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Author: zuzu70 Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 42361  
Subject: to be diplomatic with teacher Date: 1/30/2013 10:59 PM
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DS1 is in kindergarten. We love his teacher; she is warm, friendly, hardworking, and really cares about the kids. However, DS1 is bored and is beginning to hate school because of it. He's been reading (easy-readers, not chapter books or anything) since last year this time, and the homework he brings home is like, "point to each of the letters in your name and say the letter," reading individual words like "is" and "my," and adding numbers up to 5. I understand that it's difficult to differentiate work in the classroom for kindergartners; I was a teacher for 13 years and I don't expect miracles. But at least I would expect the homework done completely at home could be individualized.

It's a fullday program, and that's a lot of my kid's time wasted; I wish there were a half-day alternative where he could get his socialization, then I could work with him an hour in the afternoon and get him farther than he is now. I made that suggestion at a district meeting, but with No Child Left Behind and high demand for fullday I know it'll never happen.

So okay, I'm looking for a diplomatically-worded way to say "can my kid please be challenged more?" without spoiling my good teacher-parent relationship or making it sound like I think my kid's a cut above (which I don't think...I know from volunteering there that there are other kids who could be challenged more as well). I will admit that I disliked parents' complaints when I was a teacher and I don't want to bring out that feeling in the kindergarten teacher. Suggestions?
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Author: tconi Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 42061 of 42361
Subject: Re: to be diplomatic with teacher Date: 1/31/2013 3:48 AM
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Sorry that I do not have a suggestion for the teacher, but i feel like this has been asked on this board before


obligatory anecdote:
I had a similar situation with the boy - I think he was 10 before he actually LEARNED something in school that he did not know before because...

at least I would expect the homework done completely at home could be individualized.

I gave him MY own homework when he came home.
We read history/geography/science
there are TONS of workbooks, websites, resources etc where you can get worksheets

Could you just do this?

ALterntively- kindergarten is not mandatory.
You could just pull him out, find a homeschool group, and socialize that way.

peace & not helpful
t

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Author: tconi Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 42062 of 42361
Subject: Re: to be diplomatic with teacher Date: 1/31/2013 4:20 AM
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sort of covered here...

http://boards.fool.com/kindie-to-first-grade-29561247.aspx?

peace & links
t

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Author: impolite Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 42063 of 42361
Subject: Re: to be diplomatic with teacher Date: 1/31/2013 10:10 AM
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I gave him MY own homework when he came home.
We read history/geography/science
there are TONS of workbooks, websites, resources etc where you can get worksheets


This.

My Q is advanced and we have to keep him engaged on our own. This usually involves activities (sports), since I cannot round that out on my own, but extra reading, learning about A Topic He Is Interested In in a trip to the library, build-it-yourself kits....all those things can supplement learning.

Her Bootiness needs extra help in reading and math, but is "good enough" that she no longer qualifies for help through the school. Again, we supplement at home with worksheets and extra reading and trips to the library...

impolite

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Author: reallyalldone Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 42064 of 42361
Subject: Re: to be diplomatic with teacher Date: 1/31/2013 10:41 AM
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But at least I would expect the homework done completely at home could be individualized.

Unless your child is in private school, this is way too high an expectation. You really would have done X(number of students) lesson plans ?

So okay, I'm looking for a diplomatically-worded way to say "can my kid please be challenged more?"

Again, good luck on this in public school. With mine, I found ways outside of school to challenge them and they each needed it different ways. Even with some private schools years, I felt fortunate to get each of them finished through high school without major incidents(and I am not kidding).

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Author: 2gifts Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 42065 of 42361
Subject: Re: to be diplomatic with teacher Date: 1/31/2013 11:57 AM
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the homework he brings home is like, "point to each of the letters in your name and say the letter," reading individual words like "is" and "my," and adding numbers up to 5.

If he already knows the homework, then don't do it, and as has been suggested, create your own assignments. I always adjusted the homework that DS got from school, and even worked with the teachers on that so we were all on sync.


I understand that it's difficult to differentiate work in the classroom for kindergartners; I was a teacher for 13 years and I don't expect miracles. But at least I would expect the homework done completely at home could be individualized.

You're kidding, right? You cannot possibly expect a teacher to do individualized homework plans for 15-20 students. If you want it individualized, I'd say that falls to you to do since you know him, especially as you were a teacher so you even have that experience on your side.

It's a fullday program, and that's a lot of my kid's time wasted; I wish there were a half-day alternative where he could get his socialization, then I could work with him an hour in the afternoon and get him farther than he is now. I made that suggestion at a district meeting, but with No Child Left Behind and high demand for fullday I know it'll never happen.

Is kindergarten required in your state? If not, then just keep him home and use a play group to get his socialization, particularly as it sounds like this is doable for you. As far as the suggestion of mixing homeschooling in as part of his education, you could just homeschool completely and then you'd be in control of the material and could tailor it to meet his needs and keep him challenged. I know there are a lot of folks on the boards who have had great success with homeschooling, so perhaps they could also help you.

But I can certainly see where a mix of homeschooling and public school would be difficult.

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Author: sjfans Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 42066 of 42361
Subject: Re: to be diplomatic with teacher Date: 1/31/2013 1:00 PM
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So okay, I'm looking for a diplomatically-worded way to say "can my kid please be challenged more?" without spoiling my good teacher-parent relationship or making it sound like I think my kid's a cut above (which I don't think...I know from volunteering there that there are other kids who could be challenged more as well). I will admit that I disliked parents' complaints when I was a teacher and I don't want to bring out that feeling in the kindergarten teacher. Suggestions?

I think it would be good to open a line of communication with the teacher about this and there has to be a way to do it diplomatically... Like, "I think <my kid> has a good handle on this subject - do you have any suggestions for activites/other resources I can use to help him take it to the next level?" Put it out there that you are looking for things you can do (not make more work for her.) If you know other parents of the more advanced kids they might be looking to do the same thing and requests from multiple sources might spark the teacher to come up with some leveled activities.

We are very fortunate that my DD (2nd grade) has a great teacher this year who took it upon herself to go the extra mile for my kid. I got an email last week from the teacher saying that she realizes that DD is at the top of her class and leveling out of some of the activities that the other kids are using to learn. Unbeknownst to us until this email, the teacher went to the principal for advice on how to best make sure that DD stays challenged. After that meeting she consulted with the Academically Gifted department - those services are not available until 3rd grade but she got some tips on how she could serve DD best. Since then she has created a written plan for some extra enrichment ideas for DD (and another girl in the class who is similarly advanced.) We have a phone conference next week to go over all this in detail.

We are thrilled with the way this teacher is making sure DD stays challenged. (She's a great teacher anyway.) To be honest, DD is fine with her studies and not yet to the point of losing interest but it may be because the teacher is good at individualizing studies and has been catering do various levels within her classroom all year. The extra effort is not something we expected of the teacher but we greatly appreciate it.

All this being said, I think kindergarten might be a little early to be able to accommodate multiple learning levels. For us at least, the kindergarten class was a hodgepodge of kids from many backgrounds - from socioeconomic and cultural differences to disparity between kids who had been to fancy preschools, daycare, home with mom, etc. It seems like kindergarten is more about getting everybody on the same page and learning to walk in a line, raise your hand, know colors/numbers/letters. It can seem like wasted time to an advanced kid but I think the social and group aspects of learning are as important as the academics at that age. It doesn't hurt to talk to the teacher, though, and at least feel out the issue.

sjfans

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Author: reallyalldone Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 42068 of 42361
Subject: Re: to be diplomatic with teacher Date: 2/1/2013 10:18 AM
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And, yes, when I was a band teacher,

I was in band through college - you really see a similarity between teaching band and teaching kindergarten ?

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Author: 2gifts Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 42069 of 42361
Subject: Re: to be diplomatic with teacher Date: 2/1/2013 1:08 PM
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I should have clarified here. The homework I'm referring to is a "reading roll" (TP roll) onto which squares of paper are stapled with the assignment. At the bottom of each square, the student colors in a bubble everytime they practice it with parent and get it right (limit of once a day), then when they have 5 bubbles colored, they bring it in to the teacher to get a new square stapled. Many of these squares have handwritten stuff on them anyway that the teacher had to write on (address, birthday, phone number, a handwritten sentence to read, etc.). So it would be as simple as stapling on a different piece of paper once a week, skipping the easy squares for the advanced kids, or handwriting a different thing.


I doubt it is as simple as you seem to think to individualize them, but I have a different idea. I'm thinking that you might feel as though your son has to do this non-challenging homework because of the tracking they are using on it, and that's just the teacher's way of getting the parents involved and having a way to track that the work is being done, especially if a child ends up having difficulty even with doing the homework. How about suggesting to the teacher that you will try to adjust your child's homework so that it is more challenging, and when you are done with the assignment you deem more appropriate, you can still have the child color in one of the bubbles, and return that to the teacher.

There are a few lessons happening here, one of which is learning whatever is being reinforced with the homework, but another is that homework gets turned in, something that ended up being ridiculously challenging for my DS, and is not uncommon.

So it seems to me that you can meet your objective of having more challenging work that you can tailor yourself as you know your own child as well as meet the teacher's objective of the child learning to be responsible enough to do the homework, and then turn it in for credit.

I think this can definitely be worked, but I don't necessarily think it will end up with the initial solution you were seeking.

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Author: Jeanwa Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 42070 of 42361
Subject: Re: to be diplomatic with teacher Date: 2/1/2013 1:38 PM
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There are a few lessons happening here, one of which is learning whatever is being reinforced with the homework, but another is that homework gets turned in, something that ended up being ridiculously challenging for my DS, and is not uncommon.
===============================

I would add...learning that not everything is fun or a challenge.

My kid alway complained about having to do homework stuff he already knew how to do.

In third grade he had a teacher that let him slide on the homework, since he was so smart (long story). That was the worst. He went do a different school (private) the next year. It took us (the teacher and I) almost a full year to get him to do his work.

We tried explaining that just because he knew it didn't mean he didn't have to do the work.

I know how to do dishes. I learned a long time ago. It's not fun or challenging. That doesn't mean I don't have to do it everyday.

At work I have to do things that are repetitious, certainly below my highest skill level, but I still have to do them. I can sit and complain about it, I can put it off and do more challenging things, or I can get it done and move on to the funner stuff.

Jean

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Author: determinedmom Big red star, 1000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 42073 of 42361
Subject: Re: to be diplomatic with teacher Date: 2/5/2013 1:48 AM
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Some options:

1. Maybe a pull out to a first grade classroom for reading. When my son was in elementary school he was subject accelerated in math. Teacher didn't mind at all. I think it was easier for her not to have to find things for him to do and she didn't have to deal with him not having challenging work.

2. If your child is ahead in everything, possibly whole grade acceleration. This is usually more difficult to achieve than subject acceleration, but not always.

3. Sometimes if there are other kids who are also ahead in the classroom a parent volunteer can do some work with those kids. Before my son got his subject acceleration in math he was in a pull out with other kids in the classroom.

4. Some parents have had success with getting the teacher to give the child higher level reading in class or even the parent sending in materials or the parent substituting other homework.

If you talk to the teacher, always talk in terms of challenge and never say your child is bored. I always felt that if my child was challenged in class then he was going to be busy in class and that was much easier for the teacher than if he was sitting there unchallenged. Since he had ADHD his teachers usually figured that out as well and they were happy to get ideas for how to challenge him.

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