Would someone mind calming my nerves? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 15 Old 07-15-2010, 04:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Due to many and varying circumstances, we have decided to put our two girls in public school this year, as opposed to homeschooling like we have been doing the last few years. My youngest will be in kindergarten, she doesn't have to take an assessment or anything and I have full confidence that she is ready and then some for kindergarten. My should-be 2nd grader, I'm a little more anxious about but she is a quick learner and very smart and I have no doubt that whatever she is being taught, she will pick up quickly. She does have to take a placement test though, and I'm pretty anxious about that. (If any previous hs'ers have experience with this, feel free to chime in. Like, if you have any idea what the test could look like, what might be on it, etc. Thanks.)

Mostly what I'm asking for here is an idea of what second grade might look like for her. Will there be a lot of the teacher explaining things and going over things with them, sending homework home with her for me to help her with? Or will she only explain what to do and have the children do most of their work in class? I understand that every teacher is different and this is probably a ludicrous request, but I'm just trying to get a feel for what her day might be like so we can prepare for it.

The fact that she's ADHD and has never had to adhere to a strict schedule is not helping my anxiety. Is this just a silly question? Too general? Can anyone empathize with me? lol

"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn - Benjamin Franklin"
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#2 of 15 Old 07-15-2010, 09:49 AM
 
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We are the opposite. Started in public school and now homeschool. My dd who is now 15 was in ps for 2nd grade. I remember that they had homehork. usually math, spelling and read for 20 minutes every night. It wasn't alot. She actually had an awesome teacher for 2nd. She even watched our dd when I was in the hospital giving birth to our second dd.

They sat at desks pushed together into table groups. The had a routine of what subjects they did each day. I have to say that my younger dd would not have done well as she is used to doing math in 20 min and not having to wait for the whole class to get it. Some teachers do centers still in 2nd grade. Your dd would probably do better with that.

Try to schedule an appt with the new teacher before school starts and discuss your fears. I think that second grade is a better place to start back in ps then third as in third they are expected to do a lot more sitting at desks and sitting still.

Good luck!
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#3 of 15 Old 07-15-2010, 12:34 PM
 
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I can share our experiences with 2nd grade but I'm not sure how much help they will be to you. Both my kids were in sort of different circumstances.

For DD, 2nd grade was all about centers. The teacher would start the day with short explainations of new math and language arts concepts. They would spend the morning from center to center completing their work. This was good for independant workers and kids who needed to move. The teacher would be at one table where the kids could bring their work if they really weren't getting it. They had 2 recesses and lunch. The second half of the day was devoted to social studies, science, art, ect. This was largely group time through games, stories, songs, ect. She got a packet of homework every Wednesday. It was light... just some worksheets to reinforce new concepts they were going over in class. My DD did them all the first day and then had no homework until the next Wednesday.

DS is in Spanish Immersion so his 2nd grade was quite different. The kids need to use their language and build vocabulary. This means they do a LOT of the work orally with their teacher through games, chants, stories, ect. This was fantastic for DS (who is incredibly verbal but struggles greatly with writing.) Obviously, they did some paperwork but not nearly as much as my DD did in 2nd grade. Plus, his school is very technology based so they were doing much of their work on the computer, learning to word process, putting together power point presentations, ect. He had homework packets too but because just the act of writing answers was taxing, we would break it up a couple pages a day.

I would just expect some gaps with your 2nd grader. It happens with ANY kid coming into a new school whether it's from homeschooling or from another campus. I have no doubt your DD will fill them quickly. I also expect there will be areas where she's been exposed to material they haven't at school yet. It happens when you move to new curriculums.

Good luck!

Married mom of two, DD 17 and DS 13.
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#4 of 15 Old 07-15-2010, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the responses!

luv2homeschool - I definitely can't wait until I can sit down with the teacher and discuss my fears and explain what we've been doing with her. That will make me feel a lot better.

whatsnextmom - You are so right about the curriculum gap, I sure hope they take that into consideration. I guess I'm just mostly anxious about the "placement test" now.

"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn - Benjamin Franklin"
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#5 of 15 Old 07-15-2010, 04:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by deesmomma View Post
She does have to take a placement test though, and I'm pretty anxious about that.
I'm sure it varies from school to school, but when my DDs started school after homeschooling, the schools just wanted a general idea of their math and reading levels, and if there were any glaring issues that might warrent extra help. Both my DDs enjoyed their assessments.

For my DD who started school younger, she read to the evaluator, filled in a page of math, and wrote a couple of sentences. They chatted a little about what DD likes to do. I was concerned because we were very relaxed homeschoolers, but DD did fine.

My other DD went into middle school and was given a computerized test. She did fine as well.

The school staff people doing the tests were super nice.

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The fact that she's ADHD and has never had to adhere to a strict schedule is not helping my anxiety.
Is she officially ADHD? Have you talked to the school about this?

She can have a 504 Plan to make her school day work better for her. It is easier to get and to modify a 504 Plan than an IEP (my DD with high functioning autism has a 504).

It may take a little while to figure out exactly what accommodations she needs to be successful, but schools really are used to kids who are different and truly want to help them suceed.

If she hasn't been officially dx with ADHD, then I'd get the ball rolling for an eval.

School can be wonderful for kids. We've had very positive experiences. My social DD has far more friends since starting school and has really blossomed. My special needs DD now has an entire team of people helping her, not just me. It's been the best thing for both of them.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#6 of 15 Old 07-15-2010, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, Linda! Your information was SO helpful. I guess as far as the placement/assessment goes I'm just afraid she'll freeze up or give the regular "I dunno," response that she gives her grandmother when she tries to quiz her. Or that they will have something on there that we just never got to. Of course she can add and subtract, count money, tell time, etc. Sigh, I need to stop worrying, don't I?

As far as the adhd goes, no she hasn't been diagnosed but it is on my list. She has all the signs, but while I was homeschooling her *I* could handle it, you know? But now she won't have that freedom and I'm a little worried. I will be getting her evaluated asap though and thank you for the information about the 504 plan, I had no idea and that will help a lot. Thank you!

"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn - Benjamin Franklin"
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#7 of 15 Old 07-16-2010, 12:40 AM
 
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Originally Posted by deesmomma View Post
As far as the adhd goes, no she hasn't been diagnosed but it is on my list. She has all the signs, but while I was homeschooling her *I* could handle it, you know?
I totally know! I did the same thing!

I'd recommend moving it to the top of your list because it can take time. You can either go private or through the public school, or you get an eval both ways.

To go private, start by finding out what your insurance will pay for and then start jumping through hoops. (My DD's private eval last year cost $2,000, and insurance paid for all but $50). Your family doctor is most likely a good place to start asking for referrals (even if insurance doesn't need one, s/he may know some one good to do the eval.). This can be a long process because many people who do these evals have long waiting list.

To request an eval from the school, you need to request it in writing -- a real letter on paper with a date. This is a legal thing, and they have a set amount of time from your written request to get the eval done.

If it were me, I'd start done both paths and see what happens first.

Quote:
thank you for the information about the 504 plan, I had no idea and that will help a lot. Thank you!
It's been wonderful for my DD. Her school was really super about trying to figure out what worked for her. However, without an official dx, there isn't a thing they can do. nada.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#8 of 15 Old 07-17-2010, 09:56 PM
 
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I can't help you with anything specific to grade 2 as we homeschooled through elementary. My daughter attended school for the first time last year (half-time). I was worried about the transition but it was very easy for her. She enjoyed her time at school and liked the kids. She found some of the classes pretty boring (moved to slowly) and has decided to homeschool again full-time for now. Just wanted you to know that feeling anxious is normal, but it will all be fine!

I think getting the eval Linda on the Move suggests is a good idea. At least you will know what you are dealing with and if your daughter needs some accommodations she can get them before the demands of the higher grades ramp up. It sounds like you have bright kids and it can be pretty easy for them to mask issues before the higher grades bring higher demands that stress their compensatory skills. So, if your mommy sense tells you there is an issue, but she is still doing alright as a 2nd grader - go ahead and insist on testing. Trust your gut on these sorts of issues!
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#9 of 15 Old 07-17-2010, 10:29 PM
 
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At the start of 1st and 2nd grade, my daughter had a reading assessment with her teacher -- reading aloud from non-fiction books to assess her reading level.

I don't think it's out of line to ask the school the nature of the placement test. Perfectly reasonable, in fact.
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#10 of 15 Old 07-17-2010, 11:14 PM
 
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My son just finished second grade.

The teacher spent a lot of time working with the kids. There was very little time where they were expected to just sit and quietly do work. As was mentioned, they sat in squares with four desks pushed together. Much of the work was done as a group.

He did have homework every night(except Fridays). Most days was spelling, math, possibly a reading assignment, and generally they were asked to spend at least 10 minutes reading. My son was able to do all the work pretty quickly most of the time.

They went to the library once a week, had art once a week, computer once a week music twice a week, and PE three times a week. They had one long and one short recess each day. Thirty minutes for lunch.
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#11 of 15 Old 07-18-2010, 10:10 PM
 
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Does something like this help?

http://www.greatschools.org/students...gs?content=531

I think there are some fairly universal expectations around curriculum, behavior and knowledge in most schools.

 
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#12 of 15 Old 07-19-2010, 04:42 AM
 
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If it helps, 2nd grade is often a 'catch up' year. In first grade, they introduce the basics of reading, addition and subtraction. In second grade, they practice, practice, practice. This was true 35 years ago when I went to second grade, and it was true 2 years ago when ds went to second grade. His comment at the end of the year was "I don't think I learned very much from Mrs. J."

He had learned things, but mostly what he learned was fluency. I remember being bored out of my skull in 2nd grade. So, if your dd has ADHD tendencies, I agree that getting her evaluated before school starts is a good idea. Going in with a good plan will make you all feel better.

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#13 of 15 Old 07-19-2010, 12:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
So, if your dd has ADHD tendencies, I agree that getting her evaluated before school starts is a good idea.
It is most likely impossible to get her evaluated before school starts. Evals can take a long time. My advice is to get the ball rolling as soon as possible because it can take time.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#14 of 15 Old 07-20-2010, 03:45 PM
 
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I would guess that the biggest concern would be reading, with math secondary. Reading might include lists of sight words, invented words (slade, for instance, to see if she can blend and identify a long a), reading small paragraphs and possibly a few comprehension questions. Your DC will probably be asked to keep going until she hits a ceiling. They will probably tell her but you also might want to prepare her that they will keep asking until it gets too hard.

Here's a link to the kind of reading test my DS's school used for assessment:

http://highland.hitcho.com.au/readingassessment.pdf

Heather
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#15 of 15 Old 07-26-2010, 09:44 AM
 
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Often structure can help with ADHD, so it could be a plus to send her to a classroom (if handled correctly).

I entered my DS (now 10) into second grade after HSing and it was the perfect year to do it. He had to learn some things that the other kids had already been taught, but had mastered other things already. So he had a mix of self-confidence in his knowledge and opportunities for learning.

Now, if you find your child needs "more," you should talk to the teacher. For kids who pick up on material quickly, small things like commenting on effort (not just "good work" for correct answers) is soooooo important. My DS2 is entering 2nd grade and we need to get that across to the teacher this year. Having them work with another child at a similar level can help a lot too.

Good luck!!
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