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Less severe schooling issues but still want your advice

574 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Wolf mom
DD9 was doing amazingly here for 3 years- she had a few years of English education which put her way ahead of Alabama 1st graders where she started, with kids about a year older than her (skipping K AND 1 would have put her too far beyond her size and maturity). She also had a charming English accent and for 3 years her teachers really loved her. Well that favoritism is gone and now I don't like average life!

She gets pulled out for gifted once a week and absolutely adores it and the gifted teacher. This year though the regular teacher is different with her than the prior teachers. And lately- we're doing a play this month, and DH is in Iraq all this past school year- she has gotten some poor grades on the papers she's bringing home. The first stinker ("Don't tell Daddy!") was a D grade- and teacher wrote 'we'll go over this' and DD9 told me she had missed that topic (long division) when she was away at gifted. This week she got B and C marks on a few various papers including definitions I would expect her to catch immediately- so either she missed them (while in gifted?) or was zoning out in class. Of course I missed a chance to review them with her at home if the study sheet came home in her school papers- since she is usually doing fine I only go through stuff if signatures are needed, not to verify she got every one of 50 math problems correct.

Also this year, after solid 1, 2 grade less so in 3rd grade, she has given up on AR (Accelerated Reader) complaining that the books are too hard and the points too tough to get enough of (to get to go to the party). Think it was really easy before when she was a way better reader for her grade but now she is not so far ahead. I mean in 1st grade they said she was at grade 5 level, now she's probably just at grade 6 level 3 years later.

Yes I'm letting her watch TV, yes I'm a bit down with DH gone and normal every day frustrations (my biggest baddest issues aside from DH this year- trespassing neighbors and replacing the whole floor- are past now) plus working on starting a new job with lots of uncertainty about that and DH's return and wellbeing, oh and computer issues- dunno how huge a stress that is for me but probably mroe than it ought to be.

So I guess- especially with me at home all day- I gotta devote every minute from her getting home to her going to sleep to her and her school work. In between our other commitments- the play and piano. And toss in swimming and walking the dogs and trying to eat better, and maybe cut out all TV except weekends until summer or the play is over. Oh and pay a tiny bit of attention to DD17 as well.

I don't want to pull her from gifted- think she'll be bored without it and feel punished. I don't think the AR is too big a loss- though she has lost some sense of accomplishment and esteem not to be the class leader in AR anymore- but of course I want her to love reading.

Help me out here folks- I had to wait until college to learn about being 'average' and never did learn good study habits- how do I adjust my attitude or even should I? Also I feel the teacher is an issue but don't know what to do about that- when I've met her I got a negative I don't like you vibe (I think to myself gee is it because I don't wear makeup or was my hair/clothes messy that day?) and DD9 speaks of her having headaches and losing control over the class. Not that I think curing the teacher's depression is my job, or that she picks on DD9- but maybe she is actually teaching things (like the long division) only once, and when some kids are off at gifted, instead of using that time for review with the kids who need it...

Homeschooling is possible- more so when DH retires in a year plus- but DD9 really enjoys the other kids and most of school.
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patience. 3rd grade is a hard year. could be the teacher is having medical issues and allowing them to affect her class. it happens. she is human. i know when i have a headache, i have less patience with my students-they know it too and tend to actually be a little calmer (i teach 5th and 6th)-and my headaches usually last several days. could be teacher was told some negative thing before meeting you that "you lived overseas and think you're special" by someone you don't even know feels that way about you? or doesn't for some ignorant reason like military? there are so many things. could just be a personality conflict-some people are just not good at overcoming those. i have to strive hard to overcome those with a couple of my students that just irritate me because of certain mannerisms. it's a personality thing and i strive HARD to not let it affect the way i deal with them. some people cannot do that or aren't even aware that it is there.
i seriously doubt she has become "average" over the last couple of years. some kids do lose an interest at times. could be the kids are teasing her about being "smart" or whatever. my son has been through that. in 1st grade he "tested" on the state tests at a 7th grade reading and math level. now he's in 4th and tests 9th. he catches crapola from his classmates now and then, and has attempted to let his grades slip until i let him know it was totally unacceptable for him to do that-no way was he letting off just b/c it was so easy for him. if he's capable of making 95-100 on everything, that's what i expect. period. and life is not fun when he doesn't. he goes to gifted, too. i make sure if he doesn't get something (like division) in class, we go over it at home. and he has redone papers before that he bombed, just so i knew he got the concept, even though the bad grade stood. it's not easy being a parent, i just wish more parents would spend 5 min talking to their kid after school to make sure they got the work that day and understood it. sigh.
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As far as the AR goes, we have that at my school. If you can tell me her reading range, I can make a list of short books she might like and pm it to you.
Can't help with the rest.
Last year my son was in public school, 2nd grade, the teacher just did not like him. There were several reasons. He was going to a gifted class, except that he missed it most of the time because of a fued between his regular teacher and the gifted teacher, each claiming it was the others responsibility to get him to the gifted class on time. The teacher was really annoyed with him all the time, and sent notes home almost daily that he was bothering other kids, talking to much and wouldn't do his work. When we really got down to it, this teacher's entire method of teaching was handing out individual pages of work sheets. My son had a 100 average in every subject and still she complained. Trouble was he was bored, os he sat and daydreamed as long as a 7 year old could then started playing while sitting at his desk, which disturbed other kids. The teacher would give a 5 minute or a two minute warning, and he would complete his work, getting 100. We sent him extra work for the teacher to give him to do in addition to her handouts. She only had to let him get his workbook or hand out sheets herself. She would not do it. Finally, after about 4 months, we had a meeting (not the first meeting) with the teachers (both) and the principal. The principal decided to let him go to 3rd or 4th grade classes for reading and math. Actually, it turned into 3rd, 4th or 5th grade for almost everything. Later, the principal gave him a choice, and he chose to go read to the k and 1st graders most days. Happy ending? No, we took him out of public school and my wife began homeschooling. Continued homeschooling through high school. Daughter never went to public school until her 1st year in college. Both went to college on scholarships. Son is finishing up his masters in aerospace engineering this semester at University of Colorado, under the National Defense Science and Engineering Fellowship whic will also cover his doctorate, and daughter is applying for masters program in Wildlife with a coop program with the Army where she has been working for the last year. Sometimes there are problems with kids, sometimes there are problems with teachers. But the kid always looses if you can't get it corrected quickly and for good.
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Could she be receiving 'flack' from other kids or even the teacher for being in gifted classes? Sometimes kids who are envious (and even teachers) will make gifted children WANT to be 'average' so they will fit in.....and the only way to do that is to either flunk, or all the sudden become disinterested.

We homeschool and my gifted child could study at her pace....and it was awesome. However, I have to be the rock, even when I am sick, not in the mood, stressed out or whatever other emotion is thrown at me. I have to be the rock. Home schooling is not 'the easy way out' but it is the most rewarding.
Thanks everyone. Sorry not to reply sooner- computer troubles. I will get her eyes checked and Madame, thanks. I think the books in her range are now too long for her to stick with. She also complains that they never go to the library anymore as they did last year (teacher issue, or more learning to cram in this year maybe). But if you could pm me with some 4th grade level books a girl might like, short if any still at that level.

Yes maybe the teacher does have something against us, but more likely she just is not favoring my darling like the last 3 teachers did. Or as I said not functioning 100% all the time.

Also that ugly time for girls is starting, and DD9 a year younger and tinier than the rest is still open and sweet (I think) while the packs and gangs are separating out. She'll come home to tell me that Amy will not let her play with Susie, or that she is enemies now with Janie who tells her Janie's dad is sick in the hospital and that is MUCH worse than your dad being in IrAq for a year (you'd think they'd comfort, not torment, each other!).

Also I've vowed no TV for her, no computer time for me on weeknights while she's awake. Until summer anyway. If we are bored to tears we can read together!
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has she read the little house series? that would be a good one to start with. the thing with ar is the school has to buy the tests, so if the school hasn't bought the tests, she can't take ar tests on them. but the little house series is a good one for that general age group.

roald dahl is a classic children's author with books that interest that age level quite a bit.
bunnicula is a good book
what about the american girl series?
My dd's had similar issues. They are a year ahead in school and because of this have had some issues with the older girls being ready to have boyfriends and start cliques etc. We had a problem with the AR reading starting in the fourth grade. It seemed the teacher kept a box of books from the library in her class and the kids had to choose a book from that box that was within their reading range. My dd's never found anything interesting, they didn't want to read the long boring books. They started to hate reading (and school) and they had always loved it prior to this and have always been grade levels ahead. I ended up pulling them out of school and homeschooling for 4th and 5th grade. I allowed them to read whatever they wanted (within reason) as long as they enjoyed it and then they had to tell me all about it. They are now in the 6th grade and attending middle school, they are allowed to read whatever they want and recently tested at an 8th grade reading level. They LOVE school again, and are in advanced classes doing very well. Some of the schools here use the AR reading program but most do not. I think it can be helpful for some students, but limiting what a child can read and then making them take a computerized test on it does not foster a love of reading and is more of a hindrance than a help imo.

This long post just to say, I don't have the answers, but I have been there. There is also a website you can go to for the AR reading program and it will list all the books in their program in each reading range. So if you put in your dd's range it will give you a list of books to choose from and maybe she'll find something that interests her. Good luck.
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Having spent over 2 years getting a gifted program in my K-12 along with a few other parents, and ultimately pulling my children out of public school, I can tell you that third grade is a pivotal year for gifted children.

They become very aware of their peer group and will subconsciously sabotage themselves to become "like" everyone else. Maybe this is what's happening?

There's a story about 3 children that, when shown a purple crayon, 2 say it's purple, the third (gifted) says it's made up of red and blue. The third child is then ridiculed for saying what is true. Even an off-hand comment will be taken in at this age.

Gifted children are unique, and sometimes are considered wierd for their way of looking at the world. They are often considered "bad" chldren as they question "why" (challenging the teacher), don't always do their homework, etc. as they "already know the stuff". On & On...

Don't loose your child. She has been given a gift and the potential that very few children have.

I always believed it was my responsibility to nurture and fight not to loose that gift as my children could not.
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