I don't know what they do all day. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 06-03-2009, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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After having kids at home with me for 5 years [each kid] one of the things I find hardest about sending them to school is not knowing what they are doing and learning all day. Call me a helicopter mom or a micro-manager but I still struggle with this, even though DS is now in second grade. I get some scant info out of them, but I hate to interrogate. Anyone else struggle with this?
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#2 of 14 Old 06-03-2009, 10:54 AM
 
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Yes and my son is almost 4 and in daycare. No advice, just that I'm there with you.

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
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#3 of 14 Old 06-03-2009, 11:24 AM
 
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Have you considered volunteering in the classroom? I did this a lot when my boys were in elementary school - I called it "spy on the teacher day". I would let the teacher know a week or so in advance if I could come in for half a day or so, and she would gather up a pile of projects for me to do - tedious stuff that she would probably have done at home if I hadn't been there (cutting, filing, photocopying, etc).

So I sat quietly in yhe back of the room, doing things that made the teacher happy, while watching her in action, and watching how my kids interacted with the other kids, watching her teaching and discipline styles. It really helped me feel good about what happened on the days I wasn't there.

It is hard to get details out of little kids - if you ask "How was your day", all you get is "Fine"! I liked to ask things like "What was the best part of your day? what was the worst part? What did you do in gym? Who did you sit by at lunch?" Those questions usually inspired at least a little more information.

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#4 of 14 Old 06-03-2009, 11:26 AM
 
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Can you volunteer in the class or school at all? I love doing this because it gives me such a nice snapshot of what the day is like for my kids, as well as getting to see them in action with teachers and friends. Our school is very warm and welcoming toward volunteers, which is nice.

I miss them too.
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#5 of 14 Old 06-03-2009, 03:00 PM
 
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I agree on volunteering in the school, you'd be surprised at how much more info you end up privy to from both the child & staff.
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#6 of 14 Old 06-06-2009, 11:17 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nd_deadhead View Post
Have you considered volunteering in the classroom? I did this a lot when my boys were in elementary school - I called it "spy on the teacher day".
yes, this! I did this when mine was in school for a short time. I always stayed involved through volunteering in the classroom and other areas in the school. I was in the school every day it seemed. The staff loved me.

Proud *single* mom to 3 amazing kiddos
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#7 of 14 Old 06-06-2009, 04:24 PM
 
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i agree. visit or volunteer. Our school is Montessori, so parent "visitations" in the classroom are a normal part of the experience. And there are a lot of volunteer opportunities also.
but ya..it's weird....lol.

CPST
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#8 of 14 Old 06-07-2009, 06:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I do volunteer in my younger child's room but the older child's year group do not have any volunteer opportunities. It's hard to know what's going on for him.
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#9 of 14 Old 06-07-2009, 01:49 PM
 
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Can you volunteer within the school, not necessarily the class?
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#10 of 14 Old 06-09-2009, 01:19 AM
 
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I have had younger children, so I could not volunteer in the class, but the best way to keep on top of what's going on (besides showing up in the class) is to look at what the teachers are sending home. Is it original artwork or worksheets? If the teacher or school sends newletters, what are they emphasizing--keeping order, creativity, reading ability? If you pick up your child from the school and have a brief discussion with the teacher, what does he/she talk about? What does your child mention--this is very important because it shows what the school is focusing on and how your child responses to it.
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#11 of 14 Old 06-11-2009, 03:41 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Mama Shifra View Post
What does your child mention--this is very important because it shows what the school is focusing on and how your child responses to it.
if its my child you are having a talk with then what is actually going on in school and what she says is going on are two different things.

major events its easy to know because its in the calendar of events.

she will go on and on about the baby animals that were brougth into school, but nothing about the project they are working on in school. you might hear about it weeks after it is over.

apart from what pps have said, i would also talk to other moms from his class to see what they know.

do they give you a schedule of what their day looks like? our school hands out a weekly curriculum so you know when its PE, library, math time, silent reading time, writing time, comprehension time.

i have never ever heard my dd come home and tell me seh took a test. anything relating to academics, she is silent about. what's happening on the playground, who likes whom, what was for lunch - i know all that.

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#12 of 14 Old 06-11-2009, 09:14 AM
 
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I kept track of which days had which "specials" (art, PE, music, library, etc) Over dinner, we'd ask what her favorite part of the day ways, what she learned today, what book the teacher read, what she did in specials, what was the most frustrating thing that day, who she played with on the playground.

That is, we effectively had to teach DD how to talk about her day. We started really structuring conversation to get any information, and after 2 years of this, she's learned how to talk about what's going on, distinguish between "biggies" and not (both big in her mind, and big in ours), and talk about her frustrations. Getting the info on frustrations was particularly important in our case, because it uncovered some pretty big issues.

Just like everything else, talking through ones day is a learned skill for many kids.
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#13 of 14 Old 06-13-2009, 08:18 PM
 
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I second the volunteering. I'm not sure I'd have enrolled mine in school if there were no volunteer opportunities. I don't consider you to be a "helicopter-mom" (if you are, then I'm probably the pilot...) I think it's great you want to be involved.

Another way is to email the teacher weekly and ask what they are doing that week, be very involved in homework, etc.
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#14 of 14 Old 06-16-2009, 01:53 AM
 
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I second volunteering. Thats the best way to know what they are doing in school and also get involved with their activities.
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