Need a bit of support... brand new adventure

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Need a bit of support... brand new adventure

Postby Meghan » Thu Oct 21, 2010 9:20 am

Cliff notes version:

I'd been trying to decide if and when to pull dd out of school. Dh and I had settled for December. An email exchange this week with dd's ps teacher has pushed it into high gear. It is obvious after the exchange that not only did the teacher NOT take anything I said about auditory learning styles and phonics seriously, but that she has also pegged me as 'the problem' and I can't even begin to figure out how to work with that.


On Monday, after the exchange, dd balked at reading anything except super easy cvc words, and didn't want to read from a book AT ALL. I discovered that they had drilled her that day on numbers and alphabet (because I had told them what she knows and they felt the need to prove me wrong... whatever.). The one thing they managed to do for dd this week is kill her interest in trying. I'm not even sure how they did it. Dd has been SUPER eager to learn for me right along, no matter what.

Yesterday morning dd completely melted down when it was time to get ready for school. That is not my dd AT ALL, who is the 'people pleasing' child who we've been calling 'smiley Riley' since birth. We gave her a mental health day, and she rested and played.

Last night, I had decided to tone down what we were doing. Whatever had happened, dd was feeling overwhelmed. I had her read from a list of super easy phonics words (basically practicing short a and short e, and building her confidence along the way). It sounds 'boring' to adults, but dd loves it. I let her choose the words from a list of 30.

I pulled out one of the new library books we had just taken out, and she really wanted to 'read' it.. except she didn't. She would read words she knew, and completely refused to sound out anything that wasn't a cvc word. She was perfectly willing to repeat whatever I said, but didn't want to attempt anything she didn't feel confident in.

We are beginning our new adventure. I'm not even sure right now if she will be going back tomorrow. I've already investigated our laws, and even have the official paperwork here to send out.

I'm so angry about the whole situation, but having made the decision officially and having my dh's complete support is chilling the majority of my anger into a 'whatever.. who cares what they think' feeling.

But I never expected my dd to balk like this. She has been eager from the get-go, even when learning the letter sounds was hard, even when reading any word was hard. She has always been sunny and smiling, always excited when I pull out the books, always ready to plug along and show what she can do. I didn't anticipate that they would somehow cut my legs out from under me.

She's only six. I know, intellectually, that a bit of time will heal that. But I really need reassurance. This this whole debacle with ps, I have kept saying 'something needs to be done before she gives up trying altogether'. And this smells just a tiny bit like that.

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Postby elliemaejune » Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:29 am

(((((Meghan and Smiley Riley)))

HSLDA usually recommends waiting until a break in the school year, like Thanksgiving or Christmas vacations. If you can keep your dd going until Thanksgiving, that would be best. In any case, be sure you have all your legal requirements taken care of before you say anything to the school (or even to your dd, because your dd will want to tell her friends and teacher). I know that sounds a little paranoid, but it is what it is.

When you do take her out, you might consider letting her do some de-toxing before you move on with your own educational plans. For example, read aloud to her from good books, but don't require her to read to you. It is not uncommon for children to take a year or more to recover from their experiences at school. Really. There are many things you can do that are learning but that don't look anything like school, and she might need that.
Married to Mr. Ellie for over 30 years
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Postby Meghan » Fri Oct 29, 2010 5:24 pm

Just wanted to reply to you elliemaejune :)

I certainly understand their suggestion, but it just wasn't possible for us. Dh made the final decision, and decided she was done, and that was that.

Thankfully, as I stated in my other post, things have been smooth so far. The school has been supportive.

I can certainly understand paranoia! Dd was also part of our initial decision, but was heavily cautioned not to mention it. I can trust her because she was very very very quiet in ps, but it's a wise precaution.

I'm still not teaching any new phonics rules to dd, and that's ok. I'm chafing to dive in, but am taking her lead. I'm using this time to firmly cement what she knows, so it's practice time which is good as well. I bought 'Why Johnny can't read', which has been a great resource. Honestly, we skipped a few steps that are ok to teach but that I don't think are necessary really, so we'll be reviewing those if she still doesn't feel ready to move on in a few weeks. Even without new teaching, she's working by herself to play with sounds and spells words she hears constantly, so that's all helping. Plus :D

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