Friday, May 18, 2007

How We Got Here--The Final Straw

So, we weren't having much success at our local public school. It was now February of 1st grade and our daughter had been working like a dog to keep her head above water. Then the memo came home.

This was a weekly memo at my daughter's school from the principal. It covered different things each week. The section you are about to read was entitled "Parents As Tutors."

"Our children are at school on an average of 61/2 to 7 hours a day. During that time, they are working closely with their teacher or teachers, being introduced and practicing skills that are new to them. Some students have the ability to learn at the pace set for them by the school and the teacher. During the course of the day, they are bombarded with new words, new math concepts, new information about the world around them. Not to mention, new social experiences that they must learn to adapt to. Unfortunately, most of our students do not have the ability to master all of the skills given the massive amound of information entering their brain in such a concentrated amount of time. For this reason, a strong relationship with the teacher is quite beneficial."

She goes on to describe how parents should reinforce learning at home, etc. But, excuse me??? Did she just say that they throw so much at the students during the day so quickly that most kids cannot possibly keep up so parents need to help? Should we maybe adjust our expectations so that MOST of the students can keep up? Don't we want students to master new skills? Is going at a breakneck pace working?

It was that same week that we visited the private school at our church and made our decision to move our daughter right after Valentine's Day. This all came about very soon after my conference with the teachers where they told me my daughter was on a "wait and see status." Meaning, I understood, that they were not ready to test her for special education just yet, but perhaps in a few months they would look at "other things we can do."

For a kid who was so excited to start school, this wasn't working out exactly as planned.

The story continues here.