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    Joined: Aug 2008
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    Hello -

    Haven't posted in a while. Up until this point ds7/2nd grd was doing fine at his new school (or so I thought).

    Well we had conferences recently and now I am wondering about the value of sending him to school each day.

    in short:
    1. he is ahead but, from what I see, not enough for a full grade skip
    2. even in a charter school there is too much emphasis (for me)on standards, benchmarks, etc.
    3. he is not bored or complaining but I see it coming. So far the curriculum has not been especially creative or inspiring. (most likely because of #2)

    So what to do? Not sure. Mostly I am interested in hearing other folks' thoughts on the following: if we are going to be the ones teaching him at his readiness level (math, for example) why bother having him go? If you are afterschooling how do you feel about sending your kid to school?

    Also, on a related note. what do kids really need to learn anyway? Sure he is capable of learning much of what the next grade up is learning. But why does he need to know division at 7? Really interested in hearing a range of opinions on this one.

    Thanks!

    EW

    Last edited by EastnWest; 12/16/11 03:22 PM.
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    As a follow up to my own post I believe I have at least three options.

    #1 pull him and homeschool
    #2 do nothing/wait and see
    #3 advocate for...?


    I am not going to address #1 and #2 yet. And for #3 I don't see any clear case to be made or request to promote. I will see what replies come in before analyzing further.

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    One advantage of a grade skip is perhaps social...sometimes being with older kids is more fun and the teachers are more interesting sometimes.

    One way to advocate is pick one subject and ask for a trial subject acceleration. One possible benifit is for you child to get used to working for his learning.

    Good Luck!
    Grinity


    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com
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    thanks Grin!

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    Well, some people say that elementary school is supposed to be fairly easy so that kids feel confident and competent and like going to school. But, I think, these same people are assuming that elementary students are actually learning new things, even if it's not hard for them to learn.

    Personally, my action-point is when a child isn't actually learning anything new. Otherwise, I agree, what's the point? If they are not learning anything new at school, they are additionally not learning that a teacher is someone who teaches you things, that practice makes a difference, that it's okay not to know everything, that school is a place to learn things. They are learning to hide what they know to fit in, or if they don't hide what they know then either the teacher or the other kids won't like it. They are learning that success does not depend at all on hard work. They are learning that school is for socializing. They are learning ways to occupy their minds, appropriately or inappropriately, while others are learning. And, if they find inappropriate ways to occupy their minds too often, they are learning that they are trouble-makers and that they aren't good at school.

    So, IMHO, I'm not sure that #2 is a reasonable option. I'm assuming that the teacher at the conference was fine with the status quo? I think, first and foremost, that you should talk with her again, saying something like you've had a chance to really think about things you discussed at the conference and you were wondering if you could discuss things a little further. I think that sometimes you have to play the game a bit, start with the conversation, let the teacher know you and/or your child are not happy with the way things are, and that you were wondering what could be done to make school fit a little better. We've found often that teachers will assess up to end of the current grade-level, but it never occurs to them so actually see how much a child knows. Ask for your child to be given the end of the year tests now. And if he does well, ask that he be given the end of the year tests for the next grade up. Ask if they can do both an ability test and an achievement test, to see exactly what you're dealing with. Be prepared to bring up several options with which you'd be somewhat satisfied (acclerated work in the classroom, subject acceleration, grade acceleration, etc.) and know that they teacher probably never even thought of other options since the teacher thought things were "fine." You can suggest testing first to see if any action is warranted or you can suggest trying the remedies first to see if that changes any behavioral, social, or academic issues.

    I'm of two minds about afterschooling. Sometimes it works for us (when the kids don't have other homework or are just in the mood) and sometimes it doesn't (when they just don't want to do anything extra after having to make it through their 7-hour day, easy as it is). And, because I have mixed feeling about it, sometimes I ask my kids if they want to do a little extra learning, and sometimes I just encourage them to play outside. I think consistency is better, though.

    I think homeschooling is a great option, too, although I haven't tried it. I think people who do it are brave and that it's a great option to really tailor learning to your child. We've discussed doing it several times with each of my kids for different reasons, but just haven't made the leap. Certainly we know that our kids would learn a lot more at home in less time and it would open up all kinds of possibilities, and that's exciting to me. It can be hard, though, to go against the norm. But, in our family, for now, we think we want our kids to have some of the stereotypical school things eventually, like football games and dances and band.

    So, as with everyone, in our family it's a balance and a continual work in progress. For now we're satisfied with DS13's placement at the age-appropriate grade, although he is the youngest in his grade. We're mostly pleased with DD10's early entrance and subsequent grade acceleration, although we're beginning to advocate for another math acceleration. And, we're tolerating DS8's placement after one grade skip even though the only appropriate academics are in his subject-accelerated math because, for now, we're just not ready to stir the pot, and he's happy to occasionally afterschool.

    Have you talked about the options with your DS? He may not even know there are options and might be relieved to hear it.

    Sorry for the novel, but you said you wanted opinions! smile

    Last edited by mnmom23; 12/16/11 06:18 PM. Reason: typos, clarification

    She thought she could, so she did.
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    She thought she could, so she did.
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    What a Child Doesn't Learn

    We homeschool, BTW.

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    I think, if your random thought is "why go to school?" you want to research unschooling...you can read David Albert "And the skylark sings with me : adventures in homeschooling and commmunity-based education". I'm not ready to take it this far yet...

    I tried #2 for 3 yrs and 2 months, then I tried #3, after the school's GT testing, to get harder work, a keyboard, switched to a different classroom, but all I heard was "she's a behavior problem"

    Honestly, I vote for #1, even unschooling if you are comfortable with that...we are very happy to have a home study option in our district. There is an optional 3 hour class day once a week and Butter also takes violin, guitar, multimedia, games club, and 3 hours of art on Friday. We are seriously giddy with this arrangement. If you are considering homeschooling, there are plenty of great resources here and on Hoagie's


    I get excited when the library lets me know my books are ready for pickup...
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    I recently posted about this on a local forum (so apologies to anyone who has seen this already).

    Our family has a few reasons for sticking with school, at least for now. I certainly don't think they're reasons that apply to every family, but they apply to ours.

    We have thought through the whole home schooling thing at some length. The issues for us aren't the usual ones of finances, social concerns or worry about curriculum - we have thought all that through and have decided we could cope. Rather we have some ideological objections related to our specific circumstances. We have already made massive compromises to ensure dd's needs are met as best we can in a school setting, my husband and I have some substantial and already long postponed (as a result of making accommodations for dd) personal goals of our own (that we´┐Żll continue chancing, but at a reduced pace in order to continue to make accommodations). Ultimately we're of the belief that as a family there needs to be a balance of everyone's needs being met and home schooling, in our case, would not result in that happening. We believe that what dd needs to make school ok are relatively simple (even if it's a hard slog to get it) and we can provide enrichment out of school. I absolutely believe that it is my daughter's right to an adequate education in the school system and I'll advocate for that as much as I can. Perhaps most importantly from my perspective because I have a daughter I feel it's really important that I not set an example of giving up my own educational and career goals (which might sound selfish, but in reality have already been striped back to working .5 standard hours and completing a lesser postgraduate qualification for now to ensure I'm 'around' - my husband being the one with the liveable income). I feel like school gives dd experiences in the world where she has to be independent, where she has to find her own way. Finally my daughter and I are probably already more enmeshed than is strictly healthy - goodness knows what would happen if we were with each other 24/7!

    I absolutely support the right of other people to home school and I don't for a minute mean to imply that other parents are giving up things they shouldn't be or are setting bad examples for their children - only that I know I would be. There are also some kids for whom I have no doubt home schooling is the only option. I don't think dd is one of them. She functions well socially at school, she loves organised activities when they are targeted at her level and while introverted she loves being part of a bigger picture. She is bored at the moment but not distraught. I think with subject acceleration for now and a further grade skip and subject acceleration down the track, and with enrichment outside of school she'd be fine. I know, I know - I say that as if that's easy to achieve...


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