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Old 02-13-2013, 02:26 PM   #1
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So sick of the paper pushing in public school...

I had strongly considered hsing DS. I bought tons of supplies and had a curriculum planned. I did a preschool style curriculum with him when he was 3 and 4, while sending him to a play-based preschool. When it came time for kindergarten, I chickened out. DS and I were butting heads a lot when it came to writing. I was pregnant with DD. And DS really responded well to the social learning he was experiencing in his preschool. So, I enrolled him in public school.

Well, it's halfway through the year and I am beyond fed up with the way the classroom is run. The kids seem to spend a great deal of the day doing worksheets. DS brings home around 40 worksheets weekly. His teacher doesn't even correct them, just puts smiley faces on the top. What in the world. How are the kids supposed to learn when she doesn't help them understand the work?

I've been in the classroom and seen first hand how it works. The kids break up into groups for stations. The teacher stays in one station. Sometimes a parent is there to volunteer, but more often than not it's just the kids sitting at their desks doing worksheets while the teacher works with one group and another group works independently on art projects (which I've discovered are worksheets in disguise).

They are in kindergarten for goodness sakes. I understand the constraints the teacher is under to meet state and federal guidelines, but this is ridiculous.

I really need encouragement to hs DS next year.

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Old 02-13-2013, 02:58 PM   #2
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Re: So sick of the paper pushing in public school...

My son is the same age (same birth month even!) and his "school day" is done in 45 minutes with nearly no worksheets. He does math, reading, spelling, history, science, and chess. Next year he'll also do grammar and writing. Not only is that a lot of worksheets, but it's a lot of wasted time!

If you're up to it, bring him home!
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:06 PM   #3
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Re: So sick of the paper pushing in public school...

From the work I did with DS before school started, he was ahead even though he was the youngest in the class. Now I feel like they haven't encouraged that. I think it's easier for them to have all of the kids at the same level even if that means stunting the kids who are farther ahead.
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:08 PM   #4
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Re: So sick of the paper pushing in public school...

Do you think I should at least let him finish out the year? Then start a couple weeks after school lets out? I just don't want to disrupt him too much and I need to make sure I'm prepared. I just hate that it seems like so many other areas are being neglected for the sake of achieving high test scores for the school. Social interaction, art, music, etc. just don't seem to have any priority.
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:46 PM   #5
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Re: So sick of the paper pushing in public school...

I wouldn't wait. The longer he's there, the longer he won't be challenged. Only you know what is best for your family.
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Old 02-13-2013, 04:29 PM   #6
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Re: So sick of the paper pushing in public school...

I honestly don't know how elementary teachers can teach anything with how large the class sizes are. Coming from a family of teachers I kind of feel sorry for them. There are well meaning teachers that just can't give the individual attention that young kids need. For us HSing does involve worksheets for math and handwriting...not necessarily every day. I think 40 worksheets a week is absurd! It seems crazy with how long they spend in PS that they would still need homework. Most PS parents I know are basically HSing their kids by having to reteach during homework time.

My son also likes the social part of school but there are so many co-ops that would allow him the best of both.
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:07 PM   #7
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Re: So sick of the paper pushing in public school...

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Originally Posted by 7mom7 View Post
I honestly don't know how elementary teachers can teach anything with how large the class sizes are. Coming from a family of teachers I kind of feel sorry for them. There are well meaning teachers that just can't give the individual attention that young kids need. For us HSing does involve worksheets for math and handwriting...not necessarily every day. I think 40 worksheets a week is absurd! It seems crazy with how long they spend in PS that they would still need homework. Most PS parents I know are basically HSing their kids by having to reteach during homework time.

My son also likes the social part of school but there are so many co-ops that would allow him the best of both.
I agree with all of this.

I also chickened out and put ds in prek. Similar amount of worksheets... a lot of needless stuff that just bugged me that they were spending time on. When I volunteered that's when the switch flipped for me. I couldn't believe the things they were doing with the kids and calling it "craft" time. The holiday "parties" were nothing but sugar and movies. And so many other things... him being in school really showed me (and ds) why hsing was important to us. In moments of self doubt I have asked him a couple times if he's rather go back to school. He just looks at me like Im crazy and says "no way!"

We decided halfway through the year to hs ds this year. I wasnt sure about taking him out either but dh wanted him to finish the year. Teaching him that we "finish what we start", and such. Which, in hindsight, it may have been better to just take him out halfway through.
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:31 AM   #8
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Re: So sick of the paper pushing in public school...

I have considered home schooling when my little ones get to that age, and consider it every few months. I come from a family of teachers.
My son - he's 4 - at home actually does quite a few worksheets - LOVES them. They help him with his ability to focus on a pencil and paper task, sit still for any period of time, word recognition for reading and find motor skills for writing. The ability to do a paper and pencil task and to focus for that long is vital not only for tests at school for for drivers ed tests, college entrance exams, being able to take inventory at a job, write a letter to grandma, fill out a job application, all sorts of things. You build neurons with practice and repetition, so they become automatic.
My daughter is 2 and loves to "write".
From talking to K teachers, instilling the concepts and love of writing and reading, is more important that age than the # "correct" on the worksheet.

Something to consider, classrooms are limited in the number of qualified aides, have high class sizes and have to focus on certain skills so that testing goes well. That is politics. Teachers are limited in budgets and ability to make individualized tasks. Consider how much time you spend planning homeschool for 1 child. Now multiply that planning time for 30-40, then add behavior management (consider that many children in the classroom come from unstable homes) and the children with special needs - from cerebral palsy to autism to learning disabled and dyslexic and speech and language disorders. And don't forget IEP meetings, lunch duty, and a variety of other meetings.

Most teachers do an amazing job with one hand tied behind their back. Some teachers are so burnt out and stretched so thin, they are just trying to do the best they can.

Even if you homeschool, consider when you vote: what is your candidate's thoughts on education? If they prioritize the importance of a good education, then circumstances will get better in schools.

I'm not knocking home schooling, it can be fantastic for the kids, but it doesn't have to be the only solution. I don't feel it's fair to criticize teachers when so much of the picture is behind the scenes. If your child comes home with too many worksheets, ask the teacher why. If you ask in a non-threatening way, I'm sure the teacher would be happy to explain the rationale. (and often times, it's other parents that bring in the sugary snacks, at least that is what happens at our daycare)

Just some thoughts.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:29 AM   #9
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I say go ahead and pull him now. You could be done in an hour every day. My 6 yr old does about half the amount of worksheets per week. And I'm able to teach her at the exact level she's at. No leaving her behind but not leaving her needing more neither.

Sounds like a very simple solution to your problem :-)
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:06 AM   #10
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Re: So sick of the paper pushing in public school...

Quote:
Originally Posted by pinktoes View Post
My son - he's 4 - at home actually does quite a few worksheets - LOVES them. They help him with his ability to focus on a pencil and paper task, sit still for any period of time, word recognition for reading and find motor skills for writing. The ability to do a paper and pencil task and to focus for that long is vital not only for tests at school for for drivers ed tests, college entrance exams, being able to take inventory at a job, write a letter to grandma, fill out a job application, all sorts of things. You build neurons with practice and repetition, so they become automatic.My daughter is 2 and loves to "write".
From talking to K teachers, instilling the concepts and love of writing and reading, is more important that age than the # "correct" on the worksheet.

Something to consider, classrooms are limited in the number of qualified aides, have high class sizes and have to focus on certain skills so that testing goes well. That is politics. Teachers are limited in budgets and ability to make individualized tasks. Consider how much time you spend planning homeschool for 1 child. Now multiply that planning time for 30-40, then add behavior management (consider that many children in the classroom come from unstable homes) and the children with special needs - from cerebral palsy to autism to learning disabled and dyslexic and speech and language disorders. And don't forget IEP meetings, lunch duty, and a variety of other meetings.

Most teachers do an amazing job with one hand tied behind their back. Some teachers are so burnt out and stretched so thin, they are just trying to do the best they can.

I'm not knocking home schooling, it can be fantastic for the kids, but it doesn't have to be the only solution. I don't feel it's fair to criticize teachers when so much of the picture is behind the scenes. If your child comes home with too many worksheets, ask the teacher why. If you ask in a non-threatening way, I'm sure the teacher would be happy to explain the rationale. (and often times, it's other parents that bring in the sugary snacks, at least that is what happens at our daycare)
Ok, not disagreeing with the bolded. But is it really necessary for 40 worksheets a week to achieve that? I don't think so. Especially not at such a young age. And it's great that your 4 yr old can write well but some kids just aren't developmentally ready for that.

And I think the burnt out teacher teaching with one hand tied behind their back is a very good reason for considering HS. I know most teachers mean well and they can't help the regulations being placed on them. You can realize this but at the end of the day, that's still the way it is and the child still suffers for it.
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