...and I say "we" advisedly because I, the parent, got an F, too!
At DS1's school (he's entered early in first grade, the first year of formal schooling where we live) they have overarching "themes", and once every few weeks the more interesting worksheets are bound together to make a "theme book" to take home to proudly show the parents and relatives and then hand in again to be collected until the end of the year, and they're a big deal.
His report card says he is "neat enough" in preparing the theme book (I guess that's a C) but deficient at handing them in again! One has disappeared, apparently in our house, and we've searched high and low, and have NO idea what happened. So I guess that's an F at parental organization.
I shall have to do better.
And I need to talk to the teacher about the rest of his report card, and am not quite sure how to go about it.
It's satisfactory enough - there is mention about his fluent reading, and writing short stories, and his high motivation, eagerness to learn and ease at storing up information, his extensive contributions to science topics and a lot of "know how to"s and "is able to"s in maths, about which I have no idea whether they mean he meets or exceeds grade expectations, because they don't put that in writing, but as he just flies through his homework I assume there aren't any problems with meeting expectations, or I'd have heard about it by now. I'll ask just in case.
However, in every subject, there is mention about "rushing" and sometimes not forming letters or numbers neatly and legibly, and "mostly" colouring within the lines, and altogether he is "easily distracted" during worktime and needs to be "reminded repeatedly" to finish his tasks.
The teacher and I have talked about in fall why he would not be faster or neater at doing his work than others, but needs work that is more challenging cognitively. I do not think this kind of differentiation is happening yet. They have open-ended projects like the stories they are expected to write, or tasks like "write or draw about what you did for..." etc and this works very well for him - and I have to point out to the teacher that the letters in his stories are MUCH neater than those on the boring worksheets. They also had to hold their first presentation, about an animal of their choice (I am actually quite impressed by this, as I held my first presentation in 7th grade), and he researched and prepared his presentation about spiders almost completely independently, just needed technical help (how to find the right websites for research, and how to print out pictures etc) and I will have to point out to the teacher that he needed no reminder to finish his task whatsoever.
I heard from others that they are also waiting for differentiation during worktime to happen, and will have to get the teacher somehow to commit to doing it now, not just give lip service. I think she is willing, it's just the usual - hard to find the time, with other kids needing more help.
I am not sure what to ask about concerning his homework - of course he is rushing through his boring worksheets, but he does need the fine motor practice. I wonder whether to ask the teacher to have him write stories instead, using the letters and words of the week? I have gotten quite used to the comfortable situation of not having to take homwork that seriously, and I quietly ignore any task on his weekly homework list that is not in writing, like "practice reading the words on work sheet X" or "build and unbuild the word of the week with your letter tiles every day" and he ignores those too. reduces his homework load quite a bit - other parents at the PT meetings always talk excitedly about practicing this and training that, and we don't do anything, I barely have the time to check that his worksheets are done Thursday night! i am not quite sure I ought to mess with this.
I ought to mention for those who don't know us that I live in Europe, not the US, but it has been my experience that the problems in changing attitudes towards challenging gifted kids are the same the world over...
Edited by Tigerle - 2/28/13 at 5:04am