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    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Perhaps I am just taking the counsel of my fears.

    Please forgive the abrasiveness. However, if you are going to advocate assertively and productively for your son, please reconcile your fears. Fear is a very strong and unproductive emotion, you'd do better to adopt healthy skepticism.

    While normal and certainly understandable, fear driven advocation and/or decision making is counterproductive. It's really better to be coming from a position of strength.

    Please take with a grain or two of salt. smile

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    Originally Posted by fitzi
    The school is pretty conventional, but the principle has a special ed background and, I believe, has already mentally labeled DS as a 'savant.' She is resistant to our request for a meeting to discuss acceleration with the district GT coordinator. The teacher is nice but not especially high-energy.

    Do I sound pessimistic? Perhaps I am just taking the counsel of my fears.


    I think you're wise to be alert, personally, given the givens.

    The teacher we had trouble with had a background in "remedial literacy," or some similar term. I had hoped that this special-ed background meant that she would be IEP-friendly and might see DS as someone who needed to be taught in a different way. No luck. It meant she couldn't cope with GT kids at all, and didn't really know how to teach ND kids, even!

    I'm a big fan of the "expect the worst and hope for the best" approach to life. School seems a prime candidate for that philosophy.

    wink


    Kriston
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    So let's all move to Dottie's neighborhood. She's paved the way for the rest of us, LOL!

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    Thanks, Dottie. I certainly wouldn't want anyone to think that ALL public schools are unfriendly to GT kids or anything like that. That's just not right.


    Kriston
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    I think the topic covers any situation - private school, public school, HS, afterschool activities. You'll know it when your child is seriously unhappy. The big question is what to do about it.

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    Our big clue was that DS6 lost his spark. He stopped caring about anything, he stopped asking questions.

    He was noticeably dumbing himself down at school, his teacher was sending home Kindergarten beginning readers saying he was having trouble reading them out loud (when I asked him, he said that he was reading them slowly because the other kids did).

    Up to that point I had been trying to work with the school and had gotten a "wait and see" response over and over. No one would meet with me face to face for a meeting, but I was still under the illusion that they were the experts so I kept deferring to that expertise. They said they were differentiating, I took it at face value. They said they put him in the pull-out program the GT teacher volunteered to do for the Kindergartners during her free periods, I thanked them profusely. I *wanted* it to work, I *wanted* to believe them.

    The closest he came to being disruptive was the day that he colored the entire back of a worksheet in small bands of alternating colors instead of doing the work on the front. My question at that point was how he was left to his own devices long enough to have accomplished it. It had to have taken him half an hour.

    At home though, he was angry. Very, very angry. Starting a bit after Christmas he started having hour long tantrums, the likes we hadn't seen since he was 3. He screamed at us, he was defiant, he lashed out at anyone and everyone. It seemed to get a bit better after we started afterschooling in January, but that only worked for a few weeks. Then he was angrier than ever.

    The thing that finally got my attention that *something* had to change was at the beginning of February we went to PetSmart after school, I refused to buy him a snack and he tried to hit me. I finally sat him down and *asked* him what he was so angry about. He just started sobbing that he was so tired of never learning anything at school and that they made him do the same things over and over. After that we had tantrums every morning over him going to school. Over and over he said begged me to make them teach him 'real things'.

    He had overheard me talking to DH about homeschooling and he started begging me to take him out of school. He was begging me to homeschool him. Even when I told him that if I brought him home I would except him to actually work and that I wouldn't let him skate by. He said that was exactly what he wanted.

    I tried for almost another month to get the school to listen to me. At the beginning of March, the principal out right refused to meet with me, ever. She said we had nothing to discuss because they weren't changing anything. I pulled him the next day.

    Homeschooling has been hard for me, but it's been one of the best things we could have done for DS6. Almost immediately he was his old self again. He is just so *happy* to be home. Even after almost 6 months, he still regularly tells me how much he loves homeschooling. It's just amazing to me that he knew exactly what he needed, he just needed me to listen to him and trust him (and myself) more than the 'experts'.

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    Also, I'm a big fan of public school. It's free! And you meet kids in the neighborhood, and there's more anonymity than in the small private schools around here. I enjoy being part of the larger community.

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    My son had daily stomach aches which excalated to headaches. The first 4 weeks of school, he was symptom free. THen they returned but it seemed more to do w/ being tired from staying up too late and having to be on the track at 8:30am for track practice. As school approaches, he's getting worse.

    For my son entering K, all kids must ride the school bus. Parents are not allowed in the school until the beginning of November at the earliest.

    When DS was in K, a LOCKER ROOM had been converted to a K classroom. No kidding. The teacher didn't even have a desk. There was no standing room for the kids...just the tables and a rug for circle time. Then the music teacher volunteered her classroom and she'd move to that room since she deals w/ kids for a short period etc. I of course, wanted to see the new room . This was in october about 2 weeks before the magic day that parents can be in the school. So, there was a PTA meeting, so I snuck down the hall to peek at the class since I knew DS was at specials. I got *busted* on the way back to the front of the building and read the riot act from a teacher. Of course then at the next PTA meeting was a huge announcement about how parents were not allowed in the halls, they are to go to the cafeteria and exit the building upon end of the meeting. Not very welcoming is it? I later got accosted again by a teacher after DS's teacher told me to bring something to his classroom. I was there for Parent Gym day and had a name tag indicating as such. WEll, when you're there for Parent Gym day, you're supposed to enter and exit from the rear of the school at the gym so as to not go into the school building. So I got accosted yet again doing a favor for the teacher.

    For my son entering 3rd grade, I heard from another parent that is the year when they cut the cord - you can only drop things off at the front desk, you can't go to the classroom. Even in 2nd grade, you could only drop things off at the front desk, you're not allowed to go to the classroom.

    sorry.....I guess I started my own little rant .....

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    Wow, mamaandmore, I could have written this:

    Quote
    He had overheard me talking to DH about homeschooling and he started begging me to take him out of school. He was begging me to homeschool him. Even when I told him that if I brought him home I would except him to actually work and that I wouldn't let him skate by. He said that was exactly what he wanted.


    And this:

    Quote
    Homeschooling has been hard for me, but it's been one of the best things we could have done for DS6. Almost immediately he was his old self again. He is just so *happy* to be home. Even after almost 6 months, he still regularly tells me how much he loves homeschooling. It's just amazing to me that he knew exactly what he needed, he just needed me to listen to him and trust him (and myself) more than the 'experts'.

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    Originally Posted by mamaandmore
    I thanked them profusely. I *wanted* it to work, I *wanted* to believe them.


    This is why I say I think it's wise to expect the worst and hope for the best. I think pretty much all of us really want school to work for our kids. I think we even go so far as to assume it will work. A little healthy skepticism combined with a positive, hopeful attitude can help us to see our kids' realities a bit more clearly, I think.


    Kriston
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