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Old 10-15-2012, 03:12 PM   #1
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Public School Frustrations

I haven't posted here in a long time because it just makes me feel discontent with the fact that my hubby refuses to let me home school our kids. But I need to ask some advice.

My son is in grade 2. Last year he was in a split grade 1/2 class. He did really well, and flourished because his teacher knew how to challenge him and keep him interested in his work.

This year, he has brought home his spelling lists. They include works like "in" "on" "sit", etc. There are a few harder words, but nothing that I consider even close to grade 2 work.

I was upset, so I sent an email to his teacher. This is what I wrote:

"Hi there. I'm Rowan's Mom, in case you didn't recognize my name.

I'm curious to know if the spelling words are going to get any more difficult in grade 2. I was shocked to see how simple the words are, and honestly, it's a bit of a joke for Rowan.

I really struggle with sending Rowan to public school, because I know he could be so much further ahead than he is. I hate to see him lose his love for learning because he isn't being challenged. I realize that for a public school to work, the teacher must teach to the average child, and try to help along those who are a little behind. That really leaves the others to sit around and wait a lot. I know, because I was the same way in school, as was my husband. We both had way too much free time that was spent making trouble.

As a parent, I'd like to do whatever I can to make sure that my kids are enjoying learning, and motivated to keep going. I'm wondering what I can do to make this work for Rowan. If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them. Or if there is something you are doing in class that I'm not aware of, I'd love to know. Rowan doesn't say much about school.

Thank you for your time!"


This was her response:

Hello Stacey,
The spelling words will get more difficult as the year goes on. I do know that Rowan is bright and these words are easy. Along with each spelling unit the students learn about long and short vowel sounds with the words, use them in sentences and record them in their personal dictionaries to use in their everyday writing. There are many valuable lessons learned despite the words being easy. I can give Rowan bonus words on his spelling list that are more his level. He is challenged in other subject areas like math. He is given math puzzles and problems to solve. I think that it's important to work with him at home as well in areas where you see he needs to be. I see Rowan enjoying school and his friends. He always tries his best. I have to apologize for not getting back to you sooner. I was sick last Thursday and my weekend got very busy! I hope this helps and thanks for your email!
Take care,
Erin

It just feels like she doesn't really think there is an issue! She thinks math makes up for it, but he's amazingly ahead in math too! And am I wrong in thinking that he should be challenged in school? Why should I have to make him do more work at home, if he already knows what they are doing in school?

I guess I'm asking, what would you do? How would you respond?

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Old 10-15-2012, 04:17 PM   #2
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I agree that those words are pretty easy for second grade. My first grade son's spelling lists are 15 words long. Each week his teacher includes 5 CVC words, 5 sight words and then 5 challenge words. This week his words were:
tug, rug, hug, bug, slug, or, had, by, one, words, spoons, boost, hood, crook and shook.
He is challenged by some, but most weeks he gets 100%.
My issues that I have are that the teacher isn't using her time wisely and needs to be teaching more fundamentals. Some of the stuff they do makes me feel like he is more in daycare then in school.
He is in a charter school that does 4 school days a week and one home study day. I feel like I teach him more in that one homeschool day then he learns all week.
Believe me I feel your frustration. I would continue to contact his teacher and let her know your feelings. My son's teacher is probably tired of me because I email her like every other day.
They are there to teach our kids and if they aren't doing a good job they should know about it.
I homeschooled my son last year and I would of again this year, but this charter school was supposed to be really good. So far I'm not impressed.
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:19 PM   #3
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Yeah. Those are super easy. Hopefully she can add some challenging words for him.

By 2nd grade we have been done with sight words and onto words like light, bright, church (words with 3 letter sounds)

I would be super dissapointed with words like on, go and it. That just seems unacceptable to me. ;(
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:30 PM   #4
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I just checked and my son's words this week are:
pack, lack, tack, rack, black, but, not, what, all, words, grass, chat, strap, clapping.
Just thought you may like another example of 1st grade words.
I hope she gets your point that your son isn't being challenged and that it could turn into other classroom issues.
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:45 PM   #5
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Re: Public School Frustrations

I clearly remember learning the word "elephant" at some point in 1st grade. I remember thinking it looked so hard! That was in NY. When my family moved to FL at the start of 4th grade, I pretty much re-learned what I learned in 3rd grade in NY.

Just a little rant...

Public school education (in certain cities/counties/states) worries me. I was so bored in school and begged to homeschool from 6th grade on, until my parents agreed at the start of 11th grade. One problem with mainstreaming is kids learn at different paces, and special needs need assistance, gifted kids need to be challenged, troublemakers need to learn discipline, etc. My teachers would spend half the class trying to keep the troublemakers in line, so there wasn't much learning. I knew very bright friends who dropped out because they weren't being challenged. Standardized testing? Give me a break! I feel like "No child left behind" ended up leaving more behind.
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:30 PM   #6
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Re: Public School Frustrations

Quote:
Originally Posted by mommatomymiracle View Post
I clearly remember learning the word "elephant" at some point in 1st grade. I remember thinking it looked so hard! That was in NY. When my family moved to FL at the start of 4th grade, I pretty much re-learned what I learned in 3rd grade in NY.

Just a little rant...

Public school education (in certain cities/counties/states) worries me. I was so bored in school and begged to homeschool from 6th grade on, until my parents agreed at the start of 11th grade. One problem with mainstreaming is kids learn at different paces, and special needs need assistance, gifted kids need to be challenged, troublemakers need to learn discipline, etc. My teachers would spend half the class trying to keep the troublemakers in line, so there wasn't much learning. I knew very bright friends who dropped out because they weren't being challenged. Standardized testing? Give me a break! I feel like "No child left behind" ended up leaving more behind.

Oh my word... YES to the bolded! But the parents with kids who have trouble with reading think that this is the best thing since sliced bread. And I don't blame them. Our school has a very high literacy rate, which I think is wonderful. It's just the kids that are quick to learn that are left behind now.

I guess most of my frustration stems from the fact that in my heart I have this huge desire to homeschool my kids. My husband doesn't think that I could handle it emotionally, and he thinks that kids need to learn some of the life skills taught in school, like dealing with bullies, etc. I just pray and pray that someday he will change his mind!

Rowan brought home a new spelling list today. Just so you don't all think I'm crazy and telling lies, here are his current spelling words:

his, is, an, and, can, all, call, land, hand, small
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:28 PM   #7
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Re: Public School Frustrations

I have a 2nd grader in PS and I just looked at her spelling list for this week. Her words are: push, within, above, pick, leave, buy, once, track, fences, groans, neck, lesson, honey, unless, and catch.

In our school system, kids are not placed in the "talented/gifted" programs until grade 3, so I am waiting (somewhat) patiently.

I was one of the kids in high school so bored that I dropped out. I later went on to college where I graduated with a perfect GPA and earned full paid admission to earn my PhD. I think of the wasted years in PS for me, but my parents honestly didn't know how to encourage me to sign up for honors or AP classes back then.

I am sorry that DH does not like the idea of HSing your DS. I hope you can find a way to supplement at home to keep him challenged. I admire HSing parents so much!
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delicatefade

Oh my word... YES to the bolded! But the parents with kids who have trouble with reading think that this is the best thing since sliced bread. And I don't blame them. Our school has a very high literacy rate, which I think is wonderful. It's just the kids that are quick to learn that are left behind now.

I guess most of my frustration stems from the fact that in my heart I have this huge desire to homeschool my kids. My husband doesn't think that I could handle it emotionally, and he thinks that kids need to learn some of the life skills taught in school, like dealing with bullies, etc. I just pray and pray that someday he will change his mind!

Rowan brought home a new spelling list today. Just so you don't all think I'm crazy and telling lies, here are his current spelling words:

his, is, an, and, can, all, call, land, hand, small
Wow! That is not right at all. I would for sure contact the teacher again. These are K words.
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:07 PM   #9
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Re: Public School Frustrations

My 2nd grader goes to public but we also do our own work at home. We are mainly focusing on math concepts and he struggles with reading comprehension some have our own plan for that too. I wish I could his but it's not an option. I always say I "home tutor". Finding a strategy that works at one is pretty exciting.

I wouldn't stress about spelling at all. I would want him to be challenged in his other areas tho
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:14 PM   #10
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Re: Public School Frustrations

Do you all see my dilemma though? If I work with him at home, he will just get further and further ahead of school. I can't see that as helping either. If he was able to actually do some more challenging work AT school, that would make more sense to me.
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