Different issues at school than home?

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-17-2004
Different issues at school than home?
8
Tue, 11-27-2012 - 10:06am

Hello,

It's report card time for us.  DS is twice exceptional and in Kindy, so many of the things he needs to work on I know and they are works in progress.  However, there are a few which surprised me.  The big one being "needs improvement" in adding numbers to 20.  I don't mean to sound arrogant here, so please bear with me.  DS was adding when he was in a high chair finger feeding himself peas! 

We are doing a hybrid of home school and regular school this year because the regular school just doesn't meet him academically.  But he is learning a LOT there socially and physically.  At home, DS is between 3rd and 4th grade math in all areas except geometry.  Next year we plan to exclusively homeschool as we have a great support network here to fill the social needs. 

At the beginning of the year, DS struggled in math socially.  What I mean is that he would write wrong answers down on tests so the other kids would not get the right answer off his paper!  "I was tricky, Mom!"  So we had to talk about how to take a test. Stuff like that which just doesn't come up at home.

They also said DS needed improvement on focusing for 20 mins.  This is laughable actually.  At home, he focus stretch is about 3 hours at a time unless it is something not interesting, which he can do 30 mins.  So I'm guessing he's bored out of his mind on this one.

But it makes me wonder a little about homeschooling.  If he excels at home on these areas he struggles with in school, which skills will the workforce see?  I'm not sure what to make of this or how I would address this discrepancy in homeschool if I never see it.

Thoughts?  Thanks.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2006
Tue, 11-27-2012 - 11:10am
Unless he is likely to be in a school-like environment on the job, I wouldn't be concerned. You KNOW he can focus for three hours and knows his math facts...the school hasn't figured it out yet, because its job is providing an adequate education to the average child at relatively low cost, and the "average" yardstick (the word "rubric" is often used, to intimidate parents) doesn't take outliers into account. Deborah
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2006
Tue, 11-27-2012 - 11:17am

This was a double post...ivillage software bomb strikes again!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-18-2005
Tue, 11-27-2012 - 2:59pm

This sounds like my 2nd grader's report card--perfect grades in academics, needs improvement in all kinds of social/behavioral areas!  Honestly, I see school as mostly about learning to get along and work with the rest of the world.  My kid's such an intellectually curious information vortex, that "book learning" will take care of itself.  And yes, it's very typical for them to act differently in a school setting than they do at home.

Gwen

http://i218.photobucket.com/albums/cc248/gwennyc/b6yfcl.png<A href="http://s218.photobucket

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2002
Wed, 11-28-2012 - 11:18am

Well, I'd venture to say that this is one of the reasons that five-year-olds aren't out in the work force: they don't have the maturity and wisdom to recognize the need to demonstrate specific types of performance in order to serve others' needs. I would be willing to predict that sometime between now and when he enters the workforce, he'll develop that maturity. No worries, mama. My concern (and it would be a minor one -- I do understand many of the challenges of working with this age group) would simply be that his teachers have so little ability to perceive and assess his learning. But that's a problem with them, not him.

Miranda

Miranda
in rural BC, Canada
mom to three great kids and one great grown-up
unschooler, violist, runner, doc 

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-17-2004
Wed, 11-28-2012 - 1:43pm

Thanks Ladies,

We definitely have a love/hate relationship with the school.  They are very good about supporting the lower performance areas, but are awful with the stronger performance areas.  I've been surprised at the ways the social delays have shown up (ex: testing) and realized we had to redefine what we could expect out of this school.  I guess we'll just see what happens as he ages.

Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
Fri, 11-30-2012 - 12:32am

It's awfully early to worry about how he'll do in the workforce. You shouldn't assume this will be a pattern for him or even that what is happening is outside the normal behavior for a child his age.

I wouldn't put too much weight on all this. The teacher can only comment on what she's seeing in class and your child choosing the "slow lane" in kindergarten it's neccessarily a bad thing. Some kids do well with another year of play and even in our very academic K's, there was still lots of opportunities for play.

Being able to focus at home for hours on a project of his own choice is different from having the maturity and self-discipline to stay focused on a task that isn't personally interesting or what a child wants to be doing at that moment (whether it's challenging or not.) Plus, keeping focused in a room of kids is far more challenging for a young child than being home with a parent. He could be bored but he could also be 5-year-old boy and a little squirrely when surrounded by so many walking/talking distractions.

Anyway, if he's a happy boy, I really wouldn't worry about it. My kids are 12 and 15, I can't tell you how much they've grown and changed since kindergarten!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-17-2004
Sat, 12-01-2012 - 1:05pm

I will agree there are a lot of changes between 5 and workforce age.  However, the social aspect of life is a strong challenge for DS and not something he will 'get' on his own.  Hence the concern.  I guess if he can do it at home, then the next step is to see if he does it in small groups of play.  Once I see he can do it there, then I consider it a skill learned.  By not doing these things at school, I wonder if the skills have actually been learned.

Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
Sun, 12-02-2012 - 12:07pm
I'll tell you right now, none of those kids has the social thing down. None of them. Childhood is a long path of trial and error for all. It's a personal development that as parents, we really don't have that much control over. What can make a child socially strong in kindergarten can work against them in middle and high school. What makes a child a social star in high school, can work against them as adults. Sometimes, the traits that make a child stand apart in school end up being the very reason they succeed as adults. Same with academics. What made DD 15 intimidating to elementary school and early high school teachers made her much loved in middle school, college and in her professional life (actress, teacher's aide, intern.) My DS 12 played his days away through 1st grade but he's been able to bring that playfulness and creativity to his intellectual life and is thriving in middle school working well above where he should be. We taught them "manners. They know to be respectful of their teachers and peers but we encouraged them to seek friendships through interest-based activities, not school. Developing wonderful, long-term friendships with other quirky, capable fun-loving kids has made them more secure in general, and more attractive to classmates (ironically.) It's also shielded them from much of the destructive behavior we've seen in their peers who make fitting in at school a priority. I can't stop you from worrying, I know. I'm just throwing out that this current situation doesn't dictate his future.