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Old 09-23-2009, 07:12 PM
 
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Day 9 and she brought home yesterday work again with another copy of the same paper and another not on the top saying " Please sit with Alex and help her form her letters. This is not acceptable.We know she can do better"

edited to add a paper she did today in class that must have been acceptable since it had a star on it.

had a star on it


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Old 09-23-2009, 07:41 PM
 
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Day 9 and she brought home yesterday work again with another copy of the same paper and another not on the top saying " Please sit with Alex and help her form her letters. This is not acceptable.We know she can do better"

edited to add a paper she did today in class that must have been acceptable since it had a star on it.

had a star on it

OKay - I have not said anything because I do not belong on this thread (but I lurk because it is such a supportive, honest thread!) but the penmanship thing is bugging me.

Personally, I think her penmanship is fine for her age. Absolutely fine. Moreover, I am really concerned about messages around perfectionism that might be sent to your DD with repeated requests to improve something that is not wrong, per se.

I think we need to balance the need to practice stuff with the need to not go down the perfectonism path. I am not sure the teacher is in the right on this.

While you may (or may not) be able to influence the teacher with your concerns, you can certainly carefully pick your responses at home.

"I know your teacher wants you to redo it - and you can if you want to, and I will help you if you need it. I, however,think your writing looks fine for your age" ...or some such thing in line with your beliefs

Kathy
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Old 09-23-2009, 08:25 PM
 
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Thanks for the input Kathy

This is a picture of the work she sent to school this morning the do over of 9/22 that had a 3rd copy attached and the not saying it wasn't acceptable work and pretty much how the paper she will return to school tomorrow looks i didn't push her to write it perfectly which is what they want.


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Old 09-23-2009, 10:57 PM
 
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Looks awesome to me.
The teacher knows that reversals are normal for kids up to age 8 or so, right? That's the only thing I could see from her earlier papers.
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Old 09-24-2009, 01:16 AM
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This is a picture of the work she sent to school this morning the do over of 9/22 that had a 3rd copy attached and the not saying it wasn't acceptable work and pretty much how the paper she will return to school tomorrow looks i didn't push her to write it perfectly which is what they want.

I do think that the handwriting on the "star" paper you linked is much better than the handwriting on the first handwriting picture you linked. If she's capable of that level of handwriting, then it does seem that the handwriting paper wasn't her best effort. Which may be fine for you, but in school the teacher will pretty much expect consistent effort.

When I was teaching, I found that reducing the number of letters a child needed to right often got better results for kids who struggled with handwriting. It seems like Alex did better the third time she did the handwriting paper, and she also made fewer repetitions.

My daughter is in school this year, after ten years of unschooling. Granted she's in Russia, so it's a little different... but interesting. Her biggest complaint has been that she's wasting so much time in school that it's hard to cram in all of the things she wants to do (art classes, choir, French class, etc.) in her out of school time. Well, that and the early mornings... and pages of boring handwriting homework.

She's enjoying one of her Russian classes but not her long one, and she's the teaching assistant for an American Lit/American History class, which she likes a lot.

 
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Old 09-24-2009, 02:41 PM
 
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Dar~ Thanks for the inside. When i had her re do it to turn in this morning she only wrote each letter 3 times. So today should be interesting to see if she brings home another note and that same paper again.



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Old 09-24-2009, 04:44 PM
 
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If she does bring home the same paper again, I think it's time for you to write a note to the teacher. This whole "we know she can do better" line means that the teacher thinks that you and her (him?) are on the same page. Let the teacher know that Alex is only capable of so much handwriting a day before her hands get tired and she's just not able to write as neatly anymore. Suggest fewer repetitions, rather than more, if "neat" is the goal.

DD2 still isn't quite done with the homework drama. Yesterday she had a very time-consuming Spanish homework, that she wasn't even sure if she was supposed to do the whole thing or part of. She did the whole thing and then had no time for English or Social Studies homework. She woudln't have minded so much if it was "learning how to learn" (learning a skill that her schooled peers already mastered) but IHO (in her opinion) this was mostly busywork and didn't actually teach much. She had to go through the Spanish-English dictionary and select a noun that starts with each letter of the alphabet and then draw a picture of it.

She got up early this morning and tried to work on her English essay, but there just wasn't enough time. She plans to use the computer for that later. Again, she's struggling with the format. It's supposed to be a "friendly letter" format but the inside is really an essay/book report. DD1 suggested that DD2 address the letter to her. But then DD2 was confused: if she was REALLY writing a letter to DD1 about a book, she wouldn't say much more than "I think you'll love this book" and not want to give any spoilers. But a book report generally includes plot details. DD2 really need to learn how to "play along" with these kinds of writing assignments and not take them TOO literally.

At least she's mastered the technique of the social studies homework, and hopefully that won't take her too long to complete.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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Old 09-25-2009, 12:14 AM
 
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Ruthla~ Thankfully she didn't come home with any notes


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Old 09-25-2009, 08:16 AM
 
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Well my dd is still loving school, this is her second year. She has been dropped to the bottom math group, so we are looking to supplement math at home to help her catch up. She did not do so well on spellings as her teacher quick fires the words and my dd is so slow at writing she couldn't keep up even though she could spell the words correctly grrr!

DS is not hating it but not loving it, his anxiety in the morning drop off is getting worse and he asks for loads of hugs before I peel myself off him. I don't actually know if he is enjoying school.

But to homeschool would mean he would just have me for company and only meet homeschoolers a few times a month and he is so very shy and gentle.

It is hard when your mindset has been homeschooling for so long, when you can see they are not hapy to go to school, I want to wrap him up and take my baby home. It is hard to know what to do. I spent over 8 years reading about how bad schools are for children, it is hard to now see them as a really good place for my children to be!

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Old 09-25-2009, 08:51 AM
 
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But to homeschool would mean he would just have me for company and only meet homeschoolers a few times a month and he is so very shy and gentle.

It is hard when your mindset has been homeschooling for so long, when you can see they are not hapy to go to school, I want to wrap him up and take my baby home. It is hard to know what to do. I spent over 8 years reading about how bad schools are for children, it is hard to now see them as a really good place for my children to be!
Your last paragraph is so true! Dd1 is there and loving it. I am ready for ds1 to go to school but he and dh are not really on board. they are throwing all my own arguments back at me. It doesn't help that ds1 is older than dd and would have to navigate jr high. I f we hold out just another year it will be high school and they both think that is a better place than junior high.

As to your shy and gentle ds, was he unhappy homeschooling? has he asked for a change again or just reassurance in the mornings? I don't see having fewer people around one as inherently bad. Loneliness is bad but not a small social circle in and of itself. It sounds like you really care, I am just trying to understand.

You don’t owe them an explanation, just a response.
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Old 09-25-2009, 09:42 AM
 
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Your last paragraph is so true! Dd1 is there and loving it. I am ready for ds1 to go to school but he and dh are not really on board. they are throwing all my own arguments back at me. It doesn't help that ds1 is older than dd and would have to navigate jr high. I f we hold out just another year it will be high school and they both think that is a better place than junior high.

As to your shy and gentle ds, was he unhappy homeschooling? has he asked for a change again or just reassurance in the mornings? I don't see having fewer people around one as inherently bad. Loneliness is bad but not a small social circle in and of itself. It sounds like you really care, I am just trying to understand.
He would be happy at home, he was never given the choice about homeschool, we sent him because we were worried about him being lonely for friends. He seems genuinely sad when I leave him in the mornings, he juts doesn't want to be there. *sigh*

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Old 09-25-2009, 04:41 PM
 
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My daughter said she had the best day ever today! It was her birthday. Her first period teacher mentioned her birthday and the whole Biology class sang, Happy Birthday to her. Then at lunch she had the whole school sing to her and to the other birthday girl. She was so happy, had tons of kids coming up and talking to her, etc. She told me on the way home that her school was filled with amiable kids. LOL
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Old 09-25-2009, 04:43 PM
 
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I try to look at what my kids want and need, and not to project my own wants and needs onto them. If your DS is happy being with just you all day, and doesnt' actually crave peer socialization, then he might NOT be benefitting from that aspect of school. He might simply not be ready to be away from you all day.

Being in school and around other kids is NOT a guarantee of making friends. I can think of several years of school when I literally had one or two friends, and neither of them went to my school. This happened in 3rd, 4th, 7th, and 8th grades. In 1st and 2nd, and again in 5th and 6th I was in special ed and had friends in the classroom. I think I had more friends in kindergarten because I hadn't yet alienated my friends from preschool, but I didn't make a single friend in school. By high school I was ready and I had a good social life.

DS started out 2nd grade with friends in school, but by the time the school year ended, he didn't consider any of them his friends anymore due to bullying and teasing. I'm not convinced DS was only the victim with the bullying- it seems he bullied back as well. My sweet, sensitive little boy turned into a rude, violent bully. He's getting better, being home with me, but he's still not fully healed from his school experience.

As for the whole "start school in jr high vs starting in high school"- it does sound logical. High school was when I was finally ready to be in a school environment (after 9 years of being miserable in public schools) and I figured it would be the same for DD2, if she chose to go to school at all. But then she wanted to go for 8th grade. Overall, I do think it's working out better than if she'd waited another year. She's got a full year to "learn how to learn in a school environment" before she's in high school. Most of her classes won't count on her high school transcript. The only two that will (Algebra and Earth Science- 8th grade honors doing 9th grade work) she has the option of dropping out of (into 8th grade regular) if she's really struggling.

Overall, she's doing fairly well and she's DEFINITELY happy there. But it's still stressful and she can be so dramatic when she's having trouble with homework. I'm looking forward to the time when DD2 can do her homework independently, with only the occasional question (say, a math topic she's confused about) instead of me having to sit with her and "teach her how to learn" with almost all of her homework.

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Old 09-25-2009, 04:46 PM
 
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My daughter said she had the best day ever today! It was her birthday. Her first period teacher mentioned her birthday and the whole Biology class sang, Happy Birthday to her. Then at lunch she had the whole school sing to her and to the other birthday girl. She was so happy, had tons of kids coming up and talking to her, etc. She told me on the way home that her school was filled with amiable kids. LOL
You posted this while I was typing up my novel.

That's so sweet of her classmates and teacher!

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Old 09-25-2009, 05:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We had curriculum night at the elementary on Tuesday and at the middle school on Thursday. I'm really happy with both my girls' elementary teachers. Great ladies that are really on top of things. The math curriculum (new this year--Math Expressions) is very similar to what we used and loved while homeschooling (Math-U-See), so that's great. They are both having a great time enjoying being with friends, going to PE and music, etc.

My middle schooler is also loving school; there is a strong focus on developing study skills and keeping an agenda, being organized, etc. She has five teachers: three seem very good, sharp folks, one is just like the drama teacher in High School Musical (I swear!)--sequins, fluffy hair, bright clothing and very nurturing, hilarious--and the social studies teacher is a nice guy but you can see history isn't his passion.

Turns out he was formerly the wrestling coach and will be their 2nd semester PE teacher! Hilarious! You would think as a homeschooler this would bother me, but no, it just strikes me as funny. I suggested he could link the two and teach the kids Graeco-Roman wrestling (they are doing a survey of ancient history--which is what I already taught her last year--oh well!).

A lot of budget cuts in various areas of the school district office have pushed administrators, coaches and specialists back into the classroom with interesting results. I've noticed, and the district has confirmed, a spike in public school enrollment this year. Most of it is due to families pulling their kids out of expensive private schools to save money. The upside of this is that some teachers who were laid off due to budget cuts are getting rehired to meet new enrollment needs. My 6th grader's science teacher was at the mid-high for the last two years and was just brought in as a science/math teacher for the middle school three weeks into the school year.

The most annoying things about public school so far:

1) Being on a tighter schedule in the afternoon/evenings. Two days a week we have music lessons and those days are a bit crazier with the knowledge that I have to get the kids to bed on time, get chores done, check off any homework--there's no sleeping in any more!

2) Getting cell phone calls from my kids using their friends' phones during lunch or on the bus. My kids don't have phones. I don't think they should be using them during the day to arrange playdates or what not. Kids' cell phones should be for emergencies! Just about stopped my heart the first time my daughter was calling me from school--I was worried she had been called into the office or had a medical problem or something.

3) Paperwork/keeping track of fundraisers/deadlines. No surprise there!

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Old 09-25-2009, 05:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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[QUOTE=SoCaliMommy;14422014][color=teal] 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"
[QUOTE]

I was just curious--did the teacher correct the work her/himself or was it corrected by a parent volunteer perhaps being too zealous? Is there more to the story?

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Old 09-25-2009, 05:40 PM
 
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Ruthla, you got to it and said it better than I probably would have regarding school/social life/friends. We have a rich social life as homeschoolers (those of us still at home). Dd1 did not feel this way. School has really helped her blossom; it could also help that at 10.5 yo she was ready to be separate more.

Thank you for the comments regarding jr high vs. high school. I agree that any level of maturity can help one to navigate school. I like hearing it from someone other than dh sometimes.

You don’t owe them an explanation, just a response.
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Old 09-25-2009, 06:13 PM
 
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The Hidden Life ~ It was the teacher.


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Old 09-27-2009, 02:23 PM
 
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I had DD2's Curriculum Night on Thursday. The worst part about it was that I had to be away for 2 hours in the evening when DD2 really needed me around for homework help, and instead I came home at 9:00 PM (half an hour after DS should have been in bed) and started with HIS bedtime routine.

I like all of DD2's teachers except for her Spanish teacher, who seems to be on a power trip. I was especially impressed with her Earth Science teacher, who seems to share my philosophy about "no busywork" and "learn CONCEPTS, don't waste time copying over notes."

I'm a little concerned about DD's ability to keep up in math (Algebra, high school level), as it seems the teacher is "reviewing" material that DD is learning for the first time. As a result, "15-20 minutes' worth of homework" is taking her about an hour. But we'll see how it goes. The pace of "school math" (vs how we handled it at home- skimming through pages and only stopping long enough at each page to understand a concept) may be enough for her to fully learn the material even though it's supposed to be review. If she does well on the tests, she'll probably stay in this class.

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Old 09-28-2009, 08:03 PM
 
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Let the homework struggle begin

Alex brought home the 1st homework packet today, I could had sworn they wouldn't be starting it til after back to school night.

Monday is ~
Laguage Arts- Copy spelling words and dictation sentence.
there are 10 spelling words she has to copy each 3 times plus write the sentence 2 times.
Memorize Poem for poetry test on friday
A-P-P-L-E
There was an orchard with a tree,
And apples grew upon it.
A-P-P-L-E, A-P-P-L-E,A-P-P-L-E,
And apples grew upon it.
(Tune: B-I-N-G-O)

Math pages 3 &4
each page has 10 problems total

Read "Tam The Cat" and another book for 15mins
Tam The Cat consists of :
Mat
Tam Cat Sat
Tam Cat sat,sat,sat

mark off how many minutes read and parent signs off when they finish that days homework.


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Old 09-28-2009, 11:23 PM
 
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ugh. that seems like way too much homework to me.

i know that schools vary widely on how much homework is given. the school noah goes to had almost no homework in first grade. they had a couple of projects over the course of the year that they were given about a week or so to complete. they weren't big deals at all, more fun than anything, and that was it. i was pleased with that. now, in second grade, he is given a little bit more, but not much. so far it has just been one assignment per night, if that. even that feels like too much sometimes b/c he doesn't even get home until 4pm.

how do you feel kami? how does your dd feel about it?

Chrissy, lucky mama to Noah (9), Lilah (6), Rowan (3) and Laney (1).
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Old 09-29-2009, 02:13 AM
 
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SoCaliMommy---And that homework isn't for the whole week? When my DD brings home her 1st grade homework packet, it's for the whole week. She gets it on Friday and it's due the next Thursday. It is about the amount of HW you listed. For one day, that would be, uhhh, OPPRESSIVE to say the least.

Here, my kids just entered a 3-week break, because it's a year-round school and started in July. (Weird.) Honestly, I'm feeling a wee bit panicky about how to fill the three weeks. But today we went to the Long Beach Aquarium and it was actually FUN to be with the kids. We all actually ENJOYED it, OMG, it was like the old days before we were SO burned out on HSing and each other. SoCaliMommy---Have you been to the Aquarium? The new shark lagoon is way cool. But anyway, I'm enjoying the kids, because I know that it's only for three weeks, not the eternity of a whole relatively empty (un)school year stretching out ahead. Funny, how school is making me enjoy my kids again because we get a break from each other.

Now, if only I could get a break from the little two once in a while......

Ruthla---I hope the homework stress eases up for you soon! I really feel for you. We have a much easier situation. Do you think it's getting any easier now, or it the same, or getting harder? Do you ever think about hiring a school-based tutor to help your kids get more of their work done at school? Are there any free periods for doing homework? By the way, I hope you have had a wonderful and contemplative Yom Kippur.
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:19 AM
 
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Gosh that is a lot, my dd aged 9 brings that much home!

My ds aged 5 brings home some sounds and words to learn and a reading book that is wordless that he is to read through twice with me- takes about 10 minutes in total. I am not sure how much he will be bringing home when he is 6 but I don't think it will be too much (I hope)

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Old 09-29-2009, 01:48 PM
 
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Let the homework struggle begin

Alex brought home the 1st homework packet today, I could had sworn they wouldn't be starting it til after back to school night.

Monday is ~
Laguage Arts- Copy spelling words and dictation sentence.
there are 10 spelling words she has to copy each 3 times plus write the sentence 2 times.
Memorize Poem for poetry test on friday
A-P-P-L-E
There was an orchard with a tree,
And apples grew upon it.
A-P-P-L-E, A-P-P-L-E,A-P-P-L-E,
And apples grew upon it.
(Tune: B-I-N-G-O)

Math pages 3 &4
each page has 10 problems total

Read "Tam The Cat" and another book for 15mins
Tam The Cat consists of :
Mat
Tam Cat Sat
Tam Cat sat,sat,sat

mark off how many minutes read and parent signs off when they finish that days homework.

The reading sounds like a reasonable amount to have each day. PITA to fill out reading logs, but 15 minutes a day for 1st graders does sound reasonable. Memorizing the little poem doesn't sound too bad either.

But that sounds like WAY too much handwriting to do all that LA plus all that math! I know DS would have struggled with that, especially after a whole day of school.

Quote:
Originally Posted by freestyler View Post
Ruthla---I hope the homework stress eases up for you soon! I really feel for you. We have a much easier situation. Do you think it's getting any easier now, or it the same, or getting harder? Do you ever think about hiring a school-based tutor to help your kids get more of their work done at school? Are there any free periods for doing homework? By the way, I hope you have had a wonderful and contemplative Yom Kippur.
The homeworks seems to be getting easier for DD2. She still needs me around when doing the work, but she's doing more on her own and needing less help for each little thing. She's definitely gotten the social studies work down- it's still fairly time consuming, but the teacher gives the whole week's assingment at once so she can organize her time fairly well. She's frustrated knowing that her classmates have all weekend to work on it, but she has to fit it in during the school week due to all the holidays.

Math is still a lot of work because her class is "reviewing" what she's learning for the first time. So I basically have to teach algebra every night. My guess is that things will get easier in another month or so when they finish "reviewing" and go onto new material- then the pace should slow down. Alternatively, she'll do poorly on the first few exams and drop down to easier math. Either way, things should get easier in another month or so. Plus, she'll be less pressed for time after the holidays end.

She can stay 9th period to do homework with the teacher available to help, but she doesn't like that. She wants to do work at home, with me to help her. And I'm capable of helping her, as long as I organize my time so I'm available.

Both girls were incredibly grumpy about having to get up early for school today after fasting yesterday. DD1 was especially upset about it, seeing how, had she gone to a Jewish school this year, she might have had today off.

ETA: I just checked the online school calendar for one of the local Jewish schools. She would have had school today anyway.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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Old 09-29-2009, 05:52 PM
 
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freestyler~ Alex brings home her homework packet on Mondays and turns it in Friday. That was just one days worth of homework.

chrissy~ I thought it was a little much. She struggled with writing the words 3x each and copying the sentence 2times, so much so that we both got frustrated and i had her only do 3 spelling words and dh got home and helped her with the rest of the spelling words.



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Old 09-29-2009, 10:47 PM
 
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All that writing would have annoyed Noah too, maybe not as much this year (2nd grade), but last year he would have absolutely hated it.

Today was a strange day for me. For the past few weeks I have been really really wanting to homeschool- spending a lot of time thinking about it, reading about it online, talking about it with friends, bringing it up with dh, and just generally really really being excited about the idea. But then today I really was grateful for school. This morning nobody fussed about going- even Rowan, who is just going 2 mornings a week from 9-12, didn't complain. Then I had a nice break. I enjoyed the quiet. Hmmmmm. I guess that's why I'm giving this decision a while.

Chrissy, lucky mama to Noah (9), Lilah (6), Rowan (3) and Laney (1).
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Old 09-29-2009, 11:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeteaa View Post
The school dd1 attends doesn't have transportation, the kids walk or parents drive. For K parents need to drop off and pick up AT THE CLASS DOOR. I would freak out if my K dd1 was pulled out of class w/ o an immediate reason given to me either via a phone call that day or a note when I pick her up. One of the horror stories I heard from a hs parent was how the school tried to put their 7 yr old dd on ADD medication w/o the parents consent.
that could never ever ever in a million years ever ever happen. The school nurse can't even give TYLENOL without it being in a prescribed bottle, with dosage from a pharmacy.
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Old 09-30-2009, 02:30 AM
 
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When did things become so danged SERIOUS? When I was growing up, the school nurse could give out Tylenol and stuff, like if you had cramps and junk. Sheesh.
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Old 09-30-2009, 10:21 AM
 
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Kids also cannot take over the counter medication with them to school. Even my 13 year old can't have something for cramps with her. Sure this policy makes sense for a 5 year old, but a 13 year old?

In other goofy news, my 11 year old (6th grader) is getting ready to start a Basic Abstinence Program. I have so many problems with this that I could write a novel, and explained them to her. However, I left the final choice up to her (as is in line with my parenting values) and she wants to go because there is a party at the end. The only good thing about it so far is they will send home sheets that she and I *must* discuss and then I have to sign, so I will have lots of opportunities to share my views.

I really hate the idea of sex being presented as something scary that will kill you, so that only penis/vigina counts as sex, or that sex is only OK in marriage (which just seems like religion dressed up as science). Or that there are two options -- no sex or lots of stupid sex -- I really think there is a middle path.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 09-30-2009, 11:16 AM
 
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I'm not worried about sex ed in school. I figure I've already covered most of what they're going to teach in school, and probably MORE than they're teaching, with my own values instilled. If DD2 has some interesting tidbits from her "health class" (which so far has covered "financial health" and then she had to make up a poster about "healthy decisions"- she chose exercise) we can discuss them together. We've already covered "This is what the Torah says to do; if you choose otherwise then here's how to keep yourself safe."

DD2 seems to be settling in nicely. She's having no trouble in math- when they had some time to do homework in class, she was as fast as her classmates. I think part of the problem at home is dawdling, stopping to chat about random stuff, etc, not actual difficulty doing the work itself. Last night she got 2/3 of her weekly Social Studies done. The same project that took her about 2-3 hours a night to do a little bit the first week, she got nearly done in about 3 focused hours. It's a short week, due to all the holidays (no school Monday, and then she can't do any homework over the weekend because it's Succos) but it looks like she has things under control.

And, for the first time this year, DD1 forgot her lunch. I dropped it off at her school after driving DD2 to the middle school.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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