I'm trying so hard not to be "that" parent. Frustrated.

sjrec

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 31, 2016
I come from a family of educators-teachers, librarians, guidance counselors and administrators. If someone was writing in my 8 year old grandson’s planner-where he could see them- the types of comments you have shared, I would be very unhappy.
My advice is to schedule a conference with her and an administrator and get some answers. Nothing you have said seems to justify having him repeat second grade-there is so much you and the school can do before next year, I don’t know why she would even bring it up?
And I would have him tested independently.
 

OneOftheB's

Mouseketeer
Joined
Feb 5, 2015
I was in a similar situation with DS when he was in 2nd grade- private school, poor handwriting, took more time that others to nail certain concepts in math and abysmal in grammar. His teacher was wonderful to work with and gave him extra handwriting help (done at home, he also had to color the intricate border). She knew him (her daughter was in school with DS for 3 years prior) and knew he was a bright kid, but would shut down/turn off if he struggled with a concept. She also encouraged me to buy the same grammar workbook they used and do the same lessons, but a week or two behind where they were in class as reinforcement.

These strategies really helped him. His handwriting was due to (a) him not seeing it as an important issue and (b) hand strength. In addition to additional work, he got a stress ball that he used in the car to gain hand strength.

Good luck! Sometimes private schools move at a fast pace and if a kid stumbles, they get discouraged trying to catch up.
 

jaybirdsmommy

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 27, 2008
I was in a similar situation with DS when he was in 2nd grade- private school, poor handwriting, took more time that others to nail certain concepts in math and abysmal in grammar. His teacher was wonderful to work with and gave him extra handwriting help (done at home, he also had to color the intricate border). She knew him (her daughter was in school with DS for 3 years prior) and knew he was a bright kid, but would shut down/turn off if he struggled with a concept. She also encouraged me to buy the same grammar workbook they used and do the same lessons, but a week or two behind where they were in class as reinforcement.

These strategies really helped him. His handwriting was due to (a) him not seeing it as an important issue and (b) hand strength. In addition to additional work, he got a stress ball that he used in the car to gain hand strength.

Good luck! Sometimes private schools move at a fast pace and if a kid stumbles, they get discouraged trying to catch up.
Thank You!

I was trying to think of how to describe what she told me, and you pretty much nailed it better than I could. He is getting frustrated when asked to make corrections and shutting down/refusing to talk to her. She's worried that he'll get left behind next year since 3rd grade moves much faster than 2nd.

Problem is, I don't see the issues she's describing at home. When I check his work and tell him to fix something, he just goes and does it. He gets mad at her and either flat out refuses to do it or just won't talk to her at all. Problem is, I think he's decided he doesn't like her. There's no helping it if this kid decides he doesn't like someone. We're going to have a long chat tonight about behavior and appropriate responses. or in other words "I don't care if you don't like your teacher, do your work and be nice about it."

For now, other than having a good talking to, we are going to A. try to figure out why he gets so frustrated at school but not at home, B. Look into testing for auditory processing issues, and C. work out some type of summer curriculum for him to do at home once school is out in May. We discussed extra work at home now, but he's already doing over an hour of homework a night, I'm not sure it would help. He's not behind, he just doesn't catch on to some things as quickly as the other kids do.
 
  • OneOftheB's

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 5, 2015
    From my son's experience, we realized that some teachers just didn't/don't "reach" him. He has had some amazing teachers and one or two he just didn't gel with and it was noticeable how he did for the teachers he failed to get. It's not a judgement on those teachers, but sometimes a teaching style just didn't click with him (we are experiencing it now with his math teacher, and I've had to relearn algebra, ugh!).

    I know that doing extra work is hard, especially when he is spending so much time on homework already but with math and grammar it might tip the balance by helping him revisit the concepts he might be shaky on. It was a game changer for us. The grammar workbook took about 3 minutes to do the daily exercise (or actually, redo the exercise). Math could also be something he does on an ipad or the computer if he likes technology and you are okay with screen time. My daughter's second grade teacher had her class download the XtraMath app and it really helped the kids (several of the boys actually were doing multiplication and division because getting to do math on the ipad is way cooler than on paper).

    We have also had the discussion with both of our kids that there will be people throughout your life who you might not like/won't like and they are welcome to their opinion but they must be respectful and do as they are asked in school. This is a non negotiable point in our house.
     

    Wishing on a star

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 7, 2002
    I am not reading any responses...
    I am posting, uninfluenced by any other comments.
    This is based on all of my knowledge and experienced having raised at child with a complex and not-well-known significant learning disability.

    Yes, sometimes I found it necessary to step up and be THAT PARENT....
    I am not ashamed, and and actually proud of it.

    First, it sounds like your son could have real and true learning deficits and disability(ies). And, not just the 'active child' thing.
    This should have already been addressed.
    NOT nitpicking.
    What you are describing does not sound positive or even appropriate to me.

    Nitpicking with a student who is struggling is just simply not the way to go.
    Especially in 1st - 2nd grade.
    IMHO, this is way too young for this kind of pressure.
    Inquiries into learning disabilities is the way to go at this age.

    This does not seem to be a concern like a 5-6 year old who simply and truly just may not have reached developmental readiness here.
    Not at this age.
    This seems like a child who is having difficulties and is struggling.

    I also would have issues with this teacher.
    I would start to look for a reputable child devopement specialist / neurologist, who can do some thorough and objective testing.
    It is amazing how much they can do, and how they can pinpoint a child's abilities and deficits.
    It is just incredible.

    We finally found a good specialist and go my son in to be tested at age 7.
    Very serious visual processing (along with the hand-eye coordination necessary for cursive to be even possible...), mathmatical reasoning, and others.
    He had just repeated 1st grade. (with my blessing, as I just wanted the pressure OFF)
    Come beginning of third grade, and being faced with some very very serious issues with the teachers and staff (especially the Principal, who, needless to say, ended up not being there for very much longer.) I pulled my son out of the school and never looked back.
     
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    laughinplace199

    <font color=blue>AKA Shrimpo or Flamingo Legs<br><
    Joined
    Apr 28, 2001
    I would definitely consider having him evaluated by someone who is not part of his school. You should be able to get an eval through your public school system even though your child is in private. I would also ask his teacher for very specific reasons why she feels he is not ready to move on, since he is getting A's and B's on most of his work.

    Second grade seems very young for having to use cursive on all assignments. My kids go to a private school and they begin learning cursive in the second half of second grade and then use it for assignments starting in third.

    One of my boys had terrible hand writing and not great fine motor skills. Playing with Legos is a great way to build fine motor skills. So is playing with clothes pins. Seems weird but having to pinch the sides together to open and close helps strengthen the hands. My DS did not want to practice handwriting at home, but I felt he had to, so we made a deal. After homework, he had to write five sentences. They could be about anything he wanted. Having some control over what he was writing helped immensely. Sometimes he'd write silly stories, sometimes he'd write about turning his sister into a frog, monkey, etc. He actually ended up having fun practicing his writing.
     

    tvguy

    Question anything the facts don't support.
    Joined
    Dec 15, 2003
    It's a private school, they are VERY strict on the uniform. I'm just picturing her having them hold up their pants legs so she can check their socks. .
    My kids went to private school Pre-school through 12th grade, and I would be very upset that they aren't giving him extra help. THAT, is one of the reasons you are paying that tuition.

    As for the dress code, they can drive you crazy. My son had an issue with his 1 pm class teacher in High School sending him to the office to shave every day. Dress code said no facial hair. He inherited my heavy beard, so yes, he had stubble by 1 pm, and that, with acne and having to shave twice a day to please this teacher was causing big problems.
    The Vice Principal caught on after 2 or 3 times of this happening and just asked my son to stop by the office when he arrived at school for a week. The VP then would send an e-mail to the 1pm teacher noting that he had stopped by, and was properly shaved when he arrived. Never had a problem again with that teacher and his facial hair.
     
  • Southernmiss

    I am hazed everyday
    Joined
    Aug 27, 2011
    Is this the only classroom of students for this grade?

    How are your public schools?

    In our area, public schools don't demand as much cursive as the private ones do.

    Also, our public schools have more specialized services and help than our private.

    I have a friend whose oldest 2 flourished at the local elementary school. Her younger child learned differently and after working with the administration had to move her to another nearby district with different teaching methods that reached the child and met their learning needs much better.
     
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    shoney

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 4, 2005
    first I would start with occupational therapy.second I would inform the school that the student should use any means to record information such as a lap top or tablet. If he she can’t type then the use of a scribe. Handwriting should never hold a student back
     
  • jiminyC_fan

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 24, 2001
    I really can't add much. The other PP's did a great job. I had to deal with a delayed daughter and learned to be her advocate. She is now a successful woman. My grandson is extremely delayed. I just want to say that you aren't being "that" parent. You are being a loving, concerned parent that wants her child to succeed. Sometimes speaking up is our best option. You are an awesome mom!
     

    aprilgail

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2001
    I don't necessarily have advice, but I'd be VERY concerned about the suggestion that a student who has already repeated 1st grade also repeat 2nd grade.
    I don't agree with a blame the teacher/school mentality in general, but why hasn't the school been able to get him ready for 3rd grade? That is literally what you are paying them to do. Is there a disability suspected that is causing academic difficulties? Even if there is, retention is generally NOT effective as an intervention. Granted, every case is different, but I certainly would not advocate for retention twice.

    I am also upset about that communication not being private. Why are schools and teachers making average (or even low average) kids feel less than?
    I agree!

    OP I WOULD be that parent- they should be giving him extra help rather than holding him back again- my god the kid would be 20 years old and still in high school at that rate!
    Also- I am left handed but I wrote in every notebook and binder upside down.
     

    jiminyC_fan

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 24, 2001
    They make notebooks for lefthanders now that are bound on opposite side! Still doesn’t help with the hand smearing the ink or pencil, but at least the spiral bound marks are gone :D Except my mom of course, who literally writes upside down - her hand never touches the paper.
    I've seen those notebooks but I have never tried one. Your mom sounds talented, LOL
     

    Cannot_Wait_4Disney

    Ok all you A cattle, get in ...
    Joined
    May 18, 2005
    I certainly wouldn't hold back a kid over cursive. Cursive is designed to look pretty. It really isn't practical. There are far better things to be done with learning time than learning to write the alphabet all over again. And it certainly isn't as fast as typing. And now that we do far less personal correspondence in writing, its uses are declining. There isn't any more need to teach it any more than there is a need to teach women how to use a spinning jenny.
     
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