Thursday, January 29, 2015

Advice, Ideas, Thoughts, A Good Kick in the Shins?

Here's the thing...I meet with teachers, principal, and counselor tomorrow to convince them my kid is ahead and they should work with him.

But...His grades are not looking bright. If anything, they're floating on the bottom edge of average. He bombed a 3 addends test this week, which just boggles my mind because he can do those just fine, and learned how to ages ago.

I have never seen grades this bad out of him. And I truly do believe that it's not because I had a lax grading system--I always gave letter grades (here it's basically pass or don't pass through 3rd grade, but I can see his percentages), and he always did really well! I've never given out a free grade in my life, and my eldest is towards the top of his class, completely convinced that public school is wayyyy easier.


So...They're going to think I'm full of shit, right? If I didn't know him, and I looked at his grades, I would say that he was damn near special ed special. *Sigh*

Do I have any chance of convincing these people that I'm not just one of those bat-shit-crazy mothers with average kids who just thinks they're bright when they're really actually...Slow?

Any and all advice will be considered and greatly appreciated!


  1. Do you have copies of his work that he completed when he was home schooled? Hard to argue with that.

    I know exactly what is happening. He's bored and has lost his mojo. It happened to Scooter too. How do you instill the drive for excellence in a kid that doesn't have to expend any effort to score an A+?

    Hopefully this might help.

    1. lm,
      Sigh* I do not have any of the work he's done--I moved without one single piece of proof as to what level he has been working at. In retrospect, that was a huge mistake. I just had no idea how ridiculous this would all be...

      Thank you for reminding me of what I've been saying for weeks--he's bored, and boredom does not look good on paper for kids like him.
      And yessssss! What is with this whole lets cater to/and promote average as a goal, as opposed to pushing them all to excellence?!

      That did help, thank you! One of the things I have been struggling with in my head is how to avoid making his teachers feel like I'm criticizing them, when they're just teaching to the level of their classroom.

  2. I agree - He is bored. My oldest is in the same boat. He doesn't study or work hard because he doesn't have to. He does his work quickly so he can read a book. (Right now he is reading about electrical circuits.)

    You know your son better than anyone else. Just stay calm during the meeting. I hope you get some answers tomorrow.

    1. MP,
      Yea, when they start reading the signs on the walls and anything else they can lay their eyes on just to relieve the boredom, you know something's not right.

      Electrical circuits? Commendable. That's the kind of thing which makes my eyes role back in my head!

      Thank you!

  3. Hi Lil, I'm sorry I have no advice. I do tend to agree with the others. He is either bored or having trouble settling in. Or maybe both. Wishing you the best for the meeting and hope you get some answers.


    1. Roz,
      good points. I think it's both--much like me, he's not fitting in well. Combine that with a general sense of boredom, and nobody is getting to see the shining student who loves to learn.

      Thanks! I hope it goes okay too...

  4. lil - when he took the tests in school was he in a classroom, with other kids or on his own? Unlike your homeschool tests, he would have been in a different environment, lots distraction and if he's finding school boring, it might be harder for him to concentrate.
    A good teacher should be able to recognise a bright child not by tests but how they perform on a day to day basis. How much time does the teacher give to individual children - talking and listening? These are all things I'd want to know if test results didn't match up.
    A bored bright boy is hard to engage (I speak from the experience not of my kids (girls), but a family member). He was judged average until his teens, when suddenly he started producing high quality work and went on to achieve high grades. My parents knew he had it in him, the teachers took longer to see because he was bored and lazy, but he still came out top in the end.
    I think also boys fluctuate in the school work much more than girls. Is it because girls can switch between different tasks quicker? Does school feel like a whirlwind of different tasks compare to how you home schooled? It might take longer for him to adapt.
    There is such a culture of testing in schools these days (in US and UK alike), it's like taking a snapshot in time and if on that day the child isn't in the mood... well, it sucks.
    Sorry I've only seemed to have given you questions, not answers!
    good luck.

    1. DelFonte,
      He was in a classroom of 32 kids when he took that test. And yes, it is a vastly different environment fro the one on one quiet of home.

      I think one of his teachers got slightly offended at me, and assured me that they work individually with kids. The thing is, in a class which is so damn big, there's no way two people have that much time for each individual child. Especially once you throw in the ones who are struggling.

      It's so hard when you can see what they're capable of, but the lazy takes over!

      You're right, the testing truly is ridiculous! That in itself is something he's having to adapt to--I always focused on making sure they had a good grasp of the subject they were working on, and spent very little time on actual testing.

  5. I completely agree. Boredom is the issue. But that may not work as part of your argument.

    My mother's statement as a teacher when it came to jumping grades had to do with maturity, not specific test scores. If you think that he will excel in a higher grade and you can convince the school staff that he has the maturity to do well with older children, then you have a shot. Grades can be the result of a bad day, an ineffective lesson (other children may have done just as poorly), or boredom. But if he's explaining concepts and understanding the information at a more mature level then the other kids in his class, they shouldn't hold him back because of a couple low tests.

    I hope this helps. Wishing you the best.

    1. CM,
      Hmm, yes, teachers don't seem to appreciate the boredom card. Ahem.

      They have already informed me that, unless I homeschool him until he's 8, I have zero shot of getting him into a higher grade--district age policy, etc. Honestly, I think it's bullshit, but they're using the district policy thing to refuse, and I'm not finding a way around it at all.

      Thank you for your thoughts!

  6. I know how frustrating this sort of thing can be, I went through it with my oldest. He needed to always be challenged. Once he knew the work, he became bored and stopped doing it. I had to ask the teachers to keep him challenged, it helped.

    I hope the teachers listen and work with you. Good luck, hon! xx

    1. Amber,
      I was pleasantly surprised this morning by their willingness to keep him challenged. I don't really care where they put hi as long as he's learning and progressing, and they seem quite willing to push him ahead within the class.


  7. Ugh lil, if it's not one thing it's another.

    Schools today teach to the "box" or rather the students who fit nicely in the box. Those that don't, are basically ignored.


    1. mouse,
      I homeschooled because I felt like the general overall system sucked, but I had no idea how bad it really was! I think that if you don't have teachers who are really great, way too many kids are just screwed from the getgo.

  8. I will get my boots ready ;)

    In the mean time, I'm really sorry. It's such a shitty situation!

    1. Misty,
      after my meeting, I think that we can keeps the boots polished up on standby! For now...
      I did feel better after this morning. I think he kind of got the luck of the draw with his teachers, so that's a step in right direction.


Play nice.