T4W December
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  1. #1

    Default I put DD back in 7th grade public and am freaking out.....

    Hi guys,
    So long story short, I pulled my oldest daughter at the end of third grade and homeschooled her through the end of 6th. While she has apergers, the reason for this was not academic or social. We live in Chicago area and I have elderly parents in Ontario Canada. I really didn't know what would happen if there was a sudden bad or potentially life threatening illness in terms of my daughters and school. Pre and after care usually aren't the sort of things you can set up on the fly. So, I decided to homeschool them. I figured if anything happened I could just put them and whatever we were doing in the car and be off. My thought was that when they were old enough to responsibly get themselves to the bus stop and let themselves in after school and wait for DH they could go back. Both DDs have liked both public and homeschool. Anyways I sent my oldest back to school on the 30th. In the 6 days she has been back there doesn't seem to have been anything done. One class directed them as to what to put in their pencil cases. Every class seemed to have an entire period presentation on the teacher. It took gym an entire period to give out gym uniforms and then another to assign lockers. The math class did do a mini test but it was on flipping fractions - worst there seemed to be many that had problems with this. Because we met with them in the spring regarding DDs IEP (she needs help with organization of writing and of course social skills due to autism) they want to pull her 1 period a week for social skills classes. DD is pretty annoyed about this. She was discharged from private therapy at the beginning of grade 5 and frankly the speech therapist is the one she had in elementary and is very poor. What very little seems to have been accomplished in school has become a family joke around our dinner table. DD has been enjoying the experience but is pretty jubilant (sorry that's the best word to describe this) about firstly the lack of work and secondly the low level there seems to be of what she is getting. I know I need to give this a lot more time as 6 days is nothing but I seriously want to scream. We made a ton of academic gains while she homeschooled and I feel like it is flitting away before my eyes. Has anyone gone through this and have words of wisdom? I hadn't realize how much I had drunk the proverbial homeschool koolaid. Thanks

  2. BEH Dec
  3. #2

    Default

    I've been a classroom teacher. Some of those things genuinely take that long. Getting 30 kids uniforms, lockers, combination locks, knowing where they're supposed to be - that takes an hour. It just does, even if you're organized. Getting to know the teacher's systems for homework, what is weighted, what the classroom expectations are, what the teacher is like... it does take a couple of days at minimum. You know your kids already and can dive in with the best work for them personally, pick up exactly where you left off, etc. You have the same systems for getting work done that you've always had and it's going to be more or less the same across the board for every subject and was the same for several years (perhaps with changes, but you get the idea). These are real things that just take time.

    This is not to say that school time won't feel wasted or be frustrating. You're right - there will be a lot of waiting and time that is wasted for individuals. It's just one of those school things that you have to accept going in. And *every* school will be this way to some extent. Even the best schools will have some of this.

    But there are benefits too. Kids get to know the personality and systems of different teachers and how to fit into them, which is not a bad life skill. Changing classes and dealing with all those transitions requires honing your executive functioning skills in ways that homeschooling rarely does. If the school is good, there will be learning opportunities that are really only achieved in a group or in an institution with the resources to have the space and equipment for them. And in a good school, teachers will be experts in their subjects and have well-honed lessons that they've slowly made work better and better over the years, which helps balance the fact that you can tailor your teaching specifically to your kids.

    I'm definitely not saying school is better - I've drunk the kool-aid and will probably never recover. But if you need to or want to send your kids to school, these things really are okay at a decent school. And the best thing you can do is give the institution and teachers a little bit of slack. It'll help you focus on the things that really matter. So when there's something annoying, figure out how to sort it into not a big deal and totally something to investigate/talk to people in charge about. And be willing to go in listening and asking questions. And know that just like how you probably occasionally messed up - lost your temper or gave a pointless assignment or thought your kids had it only to see them bomb a test - even the best teachers will make a few of those mistakes.
    Want to read about my homeschool?
    http://farrarwilliams.wordpress.com
    Children's Books, Homeschooling and Random Musings...

    Want help homeschooling or sending kids to college?
    http://simplify4you.com/

  4. #3

    Default

    My DD decided she wanted to try middle school when we moved to IL (we are close to St. Louis). She spent the first week doing the same things as yours and loved it, the next week when the actual schoolwork started it became more challenging. She struggles with organization and it has definitely been a learning curve, that said last week she had to analyze an article and write a half page either agreeing or rebutting it. I looked at the assignment and thought to myself, she will never do this. In our homeschooling, this was the kind of assignment she would have put off and delayed and done everything to avoid. But this literature teacher is awesome and DD happily worked on it all week and typed it up herself this weekend. She has figured out organizational systems so she is not missing homework and I have been quite impressed. I really didn't think she could do it, but she has surpassed my expectations and I have say a good school really does make a difference.

    That being said, I am bringing my 4th grader home because I don't think that his schooling is going well at all! So I still believe in homeschool, just am glad to see my DD getting more independent.
    Beth
    DS14 with ASD, DD11 and DS8

  5. #4

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    Thanks for the support. HawaiiGeek, I am hoping DD does the same as yours and rises to the occasion. The locker situation is very difficult for her. Also apparently they don't get their chromebooks until tomorrow so in a strange way the first 10 days were really academically for nothing. It has been entirely organizational. Fingers crossed this gets better as so far I just am not impressed. Its weird - I know they got going much faster in the younger grades???? Trying just to take a deep breath.....

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I put DD back in 7th grade public and am freaking out.....