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Support for former homeschoolers now public schooling - Page 9

post #161 of 338
I'm hoping to move away from helping her with her homework so much, but frankly she's just not ready yet. I'm able to do other things (cook dinner, put away laundry, etc) while she does homework, but I need to be "on call" to answer questions as they come up.

I'm also going to start being a lot firmer about when I'm not available to help her, especially on Friday afternoons. Plus I've decided not to do any more errands after school. Last week I took DD1 out to buy gym clothes, and DD2 wasn't able to do a lot of homework in my abscence because she had questions and I couldn't answer them (and it didn't occur to her to ask her grandmother who was right downstairs at the time, or to put it aside and do another subject until I got home.) So I'm going to be there for homework help right after school, and hopefully we won't have any homework stress late at night, or right before Shabbos this week.
post #162 of 338
I don't know that I would have done much differently. On one hand, my kids *could* have had better writting skills when they started school, but frankly, I'm not sure that I would give up our years of mellow homeschooling. They are old enough to understand that their education was different than most kids up til now, so some things are a bit more work for them. It still seems a pity to me to spend years learning something that once they are really motivated they can pick up in a couple of months. Being in school was the first thing that ever really motivated them to work on their writing!

Their reading skills were ahead of their peers (which helps with the content subjects like science) and their math skills were fine. I was a little concerned about math because we played a lot of games, but the other kids aren't rocket scientists and my kids are doing just fine with it.

My dd who started last year tended to bring home ALL her work for the day and do it at home with either me or her dad sitting next to her. She really lacked confidence. My Dd who started this year is very independent and doesn't even want us to look over her work. Go figure.

I'm keeping after school time very mellow -- I try to get my stuff done during the day so I'm available as needed. My kids also currently have almost no chores while they adjust. They were used to a lot of down time, so keeping *some* down time in seems important to me for mental health.

Over all, things are going well here. Both the kids seem happy, they are both learning, and they have more friends than they did homeschooling. I really like the school. It's a nice mix of solid instruction in core subjects and really fun things like art, PE, etc.

I'm happy, and I'm enjoying my well deserved break. I had breakfast with a friend today after dropping off our kids, and I hit a yoga class this afternoon. Nice day!
post #163 of 338
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
I don't know that I would have done much differently. On one hand, my kids *could* have had better writting skills when they started school, but frankly, I'm not sure that I would give up our years of mellow homeschooling. They are old enough to understand that their education was different than most kids up til now, so some things are a bit more work for them. It still seems a pity to me to spend years learning something that once they are really motivated they can pick up in a couple of months. Being in school was the first thing that ever really motivated them to work on their writing!
I felt the same way. But it's just harder for us right now, this month, because now is the time when DD2 is "learning how to write essays and other formal school writing" that all her teachers simply expect the students to already know. Plus it's just a super-busy month anyway with all the Jewish holidays. She IS keeping up with all the work, but she's spending more time on homework than any of her peers.
post #164 of 338
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sneezykids View Post
darien, how long did you hs? DD got an A- on her lang. arts poem, a big boost of esteem!

We've told her to not worry about the grades, however, you know how hard that is. My dd has a lot of anxiety too (both my kids do).
Congrats to your dd! I told ds12 not to worry about grades, either, but I was pleased when he got a good grade on his test!

We hs'd for 5 years, and the year before that, ds12 was in a Sudbury school. He went to a traditional school for preschool and kindergarten.
post #165 of 338


Sigh... Alex brought home a paper from school today that had " Not Neat Work " her penmenship on it doesn't look that bad and its readable.
another had "Work On Neatness with Alex" and another paper had " Work on # writing at home "


Alex likes school, and it's nice to get a break but i honestly don't think they should be grading penmenship so harshly in 1st grade


post #166 of 338
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCaliMommy View Post


Alex likes school, and it's nice to get a break but i honestly don't think they should be grading penmenship so harshly in 1st grade


If they can read the writing at all, you'd think they'd be pretty happy with it in 1st!
post #167 of 338
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2ponygirl View Post
If they can read the writing at all, you'd think they'd be pretty happy with it in 1st!


I agree totally.
post #168 of 338
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
I felt the same way. But it's just harder for us right now, this month, because now is the time when DD2 is "learning how to write essays and other formal school writing" that all her teachers simply expect the students to already know. Plus it's just a super-busy month anyway with all the Jewish holidays. She IS keeping up with all the work, but she's spending more time on homework than any of her peers.
I'm sorry that it's tough for you all right now. Hopefully, this phase will pass quickly.
post #169 of 338


Alex is on day 8 of school and came home with a paper today that was completed at school with another copy of the same paper stapled to it with a note on top saying " please re-do for homework and return to school"
this is the paper in question

post #170 of 338
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCaliMommy View Post


Alex is on day 8 of school and came home with a paper today that was completed at school with another copy of the same paper stapled to it with a note on top saying " please re-do for homework and return to school"
this is the paper in question

I'd be tempted to paste a note back saying you opted to allow her to work on fine motor skills with alternative projects in order to help her improve her handwriting. You know, play with clay, pinprick art, and other arts and crafts projects.
Unless she likes doing handwriting pages, then I'd just let her. Otherwise, let the teacher know you are on the same page - you both want her handwriting to improve. You just were able to substitute other fine motor activities so that handwriting wouldn't develop negative associations for her.
post #171 of 338


I ended up having her do the paper but she didn't do it like they really wanted it done so it looks similar to the picture i posted earlier with only 3 big N's and 1 little n. A few O's and a few P's. she got p happy and wrote 3 backwards so i erased them and said it was okay and she was done.

I plan on talking with dh tonight about it when he gets home and go from there on writing a not to send with it.

post #172 of 338
That stinks. I really don't think her penmanship is bad at all for 6.

I went to "curriculum night" tonight at my son's school. I am still processing it all. There were some really good things, some just okay, a few things that concerned me a little. The only bad thing was another parent (well, a few really) who was super obnoxious, but there were several really nice ones as well.

I am thinking of giving myself until Halloween, or maybe Thanksgiving to make a final decision about whether he'll stay in or not. It really is a good school, and I am so grateful for that.
post #173 of 338
Her penmanship is fine!! Goodness, what do they expect----professional calligraphers?? Ridiculous. Sounds like you are handling it well.

Hugs Chrissie, hope you find your niche. I'm glad the school is good!!

Ruthla---good luck surviving all the holidays and keeping things low key. Save your energy for the really important things and let the rest slide, you know?

Sheesh, who would have thought school would require so much energy? But it's STILL easier a thousand times than HSing with five kids at home was. ugh,. shudder.
post #174 of 338


Freestyler ~ I honestly think they expect penmanship to look perfect like the bolded letters they are ment to practice

chrissy~ Thanks for the s, not sure if it matters but she is a young 6. she turned 6 the start of Aug.

post #175 of 338
Hey SoCaliMommy---You want me to send you a sample of my DS writing? He is nine. You want to see REALLY bad handwriting? Your DD is doing FINE! My DS's writing is kinda like hers, but he is NINE, and I'm just barely starting to nag him about it. He's starting to clean up his act; his 4th grade teacher is encouraging lots of writing.

Gotta go drop off the kids at school!
post #176 of 338
I do think it's appropriate for them to care about handwriting- I mean, that IS what they're teaching in first grade, right? But to make a child re-do work they've already done in class seems like over-kill to me. Is it a matter of not having the physical ability to write neatly yet, or is it about "not understanding instructions" about where to place the letters on the lines and stuff like that? If it's the latter, then somebody (like the teacher?) needs to sit down with Alex and explain what's expected. (BTW, is Alex a boy or a girl? I don't want to use the wrong pronoun!)

Things came to a head with DD2 last night, and then she seemed to reach a milestone. I lost my temper when she was being all dramatic about starting a writing assignment and not taking any of my suggestions, plus she'd already played for over an hour and I was getting ready to get DS to bed by the time she asked for homework help. Plus she'd had a snack and left me the dishes to wash! I snapped at her, she started crying, I started yelling about not being able to do everything around the house, and then I left her alone to calm down while I took a shower (also to calm down) and then we had a calm talk afterwards.

First I told her that, if she really can't handle the volume of writing, we need to talk to the school about it. Maybe move her to a less challenging class (even though she can keep up with the reading and classwork), maybe get her an IEP if she has some disability with writing in particular. She didn't like the thought of "being too stupid to stay in honors classes" and seemed motivated to change her approach.

Then I explained to her that she needs to learn how to "do things fast to get them over with" and not put a whole lot of energy into making everything perfect. Some assignments are just NOT worth the effort- and she's not finishing all her work because she's simply spending too much time on small assignments that are intended to be quick and easy.

Last night she got the rest of her social studies assignment done much more quickly and efficiently than she'd been doing up until now. She basically completed it in about the length of time it would have taken DD1 to do a similar assignment. This morning, she told me that my "blow up" kind of shocked her into reality, and motivated her to do the work herself instead of expecting me to do it all with her. She was proud of herself for how efficiently she got work done last night, and confident in her ability to do the rest of her homework in a timely fashion (leaving her time for things like weekly tennis lessons.)

I know she'll need help with her English assignment this afternoon: a book report in "friendly letter" format, but now I'm confident that I'll be able to guide her and not have to "practically write it for her". I anticipate helping her get started and then being able to let her work alone.
post #177 of 338
Ruthla, I wish I could bring myself to make that work. Dd1 is plenty slow and I snap plenty often; it just isn't productive for us.


ETA: I don't think you did it on purpose, I don't even think you are suggesting we "try this at home" as I am sure you wish everybody was always smiling aand gentle. I simply wish that I could have snapped my own dd out of her perfectionism and slowness.
post #178 of 338
mamajb- how old is your DD?

I wasn't suggesting you "try this at home"- just sharing what's going on with me, that hopefully, maybe, DD2 has gotten herself adjusted to the homework demands and my life just might be a little bit easier now.
post #179 of 338
She is 11 and the only one in school just yet. Ds1 is 13 in a few days, others are 6, 4, and 2.
post #180 of 338


Ruthla~ Alex is a girl, her name is actually Alexandria but she only gets that when she's in trouble or i really need to get her attention. I'm thinking it's a little about both, but yesterday paper seemed mainly like it was sent home as a re-do because it wasn't perfect .

I have yet to check her backpack yet today. I'm letting the kids play in the small pool in our backyard before heading back inside. She did say she had homework again tonight

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