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    #240186 - 10/20/17 12:33 PM Bringing kiddo out of her shell
    twallace Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 03/31/17
    Posts: 42
    I have a 6-year old daughter who I have been struggling getting the school to understand. Here's some background:

    She attended kindergarten at age 4 (april birthday) because it was a small class, and our plan was for her to do it again with her same age peers the following year. She excelled, both academically (scored highest out of her bright class in math) and socially. She was assertive, cheerful and fit in perfectly. The school wanted to accelerate her with the same class, but because she was already on the young side, we wouldn't allow it. She re-did kindergarten in a different school, and became shy again and unhappy. When we ask her about it, so describes feeling anxious about being more advanced than her peers. I think she doesn't relate to them.

    She continues to excel in math (and reading, but the school will meet her need in reading). The school refuses to do anything to challenge her in math. Last year, her second year in kindergarten, and this year so far, the teachers both act as if I am this huge annoyance trying to advocate for more challenging math. I finally gave up and asked for a subject acceleration, and they refuse (totally different than her previous school!).

    My older son, who is extremely outgoing, has had teachers this year and last year that seem to advocate for her. They see how bright he is, and understand the problem for her. However where she is so shy and quiet, I honestly think her teachers don't see how bright she is now that she is not with other kids at her level. I think she answers "I don't know" to everything so she's not different, making it impossible for them to really see her. So despite her most likely being even brighter than my son, she is getting ignored at school where he is not.

    Any ideas how to 1. get a 6-year old to feel confident in knowing things her peers do not, and 2. Working with the teacher? I honestly thought the subject acceleration would be a good fit, since she wouldn't be "different" in that class. She specifically asked for it, and had tested in second grade math when she was 4, so she's capable of the work. I was bummed the school wouldn't do it:(

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    #240187 - 10/20/17 12:48 PM Re: Bringing kiddo out of her shell [Re: twallace]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4957
    Originally Posted By: twallace
    She excelled, both academically (scored highest out of her bright class in math) and socially. She was assertive, cheerful and fit in perfectly. The school wanted to accelerate her with the same class, but because she was already on the young side, we wouldn't allow it.
    Posts on acceleration and the Iowa Acceleration Scale (IAS) may be of interest.

    Kids need appropriate challenge and intellectual/academic peers.

    Originally Posted By: twallace
    She re-did kindergarten in a different school, and became shy again and unhappy. When we ask her about it, so describes feeling anxious about being more advanced than her peers. I think she doesn't relate to them.
    I may be missing something... what was the purpose of changing schools?

    Originally Posted By: twallace
    Any ideas how to 1. get a 6-year old to feel confident in knowing things her peers do not, and 2. Working with the teacher?
    Like it or not, some may say you need to own your decision to not accelerate your child with the peers she was a good fit with.
    1. Explain declining the acceleration to your daughter
    2. Explain declining the acceleration to the current school
    Let them know what your decision was based on at that time, and serve with side of "... if I knew then what I know now..."
    This may help all move forward.

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    #240190 - 10/20/17 02:12 PM Re: Bringing kiddo out of her shell [Re: indigo]
    twallace Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 03/31/17
    Posts: 42
    She switched school because they closed down the school she had been at. The decision while at that school was that they would subject accelerate her in core subjects, and have her complete the afternoon with her same age peers. When we transferred schools, the new school was adamant that they don't accelerate children at all, and I trusted that because it was a better school, they would be able to meet her needs in the classroom (I was clearly wrong!).

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    #240192 - 10/20/17 04:50 PM Re: Bringing kiddo out of her shell [Re: twallace]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4957
    Yes, to the uninitiated it can seem a bit silly to question and parse out the meaning of ... "a better school" ... but it can be very important to understand what is meant by such phrases... as what is "better" for one is not necessarily "better" for all. There are lots of buzzwords... question, seek clarification, and delve into details.

    Live and learn.

    A few questions:

    Where are her classmates from the first year of kindergarten... the children she was socially at ease with? Can you arrange for them to play together?

    Have you checked State Laws and published school policies to see if they allow for acceleration under some circumstances?

    Are there other possible educational options for your daughter?

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    #240196 - 10/21/17 08:15 AM Re: Bringing kiddo out of her shell [Re: twallace]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    The first rule here is that if the child doesn't advocate for herself, you have to be her voice. But it sounds like you're already doing that. Kudos.

    The second rule is that no amount of skillful advocation is going to win you a single concession that the school adamantly will not do. We faced a similar stonewall for our DD on a grade skip, which we finally solved by going around them - we withdrew our DD from public school as a 2nd grader, registered her with our state's DOE as a 3rd grade homeschooler, then reintroduced her to public school the following year as an incoming 4th grader.

    My DD is now 12 and in 8th grade. I recently met with her English teacher, and she expressed her sympathies and horrors at DD's previous experiences with school. It seems DD had made it the topic of a writing assignment, and in particular her K experience was still bothering her all these years later. All this to say that if you can do something about this, better sooner than later.

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