Starting Grade 1 in September - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 8 Old 08-17-2012, 04:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi!

I haven't been here in a bit.  So up to this point we have been homeschooling our son Tyr.  He is very bright and well not formally tested I would be surprised if he wasn't gifted. 

I have some concerns on what to expect with him going into a classroom setting. 

He is reading well above his level.  I know that my neice when going into grade 1 couldn't read at all and that was what she learned in gr 1.  His favourite books are the Gironimo and Thea Stilton series.   He can read pretty much anything put in front of him.

He loves science and the elements and can name off many of the atomic weights and what they are etc.  His posters in his room are the periodic table and a human body poster (along with angry birds and TinTin).

He has addition and subtraction down and is working well with multiplication and simple picture fractions.

 

He is a video game master and has most game systems and his own computer-no wifi- (in the living room).  He loves puzzle games and logic games and world building games (Keflings, Viva Pinata), and active games like the Kinect.

 

He knows he is bright....he knows when he is right and wont back down.  It is all very innocent...but...my issue is my concern of him becoming bored and disruptive in class.  Most kids he associates with are older than him and can already do what he can do...he gets frustrated with kids his age and younger.  He likes to be right and he likes to be number one.  He told me he is going to get As and A++ in school.  I told him that they were great goals but to do his best and listen to the teacher.

 

Any and all help and advice is welcome.


PAT- photosmile2.gif Mommy to a super little boy kid.gif Tyr -Nov 17, 2006 Married to joy.gif Sky -August 28, 1993 
Sadly, Jan 21, 2011  m/c 6w5d  angel.gif
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#2 of 8 Old 08-17-2012, 06:23 AM
 
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New situations can be a little nerve-wracking for everyone. It sounds like he is pretty confident about going to school and that's great!

 

Has he participated in any quasi-instructional group activities (team sports, day camps, art or music classes, homeschooling co-op classes) where he has needed a little more instruction or had to work a little harder than others to develop his skills? If so, then that's a good starting point for talking to him about the fact that everyone learns at a different pace. 

 

It will also help if he's been developing his independent work habits, so that the teacher can accommodate him by giving him advanced work while she's busy with the other students who are working at curriculum level. 

 

Are you familiar with the school and with his teacher? It helps if you know whether they are flexible and able to accommodate a range of learning ability. It's very common for there to be a wide range of ability in reading in the early grades, but there is often some streaming of students into different achievement groups even within the same class. 

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#3 of 8 Old 08-17-2012, 06:32 AM
 
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How did kindergarten go?

 

We've found that each year in school gets easier to deal with the reading as more and more kids can read.  A creative and proactive teacher can meet the needs of a first grader reading Geronimo Stilton.  That's at a level where you would reasonably expect to find 1-2 other kids in a first grade room for a high performing school.

 

I've found success with contacting the teacher after the first week of school with a brief note along the lines of "My DS is loving the start of school!  Thanks so much for helping him get started so successfully this year.  I'm wondering what you can tell me about where he is with reading.  Would you have time for a quick phone call in a week or two once you've gotten a chance to get to know him a bit more?  I'd like to know what I can do to support your teaching goals."

 

This does a few things -- you're on her side and you want to support her as the professional.  Your topic of conversation will be reading (alerts the teacher to pay closer attention when doing the initial reading assessment), and it will let her form her own opinion before you've told her anything.  Teachers don't take kindly to being told "my kid is way above the level you'll teach this year and he's going to be bored."  Teachers do tend to respond quite well to being treated professionally and given the credibility to actually evaluate your kid accurately. 

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#4 of 8 Old 08-17-2012, 07:59 AM
 
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1st grade holds a very diverse range of abilities. It's not unusual for there to be some kids just learning to read along with kids who are reading chapter books. Math as well... very diverse range of abilities. I'd prepare your child for the diversity of abilities he will find in the class.

 

I agree with Geofizz... a little honey is the best way to handle the teacher. Give her a set amount of time to figure your child out on her own. Expect the first month to be largely review and little in the way of differentiation. Don't try to tackle her after class... always call and set-up an appointment. Volunteer if you can. Do not use the word "bored" to save your life. 

 

It's a good time to pull the emphasis off of grades and more on personal growth. Bright kids in elementary school can often get good grades doing next to nothing. To grow personally, well, that can take some work. 


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#5 of 8 Old 08-18-2012, 06:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the help everyone!  Ollyoxenfree-he hasn't been in many structured classes/activities other than swimming lessons.

Geofizz-we homeschooled through both junior and senior kindergarten.  We would love to continue to homeschool (and will go back if there isn't a good fit for him) but want to give him this opportunity first. 

 

We haven't met his teacher yet.  Only the school coordinator to sign him up.  Apparently in the first 2 weeks they play close attention to the students and will then place them in their permanent classroom after that. I was told there is at least 1 mixed grade 1/2 classes so  my hope is that he is placed there. 

 

My real goal is that he can have fun while still learning, and not be held back.  Too many times I have been told  that we are pushing too much on him  (we totally aren't-very Tyr lead learning). Also that it wasn't fair to other kids and not to expect the teacher to cater to him.


PAT- photosmile2.gif Mommy to a super little boy kid.gif Tyr -Nov 17, 2006 Married to joy.gif Sky -August 28, 1993 
Sadly, Jan 21, 2011  m/c 6w5d  angel.gif
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#6 of 8 Old 08-18-2012, 10:04 AM
 
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Just popping in with another vote of wait and see. My DD just started first grade. She's reading Ivy & Bean. I actually just helped the teacher test all the kids in her class on sight words, and I'd say there are about eight who are reading at her level. Then another group who struggle with "see" and "can." They have reading group levels in her class, and my son also had this teacher, and I know she does a great job at differentiating. Is it perfect? No, but it's pretty good.

 

I hope your son's teacher is a good fit. Definitely give her a couple weeks to get to know all her students. Hopefully the novelty of school and new kids and routines will keep your DS engaged for the first few weeks. It's a lot for my DD to take in (but in a good way!).

-e


Momma to 8 y.o. DS and 5 y.o. DD. Married to a Maker!

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#7 of 8 Old 08-18-2012, 10:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

1st grade holds a very diverse range of abilities. It's not unusual for there to be some kids just learning to read along with kids who are reading chapter books. Math as well... very diverse range of abilities. I'd prepare your child for the diversity of abilities he will find in the class.

 

 

 

I agree. 

 

My DDs (a year older than your DS- Oct '05 Bdays) just finished 1st. They went from PreK to 1st.

 

There is a wide wide range of abilities. I will say DDs were reading 3rd-ish reading level when they started and there were two or three other kiddos there along with them. Math was eh- most of it they knew, but they did learn some creative ways to 'think' and played lots of math games so that was a plus. Most of it was very pro and they had a good teacher. Both DDs writing/spelling sky-rocketed and I was impressed at the growth from Sept-June. Science was a big disappointment (not much done until 2nd semester and it was all very familiar), but it is what it is for  1st : it did involve a lot of open-ended thinking and journaling, so that was good. It was just fairly basic plant parts, living things need X, Y, Z.

 

My chief complaints were the stalling of reading levels once they hit a certain level- they simply stopped testing at that level. Plus, the higher reading groups did not met with the teacher nearly as often (they met once or twice a week) with the teacher compared to the lower levels (daily). Which, I understand why but do not agree with at all. 

 

The big yippeee was that they organized math enrichment (once a week) and Reading/spelling groups across the three 1st grade classrooms so it was a bit more differentiated- which was nice. The exposure to Art, Gym, Music, and Fun Friday (a center based 'free choice' time on Fri) was excellent. They also interacted with kids from other grades for a diorama project, reading to peers, and for Art.

 

 Get in touch with your school librarian. Ours was great and allowed my DDs to check out from anywhere (often the K/1s are limited to 'green' books of an easier level). She also suggested titles and allowed them to come to the library after school. She was one of the girls greatest allies.

 

 

I would do some  'play -acting' with him to help acclimate if you can. What do you do if..... (you are done with your work, the person next to you is working on letters, have a question, you want to know more, you finish your work early....) .This kind of concrete practice helped my DDs with handling some simple classroom skills and also to practice not blurting out all the answers, that there can be multiple answers for questions,and to realize that everyone has different skills/talents/abilities.

 

 

Keep in mind too, the first few weeks of school will be really really really easy. They are busy acclimating the kids to school so the work is typically easy for every single child as they learn the rules, the teachers can evaluate them for ability, and to give them some self-confidence with success right away.  DDs stated it was 'simple' for a good 6 weeks, even after some of it was not challenging- but the split into reading/writing/spelling/math helped a lot.

 

 

 I hope you have a great year!

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#8 of 8 Old 08-18-2012, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, everyone, for the positive feedback.  I am sure we are getting worked up for nothing....


PAT- photosmile2.gif Mommy to a super little boy kid.gif Tyr -Nov 17, 2006 Married to joy.gif Sky -August 28, 1993 
Sadly, Jan 21, 2011  m/c 6w5d  angel.gif
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