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I'm not sure if anybody remembers, so I'll give a quick "retell".

I had posted a while back that my daughter was very unhappy since school started, wasn't being challenged, and hated school. As it turned out, it was much more than her just being gifted and needing more challenge. Instead, I found out that the teacher was yelling at and hitting her and other children, and she was very traumatized. I pulled her out of school and started homeschooling her.

So, this is our update!

Homeschooling is going well... I guess. She really isn't "schooling" right now, which really bothers my husband and friends. However, mysteriously, she is still learning new things all the time. As long as she is learning something and showing progress, along with being happy, I'm fine with it. She is such a self learner that I really think that she will be fine. I do teach her stuff when I can, though. She just doesn't like it most of the time now. I purchased all kinds of workbooks and computer programs, but she just doesn't seem to progress as quickly as she was before school started.

We finally got our educational psychologist appointment and walked out of there feeling great. She pointed out the obvious to us, which for some reason, we just didn't see. Emily learns by moving around and experiencing things. She doesn't learn by lectures and workbooks. It's so obvious and makes perfect sense..... that is why she advances so quickly when not doing school work (workbooks). She mentioned that Emily might learn better in a Montessori environment. So, I came home and researched Montessori, and sure enough.... it sounds like the right style for Emily. So, I have been in the process of dumping all of my curriculum ideas and plans and moving more toward Montessori. It's hard, though, because although it makes perfect sense, it is very hard to "redirect" your way of thinking, no matter how illogical. I find myself thinking about state tests and hoping that I am teaching her the correct things in order to pass those.
Of course, that is what everybody else is worried about. It's strange, because she is so far ahead of her "grade level", yet we worry about her passing state tests? She's only in kindergarten, for goodness sakes!

In the meantime, she is turning 6 this weekend (Happy Birthday Emily!!!), and we offered many options for a birthday party, including Chuck E Cheeses (although the pizza tastes horrible), play places, etc. She wants a science party and nothing else. So, we are trying to make plans for a science party. We plan to build a volcano, make slime, and look up some other interesting but easy experiments. And as luck would have it, Emily was telling her friend that we were going to dissect worms. I did explain that we would not be dissecting worms as a party activity. (sorry Emily!) She is very excited about this science party, though.

Another little tidbit:
My MIL is a public school kindergarten teacher. She is very good at teaching, and I am very proud of her.
She's an amazing woman. So, we were there visiting and Emily got to go to school and be part of her class, while I worked as her teacher's aid. It was great! Emily did so well, and was so happy at the end of the day! She made instant friends will all of the kids, and they were all very nice to her. Something huge happened that day. Emily was punished in kindergarten for answering questions wrong. Being so incredibly sensitive, she quickly developed a huge fear of being "wrong" to the point that she would not even take a chance. I was horribly worried about this. So, in my MIL's class, Emily answered a question wrong. I saw the shock on her face, but my MIL quickly handled it in a loving way, not belittling. Emily recovered immediately and went on to answer more questions publicly! Even after answering "wrong", Emily continued to raise her hand to give more answers. I loved it. Since then, she has started taking more and more chances with learning. It was such a huge part of her recovery! Sometimes it's those small things...

And one final update.... another child has informed her parents that this teacher has spanked a child in class, more than once. This makes 4 children so far, and the teacher is still there. I find this appalling. As much as it would totally send friends, family, and my husband over the edge, I'm not sure I could ever send Emily back to that school. I honestly don't think I can. I can't trust the principal to keep her safe from predatory teachers.


Teri
 

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Glad you found a good solution for her. What a hideous teacher that sounds like. I take it corporal punishment is legal in your system? Yuck.

(I think dissecting worms sounds like a fun party activity!
)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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I take it corporal punishment is legal in your system? Yuck.
No, it's not. The principal is long time friends with the teacher and doesn't believe that she is hitting students and constantly yelling at them. She says, "I've never seen her do that!" as though the only way a teacher would ever hit a student would be right there in front of the principal.

Teri
 

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If it's illegal where you are and you have other parents who would also step forward, I'd personally call the police.

Regardless, I'm very glad your daughter is out of there and things are going well. No child should ever be in an environment like that.
 

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I'm am glad to hear that Emily is doing well. I also would support someone taking the complaints to the police. There is a certain report you can file that doesn't press charges, but if charges are ever pressed (I think it is called an informational reprot or something like that) it can be used as evidence. I would type one up documenting all of the things Emily said, and anything else you suspect. Be sure to include that you had to remove your child from the classroom and the school, because the harm was so serious.

After you file that you can see if there is a more serious action to take, but in instances of real serious abuse (which this sounds like, to me) it is best just to go straight to the police. Once you've filed your report, you can talk to the other parents, and see what you can do.

My 4 year-old is very much a kinsethetic (sp?) learner, and loved Montessori school. I wish we could afford it now, because he learned so much... and it was a good fit for him. It was a bilingual school with over 50 per cent of the students speaking Spanish as their first language, and he learned so much Spanish as well. Each Montessori school is different, but this one was a real gem.


Have you looked on the homeschooling part of the MDC board? There is a post somewhere ther for folks who do Montessori in the home. It is very informative.

Have a happy birthday! I hope everything continues to go swimmingly! And don't worry about the tests. As long as a child has their thirst for information and the desire to learn preserved, they will do well on all the tests. Plus, certain kids who don't have the "fill the bubble" stuff crammed down their throats tend to do better on the tests, because they are novel.
And they don't so much mind it since it isn't happening to them all. the. time.
 

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It sounds like you've made great strides! Hooray!

I've suspected my own DS is a kinesthetic learner, though - mostly - our approach of curriculum is working for him. Just being at home seems to be a major benefit to him, so that he can move around and not be constantly in trouble for wiggling. He much prefers to bounce on a ball or leap across the room while working on spelling words, than sitting a desk writing them each 3 times!
I've not looked into Montessori much, but if it's good for kinesthetic learners, I may have to! He also learns very well even when there's not a lot of organized instruction. He reads and reads (when he's in the mood), and absorbs everything he sees and hears. It's amazing what these kids can do, and I think many people (perhaps your DH and friends?) aren't accustomed to what gifted kids can do without lots of outside help.
 
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