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Old 08-31-2006, 03:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mirlee
I am such a loser. I didn't take any pictures of my guy on his first day of school. :
Me too. Toby started on Monday and my eldest DD took my camera so I couldn't get any photos.

Anyway, Toby is loving school, DD#2 whom I homeschool, is rather jealous of him, she would love to be in the school, but it only goes up to 2nd grade so far and she is a big 3rd grader.

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Old 08-31-2006, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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we had a great week this week-everything flowed, problems are resolved to my satisfaction (was very pleased by how quickly our principal addressed my concerns,) and dd is happy and excited. Tonight is back to school night and I'm looking forward to talking to her teacher.
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Old 09-04-2006, 04:20 AM
 
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I thought I would bump this up to see how everyone is doing.

I am also curious as to all our 1st graders day is like. Here is a sample of what Toby is doing with his time. This is what his Monday looks like:

8.30: morning walk and individual embodiment activites

9.00: opening circle and slogan presentation (the children are given a slogan, ie "Let Kindness Be Your Guide" which is discussed during the week)

9.15: literacy lesson

10.15: sharing, writing workshop and morning snack

11.00: math lesson

12.00: inside/outside time

12.20: story

12.45: lunch

1.00: independent reading/reading groups/Domains of Learning*/ikebana

1.15: silent time/Mandarin project/Domains of Learning/ikebana

1.40: independent reading/reading groups/afternoon snack/ikebana

2.30: chores

2.40 - 3.00: closing circle: Mandarin

* see here for an explaination of the Domains of Learning:

http://easternsunacademy.org/curriculum/curriculum.htm

t
 
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Old 09-04-2006, 09:57 AM
 
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My dd starts tomorrow! I'm so excited for her. And she is so excited. I think she is getting nervous or a little anxious. She has woken up the last few nights and just been totally wired wanting to talk about school. Whats it going to be like, who her friends will be, will she like her teacher etc. We've been trying to oblige since its really the only time of day she is really wanting to talk about it but its a little hard at 3 am . My dd's teacher had her schedule on the school website but now its not there. Maybe she is in the process of updated it? I'll post it if it reappers.

Anyone else starting tomorrow .
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Old 09-04-2006, 02:22 PM
 
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Everything went well, except I think all the excitement/stress wore him out and he got a little bug, so we are spending the holiday resting. He (and I) love his teacher; she hugs every student as they leave. It's what I wanted, a loving and nurturing space for my son to grow and learn. (of course it has only been one week). How is life settling in for you all?
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Old 09-11-2006, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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bumpity bump

How is life settling in for you all?-SMUM

Glad everything is going well for everyone-we're getting into a groove as well.
I'm very happy with how things are going for dd-the teacher is very good, and dd loves the class. She did have some recess problems with a girl in another class who used to bother her in kindergarten, but I talked to the girls mother and so far the girl is keeping her distance. Tomorrow I volunteer in class and am looking forward to that.


One thing the teacher did that scored a lot of points with me was sending home a questionnaire about each child, asking the parents what we felt their strengths were, what we'd like to see them have help with, how we felt they best learned material, etc. etc. And last Friday I took dd's skateboard with me when I picked her up so she could ride it home (she LOVES to skateboard.) When the teacher opened the door she saw it and told dd she would love to see her ride it-so dd went back into class and gave her a little demo in the class room. DD was absolutely thrilled to have her attention and interest.

Oh, and kangamom jogged my memory-welcome! DD also lost her first tooth last week-and got to wear the tooth necklace & have her name on the tooth board. She was stoked!
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Old 09-11-2006, 02:22 PM
 
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Can I join here? I'm jumping in late, but my dd just started last week. So far I'm really impressed. She's reading better in 3 days than she has all summer of me working with her. The only gripe I have so far is with the lunch program, (MAJOR amounts of refined carbs/sugar) so I started packing her lunch. My other gripe is that she doesn't get enough time to eat. All these older kids are conditioned to shovelling their food. My dd is used to having as much time as she needs.

She got her first loose tooth. I discovered it for her yesterday when we were reading a book about the tooth fairy. She was strutting it around this morning, she is SO proud and excited about it.

But its still wierd to just drop her off in the morning and not see her until 3:00... I miss my baby!
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Old 09-11-2006, 04:04 PM
 
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Kangamom, congrats on your dd's loose tooth! . Ds lost his on Saturday morning. He was very excited.

We are still adjusting to school. We did very well the first week and a few days into the year with getting out of the house on time. But it seems we are falling into old routines. I can't wait for Daylight Savings time to end. Maybe we will feel rested then.

Would you believe I JUST now got a call from the school nurse? He fell and hurt his elbow outside during a fire drill. I was told it was a medium sized ouchie. I also learned that he had ketchup on his shorts. Hmm, how did ketchup get there? I only packed a pudding, some milk, and a sandwich per my lunch packing instructions.
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Old 09-11-2006, 06:16 PM
 
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Hi all..I've been lurking here since school started! My daughter started 1st grade a month ago. She seems to be adjusting pretty well. It seems like they now have 10-20 min of homework each night. It has taken awhile for me to adjust to the new schedule. (My son goes to Pre-K 3 days a week) I still miss the kids..or it just feels wierd to not be with them. My daughter got in the car today and said.."Mom do you know what Sept 11 is?" MMMmm. I have never discussed this with her and our kids don't watch the news. So, that was an interesting discussion on the way home. It's wierd to me to talk about that in 1st grade..is that just me? Overall I'm very happy with the school and teachers. I've enjoyed reading all y'alls experiences too.
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Old 09-11-2006, 06:27 PM
 
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Toby is doing great -- loving it.

Hmmm... re 9/11, I hope they haven't said anything about it at his school, I honestly don't think it is appropriate for 1st graders. They are going to learn about soon enough.

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Old 09-11-2006, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Mommabelle
Hi all..I've been lurking here since school started! My daughter started 1st grade a month ago. She seems to be adjusting pretty well. It seems like they now have 10-20 min of homework each night. It has taken awhile for me to adjust to the new schedule. (My son goes to Pre-K 3 days a week) I still miss the kids..or it just feels wierd to not be with them. My daughter got in the car today and said.."Mom do you know what Sept 11 is?" MMMmm. I have never discussed this with her and our kids don't watch the news. So, that was an interesting discussion on the way home. It's wierd to me to talk about that in 1st grade..is that just me? Overall I'm very happy with the school and teachers. I've enjoyed reading all y'alls experiences too.
hi mommabelle! I used to live in north Georgia.

We haven't discussed 9/11 with our first grader either. In fact, I checked with the school last week to find out if it would be brought up in class, and was told it wouldn't be. I found out the hard way last year that it pays to check beforehand-dd came home one day last year upset that MLK Jr. had been shot and killed. Honestly, it would never occur to me that they would bring this up in kindergarten!!! And the principal was surprised that I took issue with this-her response was that it was part of standard CA curriculum and that's what they do. Today I knew it would be possible other children in her class know of 9/11, but fortunately it looks as though no one was talking about it.
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Old 09-11-2006, 08:56 PM
 
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I found out the hard way last year that it pays to check beforehand-dd came home one day last year upset that MLK Jr. had been shot and killed. Honestly, it would never occur to me that they would bring this up in kindergarten!!!
This happened in kindergarten last year for DS. He came home asking me why they shot "King Luther" (my little Waldorf boy!). He was very distrubed by it all and mentioned it for weeks. I was really surprised they would discuss MLK in his school given that the k was play-based, Waldorf inspired. My DD was in 2nd grade and MLK was not mentioned, nor was he mentioned in k (different teacher) or 1st grade for that matter. I was not pleased.

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Old 09-12-2006, 12:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by uccomama
This happened in kindergarten last year for DS. He came home asking me why they shot "King Luther" (my little Waldorf boy!). He was very distrubed by it all and mentioned it for weeks. I was really surprised they would discuss MLK in his school given that the k was play-based, Waldorf inspired. My DD was in 2nd grade and MLK was not mentioned, nor was he mentioned in k (different teacher) or 1st grade for that matter. I was not pleased.
oh wow-wasn't it astonishing? I'm sorry he was upset. Guns are not even on my dd's radar, and she definitely didn't know people used them to shoot each other last year. :
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Old 09-12-2006, 12:15 AM
 
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My son came home today with a look on his face - I knew something was wrong. For the last two weeks he has come jumping off the bus full of smiles and telling me what a good day he had. Today when I asked him what was wrong, he first told me that it was so terrible he forgot, and couldn't tell me! Of course my mind races through the unimaginable worst case scenarios; but after a little guessing and talking about it, it eventually boiled down to him being frustrated at the lack of order, and other kids talking when they should be working, or otherwise not following rules. He has always been a by-the-book, eager to please kid, so when the teacher says pay attention, here's what we're going to do, he does it, and gets quietly frustrated at everyone who does not. Even in kindergarten he would tell me about who had work habits like him, and who didn't.

So tomorrow is open house and if I don't get time to talk to the teacher about it then, I will at least schedule a conference to speak to her. Is it reasonable for me to ask her to pair him with other children who are serious like him (one of the situations today was when they are working in pairs). I know there is great benefit for him to learn to be able to work with all kinds of people, but if the teacher isn't actively helping him, then he's not really learning, he's just left to feel frustrated and suffer through it. I also wonder if he's paired with more rambunctious children just to set an example - sometimes, but that's not really fair to him if it's every day.

In the meantime, any suggestions for helping him deal with this frustration. I remember feeling it in school (and to this day), but I'm a somewhat of a loss for what to tell him, other than reminding him that he can only control his own behavior, not to worry about everyone else.

Thoughts?
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Old 09-12-2006, 02:09 AM
 
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In the meantime, any suggestions for helping him deal with this frustration. I remember feeling it in school (and to this day), but I'm a somewhat of a loss for what to tell him, other than reminding him that he can only control his own behavior, not to worry about everyone else.

Thoughts?

Hmm, I would call the teacher or go early to school to talk with her if he seems that worried about it. You could probably ask that he be matched with a child who works well with him. I'm sure it's in the teacher's best interests as well.

In our news, we got into the alternative school we were waitlisted for. I'm so excited. Today, she had PE (they played tag - with foam noodles as arm extenders); she did art; the class made rules together. I got my homework assignment - I was supposed to ask her what happened during birthday time today, and write it down, and then we both sign it. Outside the classroom, they have a quote by Arundhati Roy. All the kids are very sweet, and she made some friends already. Oh, and I can walk there instead of driving 45 minutes each way or homeschool. Nothing against homeschooling - we may still do it yet - but she loves being with other children, and I do like being able to take care of the house so I can concentrate on just being with her when she gets home. If that makes sense.

Sigh. I'm in love with this school.

Regarding 9/11 - I imagine it depends on where you're at. If you were in NYC or NJ, I could see talking about it as a class. I wouldn't mind if they discussed it sensitively in her class; and I would really hope they would talk about MLK. It's ugly history, but I do feel like (white) children are fairly sheltered from some of the things that other children grow up knowing from a very early age. We talked about it last year at 5 (about the same time we talked about Jesus, Gandhi, and Abraham Lincoln). Something about how good people sometimes make bad people just go nuts and want to hurt them. We talked about slavery a few months ago after she read an American Girls book. I mean, it's disturbing, but it's supposed to be?

We talked about 9/11 a few months ago. She asked me "and the people working in their offices - were they jolly people?" "Yes, they were jolly people." "Oh, that's VERY sad."
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Old 09-12-2006, 02:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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ABand3-we're in a very similar situation. My dd sits with three other children at a four chair desk, and the boy right next to her is pretty disruptive. She's also by the book, and was getting frustrated by his behavior. I've been keeping tabs on the situation, because I also thought maybe I would ask that she be moved. But after I thought about it, I decided to let it be for now.
I came up with the same conclusions as you, and it's a fine line. Although I would step in if I thought she was suffering emotionally or was unable to concentrate, I do think she needs to learn a little more flexibility and tolerance, at least for now. I don't think I would be as lenient as she gets older though, when she would be taking academics more seriously. It's interesting because they have a wow board where different tables get recognition for good deeds each day. If this boy does something to prevent dd's group from getting on the wow board, she lets him know! And she's been setting boundaries with him-I notice he seeks out her approval a lot, which is funny. So I think she's actually come out of it more empowered-maybe that's a way to look at it with your son-what approach would leave him most empowered? Good luck, whatever you decide!
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Old 09-12-2006, 02:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
It's ugly history, but I do feel like (white) children are fairly sheltered from some of the things that other children grow up knowing from a very early age.

Sure, I agree that some children (not just white) are sheltered from other children's realities and it's good for them to see things outside their own experience. I felt the school should partner with the parents though and give the parents an opportunity to first have a family discussion.
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Old 09-12-2006, 02:54 AM
 
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Sure, I agree that some children (not just white) are sheltered from other children's realities and it's good for them to see things outside their own experience. I felt the school should partner with the parents though and give the parents an opportunity to first have a family discussion.
Absolutely, I hear ya. It would be rough to be blindsided by the questions.
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Old 09-12-2006, 12:51 PM
 
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Oh my, 9/11 to first graders, well I guess if you live close to the area, but it is pretty intense for little ones. i agree those kind of subjects at that age should be addressed by parents first/discretion.

I also think city kids are sheltered in different ways. For example, when I was in the inner city working with kids, they didn't realize that eggs came from chickens, they thought they came in cartons,a nd found it gross that they came from "a chicken's butt" They also thought breastfeeding was "gross". Kids who live in nature, or on a farm see life and death and breeding first hand and tend to be more down to earth about it, while city kids are more tough and street aware, seeing death/danger from gangs, etc. and addiction, and being more used to that bit of life. Perhaps a generalization, but having lived with both groups, I find there is an innocence in most children, just underneath the toughness/awareness, they are still just kids--unless they have been horribly damaged. Interesting differences, so there are differences in kids, I think along cultural lines, as well as city/country.

My son had a little breakdown, but it was a breakthrough, he was becoming very frustrated in class, he tries very hard, but then he kind of realized that he needs to keep trying, not give up (this is something in his character, he is so mellow/easygoing, but sometimes gives up too easily). I am very proud of him. He now likes to go to school again. he also lost a tooth, it was loose and his little sister head butted him, and now it's gone!

Good luck with all the teeth and it's very interesting to hear all the different views and perspective on this experience.
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Old 09-12-2006, 02:56 PM
 
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My dd came home yesterday and had mentioned something about it. She didn't really ask any questions or anything, so I just pretty much confirmed what has been discussed. I do talk to her about different cultures and whenever we go to the library we check out all kinds of books from different cultures. Being a black person, one thing that has always bothered me is that black history was never taught and I wanted so much to learn about it. My mom had a lot of books and things growing up and I made sure I checked out as much as I could in school. It just irriated me that in our history books there may be 1 chapter on civil rights, but there is so much more to black history, (as well as other cultures) that our children can and should be taught.
I just went to our first PTA meeting at school and we have a new vice prinicpal who has formed a cultural diversity committee and she wants to focus on one culture a month. Starting next month the first culture that she is going to focus on is hispanic. Then a different one thereafter. At the end of the year she wants to have a big celebration and pull all the cultures together. She is very excited about it and I told her I'd be willing to do whatever is needed. I hope it all turns out well.
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Old 09-13-2006, 12:30 AM
 
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I am not sure if I am in the great minority here but I really wanted to ask. My daughter, Mia, just started 1st grade three weeks ago and yesterday the kids were split into ability groups for reading. I hate the idea of ability groups but since my daughter wants to go to school (not homeschool) and the private schools here are not what we want or are too expensive, we are stuck and our school is really pretty nice. The problem is that Kindergarten was great. She had no problem and this year she is suddenly in the lowest reading group and is now in need of extra help (we just got a letter about it). I wouldn't care at all but I am so worried that she will be labeled so young and it will hurt her self-esteem. Also, we work with her quite a bit but the letter said something about giving us ideas for extra things we can do with her to help. She is already in school for 6+ hours and then has home work which includes a worksheet, studying nightly for a weekly 10 word spelling test, and nightly studying of about 20 easy addition problems that they want them to be able to memorize. I am really trying to be open-minded but this seems like so much and I am so worried that she will feel stupid and learn to hate learning. Does anyone else have these concerns? Does anyone have any info on ability grouping?
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Old 09-13-2006, 01:15 AM
 
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My DS's class is currently being assessed for reading ability and will be assigned to a sequenced reader accordiing to level. To prepare the children, their literacy teacher led a class discussion on how everyone is different and how different things are easy and challenging for people. She also discussed how they can understand and appreciate their different ways of learning. Maybe you can have a similar talk with your DD.

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Old 09-13-2006, 01:38 AM
 
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miasmom - wow, that's horrible. Did you read the newsweek article so many people are pointing to on the education board? If you go over there, you will find it. It talks about the high-pressure, high-stakes environment many children are facing now in public schools.

I would personally (but this is me, and I'm like this) ask the teacher to back off with the pressure, or tell her that I will not be pressuring my child into things that are developmentally inappropriate, such as an hour of homework per night. Everyone learns at their own pace. The grades they get in 1st grade determine pretty much ... nothing. I actually haven't even told my daughter about the concept of grades, and hopefully she won't learn it for a while either.

Regarding reading, I would just keep reading to her, and play games with reading, like charades (with easy phonetic words like "cat") or post-it notes that they can use to label the house (rug, mat, table). Or use fridge magnets to spell a fun word every morning for her before she gets up (cat van; hat man) A really fun game to use to learn some addition facts is Frog Juice, a card game available at many toy stores.
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Old 09-13-2006, 11:15 AM
 
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Dd is in her second week and doing well so far. Has anyone else had lock down drills. I was quite shocked about it and I'm not sure how I feel. Dh thinks its a good thing but to tell a class of 6 year olds that there are bad people out there who may come to their classroom and teach them how to hide from them while the teacher locks the door and closes the blinds on the windows seems a bit much, especially in the second week of school. I think its a new state requirement though. I don't believe there was any mention of 9/11 though so that is good.

We haven't had any homework yet and things seem to be progressing slowly which I'm fine with as long as dd doesn't get bored. So far she just LOVEs having different classes, moving for art and music and gym class and having the different teachers. And she can't stop talking about the desk that OPENS! How exciting.

We had meet the teacher last night and our teacher is wonderful. She is loving, energetic and warm. She has been teaching for 32 years and everyone that we have met that has had her, loves her. So far so good

Oh yea and some of you might remember my earlier post about dd having to take two different buses depending on what day it is because I work 3 days/week. She has done fine so far and really seems to get it. She has a note on her desk and so far has always checked it before leaving school. Micky
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Old 09-13-2006, 12:38 PM
 
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I just posted in "Learning at School"
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=520116

Can everyone share their dc's spelling list. My mom nanny's for dc the same age as my dd and the spelling words are very different in terms of skill

my dd's list, public school
dig, kick, win, pick, pig, pin, little, down, can, see, not

mom to 14yr dd and 4yr dd
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Old 09-13-2006, 05:50 PM
 
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I just posted in "Learning at School"
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=520116

my dd's list, public school
dig, kick, win, pick, pig, pin, little, down, can, see, not
DS's list (private school), none, nada, nothing!!!!!!

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Old 09-13-2006, 06:01 PM
 
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Public school; no lists.

I agree with pp there is a sense of urgency about reading, etc. that is new, I think. It's important to the parent to provide the sense of strength and peace about it. It's important to remember that children have all different speeds in learning; my son went from 0 to sight reading, when he was at 0 the teacher was very concerned, and it did stress me out. I know he is going to be okay, now, inside of me, I just think, CHILL! the kid is 6 years old for goodness sake! He's got plenty of time to win the Nobel Prize, yknow?
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Old 09-13-2006, 06:26 PM
 
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No lists for us yet and no homework at all yet. They are supposed to have 15 minutes of reading every night and math twice a week.

My dd has always loved being read to, but has very little interest in reading. She knows a few words, but I can tell she just makes guesses a lot of the time. I never pushed her, but now she's discouraged and embarrassed because she thinks EVERYONE in her class can read except for her. I doubt that is true, but I'm wondering if I should schedule an appointment with her teacher to discuss it.

She's been down a lot lately because she says all of the girls in her class are friends with each other, but not her. Again, I doubt that is completely true, but it breaks my heart because I know how she feels. She says she usually sits by herself at lunch. She's been happy that she still gets to play with her old friends at recess, but yesterday a girl punched her in the back and my dd's "best friend" then kicked my dd as if she was trying to impress the girl that punched her. WTH is up with that???? Today she drew a picture of how she felt and it made me so sad.

Also, today she came home in tears because of something her teacher said to her. The teacher said "Wash your hands." But, Emma thought she said "Walk your hands." and thought that was funny and said "Walk your hands?!?!?" Then the teacher pulled her aside and told her she needed to speak more politely. She was crushed. She's like me in that she can't take the slightest bit of criticism or correcting. I told her that her teacher is still getting to know her and probably thought she was trying to be funny(sarcastic) when she wasn't.

Ugh, I hate that I have to relive my own childhood disappointments, embarrasment and insecurities through my children now.
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Old 09-13-2006, 09:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mytwokids


Oh yea and some of you might remember my earlier post about dd having to take two different buses depending on what day it is because I work 3 days/week. She has done fine so far and really seems to get it. She has a note on her desk and so far has always checked it before leaving school. Micky
Okay I spoke too soon. She took the wrong bus this afternoon. Unfortunately it wasn't a mistake, she intentionally did it to see what it felt like. I need help with a consequence for this one.....

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...17#post6023517
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Old 09-14-2006, 02:21 AM
 
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No spelling lists or tests for us either. I guess it is normal in our district, but not at the school we chose.

jillywilson, I think that the social things get tough about now. My daughter also said that she "doesn't have any friends," but her teacher says that she's very outgoing and is very social during classtime, but is being a bit stubborn about only wanting to play her own games during recess. And, she's a new kid, so it might take a little while to fit in. So...I'm hoping in the next few weeks things will settle down. How long has your daughter been in school (today is our fifth day).

My daughter apparently had quite the meltdown at school today over these issues (i.e. nobody will play her game during recess - i.e. "superpuppies"). She's used to playing with younger children, who will often go along willingly with her plans. It's sort of good for her to experience the give-and-take. She's also pretty sensitive and still cries easily, so it's what it is.

Mytwokids, I think you got some good advice on other boards. I think at this age they start really testing...again...and if I hear the words, "But I didn't MEAN to, it was an accident!" when she obviously did, I'm gonna lose it.
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