DD is in school and we both hate it! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 08-27-2002, 02:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm having a major crisis here. I just stopped crying long enough to post this... Last year I homeschooled dd for kindergarten. We lived in NM where the schools are awful, and were an hour away by bus to the nearest elementary school. We'd have had to drive to the bus, and sometimes snowmobile to the car first-- at 6am mind you-- and it realy wasn't worth it for the lame, overcrowded little school she'd have gone to. (The roof caved in over the summer; that's how much these people care about their school.) Homeschooling didn't go very well. Dd is a very explosive, intense, extremely smart, unusual, hypersensitive girl. We had a lot of blowups, complete with screaming and throwing things (her-- not me!,) though she's been this way since she was 16 months, so I wasn't exactly surprised. To complicate matters, my little Tarzan boy who just turned 3 was very disruptive. She avoided the workbooks, but if I wrote the same math problems on a sheet of paper in different colors, she loved it and could finish much faster. She learned much better from the un-schooling methods; reading signs and labels (things that are there for a reason other than to drill kids arbitrarily,) writing letters to people (not writing the alphabet,) figuring out how much 8 limes will cost, etc. I didn't worry about her lack of cooperation with the workbooks since she was way ahead of the kids in school anyway. She also likes cd-roms. To be honest, though, I really needed a break from her. She is a very difficult, "spirited" child and I've been at the end of my rope for a long time. She didn't get nearly enough interaction with other kids when we lived in NM, because we were so far away from people. We made an effort, though. She went to gymnastics, had playdates, etc. So, a few weeks ago we moved to Colorado, where the schools are allegedly better, so dd could start 1st grade. Today is her 5th day of school. She hates it. Each day it has gotten worse: in the morning she screams and writhes on the floor, throws her shoes-- she hates them all-- says she hates me, that I'm mean, won't get dressd, refuses to get in the car, and so on. It's not like they're beating her! She even gets 3 recesses and has a few friends she loves. The 2nd day, she said she wanted to ride the bus home and I said okay. I told her to tell her teacher she was taking the bus. The teacher said, "No, you're not, your mother is picking you up." Then they made her wait outside while all the cars filed past and 20 minutes later, she went inside to tell someone that I hadn't shown up. Finally, the school called me to ask if I were coming. Of course, there was steam coming out of my ears by the time I got there. They totally shut her down and didn't believe what she'd said, all because I'd mentioned before school started that I'd probably drive her to and from school the first few days. I had no idea that had been carved in stone. My poor baby! I felt like such a jerk. Anyway, she came home with a folder on Friday showing that she had written the letters A and B, and had colored in some coloring book pictures of kids getting on a school bus. She also stacked blocks to make patterns. The coloring book picture had "good!" with a smiley face written on it. On my refrigerator, I have a drawing of the Egyptian goddess Bast, dd's self-portrait as Cleopatra, a step-pyramid, a mummy and King Tut's sarcophogus. When I wrote a note to the teacher about her riding the bus the day after the Great Schoolbus Debaucle, dd said to write it in cursive, otherwise the teacher might think it was a forgery. . My brilliant baby.... what have I done?! I'm not really sure what to do here. I told her that I want her to give school a chance, but that we can go back to hs if that's what she wants. 5 days is not really a "chance," though, as I told her this morning. I don't want to teach her to just bail out of things if she doesn't like them right away.(She almost never likes anything right away.) She sounds like such a monster, doesn't she? She's actually very sweet, just what we used to call "high-strung." No one who knows her outside this house would believe the things I'm writing here about here. Ugh! Anyway, I realized last night when her math homework was to count things (jeez-- we were on multiplication!) that I would have to hs in addition to school for academic reasons, at least. Maybe I should take her to school just for recess!

Sorry this was so long, I really needed to pour my heart out. Ick! I feel so awful about this. They are making her miserable and treating her like a drooling twit.

Here's tomorrow's note to the teacher:

Dear Mrs. L.,
C. has my permission to be an intelligent person. Please do not treat her like a drooling twit, as this contradicts what she is learning at home.
Thank you, C.

Just kidding!

I would appreciate any thoughts on this, I'm pretty lost.
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#2 of 21 Old 08-27-2002, 02:44 PM
 
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Madame Ovary, have you checked in to homeschooling groups in your community? Would it work to find another family where your dd could spend time with them and their child could spend time with you? Are there any groups that go on field trips together, etc?

It sounds like you had a wonderful unschooling thing going on yet it sounds like you need some "mom" time. Could you find someone who could watch both kids so you could get out by yourself during the week? I wonder if there are some options that are not "all or nothing". I think the key is finding some way for it to work for you since your dd is already sold on the homschooling idea.

IMO, your dd is bright enough to know that this place is not right for her. Sometimes you just know right away that things are not right and sticking it out for the sake of "not bailing out" does not apply. If she is advanced she is going to get very bored and start working below her ability in order to "fit in".

I wish you a peaceful heart and a clear mind for making your decision. Hang in there and let us know what you decide. Wish you lived closer!

~Jill
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#3 of 21 Old 08-27-2002, 03:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, Breathingmon. Yes, in fact, now that I'm not so teary-eyed, ds and I are going to walk over to a friend's house to discuss putting a group together. We just moved here, and don't know anyone well, but there are lots of kids dd's age here and her favorite friends' mom (whom I'm going to see now) is interested in hs. Her older dd is repeating 3rd grade because she didn't "get it," according to the teachers. (What were they doing with her all day?) The family doesn't like the younger girl's teacher either, and the school hasn't been very helpful. I think we could do well if we had a group. It would be more fun for the kids, and dd would never have tantrums with her friends around.

I think you may be right, too, about not keeping her in school when she knows it's not right. Convincing dh may be a bit of a battle, though. I thought she would end up liking school once she got used to all the rules and bells, but perhaps we can supply the good parts without the bad. It would sure be nice to wake up at a normal hour. I'm not sure about finding time for myself, but I'm hoping dh can accomodate me once every week or two. Maybe we'll find activities for them a few days a week, I don't know. Still, I'll make any sacrifice I have to to get dd what she needs. This morning in the car I told dd that if the other kids can do it so can she. Somehow, I knew that wasn't really true; she has never been quite like other kids.

Thanks again!
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#4 of 21 Old 08-27-2002, 04:06 PM
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I'd pull her out of school, of that's want she wants and you're willing to have her. I'd also suggest learning more about unschooling at www.unschooling.com, since your child seems to demand that philosophy. ;-)They also have message boards with one to find unschoolers in your state. You can also look at www.midnightbeach.com/hs and find a bunch of support resources for your state.

And remember to breathe! I've found that a lot of really intense kids seem to find libve a little easier after they turn 7 or so, and all of the intense 5 and 6 yr old girls we know were wonderfully even-keeled at 8.

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#5 of 21 Old 08-27-2002, 05:21 PM
 
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Madame Ovary, moving to a new city can be really hard! I hope you will share how your meeting with you new friend goes!

My dh is a homeschooling convert. He was really against it at first until I started showing him statistical information about homeschoolers. Now when we have to go out to dinner with people from his business, we always end up taking about homeschooling and he always talks about it like he has loved it forever! So I feel there is hope for you dh! (Please feel free to pm me if your dh wants to talk to my dh, if you think it would help).

Sending you lots of {{{{{{hugs}}}}}}!!

~Jill
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#6 of 21 Old 08-27-2002, 05:41 PM
 
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"Intense" has been used to describe my dd--also "extreme."

Like your dd, while in ps Kindergarten she was given work which she felt was insulting. Between her personality and intelligence, there is no way she would have survived in that environment. There were many instances over which I was summoned to conference with the teacher--aside from a lack of meaningful, interesting work, we too had many "drooling twit" instances. (love the phrase, btw) You're not alone.

I agree with Jill--it sounds like unschooling is what was working for your daughter--I'd say to try and find a way that you can get out from time to time.

And, to put a different spin on "quitting:" By pulling her out, you'll be showing her that when you know something isn't working, you DO something about it. That's not quitting.
Good luck!

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#7 of 21 Old 08-27-2002, 06:07 PM
 
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Madame Ovary! Oh my gosh; you are back

Where have you been? I used to read all of your posts. I have a daughter of similar temperment. Please stick around; you always have such great input.

Here is a link to support groups from www.unschooling.com. I hope one is near you!

http://www.unschooling.com/networkin...colorado.shtml
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#8 of 21 Old 08-27-2002, 08:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's great to be back!

Ahhhhh... okay, I'm breathing. Good thing, too, I think I almost passed out!

So, I picked dd up from school today and she was really happy to see me and tell me about all her new friends and the fun game they played in P.E. She looked really bored and a bit sad before she saw me, though. I got the impression she was starting to like school. I asked her all about her day, whigh went something like this:

Me: Did you have Spanish today?
dd: No
Me: Did you have music?
dd: No
Me: Art?
dd: No
Me: Well, you had reading, right?
dd: No
Me: You didn't have reading???
dd: No
Me: You didn't read today in school?
dd: No, I didn't read anything.
Me: Did someone read to you?
dd: Oh yeah, it's called story time.
Me: What about math? Did you have math?
dd: No, we didn't do math. Well, not real math. We counted. That's what they call math.
Me: Surely you did something today besides PE, lunch, recess, and story time. What did you do when you got to school this morning?
dd: We colored in.
Me: You mean like in a coloring book?
dd.


Sounds like daycare to me...

I was complaining about it to the guy next door, who said it was the same for his girls. He wants to homeschool next year, too. I'll just keep my copy of Dumbing Us Down circulating and it will be a whole neighborhood conspiracy!

Dh likes homeschooling in theory, but worries about dd having friends, learning to "work within the system" (yeah, right! like we ever did!) and so on. Looks like we can resolve the ever present socialization issue around here, though!

Thanks for the links, gilnikche and dar, I'll check 'em out!

Dar, I hope you're right about the age! Dd was born very intense, though. Even as a newborn she was hell on wheels. It's just hard to believe anyone so pretty and sweet can get so out of control. Joan, people keep telling me it's her red hair. :

Thanks again everybody! I'm going to talk at length to dd later-- as soon as all her new friends go home. Yeah, I think things are going to be better for us all here, whichever choice we make.
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#9 of 21 Old 08-27-2002, 11:22 PM
 
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Good grief. this is just the sort of reason I won't put my dd in school.

if you are just as miosreable in PS as you are HSing then why bother sragging her out of the house in the morning. Be misreable at home. It is more likely there that these things will get better instead of worse.

Is your dh the only reason she is still in school. My spirited child is doing rather well dispite her outbursts (we have worked with them the first 6 i can make it at least six more and by then we only have about six more so why stop) and dispite her little tarzan sisters intentional and costant disruptions to what little organized work we do.

some things I have concluded in the last six months to combat peoples fear that my dd may not be getting all she needs.

* If everybody worked within the system like good little sheeple nothing bad would ever get changed to something better. No reason to teach them to do it someone elses way when we could be teaching them to do it thier own way.

*If they didn't teach it to me in 13 years they aren't going to teach it to dd either. (my dh's big concern is that she should go to PS to learn organizational skills which i can't teach her. on the up side my 2 year old is teaching us both good habits. She was just born that way Kinda like Martha Stewart on speed )

*Your kids will get socialized unless you live in a cave with a rock in front of it. Question is what kind of socialization will they recieve.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#10 of 21 Old 08-28-2002, 03:46 AM
 
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Sorry to hear you're having such a rough time with school. Yuck!!!

Here's our experience...

My (intense) 61/2 yo wanted to try school last spring and I was hesitant to take him there. We went and had an inteview with the principal and saw the classroom and after discussing it with ds he decided not to. He would have been in kindergarten and the classoom looked like a preschool! He wanted homework, math, reading, serious stuff. They refused to move him up to first grade because he was homeschooled and they had no school records to compare with and a skills test for this situation just does not exist. I mean, we're talking about a kid who knows some multiplication and can read Harry Potter!

This just went to show me how ill-prepared they are to deal with unique needs in children, and I was so relieved when he changed his mind! Reading your post just confirms my feelings on this, because I'm sure we'd have been dealing with much the same thing.

I hope your talk with dd goes/went well and that you can come to a decision you will both be happy with. It's great that there are so many other kids nearby, especially ones who may homeschool! That's something we're really lacking in our neighborhood. I love your idea of taking them to school just for recess! Hmmm....
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#11 of 21 Old 08-28-2002, 08:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Lilyka: we used to live in a cave with a rock in front of it! We just moved to a new town in a neighborhood with lots of kids, a river, several streams and a place called Treasure Island. It used to be a summer camp. I'm watching my kids right now through the window with some neighbor kids, one of them carrying my barefoot 3 year old. I think homeschooling here would be great fun, especially if we could rally some friends into a group.

Your "good little sheeple" comment makes me cringe. When I was driving dd home today, discussing the protocol for minding bells, turning in homework at the right moment so you get a sticker on your chart, etc., I explained to her that she must wait for me at the right place in the afternoon, so I can drive up in that looooong line of cars and she can get in when it's her turn. I started thinking, "Do I really want to teach her that there are authorities above me, too? Do I really want her to see me following rules, paying my taxes, doing things I would only agree to do to avoid punishment? What does that teach her about what to become when she grows up? What kind of example am I setting here?" Not that I want my kid to become a tax-evading, law breaker, but........

Lavender: I can't believe they didn't let him into first grade! No one even questioned me. Maybe it was one those "meant to be" things that ensured you'd make the right choice!

So....
Dh came home last night from being in NM, and I relayed the conversation I'd had with dd about doing NOTHING in school, but lunch and recess. He was about to explode. "THAT'S iT!!!!! We're pulling her out of school!" I guess he won't be too hard to convince after all! He was ready to go in and yell at the teacher. (Of course she's working at "lowest common denominator" level-- counting and coloring books. Now I'm wondering if the PS kids will know what a lowest common denominator IS before college!) We are going to talk (nicely) to the teacher next week to see what we can work out. Dd was fine about school this morning, and fine when I picked her up, so if she starts enjoying it in general, then we may leave her in a while. I'd like to give her the chance to cement a few friendships before we pull her out, since that was really the purpose in the first place. It's obvious, though that we'll be homeshooling whether she goes daycare-- oops, I mean 1st grade, or not.

Once I could read, write and do arithmetic, the only useful thing I learned in school was how to roll a joint. Maybe recess isn't such a great idea!
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#12 of 21 Old 08-29-2002, 05:43 PM
 
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>>"We just moved to a new town in a neighborhood with lots of kids, a river, several streams and a place called Treasure Island. It used to be a summer camp. I'm watching my kids right now through the window with some neighbor kids, one of them carrying my barefoot 3 year old. I think homeschooling here would be great fun, especially if we could rally some friends into a group"<<

Dang! You would have to pry me away from that place with a freaking crow bar in the morning!!. It sounds wonderful.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#13 of 21 Old 08-30-2002, 10:18 AM
 
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How did it go? Very curious, hoping things are working out for your family!!
Mary
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#14 of 21 Old 08-31-2002, 09:38 AM
 
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I hope all works out for you and your dd. I'm glad you're back too, always thought you had the coolest username.
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#15 of 21 Old 09-05-2002, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, we're still in limbo about it all. I think we will end up homeschooling, unless we can get the school to bend the rules and let dd into the independent study program a year early. I doubt they will, and I'm not so sure that will be entirely to our satisfaction, either. In the meantime, though, it's not the emergency it seemed like when I started this thread. Maybe it's good for her to be a little more independent for a while. (Independent from me, I mean; not like they encourage kids to think for themselves
I look forward to homeschooling and getting her back to where we were academically last spring. At school they are about 2-3 years behind us .
It two weeks for them to start sending books home that weren't way too easy. Oh, well, at least she's making friends.

Thanks, everybody, for all your' input! It really helps to have access to the thoughts of so many wise and like-minded parents!
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#16 of 21 Old 09-08-2002, 06:18 AM
 
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Here's an idea Madame Ovary... if they won't put your child in the independent study program ask them to test her. The tests will surely show that she is way beyond first grade level. It sounds like the whole school thing might not work though. I say you collect the contact numbers of all the new friends she's made and haul ass out of there! Excuse my French, but that school sounds disgraceful! Try to find a gtoup of homeschoolers in your area, they are a life saver! She's be around other kids and you will get some relief! Good luck!
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#17 of 21 Old 09-09-2002, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Gee, you must have taken French in public school . I think hauling ass may be the best advice. I'm still trying to find other homeschoolers here that I want to connect with. So far I have a few friends who want to, but may be too commited to other things to start right away, and a very religeous neighbor who gave me an armload of Christian homeschooling literature. I'm not a Christian, and DH is, though he just about ran screaming from this woman. She was telling him about the local Christian homeschool group and all the moms involved and when he asked if dads are welcome, she said, "No, women take care of the children. Men go to work. Men don't need support." ICK! As if that's the one and only way it works! I'm a SAHM, and very thankful for it, but I greatly value having a husband who wants to be involved with the kids. I don't think my neighbor has ever heard of AP. : .

So, I'd love to hear suggestions for finding not-religeously-motivated homeschoolers in our area. So far the internet hasn't turned up anything. I'm new here, too, so I don't know many people yet. Any ideas?

Thanks for the input!
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#18 of 21 Old 09-14-2002, 03:26 PM
 
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It is kinda amusing about the Christian Homeschooling group not inviting dads. Here the Christian Group more or less revolves around the dads (they are after all the school principal : ) and I am thinking, good grief that is the last place dh wants to be after work, I am not going into that environment alone and even if DH came with me he is absolutely clueless about what we do for school and really could care.

Anyway keep us posted about your dds first grade journey. What id her take on all of this anyway. She seems bright enough to have some intresting opinions on how schools operate

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#19 of 21 Old 09-16-2002, 02:00 AM
 
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M.O.,

Have you checked out this page yet?

http://www.gomilpitas.com/homeschool...l/Colorado.htm
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#20 of 21 Old 09-16-2002, 04:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for that link! It was quite helpful. We're thinking we might go a few more months with school, while we get a lot of personal/family issues sorted out. I really feel pretty confidant that home/un-schooling is the way for us to go, though, and I'm really looking forward to it! We just moved here and dh still needs to find a job : , still needs to finish some potentially income producing projects, we're about to move again at the end of October, and it looks like we will be building a house, because we can't find one we can afford that suits us. Geez Louise! Maybe dd can be pressed into service as assistant project manager.... sounds like math, reading, geometry, art, and computer science to me!
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#21 of 21 Old 10-16-2002, 09:38 PM
 
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it's interesting to learn about your experience. my dd sounds similar, and we are sometimes tempted to put her in school to get a break from the intensity. she turns 6 in a few weeks, and it was helpful to learn that she should be settled by 8...
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