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#1 of 7 Old 09-04-2010, 04:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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i had a very difficult decision to make this summer. i truly agonized over whether to continue trying to homeschool/unschool my 5 y.o. daughter. without transportation, it's been extremely difficult, add to that i'm disabled and have some limitations in getting around.

i consider public school to be an addition to my daughter's continuing education, not a replacement. i assume i'll just continue un-schooling her whenever she shows an interest in wanting to learn something. which is every day!

she was pre-tested by the principal and i was told she was at a solid first-grade level, and would receive higher-grade worksheets or books or tutoring as needed. then she took the standard testing with the other incoming kindergartners, and will be in K for 3 weeks while they sort out each child's individual learning style.

yet at the parent orientation, they didn't give out the results of the testing. we each got a few minutes with the teacher, when i let her know the babe has been home-schooled, her reply was "don't worry, i'm sure she'll be able to do kindergarten work." ay-yiyiyiyi my daughter then asked, "where is your 100's table?" pointing to the "1 to 10" poster. *chuckle*

the odd thing was, 99% of the orientation was about how the kids are going to be tired and zoned out at the end of the day, how they won't even get lunch the first week so send plenty of snacks, and how difficult it's going to be for her to eat lunch, since they only have 20 minutes and that includes standing in line for milk. *boggle* i don't have a choice of schools, unfortunately. at least she's going with some of her friends (she has a TON of socialization).

i really don't want to be one of those pushy parents, i want to develop a healthy relationship with everyone involved my daughter's education and i WILL be active at the school.

my daughter was pretty angry when she got done with her orientation, she didn't even want to talk about it! tonight she finally said she didn't like it at all, except for the "new toys." she'll be sitting at a table with kids that didn't know it was the green triangle table (lil' symbol taped in the center), that might be what finally ticked her off.

it's a done deal, homeschool is not an option at this time. so i need all the advice i can get on how to help her transition, while at the same time continuing what i call her "effortless education" at home! i just supply the stuff, she learns it mostly on her own, or by teaching younger kids. a verrrrrry independent kidlet! my worst fear is she'll end up dulling herself just so she can play with her friends and make new friends - although she has friends in 1st through 5th grade at the same school. whew, thanks for listening! lotsa worries and frustrations and second guessing ...

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#2 of 7 Old 09-04-2010, 04:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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hmm, just realized i need to put in more info about my daughter so it makes more sense ...

she missed the age cut-off last year (they wouldn't even test her), she'll be 6 in October. she graduated homeschool kindy on her 3rd birthday. she graduated 1st grade on her 4th birthday. (i used NH state's testing as a guide for graduating.) she's the tallest child in the class by far. her vocabulary is huge and complicated. she's got terrific manners, and she's an orange belt in martial arts which has also given her a lot of self-discipline and the ability to focus quite well. from other parents, i've heard she's got the PE abilities of an 8-yr-old (i.e. the tallest, waviest balancing beams and so on). she doesn't like kids her own age, she prefers 7 and up (although she'll a teacher or "mommy" role with kids her age, loves to teach and nurture them). she likes to be read to by me, but insists on reading on her own (approx. 1st-2nd grade level).

i don't want to assume kindergarten is going to stunt her educational growth, goddess forbid emotional growth. i just didn't realize how lacking the local school system was until i got to the orientation. their very first lesson was how to stand in a line. she's been lining up at martial arts since she was 3, and said she didn't understand why the other kids didn't want to line up. these are 90% kids who have been in HeadStart or preschool already! oh, have i made a terrible mistake?

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#3 of 7 Old 09-04-2010, 04:40 AM
 
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I say talk her through being patient for the next three weeks and see what happens once they've got the "learning styles figured out," as you said. Then, if she's still terribly underchallenged, see if there's a possibility of skipping her a grade. Since the test put her in first grade, that shouldn't be a problem, especially if she continues showing how advanced she is. You probably will have to become one of those pushy parents--the squeeky wheel gets the grease--in order to advocate effectively for her.
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#4 of 7 Old 09-04-2010, 05:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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winces, i hate to be a squeaky wheel when she's just getting started, don't want to get a rep this early on. i have the feeling i'll need to save it for later! *chuckles*

i was told that the biggest reason for not simply placing her in first grade (i.e., if i had moved from another state, she'd be going to the class she tested for) was that "the other parents would complain." *boggle* when my girl told her best friend she'd tested for 1st and was so happy she'd be in class with her, her mom said things like "my kid had to do her time in kindergarten, so do you." uhhh, "do time?" eeps!

we're in public housing and nearly every child here started in HeadStart. yet several have been held back a grade this year, even kindys and 1st graders. i researched the school as best as i could, but only learned the real facts at the parents' orientation, when it's too late to withdraw her.

in any case, i'm only concerned about my kidlet's education, not school politics. i've had 3 step-kids, 2 step-nieces (foster situation) and a foster son in schools elsewhere, so i thought i'd heard it all. it seems i'll have to play politics? ohhh i could get snarky at this point, but i need to nip that in the bud and focus on my kidlet.

i WILL be volunteering for just about everything i can volunteer for. half because i just plain care about the kids, half so i can observe and then tailor my girl's home education for whatever she's motivated to learn.

but then, what if she starts to get frustrated she's not learning what she wants to learn AT school? she's really heavy into astronomy and cosmology right now (her need to learn comes in big waves). i heard they don't get into space til 2nd grade, so we're doing printables and lapbooks. *crossing my fingers and hoping this all works out.*

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#5 of 7 Old 09-04-2010, 09:38 AM
 
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I would give it more time. Every parent thinks their kid is a genius and should be at the top of the class, so the teacher might not take much stock in what you are saying right now. Let the teachers see for themselves what she can do and how she compares socially to the other children. After a month I would request a conference and voice your concerns (if you still have them) about her being in the K class. Good luck!
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#6 of 7 Old 09-04-2010, 07:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by meetoo View Post
I would give it more time. Every parent thinks their kid is a genius and should be at the top of the class, so the teacher might not take much stock in what you are saying right now. Let the teachers see for themselves what she can do and how she compares socially to the other children. After a month I would request a conference and voice your concerns (if you still have them) about her being in the K class. Good luck!
Yes, I agree with this. I'm sure the teachers hear a lot of "my kid should be in first grade!!!", but in your dd's case it really sounds like it is true. After a few weeks (or perhaps even sooner) her teacher will most likely recognize this. But do be prepared to be the squeaky wheel. Advocate for her. Ignore the other parents. JMHO.

Kate, mom to 7 year old Djuna and 4 yr old Alden. Missing our good friend Hal the cat who died June 2, 2010

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#7 of 7 Old 09-04-2010, 08:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LauraN View Post
I say talk her through being patient for the next three weeks and see what happens once they've got the "learning styles figured out," as you said.
I completely agree with this. The beginning of the year is hectic, and the principal said to give them 3 weeks. If you say anything during the 3 weeks, it just makes it look like you can't follow directions.

They know she is bright, they are sorting it out.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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