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Old 11-26-2013, 03:05 AM   #76
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I live in Australia and this thread has been a revelation! Here workers get 4 weeks annual leave every year and taking kids out of school for holidays (while in younger years) is not frowned upon at all.
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Old 11-26-2013, 05:10 AM   #77
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As a former teacher, I couldn't agree wiyh you more. Who is going to present the educational concepts missed because of family vacations? Will the parents teach long division, chemical concepts, or the critical thinking, reading, and written expression in one of Shakespeare's plays? I sincerely doubt it.
Really?? What about all the times I hear things like 'we watched 'over the hedge' today to teach us about habitat (in grade 5!!)' or ' Bobby was nice to Susie to we had a dance party for the second half of the day'. I cringe everytime I hear my kids say these things. Zero work the first week of school,zero the week before and type of holiday etc. The amount of time wasted sounds ridiculous, so I'm not going to feel bad if I take a vacation during the school year. BTW, when DH and do are having to spend 1 1/2- 2 hrs helping our kids with long division, clearly it isn't being taught well enough during the school day. If there is time for movies and dance parties, the teachers better be certain that every child has a full understanding of long division and chemical concepts.

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Old 11-26-2013, 05:27 AM   #78
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Really?? What about all the times I hear things like 'we watched 'over the hedge' today to teach us about habitat (in grade 5!!)' or ' Bobby was nice to Susie to we had a dance party for the second half of the day'. I cringe everytime I hear my kids say these things. Zero work the first week of school,zero the week before and type of holiday etc. The amount of time wasted sounds ridiculous, so I'm not going to feel bad if I take a vacation during the school year. BTW, when DH and do are having to spend 1 1/2- 2 hrs helping our kids with long division, clearly it isn't being taught well enough during the school day. If there is time for movies and dance parties, the teachers better be certain that every child has a full understanding of long division and chemical concepts.
Not defending the majority of that, but...

The first week (or two or in special ed even 3-4 depending on the size of the class) is all about assessing the children so that we know how to break them into groups, what level they are coming in, what scatter skills we need to work on to fill in weak areas, how your children learn best. Contrary to popular belief, you can't just pop open a curriculum, teach from a script, and expect children to learn. There has to be assessment, even in general education.
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Old 11-26-2013, 05:45 AM   #79
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Not defending the majority of that, but...

The first week (or two or in special ed even 3-4 depending on the size of the class) is all about assessing the children so that we know how to break them into groups, what level they are coming in, what scatter skills we need to work on to fill in weak areas, how your children learn best. Contrary to popular belief, you can't just pop open a curriculum, teach from a script, and expect children to learn. There has to be assessment, even in general education.
Yes, I agree with the first week of school,and that isn't really what bothers me. The teacher's quote I replied to was implying that parents don't get involved in their child's learning. We are constantly helping our children with homework and my kids are fairly bright, I feel really bad for the kids who are really struggling. It is different for every teacher, but we seem to have a pattern where there is a lot of down time and if they have that much down time, the children should have a complete understanding of everything being taught.

Also, in our school district, this year every pd day falls on the Friday of a long weekend (thanksgiving (canadian), Christmas break, march break). I find it hard to believe the teachers will put in a full day of 'professional development' at the school all day. I know the teachers can't help when the pd days fall, but parents are just shaking their heads.
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Old 11-26-2013, 06:00 AM   #80
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Teachers should be respectful to your decision in taking your child out for a family trip. They should also keep you up dated on homework and give you assignments to work on while your child will be gone. My parents always took me out during the school year when places are less busy (I don't do well in crowds). My teacher would not only give us what the missed homework would be, but would also ask us to write a report on what we learned during our trip. Most teachers are always behind in their teaching schedules as well. Almost every time I came back from vacation, I would be ahead of the class.
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Old 11-26-2013, 07:16 AM   #81
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Teachers should be respectful to your decision in taking your child out for a family trip. They should also keep you up dated on homework and give you assignments to work on while your child will be gone. My parents always took me out during the school year when places are less busy (I don't do well in crowds). My teacher would not only give us what the missed homework would be, but would also ask us to write a report on what we learned during our trip. Most teachers are always behind in their teaching schedules as well. Almost every time I came back from vacation, I would be ahead of the class.
My wife is a teacher so I ask you these questions ...
1. Whose going to teach your child all of the concepts they miss while you are gone? Most if not all of those are evaluated on state testing.
2. Unlike in years past, your teacher's job and raise depends on those scores in a number of districts. Gone are the days where bad teachers were allowed to remain in school districts. The primary means of accessing a teacher's ability is now standardized testing.
3. Your districts state funding may depend on those scores. In fact in our state, if your scores fall too low for a number of years, the state assumes control of the school district.

My parents took me out of school as a child too... then again I didn't have homework in kindergarten either (all 3 of my kids have). International stats show that we don't treat education seriously enough in the US anyway. Of course you always have the final option, homeschooling works wonders for some families and you can travel whenever you want.
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Old 11-26-2013, 07:35 AM   #82
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My wife is a teacher so I ask you these questions ...
1. Whose going to teach your child all of the concepts they miss while you are gone? Most if not all of those are evaluated on state testing.
2. Unlike in years past, your teacher's job and raise depends on those scores in a number of districts. Gone are the days where bad teachers were allowed to remain in school districts. The primary means of accessing a teacher's ability is now standardized testing.
3. Your districts state funding may depend on those scores. In fact in our state, if your scores fall too low for a number of years, the state assumes control of the school district.

My parents took me out of school as a child too... then again I didn't have homework in kindergarten either (all 3 of my kids have). International stats show that we don't treat education seriously enough in the US anyway. Of course you always have the final option, homeschooling works wonders for some families and you can travel whenever you want.
Why is it that your children have homework in kindergarten? It seems like a lot for parents to work an 8 hour day ( minimum) and then come home and help their child with homework (especially kindergarten!) The time in the evening between parent and child should be enjoyable family time, playing a board game, making a puzzle, having a nice dinner, bath time, that time shouldn't be spent finishing up school work. If there isn't enough time between sept and June to complete the curriculum for the school year then perhaps the summer should be shortened. In Europe children do not have the entire summer off. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to help my child with homework as long as they aren't watching movies and having parties at school ( which seems to happen a lot in my DD's school)
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Old 11-26-2013, 08:04 AM   #83
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Why is it that your children have homework in kindergarten? It seems like a lot for parents to work an 8 hour day ( minimum) and then come home and help their child with homework (especially kindergarten!) The time in the evening between parent and child should be enjoyable family time, playing a board game, making a puzzle, having a nice dinner, bath time, that time shouldn't be spent finishing up school work. If there isn't enough time between sept and June to complete the curriculum for the school year then perhaps the summer should be shortened. In Europe children do not have the entire summer off. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to help my child with homework as long as they aren't watching movies and having parties at school ( which seems to happen a lot in my DD's school)
Technically homework should be something your child can do alone, reviewing and reinforcing what was taught in class. We as teachers need to know what your child has grasped and what they need help with. If parents are "helping" (which in many cases means they did it - not all cases, but we can tell), it's harder for us to know where to help them, which contributes to the slow pace as they grow and have to be "retaught" concepts when in reality they never grasped it.
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Old 11-26-2013, 08:52 AM   #84
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Technically homework should be something your child can do alone, reviewing and reinforcing what was taught in class. We as teachers need to know what your child has grasped and what they need help with. If parents are "helping" (which in many cases means they did it - not all cases, but we can tell), it's harder for us to know where to help them, which contributes to the slow pace as they grow and have to be "retaught" concepts when in reality they never grasped it.
But isn't is a little much to expect a 4 or 5 year old to spend 6 hours in school and then do homework in the evening?
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Old 11-26-2013, 09:00 AM   #85
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But isn't is a little much to expect a 4 or 5 year old to spend 6 hours in school and then do homework in the evening?
Blame race to the top and standardized testing.

Now EVERYONE has to deal with the Common Core Learning Standards, which based on how dumbed-down everything has been seem ridiculously high, but compared to when I was in school, are normal.
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Old 11-26-2013, 09:23 AM   #86
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I live in Canada. So it's not frowned upon to take our children out of school. I was actually a bit shocked to read of some the rules other schools have for vacations in other countries. But that being said, I wouldn't take my kids out of school if they were doing poorly in school. All 3 of my kids are all progressing very well in their respective grades with no worries. We just had our parent teacher interviews and I let them all know that the kids will be away in February. And while my kids learn very little on vacation. Besides seeing how not every child is as fortunate as them, and seeing how these children live on the islands, my children just relax. There is no work to take mom and dad away from them. There is no phones, Internet, school, Etc. There is nothing but very valued family time. And that is priceless.

So to each their own. And if you can go on vacation. Then do!! And don't feel guilty, or that you have to make excuses of why you are going.
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Old 11-26-2013, 09:27 AM   #87
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I live in Canada. So it's not frowned upon to take our children out of school. I was actually a bit shocked to read of some the rules other schools have for vacations in other countries. But that being said, I wouldn't take my kids out of school if they were doing poorly in school. All 3 of my kids are all progressing very well in their respective grades with no worries. We just had our parent teacher interviews and I let them all know that the kids will be away in February. And while my kids learn very little on vacation. Besides seeing how not every child is as fortunate as them, and seeing how these children live on the islands, my children just relax. There is no work to take mom and dad away from them. There is no phones, Internet, school, Etc. There is nothing but very valued family time. And that is priceless. So to each their own. And if you can go on vacation. Then do!! And don't feel guilty, or that you have to make excuses of why you are going.
I live in Canada too and have never had a problem taking my kids out of school for a vacation. I agree, family time is priceless and I put a lot of value in it.
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Old 11-26-2013, 09:40 AM   #88
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Its the testing and scores etc that is basically all they care about. Trust me. I have experience in this at the moment, a 2nd grader in a very recently broken home who is at a 5th grade AR reading level, and all his teacher does is mark him off and mark off and mark off if his "a" isn't completely closed or if he forgets a comma. Instead of saying, 'Hey great! You aren't completely coming unhinged while your family is falling apart, good for you." all she does is mark off and mark off and mark off.

I don't ever remember having to spell "Astronomy" in 2nd grade, do you? The amount of time his single parent has to spend with him during the week for homework is frankly ridiculous. So is homework in kindergarden! That is plain ridiculous. And before you credit his hard working teachers with his 5th grade reading level, those are the books he reads AT HOME and he could read long before he even went to school (thanks to his parents.) He is really quickly headed to homeschool at this rate.

The pressure on these poor kids is unreal. I would be ashamed of myself if I was his teacher. I seriously would. The way his teacher treats and marks off any possible self esteem this hard working kid has each assignment and her emails to his mother actually put his newly single mother into TEARS. Its second grade, not college grad.

When did they stop caring about kids?! The teacher knows his home is a recently broken one and has offered no help at all and put the kid under tremendous pressure to constantly get his agenda points up, no mistakes, she complains if he puts a piece of paper inside his desk instead of his backpack, and I'm seriously not kidding! I wish I were exaggerating. She complains so much about little things that his single mother has been considering switching schools altogether because of this teacher.

I hope you teachers reading this see this. Spending several hrs a night doing homework is ridiculous. It rules their lives right now. Thank goodness his mother gets to take him out of school for hawaii this year! Otherwise, all they would do is homework the entire year, other than weekends, they barely have time to spend with each other. (They also have had to attend court mandated family in transition classes a few times at night during the week. Its just frankly way too much in addition to the late homework and fitting in church, which is number one important.)
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Old 11-26-2013, 09:43 AM   #89
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Why is it that your children have homework in kindergarten? It seems like a lot for parents to work an 8 hour day ( minimum) and then come home and help their child with homework (especially kindergarten!) The time in the evening between parent and child should be enjoyable family time, playing a board game, making a puzzle, having a nice dinner, bath time, that time shouldn't be spent finishing up school work. If there isn't enough time between sept and June to complete the curriculum for the school year then perhaps the summer should be shortened. In Europe children do not have the entire summer off. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to help my child with homework as long as they aren't watching movies and having parties at school ( which seems to happen a lot in my DD's school)
I've asked the same question ... My oldest actually had more homework in Kindergarten than in 1st or 2nd grade... Even better, it was her homework instead of my homework (Every night I have the read 15 minutes plus review their sight words plus due any worksheets with them)

Then again ... In kindergarten I was working on ABCs ... My kids are writing sentences.

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Old 11-26-2013, 10:04 AM   #90
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Its the testing and scores etc that is basically all they care about. Trust me. I have experience in this at the moment, a 2nd grader in a very recently broken home who is at a 5th grade AR reading level, and all his teacher does is mark him off and mark off and mark off if his "a" isn't completely closed or if he forgets a comma. Instead of saying, 'Hey great! You aren't completely coming unhinged while your family is falling apart, good for you." all she does is mark off and mark off and mark off.

I don't ever remember having to spell "Astronomy" in 2nd grade, do you? The amount of time his single parent has to spend with him during the week for homework is frankly ridiculous. So is homework in kindergarden! That is plain ridiculous. And before you credit his hard working teachers with his 5th grade reading level, those are the books he reads AT HOME and he could read long before he even went to school (thanks to his parents.) He is really quickly headed to homeschool at this rate.

The pressure on these poor kids is unreal. I would be ashamed of myself if I was his teacher. I seriously would. The way his teacher treats and marks off any possible self esteem this hard working kid has each assignment and her emails to his mother actually put his newly single mother into TEARS. Its second grade, not college grad.

When did they stop caring about kids?! The teacher knows his home is a recently broken one and has offered no help at all and put the kid under tremendous pressure to constantly get his agenda points up, no mistakes, she complains if he puts a piece of paper inside his desk instead of his backpack, and I'm seriously not kidding! I wish I were exaggerating. She complains so much about little things that his single mother has been considering switching schools altogether because of this teacher.

I hope you teachers reading this see this. Spending several hrs a night doing homework is ridiculous. It rules their lives right now. Thank goodness his mother gets to take him out of school for hawaii this year! Otherwise, all they would do is homework the entire year, other than weekends, they barely have time to spend with each other. (They also have had to attend court mandated family in transition classes a few times at night during the week. Its just frankly way too much in addition to the late homework and fitting in church, which is number one important.)
Wow, that is so sad. That teacher is doing more damage than good, poor kid, poor mom
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