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first post! Homeschooling and church - stressed!

 
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Momtotwogreatkids
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Joined: 08 Oct 2009
Posts: 1
Location: Kansas City

PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:36 am    Post subject: first post! Homeschooling and church - stressed! Reply with quote

This is my first post and hoping someone can help. I started homeschooling my son last year in kindergarten and everything has been going well up until now and I am ready to just throw in the towel, cry, scream or all of the above.

My son loves homeschooling but is really struggling with reading and I'm trying not to put the pressure on. My son just started first grade and can only read 3 - 4 letter words but is getting better all the time. Last night I dropped him off for his class at church and I could tell something was wrong the second I walked in the room to get him (from the teachers and him). When we got in the car I asked my son what had happened and he said, "They were playing hang-man and I couldn't read the words. The teachers asked me a lot of questions about where I went to school, how many days you teach me, and about what I learn." We hadn't had school yesterday and he said the teachers were upset that he didn't have school that day (The beauty of homeschooling as you all know is the flexibility). It sounded as if my son was being interrogated. Our church is in a very good school district so I know that we have a lot of children in the church that are extremely smart and there are only a handful of homeschoolers there. Church is the only socialization that he really gets during the winter and he loves his class but I am really upset.

So I have a two part question. How should I deal with this? Should I pull him out of this Wednesday night class (you know these questions are going to continue and it's going to be one slippery slope!), and most important - what level should a child just starting first grade be at?
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elliemaejune
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Joined: 30 Oct 2006
Posts: 578
Location: The Fireswamp

PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:47 pm    Post subject: Re: first post! Homeschooling and church - stressed! Reply with quote

Momtotwogreatkids wrote:
So I have a two part question. How should I deal with this? Should I pull him out of this Wednesday night class (you know these questions are going to continue and it's going to be one slippery slope!).


I'd have a talk with the teacher, and tell her you'd appreciate it if she wouldn't question your ds in such detail, and that she would try harder not to put him on the spot. There's no need for you to give long explanations, either. Goodness. But I wouldn't pull him out just yet.


Quote:
What level should a child just starting first grade be at?

I certainly would not expect a first-grade-age child to be reading. That's what first grade is for. It's why it's called "first" grade, for goodness' sake.
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Roses_R_Red
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Joined: 05 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:50 pm    Post subject: Re: first post! Homeschooling and church - stressed! Reply with quote

Momtotwogreatkids wrote:
....My son loves homeschooling but is really struggling with reading and I'm trying not to put the pressure on. ...It sounded as if my son was being interrogated. ......

So I have a two part question. How should I deal with this? Should I pull him out of this Wednesday night class (you know these questions are going to continue and it's going to be one slippery slope!), and most important - what level should a child just starting first grade be at?

Hi Momtottwo... I can't imagine how he must have felt having all of those questions directed at him. I would talk with the teachers (not with your son present) and let them know you are aware of where he is in his reading progress and you are working on it... and any future questions need to be directed to you alone. They need to know the pressure they placed on him by asking in that way.

I would not take him away from the class. Not every child is at the same level in our small church and from what I understand, the older ones often help the younger ones.

I am kinda in the same boat. I didn't know what to 'expect' a 1st grader to be doing. I didn't want to compare to public school kids, but really had no answer to that question. I simply began this year with where my 6yo dd was and started there. I have her work on her handwriting daily and we'll be doing more spelling and reviewing/adding on more difficult sounds/spelling.
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ncmom
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Joined: 13 Jul 2007
Posts: 321
Location: Eastern NC

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't say what I would do about the church. I know I would be upset if this had happened to me and probably would end up telling the teacher it was none of her business, but that is me.

As for reading in the first grade...my daughter went to PS in KDG and still couldn't read in the first grade, which proves that PS is NOT better than HS (we pulled her out of PS after KDG). That next year we did KDG and most of 1st grade phonics while she was in the first grade. She still didn't read all that well in the 2nd grade so we finished up the first grade stuff and the 2nd grade stuff the next year. It was a challenge but we made it through it. She was so embarrassed when she would be asked to read. My daughter is in the 5th grade now and reads just fine for the most part. She still occasionally struggles with big words and words that don't follow the phonics rules, but once you tell her the word she remembers it. She still doesn't like to read out-loud. She recently joined a 4-H group and they made her secretary so she must take role at the meetings. Roll requires her to read out-loud, and although she absolutely hates it, it has been really good for her. It actually helped build her confidence in her ability to read.

Don't get discouraged yet! Kids learn to read at different paces and some are better at reading than others. I wouldn't worry about it and I would definitely try not to compare your child to others, even if they are the same age.

I hope things work out!
Good luck
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homeschoolnewbie
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Joined: 27 Mar 2009
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Location: Hampton Roads, va

PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is an incredibly difficult situation, however, firstly, boys read later. They just do, and most boys that I know are not reading in first grade, at least not fluently. Secondly, is your church otherwise supportive? We ended up leaving our church because we were the only homechool family, and we had no support. In fact, our pastor asked me a couple of times when I would go back to work. I think if they are otherwise good people, try to educate them on what you are doing. Ask the teacher not to put your child on the spot that way and let her know that you are honestly having trouble with reading and ask her for suggestions for you to try at home. I think most folks have good intentions, but express them in sometimes inappropriate ways. I hope this helps!
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HomeschoolNewbie

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MelissaM
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Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 44
Location: Central Qld, Australia

PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can understand why you are upset, and I would be too. However, I certainly wouldn't be pulling him out just yet. You will encounter lots of ignorance as a homeschooling family (unfortunately), so it's best to get used to it. And, as ignorant and hurtful as it is, it is most likely done with good intentions.

Also, remember that first grade is actually when children are supposed to START learning to read. And everyone learns at their own pace.

I think it's very important to have a chat with the church school teacher, but try to remain very rational, polite and confident in your conviction. After all, you are doing the best you can for your child, so don't you forget that.
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