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Bright 2nd grader & school truancy / part-time home-school?



 
 
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  #101  
Old October 28th 03, 05:07 PM
Cathy Kearns
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Default Bright 2nd grader & school truancy / part-time home-school?


"Nevermind" wrote in message
om...

The comparison of school to a job is flawed, I think. An employer pays
you to do work for them. Of course you owe it to them to show up, and
of course they can and should fire you if you don't do your job.
However, one does not send a child to school for the school's sake,
and one is not beholden to a school the way one is to a paying
employer.


I think the only comparison is that the state, and taxpayers
are paying for your child's public school education, so the
state gets a say in how that education is implemented. If
you are paying for your child's education (private school)
you have more say.

It could be argued that a child's "job" in school is to
learn, and if she is learning just as much or more out of school,
then. . . That said, I did already tell the OP that, basically, I
didn't think it was fair to the teacher to take her child out of
school at random. Though her child may well benefit from "voluntary
absences," if they are frequent and done without the teacher's prior
approval, they are probably a big PITA for the teacher, and she
doesn't need another one of those, I'm sure.


I believe the PITA theory is part of the reason the states have
been cracking down on absenses. The teachers unions and
the educational administration are trying to add new programs,
that take more teacher prep time outside of class without
adding dramatically to the time teachers spend outside the
classroom on school work. Correcting 20 tests, then 20
homework assignments is much more efficient than trying
to find all the answer sheets for one kid.

Another part of the equation is which kids are allowed to
miss school. How "bright" do they have to be? Getting
100%? Passing? One school I volunteered in had a very
bright 9 year old first grader. This was her 3rd year. She
made it to approximately half the days of school. When
she was in school she could do the work the first time,
but unfortunately, if it built on stuff she missed she
had a tough time. If her parents pulled together and
got her to school enough to pass the rest of her grades
in one year she would be 20 when she graduated from
high school. What are the chances that child will ever
graduate? This is the main reason for truency laws.

The OP should investigate
official part-time homeschooling.




  #102  
Old October 28th 03, 05:21 PM
CC Bailey
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Default Bright 2nd grader & school truancy / part-time home-school?

Banty wrote:

And, BTW, there's 180 days of school a year, covering only about 2/3 of a work
day for each day. There's *plenty* of time for that outside school. IMO by far
most of the reasons parents take their kids out of school for 'enrichment' it's
really a matter of parental convenience such as cheaper travel, etc. I can
fully understand why schools are cracking down on some of this.


Our school district had our fall break last week. Tuesday was a half
day, with parent-teacher conferences in the afternoon and evening. On
Wednesday, school was dismissed at 11 am, and there was no school on
Thursday and Friday.

My next door neighbors are really ticked off at the school where their
kids attend. This family went on vacation the week BEFORE fall break
for a trip to the Florida beach. They got back onMonday, kept the kids
home on the Tuesday half-day, and sent them to school for the Wednesday
half-day. They can't understand why the absences are considered
unexcused. They went to Disney and the beach. Nothing educational
what-so-ever. These people don't believe in visiting museums.

BTW, dad took off work the week before and the week of fall break, and
mom is a SAHM. They could have waited a week and then the kids would
only have missed 1 full day and 2 half-days. It's not such a big deal
for the kindergartener and the second-grader, but their oldest daughter
is in middle school now. She missed two tests that she knew about
before they went on the trip, plus several other big assignments. The
parents didn't have her do any of the work before going on their trip.
It's their fault that her grades will be low on her report card.




  #103  
Old October 28th 03, 05:30 PM
Ericka Kammerer
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Default Bright 2nd grader & school truancy / part-time home-school?

ColoradoSkiBum wrote:

: Oh, my dd
: is at risk. Better threaten us with fines. I am really irate. Who
came up
: with such a stupid law?
:
:
: Blame the zero-tolerance folks, the no child left behind folks...
:
: Bush anyone?
:
:
: Bingo. And as far as I can tell, it's going to
: get worse, not better.
:

Bull. If this were true, all schools would have such restrictive policies.
They don't.


It's coming. It just takes a while for the relevant
laws to percolate down, and some school resist longer than
others--until they get in trouble for "not following the
rules" and experience draconian punishments and then have
to implement draconian rules themselves as the lesser of
two evils. Our school was much more liberal before we
started getting letters home explaining that they were
going to have to tighten up in some areas due to "No
Child Left Behind" and other legislation. And, of course,
many states have jumped on the bandwagon and are
implementing requirements that are even more restrictive
in the name of accountability.

Best wishes,
Ericka

  #105  
Old October 28th 03, 05:47 PM
Ericka Kammerer
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Default Bright 2nd grader & school truancy / part-time home-school?

Jenrose wrote:



Um, she *is* in a public school.



Then I would prepare to see the school's flexibility
whittled away, little by little. (Sorry to be cynical, but
I'm afraid I'm not all that optimistic on this front.) I
think our public school system is quite good and I am happy
with the education my children are getting there, but I
keep seeing more and more flexibility taken away by both
state and national initiatives.


snip
This leaves kindergarteners with eight hours of homework and caffeine
jitters at the age of five, carried to the logical conclusion. I don't want
to even think about preschool.

I hyperbolize, but you get the point.



Absolutely. This is a very common attitude and getting
more and more common.


It was very important for us to find a program that let kids be kids without
the heavy homework load. She has gone from no homework in kindergarten to
not quite an hour in 5th grade on a "heavy" night, and never not been able
to get her homework done working no more than 10 min x grade level every
night. Thus, with reasonable, age-appropriate expectations (and how many
emotionally average academically gifted kids get loaded with age
inappropriate amounts of work when their "enrichments" pile on top of a
normal workload....) she's actually developed study skills which seem rare
in kids that bright.



I agree with you 100 percent. I just think that public
schools like this are going to get more and more rare in the
current legislative environment.


But the point is that *all* these programs operate with the same budgets the
neighborhood schools get, per pupil.



This is a red herring in most cases. The big player
in funding for public schools is often how many "special"
cases the school has to deal with (e.g., language barriers,
severe learning disabilities, etc.). Schools that don't
have to deal with these issues effectively have much more
money to spend on the population at large.


There are some who argue that this kind of program "saps" the neighborhood
schools of the brightest kids. In my experience, neighborhood schools with a
"standard" normal curriculum rarely make enough use of the brightest kids to
justify keeping them.



Except that the brightest kids drive up the test scores,
and with test scores becoming so all-fired important, lowered
test scores have very real impacts on all the students in a
school. There's also a secondary effect--the brightest kids
generally bring more affluent and more involved *parents* to
the table, which translates into more money for the school
(through the PTA) and all sorts of other advantages.

What delights me about
this program in particular is that it manages to provide an enriched
learning environment for the same money to ALL kids at all ability levels.
Isn't that how it *should* work? Shouldn't people be looking at taking this
model out to the neighborhood schools?



Absolutely. Programs that are working well should
be looked at and their ideas co-opted wherever possible.
However, I would be cautious about the money issue. If
your school is really serving the full gamut of abilities
on the same dollar, that's wonderful. Odds are, however,
that it's not, nor is it likely coping with as high a
percentage of the more difficult to educate children
(extreme poverty, etc.). That's not to say that other
schools shouldn't be taking a page from your school's book.
From many of the things you've said, it sounds like there
are a bunch of very valuable things that likely *would*
help with no downside whatsoever. I'm just suggesting that
sometimes the problem is a little more complicated than
it first appears--and all these relatively recent
legislative attempts towards accountability through
testing and other "objective" standards are complicating
the situation significantly. (I'm not against
accountability per se, but I have a lot of heartburn
with the way it's often implemented.)

Best wishes,
Ericka

  #106  
Old October 28th 03, 06:01 PM
Ericka Kammerer
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Default Bright 2nd grader & school truancy / part-time home-school?

Banty wrote:


I do think there need to be some accelerated programs for bright kids. But on
the other hand I don't sign on to this idea that it's necessarily utter disaster
if there isn't. So - what, every farmer in a small rural district should up and
sell the farm and move to get his kid into a GT program?



Of course not. I see it both ways. Yes, *any* child should
be able to cope with some boredom and learn to develop some initiative
to find something constructive to do. I am totally unswayed by the
boredom argument. However, I also believe that children ought to
receive a reasonably appropriate education, and children who are
way out there on the bell curve really aren't being served without
some accommodation. With a little flexibility and willpower,
most gifted kids *can* be accommodated, at least to some degree,
in a normal classroom. I was in a "normal" classroom for all
of elementary school (several different schools) and most of
my teachers were willing to make all sorts of arrangements to
keep me learning in a reasonable way. Sure, I was occasionally
bored, but I don't see that as a downside. However, in most
cases I *was* able to do more than just slog along with
material I'd mastered years before.
What I see today, though, is that while there are
still some teachers/administrations willing to be flexible
and make these accommodations, much of the flexibility has
disappeared. I'm not sure why that is. Some is due to
these accountability and standardization programs. Some
may well be due to other factors. And, of course, I'm
sure there are many people who *do* find acceptable
accommodations and are reasonably happy with the results.
I do seem to hear from more people now, however, that
they've tried to find reasonable accommodations and
haven't been successful.


There is a *lot* that parents, and especially the child herself or himself, can
do outside school to develop themselves and supplement their own learning.
Hobbies, clubs, scouts, outside reading, travel.



Absolutely, and I've always been a big proponent of that.
Still, that doesn't totally excuse allowing school to be a
waste of time when there are usually simple and not-too-intrusive
things to do to alleviate at least *part* of that problem.


And, BTW, there's 180 days of school a year, covering only about 2/3 of a work
day for each day. There's *plenty* of time for that outside school. IMO by far
most of the reasons parents take their kids out of school for 'enrichment' it's
really a matter of parental convenience such as cheaper travel, etc. I can
fully understand why schools are cracking down on some of this.



I also agree with that. I don't really get the notion
that every child must be catered to as an individual in every
single way. If that's your definition of an acceptable
education, homeschool or hire a tutor. (I realize that in
some cases, that really *is* the only way to get any sort
of acceptable education, but that doesn't apply to the
majority of kids.) If you are part of a class, I think
it's reasonable for students and parents to be thoughtful
about the effects of their requests/actions on the teacher
and other students in the class. Some things are just too
intrusive to be reasonable, IMO. Other things, however, are
quite reasonable, and should be implemented wherever necessary
to provide the best education possible.

Best wishes,
Ericka

  #107  
Old October 28th 03, 06:05 PM
Banty
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Default Bright 2nd grader & school truancy / part-time home-school?

In article , Ericka Kammerer says...

Banty wrote:


What I see today, though, is that while there are
still some teachers/administrations willing to be flexible
and make these accommodations, much of the flexibility has
disappeared. I'm not sure why that is. Some is due to
these accountability and standardization programs. Some
may well be due to other factors. And, of course, I'm
sure there are many people who *do* find acceptable
accommodations and are reasonably happy with the results.
I do seem to hear from more people now, however, that
they've tried to find reasonable accommodations and
haven't been successful.


I agree with your post, and I think it's a matter of balance.

Why the increasing inflexibility? Well, I think it's two things. One is - yes
- that focus on high-stakes test scores and other inappropriate measures.

The other, though, is social deterioration. A generation ago - it *was* a big
deal to ask for extra teacher prep for a child pulled out of school for an
unusual situation or a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for travel. It happened,
but not so often, and the situations brought up would be compelling. Now, it's
any damn thing, cheaper ski trips, cheaper Disney, whatever, such that the sheer
volume of such instances are unmanageable, and there's the snowballing effect of
parents, tired of buying expensive airline tickets for an August vacation whilst
hearing of their neighbors grabbing last-minute deals and pulling the kids out
of school and getting accomodated, start doing the same thing. So the pendulum
swings the other way, and the parents who *would* be very judicious about this
matter are shut out, too. Old story of abuse of privelege.

Banty

  #108  
Old October 28th 03, 06:13 PM
Banty
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Default Bright 2nd grader & school truancy / part-time home-school?

In article , Banty says...

In article , Ericka Kammerer says...

Banty wrote:


What I see today, though, is that while there are
still some teachers/administrations willing to be flexible
and make these accommodations, much of the flexibility has
disappeared. I'm not sure why that is. Some is due to
these accountability and standardization programs. Some
may well be due to other factors. And, of course, I'm
sure there are many people who *do* find acceptable
accommodations and are reasonably happy with the results.
I do seem to hear from more people now, however, that
they've tried to find reasonable accommodations and
haven't been successful.


I agree with your post, and I think it's a matter of balance.

Why the increasing inflexibility? Well, I think it's two things. One is - yes
- that focus on high-stakes test scores and other inappropriate measures.

The other, though, is social deterioration. A generation ago - it *was* a big
deal to ask for extra teacher prep for a child pulled out of school for an
unusual situation or a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for travel. It happened,
but not so often, and the situations brought up would be compelling. Now, it's
any damn thing, cheaper ski trips, cheaper Disney, whatever, such that the sheer
volume of such instances are unmanageable, and there's the snowballing effect of
parents, tired of buying expensive airline tickets for an August vacation whilst
hearing of their neighbors grabbing last-minute deals and pulling the kids out
of school and getting accomodated, start doing the same thing. So the pendulum
swings the other way, and the parents who *would* be very judicious about this
matter are shut out, too. Old story of abuse of privelege.


Following up on my own post - I can see you were more talking about accomodation
of educational needs of bright kids and I went off on taking kids out of school
:*)

I think, as far as programs for bright kids, again yes it's the high stakes
testing and the need to pull up as many kids as possible as far as what's on the
test. And the tests being geared toward mastery of a set of requried skills
rather than being challenging such that the brighter kids really would perform
to their max.

I think though that the thinking concerning bright kids 'gifted and talented'
has been so much along the lines of specialized programs that simpler options,
but which require flexibility, aren't considered as much or as carefully. If
there isn't a GT or pullout or 'magnet' program, that's pretty much that. In my
district, there's always the *intention* to do something, and that acutally gets
in the way of anything effective that can be set up more short-term.

The other thing is the need for higher efficiency and lack of attention and
energy to specialized needs outside these programs becuase of fiscal pressures.

Banty

  #109  
Old October 28th 03, 07:03 PM
chiam margalit
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Default Bright 2nd grader & school truancy / part-time home-school?

Chookie wrote in message ...
In article ,
"Vicki" wrote:

We have discussed getting
appropriate challenge in her classroom--the teacher has been helpful, but
there is only so much she can do. We chose not to skip dd to the next grade
as she is already the youngest in her class.


I've just been reading a book about exceptionally gifted children by Miraca
Gross. She comes down heavily in favour of acceleration for the profoundly
gifted, on the grounds that children (and adults) tend to befriend their
*intellectual* peers rather than their age-peers. Her research/literature
survey indicated that profoundly gifted children are usually socially and
morally advanced as well as being academically advanced, and fit in well with
*and are accepted by* older classmates, once they are officially members of
that class. My only hesitation is that this book was written in 1989 and more
research may have changed the picture a bit.


No, the research still supports Gross's postulation that PG kids do
seek their intellectual peers and do better socially with kids they
can relate to rather than their age peers. But we're talking
PROFOUNDLY gifted...kids with IQs over 180. That kind of kid is rare,
really rare. A school might see one in a lifetime of teaching. Or
none. I've read that an IQ of 180+ is a million to one shot.

As the parent of a PG child, one who is radically accelerated and
having the time of his life socially, I'd have to agree with Gross
that socially acceleration is a G-dsend. *However*, we're having a
*terrible* school year this year, and I'm really at my wits end, as is
the school, with my PG child. I'm not going to go into details, but
having a child who is 2-3 years younger than his classmates who are
all going through puberty at a rapid clip, whereas my kid is not, has
really been difficult for all concerned. My kid has a ton of friends,
no doubt about it, but he's such a jerk right now that I just can't
believe they still allow him to attend school every day. The age
difference has really caught up with him, and he's not dealing with it
very well. I don't think my child is alone in this, either. From my
contact with other parents of PG kids, there seems to be a real issue
in middle school with a child either leaning towards academics and
being socially isolated, or socially popular but school suffers. I
suppose it's the nature of middle school, but it seems fairly acute
from my viewpoint.

Hard to believe, but I'm not sure I'd recommend radical acceleration
for any kid right now. I'm seeing the struggles first hand, and it's
painful to watch. Although I know for my child, this was the right
decision at the time, but I wish I had been less cavalier in my
attitude a few years down the road. Maybe I'll feel differently once
we have this all ironed out, but who knows. As has always been my
experience, every school year brings totally different challanges, and
what works one year might fail miserably the next. We've done the
gamut, private, public, homeschooling, and nothing has been perfect or
even close to it. These are tough kids to raise.

Marjorie


However, I agree firmly with her that a child that is left in a class where
everything comes very easily will not learn to apply herself, may become
naughty through boredom, may underachieve through a desire to fit in, may be
socially isolated because she is developmentally and intellectually so far
ahead of the rest, or may just retreat into misery. Your DD may not be in the
"profoundly gifted" category, but the same thing is true -- just to a lesser
extent -- for gifted children in other categories.

I think you should reconsider acceleration.

  #110  
Old October 28th 03, 07:24 PM
Ericka Kammerer
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Default Bright 2nd grader & school truancy / part-time home-school?

Banty wrote:


I agree with your post, and I think it's a matter of balance.

Why the increasing inflexibility? Well, I think it's two things. One is - yes
- that focus on high-stakes test scores and other inappropriate measures.

The other, though, is social deterioration. A generation ago - it *was* a big
deal to ask for extra teacher prep for a child pulled out of school for an
unusual situation or a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for travel. It happened,
but not so often, and the situations brought up would be compelling. Now, it's
any damn thing, cheaper ski trips, cheaper Disney, whatever, such that the sheer
volume of such instances are unmanageable, and there's the snowballing effect of
parents, tired of buying expensive airline tickets for an August vacation whilst
hearing of their neighbors grabbing last-minute deals and pulling the kids out
of school and getting accomodated, start doing the same thing. So the pendulum
swings the other way, and the parents who *would* be very judicious about this
matter are shut out, too. Old story of abuse of privelege.



Could be. I hesitate to make those arguments because
I wasn't there and tend to be leery of "good old days" arguments
(because it often turns out the "good old days" weren't all
that good). Certainly, I do know people who pull kids from
school for reasons I wouldn't think would pass muster. On
the other hand, I know lots of people who only do it for what
I would consider good reasons (and many of them get hassled
about it). I guess I just don't know on this one, but it
sounds plausible on the face of it, at least ;-)

Best wishes,
Ericka

 




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