and possibly have instincts for, not physically intimidating others. But they learn how to control, that is for sure. "Cattiness" can be very serious.

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    #185225 - 03/18/14 12:27 PM Re: advice for an unhappy 1st grader [Re: KnittingMama]
    KnittingMama Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/04/12
    Posts: 267
    Loc: California
    I have a meeting with DD's teacher tomorrow afternoon. I am torn between just asking for academic advancement and bringing up the social exclusion. I will probably discuss both, but I am worried that if I have too many items on the agenda, everything will get diluted and only a little will happen towards each one.

    The good news is that the teacher continues to work towards helping DD. She says she has talked to the science teacher, who agrees that the curriculum is too easy for DD. The plan is to have more science in regular class. The teacher is also encouraging DD to play with a relatively new 2nd grade girl in their class. So far DD has reported having lunch and playing with her several times, and enjoying it.

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    #185227 - 03/18/14 12:40 PM Re: advice for an unhappy 1st grader [Re: KnittingMama]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4224
    Originally Posted By: KnittingMama
    ... meeting... tomorrow afternoon.
    Looks like you've got some strong positives going into this meeting. You may wish to jot an agenda of points you hope to touch on in the meeting.

    Agenda:

    1. academic advancement
    - science teacher: agrees that the curriculum is too easy for DD
    - more science in regular class. What? When?

    2. social/emotional
    - relational aggression? social exclusion?
    - new 2nd grade girl as a blossoming friendship? intellectual peer? (lunch/play) How is that going?

    3. future follow-up
    - academics
    - social/emotional

    If possible, you may wish to plan a play date or other opportunity to get the girls together outside of school. The parent may be an ally going forward.

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    #185243 - 03/18/14 04:29 PM Re: advice for an unhappy 1st grader [Re: indigo]
    KnittingMama Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/04/12
    Posts: 267
    Loc: California
    Thanks @indigo, this is really helping me organize my thoughts.

    I was thinking of asking if getting a "Big Sister" for DD was a possibility. Maybe a 5th or 6th grade girl who would be willing to spend a recess now and then hanging out with DD and any other "single" kids. Has anyone ever done this before, and was it helpful at all?

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    #185278 - 03/19/14 07:36 AM Re: advice for an unhappy 1st grader [Re: binip]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4224
    Quote:
    I personally live in a district where I can't buy, but we rent
    Because many readers are from other lands, and property ownership varies in different countries... this post is to clarify that in the USA a person is free to purchase anywhere so "I can't buy" is typically a matter of few if any homes being on the market in an area, or a person saving up for a typical 20% down payment on a home. In general, families purchase a home with 20% downpayment and a mortgage loan from a bank or other financial institution. The monthly rent on a home is typically a similar amount to the monthly mortgage payment, making the lump sum 20% down payment the deciding factor for many rent-or-own decisions.

    The OP mentioned that their child was possibly aware of job-related stress in the home; This may be more prevalent in our tight economy which in some areas resembles the game of musical-chairs.

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    #185284 - 03/19/14 08:25 AM Re: advice for an unhappy 1st grader [Re: KnittingMama]
    binip Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/10/14
    Posts: 96
    Oh, thanks for clarifying. In our case we had savings but both suffered divorces (other-initiated) and unemployment during the recession, so we are saving up again to buy. A 2 bedroom rambler here is about .4 million.

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    #185286 - 03/19/14 08:28 AM Re: advice for an unhappy 1st grader [Re: KnittingMama]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4224
    Originally Posted By: KnittingMama
    "Big Sister"... Maybe a 5th or 6th grade girl who would be willing to spend a recess now and then hanging out with DD and any other "single" kids. Has anyone ever done this before, and was it helpful at all?
    On an individual basis, I'm aware of one school considering a buddy plan to welcome a student who was grade-skipping but after discussion and prior to implementing the idea, the school decided against it as being a burden for an individual student. I agree.

    Some schools have a "big buddy" program in which all kiddos in a higher grade are matched with kiddos in a younger grade. When the numbers don't work out perfectly, a few kiddos may be a big buddy to several younger kids, or a few duos of big buddies may mentor a younger kid. In this way, no one is singled out. Buddy-day may be once a week or once a month. Schools may have occasional pen-pal days on which each kid writes something they like about their buddy(ies), then the letters are delivered to the buddy(ies). Kids may be given a "theme", open-ended "thought question", or "conversation starter" as ice-breaker on each designated buddy day... for example "what is one thing you would change about school..." etc. Big buddies may be assigned to walk with their little buddies to school assemblies, etc, keeping lines moving smoothly through the halls and providing a big help to teachers. Kids seem to look forward to seeing their buddy(ies) and the buddy plan seems to promote understanding and a sense of every student being important and making a difference.

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    #185305 - 03/19/14 11:26 AM Re: advice for an unhappy 1st grader [Re: indigo]
    KnittingMama Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/04/12
    Posts: 267
    Loc: California
    The "singling out" aspect of a buddy plan is definitely unappealing. If anything, DD needs to be singled out less! It's also so late in the school year, which isn't a good time to start this kind of thing.

    I might still bring it up with the teacher, if only to find out if the school has any such program in place in other classes.

    I reminded DD this morning that I would be talking to her teacher, and was there anything she wanted me to bring up. Pretty much nothing, although she was curious about what I wanted to talk about. She seemed horrified that I might talk to her teacher about not playing with other kids at recess. smirk

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