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#1 of 21 Old 03-28-2011, 06:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is a question for those of you with children in accelerated or gifted schools. My DD has just been accepted to a very academically demanding school. This is a public school that you test into, admission is purely score based. We live in an urban area with struggling public schools and getting into this particular school is one of the "holy grails" of our public schools and we are super fortunate to have been given a spot. However. I'm not a fan of the whole teaching to the test paradigm and this school both places a lot of value in and gets lots of accolades for it's high test scores, they give lots of homework, enter and win lots of contests--stuff like that. DD may thrive in this environment (if she doesn't we'll pull her out), so we've decided to give it a try. But there are some things I'm concerned about and would love any feedback from BTDT mamas.

 

My concern is that with such a rigorous day DD will be too tired after school to pursue other interests. On top of that with so much homework when will she have time to play and socialize with her friends? Basically if your DC is in a school like this what do you do to make sure that their whole selves are being developed? What do you do at home to balance out the pressured environment of the school?

 

TIA

 

 

 

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#2 of 21 Old 03-28-2011, 08:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Shaki View Post However. I'm not a fan of the whole teaching to the test paradigm and this school both places a lot of value in and gets lots of accolades for it's high test scores, they give lots of homework, enter and win lots of contests--stuff like that. DD may thrive in this environment (if she doesn't we'll pull her out), so we've decided to give it a try. But there are some things I'm concerned about and would love any feedback from BTDT mamas.

 

My concern is that with such a rigorous day DD will be too tired after school to pursue other interests. On top of that with so much homework when will she have time to play and socialize with her friends? Basically if your DC is in a school like this what do you do to make sure that their whole selves are being developed? What do you do at home to balance out the pressured environment of the school?

 

TIA


Though my ds is in an open access (college prep) charter there are some similarities. My son is only in first grade so I don't have much experience with this school, but I believe that their stated philosophy is to provide rigorous academics and the test scores will follow, but I don't know how that plays out in reality. They do provide many opportunities for entering contests and have school clubs that a child needs to try out for.

 

There is no transportation so dh drives ds and I pick him up. Children attend from all directions and I don't seem to have any neighbors in this school. The school also has fairly frequent social events. I'm thinking that his social life with revolve around his school. He likes to unwind after school with his computer, snap circuts, legos, and playing in the yard with his sister.

 

Due to dh wanting to try ds in football and ds' other appointments he wasn't able to participate in the school clubs/sports this year (though due to his ADHD related behavior issues it was probably for the best). Next year I want to have him try out for the Lego Robotics (a special interest), join the art club (loves Art class), and join the soccer team (football is not his sport, but there is less standing around [and gear to wear] in soccer so I'm hoping he'll take to it). I'd like to keep it to one club and one sport. The clubs meet twice a week for an hour and the sports twice a week plus game day. Football was a challenge scheduling wise but it took up more time and was a 20min drive so I think that even two school activities would be easier.

 


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#3 of 21 Old 03-28-2011, 08:12 PM
 
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which grade is your dd in?

 

in K and first adn to some degree in 2nd the first month back to school after holidays is hugely stressful - no matter which school you go to. it is doubly stressful for GATE kids since most of the stuff is repeatition. so be aware that the first month or so (i am assuming your child will begin in sept) will be very hard. 

 

well the problem is hw is not THAT much. its mostly what half hour to 45 mins + an hour of whining time. so factor in the whining time. if that's what you do. in first i had enough of fighting over hw. we were going everywhere to do it - park, cafe, etc .dd would do a little hw and then off to play and then little more. sitting in one place trying to finish everything was too overwhelming for her. she has different places she does hw too depending on how she feels. having her own space to do hw did not work for her. so i spoke to teh teacher adn then told dd it was up to her to do hw or not, but she'd have to bear the consequences at school. she chose not to do her hw. first day she had to stay in during recess and do her hw and spend the rest of the time reading books. so she'd race through her hw in 10 mins and then spend 5 mins reading. but sure enough by the end of the week it was getting old. and i havent had any problems with hw ever since. 

 

i dont find dd's school experience is more pressured than usual. what's hard on her is doing 6 hours of what she is expected to do rather than what she wants to do. she really is not challenged, but she doesnt want to be as that usually means a couple more pages of hw. 

 

however the part that dd enjoys is she has made really close friends. and she just loves hanging out with them.

 

she has great, great teachers who are sensitive AND make her laugh. she doesnt want to miss because of the teachers. 

 

i dont think her school has impacted our lives that much. however i will say because of a v. strong PTA the school holds a lot of interesting things that most other schools dont get a chance to experience. 


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#4 of 21 Old 03-28-2011, 11:07 PM
 
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Both of my kids have been in magnet gifted schools and one nice thing about them being in self-contained classes was there was a marked decrease in "teaching to the test".  Since it was assumed that all of the kids would handily pass the test, they didn't spend nearly as much time as other classes covering the test material.

 

There have been times where I felt there was too much homework assigned.  With DD we were very lucky because her 3rd/4th teacher made it emphatically clear that *she* chose what to assign but the parents got to pick what their child needed to complete.  You could put a line through the homework at any point, initial it and that was what was enough for *your* child to do.

 

Personally, I wouldn't borrow trouble yet.  Like another poster menionted, no matter what school will be tiring at the beginning.  Just the hours of being "on" are wearing on most kids.  I was terrified for my DS to go into 3rd grade (different teacher than DD had) because of the rumors I heard about amount of work and pressure.  And... it was entirely overrated.  He's had a few weeks where the work load was pretty high (during novel studies), but other than that it's been quite easy.  And he, particularily, has really thrived under the structure.  I'm going out of my way to reassure the 2nd grade parents I know that it is not as horrible as it's made out to be, lol.  We even considered not putting DD in the program in the first place because of the reports of soooo much homework and how hard it was and she really breezed through elementary school.

 

Good luck and congrats on the acceptance!


 

 

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#5 of 21 Old 03-29-2011, 04:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the replies so far! Some people have asked what grade my DD will be going into. She'll be starting kindy.

 

It's comforting to hear that the pressure may be not as bad as advertised! I'd love to hear more about if your DC's are pursuing interests outside of school. And if you feel like your schools are addressing social emotional growth alongside the academics. If you think social and emotional growth is not addressed than what do you do to balance that out, or is it simply not an issue?

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#6 of 21 Old 03-29-2011, 05:40 AM
 
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interests outside school is crucial to my dd's wellbeing. with dd i do two things. afterschool and arts/crafts/social activities. with afterschool we follow her other interests. that includes learning japanese (at home), pursing her other 'academic' interests - esp in chemistry. she is also learning sewing and crochet. she is also responsible for part of our backyard garden. plus free time to do what she wants. i dont have the $$$ for music lessons or sports. however dd is the sort who much prefers unstructured days.

 

i am not sure what you mean by social emotional growth. our school definitely assesses the subject of bullying. every year they have an author come and with her team do plays to discourage bullying and to show what kids can do to avoid getting into fights. of course bullying remains on a v. minor level but there has been absolutely no major problem with that at school in any grade that i am aware of.

 

i mean to a certain degree they have to maintain socio emot. issues. for instance the discipline policy. but it all comes down to the teacher. so far dd hasnt had a 'bad' teacher. the teachers tho at our school are definitely stressed. a lot. they have a LOT on their plate and i see the teachers not leave school till a couple of hours after school has been out. a couple of the teachers cant handle the pressure and end up taking months off. so far i have not noticed having that big an impact on dd. while she has not really cared for the new teachers as much as her old teachers (for whom she cried buckets and buckets) she has done well. 

 

the teachers do move their sitting arrangement around so the kids get to sit with their friends and some new ones - provided they behave. plus teachers sharing their life really has an impact on teh kids. dd has developed a passion for fishing that she got from her second grade teacher. to break social taboo the teacher purposely rides a pink bike. and the biggest honor the kids get is being allowed a chance to ride it or get a ride in it. in fact the day dd gets a chance i am told by all the students whom i see before i see dd at pickup. 

 

one thing i will say though - this is not a neighbourhood school and kids come from all over the city. the close small home kinda school feeling from neighborhood schools do not exist here. this runs more like a business. however there is so much more going on, that yes it does make sense to run like a business. 

 

plus i have learnt us parents having a connection with the teacher really has an impact on your child's future. so if u can volunteer, volunteer, volunteer. dd had issues that cleared up once i started spending more time in the classroom.  if you cant volunteer then talk to the teacher and get to know them. i dont volunteer in class so much now as its not really needed anymore but i have got to know the teacher on a more personal basis. which is why i have never gone for PTAs because i get that every time we meet.  

 

dd loves her school for social issues, but hates it for academic reasons. she really disagrees with the curriculum. at K (in a different school) she told her teacher that they dont know how to teach. that the children are interested in projects and knowing about things. while doing that the teachers could include language learning. the teacher called me in for a meeting to tell me about this and she just could not control her laughter. she also told me dd told her she comes to school to 'party' and goes home to study. i think that's dds philosophy still now.

 

 


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#7 of 21 Old 03-29-2011, 08:09 AM
 
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We've done different things for school at different times, and I agree with the others to give it a few months. Many kids need a few months to adjust to a new school situation. I think it will be easier for her since she is starting in K -- she'll get used to the rigor off the bat.

 

As far as outside activities, some kids do GREAT with lots of things going on, some don't. For one of my DDs, being busy is being happy. Last year she was in the high school musical, which practiced every day for a while, on the chess team (which she missed some practices because of the musical but still went to district) and made straight As while doing the extra work of the gifted program. She took her homework with her to play practice, did it in the car on the way home from chess tournaments, etc. She worked hard, she pulled it all off, and she was happy. For another child, it would have been a misery.

 

If you are concerned about social stuff, you could see if anyone is starting a Daisy Girl Scout troop at the school next year, and if not, then do it yourself! My DDs loved Daisy scouts when they were in kindergarten, and it's all about social and emotional growth. It gives the kids a nice little set of girls to do fun things with.


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#8 of 21 Old 03-29-2011, 08:19 AM
 
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My youngest is in an accelerated school and it's been great for the most part. It's a tri-lingual school and about 1 year accelerated in curriculum. DS has an additional subject acceleration in math, is part of the advanced Mandarin class and in the GATE program. He's done very well there because it speaks to his talents. His particular class has tested highest in the state since 2nd grade. They don't assign much homework and never on weekends. They don't do a lot of competition within the school but a handful outside the school for those interested in trying out for the teams. It's not perfect. Despite the accolades, I don't feel he's had the writing education that my DD had in regular school. While it's overall advanced, DS hasn't had the individualized attention that DD had. DD's teachers have been more experienced and better at handling unusual sorts of kids. Sometimes I feel the school takes on too much in regaurds to enrichment and the kids spend little time in their own classrooms. However, DS has thrived there academically. Socially has been up and down. The school attracts certain kinds of families... the granola "speak the language so you can connect to the world" (which is us) or the "speak the language so you can take over the world" (which is not us.) DS's had some bully issues with kids from the "we're here because it looks good on our college resume" kids. I will say the school turned that around quickly. We live in a very middle class area but half the kids come from outside the district, many from very wealthy areas. Kids are getting dropped in everything from beat-up pick-up to hummer SUV's. So there is a larger gap between the haves and have nots than typical in a school. Overall though, I am grateful for the school and my son's attendance.

 

The good news for you is that if you try it and your DD doesn't like it, you can always pull her out! You have options!


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#9 of 21 Old 03-29-2011, 08:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

We've done different things for school at different times, and I agree with the others to give it a few months. Many kids need a few months to adjust to a new school situation. I think it will be easier for her since she is starting in K -- she'll get used to the rigor off the bat.

 

As far as outside activities, some kids do GREAT with lots of things going on, some don't. For one of my DDs, being busy is being happy. Last year she was in the high school musical, which practiced every day for a while, on the chess team (which she missed some practices because of the musical but still went to district) and made straight As while doing the extra work of the gifted program. She took her homework with her to play practice, did it in the car on the way home from chess tournaments, etc. She worked hard, she pulled it all off, and she was happy. For another child, it would have been a misery.

 

If you are concerned about social stuff, you could see if anyone is starting a Daisy Girl Scout troop at the school next year, and if not, then do it yourself! My DDs loved Daisy scouts when they were in kindergarten, and it's all about social and emotional growth. It gives the kids a nice little set of girls to do fun things with.

 

Very helpful post Thanks! It's funny that you mention Daisy Girl Scouts I was just on their website thinking about starting a troop!
 

 

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#10 of 21 Old 03-29-2011, 08:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The good news for you is that if you try it and your DD doesn't like it, you can always pull her out! You have options!


Yes exactly, that's the comfort that I keep coming back to. If it's not a good fit it's not like we are obligated to stay.

 

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#11 of 21 Old 03-29-2011, 09:15 AM
 
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My 2 dc attended self-contained gifted programs in public school during their late elementary/middle school years, starting in 4th grade.  I'm not sure whether their experience is helpful because I suspect the program was quite different than the one you are describing in your area. Although admission to our gifted program was based mainly on IQ assessment scores (so all students were at least 98th percentile for IQ), there were a number of dual exceptionality students (gifted/learning disabled, Asperger's, etc.). I think there was a fair amount of flexibility in expectations and standards, in-class accommodations, instructional methods etc. that tended to minimize any competitive, high-pressure atmosphere in the program. The students came from neighbourhoods all over the city, and represented many different socioeconomic levels and cultural groups. With such a diverse group, tolerance and empathy were carefully nurtured in the classroom. 

 

There was a fair amount of homework, but it wasn't unnecessary busywork. I don't recall pages and pages of worksheets or huge spelling lists or similar work that is routinely given out in regular schools. So while the homework might have been more challenging than in regular class, it was also more interesting and satisfying for my dc to work on it. A lot of the assignments were independent and group projects to be prepared and then presented to the rest of the class. Thus, the students were teaching themselves and their fellow classmates. The group project work helped build leadership and team skills, organizational skills, communication skills, etc., which perhaps addresses a little your "social emotional" question.  If homework was inappropriate - too much or not at the right level etc. - the teachers were usually open to discussing it and adjusting the work. 

 

My dc did a lot of extra-curricular activities, but I think it's up to each family to decide their tolerance level. This school may offer enough drama, music and sports during class hours or immediately before or after school that you don't have to search for a lot of other outside activities.

 

Does your child have to maintain a certain standard to remain in this school? Are certain grade averages or test scores required? If not, I think you can take a fairly independent approach to performance at the school. As long as your child is learning and content, I'd try to minimize any worrying about what the other kids are doing and how well they are doing - which I find is often the source for a huge amount of the pressure for parents and students at these kinds of schools. I would demonstrate to my child that I didn't care about test scores or grades, except to the extent that they showed areas that needed some extra review (eg. if the child is struggling a little) or an opportunity to progress (eg. if the child has conquered single digit addition and is ready to try multiple digits). 

 

 

 

 

  

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#12 of 21 Old 03-29-2011, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 2 dc attended self-contained gifted programs in public school during their late elementary/middle school years, starting in 4th grade.  I'm not sure whether their experience is helpful because I suspect the program was quite different than the one you are describing in your area. Although admission to our gifted program was based mainly on IQ assessment scores (so all students were at least 98th percentile for IQ), there were a number of dual exceptionality students (gifted/learning disabled, Asperger's, etc.). I think there was a fair amount of flexibility in expectations and standards, in-class accommodations, instructional methods etc. that tended to minimize any competitive, high-pressure atmosphere in the program. The students came from neighbourhoods all over the city, and represented many different socioeconomic levels and cultural groups. With such a diverse group, tolerance and empathy were carefully nurtured in the classroom. 

 

There was a fair amount of homework, but it wasn't unnecessary busywork. I don't recall pages and pages of worksheets or huge spelling lists or similar work that is routinely given out in regular schools. So while the homework might have been more challenging than in regular class, it was also more interesting and satisfying for my dc to work on it. A lot of the assignments were independent and group projects to be prepared and then presented to the rest of the class. Thus, the students were teaching themselves and their fellow classmates. The group project work helped build leadership and team skills, organizational skills, communication skills, etc., which perhaps addresses a little your "social emotional" question.  If homework was inappropriate - too much or not at the right level etc. - the teachers were usually open to discussing it and adjusting the work. 

 

My dc did a lot of extra-curricular activities, but I think it's up to each family to decide their tolerance level. This school may offer enough drama, music and sports during class hours or immediately before or after school that you don't have to search for a lot of other outside activities.

 

Does your child have to maintain a certain standard to remain in this school? Are certain grade averages or test scores required? If not, I think you can take a fairly independent approach to performance at the school. As long as your child is learning and content, I'd try to minimize any worrying about what the other kids are doing and how well they are doing - which I find is often the source for a huge amount of the pressure for parents and students at these kinds of schools. I would demonstrate to my child that I didn't care about test scores or grades, except to the extent that they showed areas that needed some extra review (eg. if the child is struggling a little) or an opportunity to progress (eg. if the child has conquered single digit addition and is ready to try multiple digits). 

 

 

 

 

  


Sorry I keep doing these enormous quotes, I'm not understanding how to use the multi-quote function.

 

Anyway, the school is much more culturally/economically diverse than the private Monetssori DD currently attends, and they do make accommodations for kids with special needs, but I believe the special needs tend to by physical (i.e. wheelchair) and less accommodating for a child who might be academically advanced but have aspergers or some other dual exceptional stuff on their plate.

 

We would absolutely not be able to negotiate amount of homework and stuff like that. The homework is the homework and you do it the way they tell you to or you get out. I don't know if you are technically required to continue testing at a certain level, but if your child was falling behind or testing poorly (thus bringing the overall score of the school down) I suspect you'd be strongly encouraged to leave. I really appreciate the advice to basically not buy into that myself. It sounds like you are basically saying I should let DD know that the things I truly respect about her have nothing to do with test scores and grades but who she is as a human being. Thank you for reminding me of that! Makes sense; one way to balance out the pressure is to simply not "drink that kool-aid".

 

I really appreciate all the thoughtful replies, please keep them coming!

 

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#13 of 21 Old 03-29-2011, 09:05 PM
 
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This is a question for those of you with children in accelerated or gifted schools. My DD has just been accepted to a very academically demanding school. This is a public school that you test into, admission is purely score based. We live in an urban area with struggling public schools and getting into this particular school is one of the "holy grails" of our public schools and we are super fortunate to have been given a spot. However. I'm not a fan of the whole teaching to the test paradigm and this school both places a lot of value in and gets lots of accolades for it's high test scores, they give lots of homework, enter and win lots of contests--stuff like that. DD may thrive in this environment (if she doesn't we'll pull her out), so we've decided to give it a try. But there are some things I'm concerned about and would love any feedback from BTDT mamas.

 

My concern is that with such a rigorous day DD will be too tired after school to pursue other interests. On top of that with so much homework when will she have time to play and socialize with her friends? Basically if your DC is in a school like this what do you do to make sure that their whole selves are being developed? What do you do at home to balance out the pressured environment of the school?

 

TIA

 

 

 

My dd is in first grade, and she goes to a school just like this.  She started at this school with full-day K.  Yes, she was tired at the beginning, but I think it was more the transition to school in general than the homework.  She went to day care full time, so the transition wasn't as big as if she had stayed home during preschool, but yes, she came home looking very tired.  But after a month or two, she adjusted.

 

Her classmates seem to have plenty of time doing after school activities.  A few do activities in the school building, such as daisy girl scouts or some sports that the school offers.  A lot of other kids get picked up by their parents and whisked off to sports activities.  I.e., swimming lessons, dance lessons, tae kwon do lessons.

 

Our family is different because we live 25 miles from the school in a different county, and because dd goes to after school daycare until dinner time.  Unlike many families, who do all their activities in the weekdays after school in order to leave weekends free for family time, our family does our non-school activities during the weekend. However, our weekend activities involve the entire family doing the activity together, so our activities serve double duty.   If it's a school night, there isn't time for us to do any after school activity, or we won't be able to go to bed early enough to get up for school the next morning. So dd has time for homework, and then it's time for bed.  The homework is a lot more than other schools, but it is manageable.

 

Play and social life with classmates is a challenge.  Most of the other kids take weekday after school classes with the other kids, but like I said, we don't.  So I go out of my way to arrange weekend playdates and activities with the children that my dd likes to play with at school.  The teacher distributes a directory for all of the children in the same grade, and although I am generally a shy person, I force myself to take the initiative and pick up the phone to introduce myself to parents that I don't know and propose one on one get-togethers.  This helped encourage friendships between my dd and her classmates.

 

We decided to try it for a year.  We learned to adjust, and we find that we wouldn't want it any other way.  It's definitely worth it for our family. 
 

 

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#14 of 21 Old 03-30-2011, 06:00 AM
 
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Well, I just thought I'd post a different perspective. My kids go to a public magnet with a Progressive Education philosophy.  I would never send them to a school as you describe (please don't read this as a dictate as to what you should do!  This is just my take!).

 

My kids' school focuses on project-based learning, and the kids are encouraged to follow their interests in-depth.  They do not teach to the test at all, and yet do great on standardized testing.  I am completely anti-homework.  And they don't get much at all.  Our lives would be intolerable (to me) with an hour of homework a night!  Even 30 min every night would feel intrusive.  We have limited enough time as it is, for down-time, play, music practice, soccer, etc.  Add homework and it would put us over the edge.  And the research really does not support homework before HS anyway.  So we have found a great fit for us.  But again, these are just my thoughts on the subject!

 

More on homework:

 

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1376208,00.html

 

http://www.alfiekohn.org/books/hm.htm 

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#15 of 21 Old 03-30-2011, 06:51 AM
 
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 It sounds like you are basically saying I should let DD know that the things I truly respect about her have nothing to do with test scores and grades but who she is as a human being. Thank you for reminding me of that! Makes sense; one way to balance out the pressure is to simply not "drink that kool-aid".

 

 



Yes, "Don't drink the kool-aid" is the pithy version of what I was saying lol.gif !! I'm glad you figured that out. Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to resist getting caught up in a high-pressure atmosphere, especially if your child has perfectionist tendencies. You haven't mentioned that, but it's something to watch for. 

 

 

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#16 of 21 Old 03-30-2011, 09:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I just thought I'd post a different perspective. My kids go to a public magnet with a Progressive Education philosophy.  I would never send them to a school as you describe (please don't read this as a dictate as to what you should do!  This is just my take!).

 

My kids' school focuses on project-based learning, and the kids are encouraged to follow their interests in-depth.  They do not teach to the test at all, and yet do great on standardized testing.  I am completely anti-homework.  And they don't get much at all.

 


Hi Dancing Mama, thanks for your perspective. I agree with you and your school sounds great! Unfortunately the public schools in our area all tow the same line, whether accelerated, regular, or magnet so I'm facing some of these same issues no matter what school. From that perspective the accelerated school we've been offered a spot at, is the top of the heap. Basically I'm in the situation of having similar views to yours but not having the same  options. So I need to figure out how to make this situation work. Most people here would just be so overjoyed to have this opportunity they'd think i was a nut case for even expressing any doubts. :)

 

Ollyoxenfree:

Thanks for the heads up on perfectionism. DD may have some tendency that way but she has not yet been placed in a context that would really bring it to the fore. I will keep an eye on that!

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#17 of 21 Old 03-30-2011, 10:23 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Shaki View Post

 Most people here would just be so overjoyed to have this opportunity they'd think i was a nut case for even expressing any doubts. :)

 

lol.gif i get that too myself. and i have aired my opinion that i would pull my child out if it wasnt working for her. we were in fact going to do that this year but she decided to stay because of her friends. i am so proud of her. school is not as intolerable to her as it was before. not because anything has changed with the school but just how she decided to view life. so in a sense this school has taught her great life lesson.

 

another thing that a teacher from a middle school (that dd might be going to if we dont move) told me since middle public school here is VERY rigorous no matter which one you go to - students from our school do better adjusting in middle school since they are already used to teh homework. 

 

btw we have no hw on fridays and weekends. but next year from 4th grade there will be. 

 


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#18 of 21 Old 03-30-2011, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by meemee View Post

btw we have no hw on fridays and weekends. but next year from 4th grade there will be. 

 

Yes I heard from another parent who is currently at the school that homework is only Mon-Thurs and probably 1/2 hour or less of time depending on the kid--so that calmed me down! I think I sort of had images in my head of my kinder girl being expected to write research papers over the weekend and just sort of freaked myself out!!! Luckily we do have some connections with parents who are already at the school and willing to talk about it. So connecting with them will hopefully help me get a more realistic view of what goes on there and help me feel more grounded in the school community.
 

 

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#19 of 21 Old 03-30-2011, 10:05 PM
 
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shaki so really i wanted to put my dd in a waldorf school. just coz she is so different and her interests are so different.

 

but it didnt work out for us. 

 

and then i met this teenager who had just left the waldorf school in 11th grade. he was tired of so much hw and project work and had enough. i was like jaw.gif

WALDORF? lots of hw? apparently they REALLY kick it up in middle school. 

 

however seriously dont worry about it. you might be surprised to realise that your dd has another agenda (like i did). honestly hw is not that big a deal. for us iit was a huge life lesson. 

 

your dd will be fine. remember she doesnt know the difference btw a lot of hw and less hw. dd went to a regular K school and her GATE school only started in first grade. there was no difference in hw amounts btw regular public school and GATE school. dont get stressed out. 

 

the good thing about this is even though we have a great diversity we have professionals at the school - so not that much bullying or violence at all. different social classes. its just different. 


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#20 of 21 Old 03-31-2011, 08:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Postthen i met this teenager who had just left the waldorf school in 11th grade. he was tired of so much hw and project work and had enough. i was like jaw.gif

WALDORF? lots of hw? apparently they REALLY kick it up in middle school. 

 


I really don't think there is one best school, and I don't think you can tell what will work for a specific child.

 

I love the alternative school my kids go to now. They have chunks of open time and really cool things to choose from. They do the most amazing things.

 

I was talking to one of the teachers whose DD graduated from the school, but her son didn't. He went there for a while, but he continually made bad choices about what to do with his open periods. The final straw was when he started spending them seeing how many people he could trip. In a meeting about his behavior, he said that he thought he could behave better with more structure. His parents decided to switch him to traditional public school, and he was much happier, and didn't have any more behavior problems.

 

Different things work for different kids.

 

(but give it a few months and don't be surprised if your DD seems really tired at first, that's a normal part of a new school. My kids even seemed tired at first after switching from traditional school to alternative school. They said that they were actually doing stuff at school, and it was exhausting. I think anything new is tiring until you get used to it)


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#21 of 21 Old 04-05-2011, 02:27 PM
 
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Achieving high test scores is not the same thing as teaching to the test so I wouldn't assume that is the case, especially if the student population is gifted and the school does lots of special interest events (pulling out students for extra work and training and growth).

 

My sister's kids go to a school like this and they are thriving. They limit each child to one activity, usually music lessons, more because of the large family size and desire for family relaxing/down time then the rigorous schedule. They tend to host play dates rather than go out for them because it is easier toschedule. They are very, very active in their church as well. The only other rule is that the kids go to a limited number of birthday parties because it gets overwhelming quickly.  She is never concerned about friends/socialization as much as letting all the kids have a chance to play together and be together as a family.

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