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    #37086 - 02/03/09 11:58 AM How to get what she needs?
    mom123 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/12/08
    Posts: 127
    My dd3 was a very early reader... not only that, but she has progressed at lightening speed....When they told me at her preschool in October, that they would do some reading with her I was thrilled. But first they said, they would need to “test” her and see if she knew her letter sounds… ok, fine, done. Next they said they would need to “test” her and see if she knew her letter blends.. ugh… fine… done. So after about a month they started giving her these ridiculously easy readers… and I thought to myself.. ok – it will not take them long to figure out that these are too easy.
    I waited patiently for about a month – then I tried to gently mention that these were a bit too easy, and perhaps they could move through them more quickly… no luck. I mentioned a second time, could she please move to the next level? No luck. I mentioned a third time – perhaps she could move ahead? Well, by this time she had finished all the silly readers in set one and is now in set two and it seems like they are going to make her read all of set two – such a total waste of time. I don’t get it… if she is reading one on one with the teacher, why can’t they give her something more appropriate?
    So I got a bit frustrated and sent a second grade reading textbook in with her with a little note saying that this is one of the books that dd3 likes to read at home, and perhaps they could read that instead. Well, it got sent back home.. the teacher said, “we have books like this here” .. and started sending her back home with the same boring, too easy nonsense.
    OK, so now what do I do? I appreciate that they are trying – but come on people! I am really getting aggravated. I mean it is February, how long is this going to take!? How do I get the teacher to give her something more appropriate? Or, given that she is only three, perhaps I should just drop it? It just seems like, if they are willing to take the time to read with her – would it really be so hard to give her something at her reading level? Why can’t they tell that these are too easy? How do I get what I think is appropriate for my daughter without [SPAM] off the teacher?
    Obviously, I am new to this. Advice appreciated.

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    #37089 - 02/03/09 12:26 PM Re: How to get what she needs? [Re: mom123]
    Mommy2myEm Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/12/07
    Posts: 304
    Since this is preschool and I assume not mandatory I would suggest to either do home schooling after preschool or change to a more play based preschool. This school may not have had too many gifted kids in the past and they may not know how to individualize instruction to her level. If your daughter receives more challenging reading and other materials at home, she may be more content to "go with the flow' at school. This is not to say that the situation at this school wouldn't improve, but it would take the immediate pressure off the situation. With my kids, I have not found a preschool that truly "gets them" academically and we had more success at home. I have a DD10 and DS4.

    Also, I would suggest that when you speak with your child's teachers that you make sure that it doesn't sound like you criticize their efforts. I don't mean that you have, but some parents will make the teacher defensive by the way they address the issue. I have had great success this year by making DD's and DS's teachers my allies and ask them to problem solve with me to improve a situation. I try to avoid words like "bored" or "easy work" because a person may take it that they are boring or not engaging. Once a teacher feels insulted, it is difficult to get anything accomplished. HTH.

    Jen


    Edited by Mommy2myEm (02/03/09 12:27 PM)

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    #37090 - 02/03/09 12:31 PM Re: How to get what she needs? [Re: mom123]
    inky Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/10/08
    Posts: 1299
    I'm not sure I have any advice but reading your post made me want to laugh and cry at the same time. laugh cry

    So much of what you wrote about your DD3's preschool experience, I could have written about DD6's first grade experience. Fortunately I'm seeing more progress now that DD is self-advocating. She understands the need for "just right" books-not too hard and not too easy. Having her request more challenging books seemed to affect the teacher more than my requests.

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    #37091 - 02/03/09 12:39 PM Re: How to get what she needs? [Re: mom123]
    Amy's World Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 02/02/09
    Posts: 2
    Loc: Aledo,Tx
    I am new too, so take this with a grain of salt. I just went through a situation that sounds like yours for my dd7. After bringing the reading mat that she has enjoyed from home. The teachers informed me that they would feel ucomfortable skipping to that point. They needed to make sure that dd7 could handle the change. They informed me she could bring her own reading mat to school anytime however the teacher still had to make sure dd7 new every step of reading.

    Be strong and get under their skin a nice way. When you ask people for help they want to help. Take the first step for change, be willing to stay after or before school and read with your dd when teacher is present in the room. You dd might love having you there. If you assist the teacher in doing her job she will probably come around. Mean while speak to Admin. of school ask for their help for you and the teacher.

    Good luck!

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    #37092 - 02/03/09 12:40 PM Re: How to get what she needs? [Re: mom123]
    LMom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/14/07
    Posts: 902
    Originally Posted By: mom123
    I don’t get it… if she is reading one on one with the teacher, why can’t they give her something more appropriate?


    I guess, they have their own list which needs to be checked off and on the list they have
    read book aaa from set 2
    read book bbb from set 2
    ...

    Once they have them all marked they will move her to set 3.

    BTW Is she in Montessori?

    This sounds awfully familiar to what was going on last year with our younger one in Montessori. He was 3 at that time. I couldn't believe that they were sending letters home with him. I couldn't believe that they had him reading pat, hat, mat, ...

    The problem is that they work in sequence and cannot wrap their minds about skipping a few steps because what about the child doesn't know something? What about if there are gaps? mad

    I have no clue how to change their minds without upsetting them. I did pretty badly on that one.

    The solution for us was a play based school. No academics just fun. He gets to do letter of the week but that's no big deal. He reads whatever books he can find there and the teachers know that he is a great reader. Ok, the assistant asked me if he was comprehending it too? Doh. The teacher didn't she taught my older one wink
    _________________________
    LMom

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    #37097 - 02/03/09 03:11 PM Re: How to get what she needs? [Re: LMom]
    BWBShari Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/24/08
    Posts: 1167
    Loc: NM
    When at school my DS6 reads whatever the assignment is. Because he is in a differentiated program, his current reading class is about 3rd grade. The teacher is moving him up, but oh so slowly. Like you I was frustrated until I talked to him. He's perfectly ok with it as long as he can read what he wants at home.

    In addition I spoke to the head of the gifted program and she called it reassurance reading. She said that often times, these kids need something in their day that they can do easily. Everyone is always worried that they are being challenged but sometimes they need to be able to show mastery. He goes to the school library and have noticed that he is just as likely to come home with a 1st grade book as a 6th grade book and library time is free choice. So maybe there is something to it.
    _________________________
    Shari
    Mom to DS 10, DS 11, DS 13
    Ability doesn't make us, Choices do!

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    #37100 - 02/03/09 03:52 PM Re: How to get what she needs? [Re: BWBShari]
    momx2 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/25/08
    Posts: 153
    Hi Mom123,
    I feel your pain - BTDT. I can't believe they didn't try to give her harder books after you sent one in! Ask them if you could just send in books for her to read. If that doesn't fly, ask if she could work on something else instead of reading. For example, writing skills related to stories she has read. If her motor skills are not on par with her reading ability, you could suggest she draw something story related. Maybe if the preschool folks witness her comprehension of her reading material, either through writing or drawing, they might be more willing to accommodate her. Good luck!!!

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    #37111 - 02/03/09 06:13 PM Re: How to get what she needs? [Re: momx2]
    shellymos Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/20/08
    Posts: 847
    Loc: New York
    I am guessing that because she is 3, they are putting much less emphasis on it. When my DS4.5 started a pre-k at 3, I mentioned that he was reading and a few of the other things he was doing. They said "okay" and that was that (I didn't want to be pushy). So a few weeks later they said "he is really READING, like difficult books too" I told them I knew this and I tried telling them. They said, "well we always have parents coming in telling us their child is reading...but they really aren't." Anyhow, he was there for a few months and they did okay but it just wasn't a good fit for him. I actually wasn't wanting him to be challenged, just acknowledged for who he was, and he wasn't. So I pulled him out after they told me that it was up to me, that they could "deal with him." if I decided to keep him there. I figured he is 3 and doesn't really need to be in pre-k til 4. Anyhow, you know best about what you want for your child. If it is about having her play, socialize and have fun....then sounds like it could be a decent fit. I know she can read harder books at home...but maybe she will be more interested in reading them at home. I just went to my sons conference today at his new Montessori program. They said he reads a little, but isn't all that interested...most likely because the books that the other kids can read are too easy for him. I am glad they acknowledged that but I don't think they are challenging him with reading. I am actually okay with that for now because he can do other challenging things there and he can read some other books they have that are more challenging if he wants to. He reads all the time, he doesn't have to in pre-k if he doesn't feel like it. Anyhow, just my random incongruent thoughts on it. ; ) Is DD happy there in other aspects? Or is she happy reading those books? (sometimes my DS enjoys reading basic books).

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    #37132 - 02/04/09 06:50 AM Re: How to get what she needs? [Re: shellymos]
    mom123 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/12/08
    Posts: 127
    Thanks for all of the advice. I agree with mommy2myem – so important to keep the teachers as your allies… which I am always so hesitant to say anything at all. Yes, I think that I should not say anything about her being bored or under challenged – I think I need to find different words. I try to put myself in the teacher’s shoes. I do sincerely appreciate that they are at least trying. I mean, I understand that there are 15 other kids in the class – some of whom are struggling with learning their letters – and they need some extra help too. It’s just that they spend so much time doing things that are so far below her level, that I feel like this is the one thing where they could actually meet her where she is. I hear the point about the reassurance reading… I suppose that is good. Not everything she reads needs to be a challenge… but, at least academically speaking, she gets reassurance everything else all day long. I should not get my tail in a knot over it… I know she is only three. It was just such a tease to say that they were going to read with her… and such a disappointment to see what they have decided to read.
    I think that otherwise she is happy there – she is kind of a go with the flow kind of kid – for now. At the beginning of the year, she was upset because she said that the teachers thought she was a “baby”. When I asked her why she said it was because they are teachers were teaching her letters and colors etc.. and she said that she was not a baby, she knows that stuff. So it was a bit difficult to explain to her that when her teachers try to teach her things she already knows, it is not because they think she is a baby (the biggest insult ever to a three year old). I think she has gotten past that now. She has not said anything about them giving her “baby” books.. and I certainly don’t want to put that idea in her head.
    I think they do have this whole “check off list” thing though. She can only move on to the next level when she is all checked off as having completed every single book in the level before – and at the rate they are moving – there is absolutely no hope of her getting to an appropriate level this year. I suppose she does not have to do any reading at school - she really does quite enough of that at home - but given that it is her favorite thing in the world to do - it would be nice. I just don't want her to have to sit through lessons about what the letter "d" is.

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    #37220 - 02/04/09 06:43 PM Re: How to get what she needs? [Re: mom123]
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Originally Posted By: mom123
    At the beginning of the year, she was upset because she said that the teachers thought she was a “baby”. When I asked her why she said it was because they are teachers were teaching her letters and colors etc.. and she said that she was not a baby, she knows that stuff. So it was a bit difficult to explain to her that when her teachers try to teach her things she already knows, it is not because they think she is a baby (the biggest insult ever to a three year old). I think she has gotten past that now. She has not said anything about them giving her “baby” books..


    I would find this situation alarming. I would find out 'how many minutes a day' they are reading with her one to one. I know that my son was 'shamed' by being taught things that were very far below his readiness level at this age. I think it shook his trust in adults. He's 12 now, and it's been a hard journey.

    Perhaps you need to have her there so you can work or relax. Perhaps this is the only place you can afford financially or emotionally. But if you have a choice - request alternatives. If you have no choice, I would walk in to the highest level person you can get access to and burst into tears. It is so unfair! You might get some action, or at least the agreement for them to leave her to read at home. They act like they know best - but they don't.

    I wish I could say that this is the last misunderstanding you will ever have with a school situation. In fact, it is quite common for teachers or admins to say things that sound really promising, only to find out that their reality is quite different (and distant) from your reality. It isn't anyone's fault - that's just the way it is!

    Love and More Love,
    Grinity
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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