Saturday, January 17, 2015

So Maybe I'm Still Bitching

Yes, well...Apparently I'm not done with the whole school rant.
I know that I have comments to reply to (thanks for sticking with me through the silence broken only by bitching, btw--I do appreciate it), I'll play comment catch up later. Promise!

In all fairness, my eldest is thriving. He's at the top of the class, but he's still being challenged and has a teacher who is adapting the work to accelerate him and push the whole class ahead a bit.


My little guy came home and broke my heart last night though. He's six, loves learning, loves doing good on school work, picks concepts up quickly, and is the busiest human being most people have ever met.

Last night he came home, did an entire section of the month's four part math assignment in five minutes, sighed, and told me "I don't like school mom. It's boring and the class isn't for me." I inquired why he felt the class wasn't for him, and his response (in the heartrendingly way that only a little kid can) was, "Because they're not teaching me. They're just teaching the other kids. There's nobody like me in class. They don't know any of it". He was so. Very. Sad.

He's lonely because he's smart and I let him work at his own pace so he's a semester ahead of the curve. I thought that the middle of second grade would be too much for him, but I think I should have just tried to get him tested into it.
He loves learning so much--like the way I love it much. He's too young to lose that. At the moment, he's miserable, lonely, bored, and struggling with the dumbed down skills he skipped months ago because it was easier for him just to do it all the more advanced way that they teach after teaching the stupid shit.

It shocks me that his teachers are refusing to work with him. He feels like he's being punished for being ahead of the class, and I feel like it's completely contrary to the concept of schooling to leave a kid behind because he's doing "too" well. My sil's both have advanced children who's teachers are willing to work with them within the grade and allow them to do more advanced assignments...

I screwed up by not trying to stick him straight into second grade. So I'll talk to the counselor next week, and ask to get him tested into second grade. This whole public school thing? Not something I know anything about, but I assume that they can't refuse to at least give him a test...?
My impression is that the school system in general frowns on grade skipping. But my understanding is that even just getting tested for the gifted program could be four months out. And he's soo miserable--he can't even emotionally relate to the kids in first grade because they're just in different places developmentally. Apparently. Who knew having smart kids could suck so much?
*Sigh* if he was behind, they'd work with him!

I might at some point have something related to D/s...Maybe. Eventually. When the polar ice caps thaw completely...


  1. Lots of people know how much it sucks. And it is heartbreaking. Skipping, in our case third grade, turned out to be a really, really good choice. I hope it gets better soon.

    1. gg,
      it sees that lots of people and schools take a very dim view of grade skipping. It's nice to hear from someone who had a positive experience with it!

      It's sad to know that so many people know that particular brand of heartbreak, but it's also nice to not be alone.

  2. Don't just talk, demand. Remember, the squeaky wheel gets the oil.
    Is it possible to home school again until the next semester and then put him in a higher grade?
    Hang in there and don't let him get down and lose that 'loving to learn' ethic.

    1. sunnygirl,
      good point!

      If all else fails, I will try that. Though if they won't skip him now, I'm not sure how it will work next semester...

      Thank you. I'm trying!

    2. I have to tell you back in the dark ages, I skipped 1/2 term, it really didn't matter til I got to high school and then I was 1 1/2 to 2 years younger than everyone else and that sucked, especially the first two years.

      We were fortunate enough to be able to enroll our daughter in a gifted student program. Is there one available in your area? Ask around.

    3. sunnygirl,
      there is a gifted program, but it wouldn't kick in until next semester, and I'm not sure I can keep him from giving up on me until then...

  3. Aww Lil, poor little guy. It's awesome he has such a work ethic and wants to learn and you don't want him to loose that. You have obviously done a wonderful job with him home schooling.

    I'm glad you are going to ask to get him tested to go to the higher grade. As Leigh said, don't ask, demand. Good luck with the school!


    1. Roz,
      it is awesome, and I so hate to see that crushed! Not gonna have it.

      Thank you!

  4. Oh no, I hope you don't have to skip him as the only alternative. I had the same issue with my second son, plus he was very shy. Luckily we found an all day GATE program at one of the local schools.
    Here he made friends with kids his own age and who were also very bright. Instead of giving them more homework, they worked on extra, exciting things. In second grade they learned all about Japan (without extra homework) and they had a party celebrating children's day, dolls and everything. They studied Africa and had to figure out how to get water from one place to another. All of the kids were smart and the teacher never had to wait for someone to catch up. By the time they were in 6th grade they were doing mental math problems that I couldn't even ever do. The teacher would say these math problems and as an observer you would think no one was paying attention. There were a couple for kids reading, one was on the computer. The teacher asked the question and every hand went up and they all knew the answer. These kids were taught things that other students never got the chance to do because the were working on just the standards. The GATE kids were not punished, by given more homework, for being smart. No they were challenge, the kids learned to work in groups, the learned out of the box.
    My only problem is that the high school has no such programs. The kids are so bored. They are in advanced programs, which means more work, and sometimes the kids just drop out of school, they are mischievous, the fall asleep in class (mine did), and they are miserable. My son scored the highest on his chemistry tests then any other student the teacher taught throughout the day but refused to do the "boring" homework. He got a D in the class even though he knew the material.
    We tried to use that event as a learning experience, you know that if your boss tells you to do something, even if you think it is stupid, you do it or you get fired.
    I hope that there are programs for your son that rewards him for being smart and where he can be with kids who learn the same way.
    Sorry this is so long, it's just a passion of mine

    1. Blondie,
      They do have similar programs here, the question is how long it takes to get tested, let alone get in--if I let him waller through a whole semester like this, he's going to lose that spark and drive before he can get out of it. Plus he'll start looking stupid on paper just because he's bored and not paying attention to his work. Because, apparently, that's how both my kids roll.

      No apology needed for the length of your comment! It helped solidify my belief that eventually, such programs will be very good for my kids.

  5. Poor guy. Totally unfair! A kid that wants to learn more and a TEACHER won't help...

    Since it might not be a good idea for you to do it, I could show them how it feels to have a shoe up their butt???


    Kind of.

    I have this one pair of boots...

    See if they will let him take the test and then we can talk.

    1. Misty,
      I a rather blown away by their extensive unwillingness to work with him, I must say...

      Ooh yes, I like these boots already!

  6. I agree with Leigh Smith. Public schools require you to be aggressive to get your kids what they need. And supplementing your kid's education at home, while necessary, can also make them bored when they go back to the classroom.

    Good luck getting him into a more challenging class. And trust me, as a kid whose mother fought tooth and nail, it is worth it. I was bored and started acting out and claiming earaches to stay home so I didn't have to deal with school. Once they got me into a class that was more my speed, I straightened up and enjoyed my education.

    Wishing you the best.

    1. CollaredMom,
      I'm a bit concerned because I have no experience whatsoever with public school, but I figure if I'm good at getting shit done in the medical system, I can handle 'em...

  7. Ask if the school has an academically gifted program. I was well ahead of my classmates in school. Since my parents didn't want me skipping grades (I was already the youngest in my class), I was put into the program, which allowed me to work with another teacher on more advanced stuff as long as I stayed up to date on the stuff we were doing in regular classes. It kept me from getting bored with school.

    If you have a charter school in your area, you might also look into getting your son into it. They're public schools so no tuition, but they have more flexibility with the curriculum. We have one opening up this year in our area and I've already got my daughter signed up.

    1. Dana,
      the district has a program. So if he got in, he'd most likely be attending a different school. We do have a charter school, but I hesitate to put him into anything that requires daily transportation because my darling car has decided that her life has been to rough...
      But yes, I'll start with the school he's at, and work my way through our list of options. This isn't working and he's too bright to fall through the cracks--if that was okay with me, he wouldn't have been home schooled in the first place.

  8. Poor guy! I feel his pain. It is so hard to be the smart one in the class and not have that many friends because you just can't relate. I used to bring a book with me to class and the teacher allowed me to read. I also got roped into helping other kids with their assignments. I especially remember one boy who had a broken arm and couldn't write. He just wanted me to do the assignment for him. Things looked up for me in high school because of GATE (like Blondie mentioned). We didn't have extra homework, we just had more challenging things to do and it was great to have other smart kids in the same classroom.

    My mother, on the other hand, was in Catholic schools and just kept being promoted a grade and then another grade and then another grade. She ended up graduating from high school at 16 and was the Valedictorian. It didn't seem to hurt her at all to be the youngest kid in the class. I think each kid is different and I guess some kids need to be in their proper grade so they can learn the social sorts of things that they need, while others can be promoted to higher grades and do just fine socially.

    I am sure you will make a good decision for you son, Lil. I also read a lot of good advice up above and it is wonderful that you are aware and your son feels like he can tell you the truth.

    The only thought I had was perhaps there are after school programs for gifted kids if in school programs are not available? I was a judge once at a program that was all gifted kids and another one that was offered in the summer.

    1. Cygnet,
      I do think that how well the whole grade skipping thing works is largely dependent on the individual child.
      They do have a variety of programs, but they all require testing. I have yet to understand why it can take an entire semester just to get them tested in the first place...

  9. Hugs! I hope the school starts working with you. Nothing is more frustrating than your child being advanced and the teacher wants to ignore. I had that issue with my daughter in one of her grades.

    Keep us updated! Have you thought about a charter school?

    1. His Slut,
      I hope so too! I'll meet with the Councillor next week, so we shall see...Transportation might be an issue with the charter school, and the one here seems to only really shine starting in middle school as far as academics go, so we'll see...

  10. Being outside the US, I'm amazed at how many parents in the US homeschool their kids and I'm beginning to see why. It's rare in the UK and I don't know anyone who does it. That's not to say we have a perfect education system here, far from it.
    I can relate to the frustration of seeing a child not stretched. My eldest is very good a maths and it was obvious when she was back at age 4. For two years that was squandered, now she's being stretched and is at the top of the class by some way. She still comes home 'bored' meaning maths was easy, but not everyday. We don't have a grade system, kids stay with their age group throughout school, but each class will cover a spectrum of abilities - less able and very able - my eldest is given extra to do or harder puzzles. You should be able to demand your son is catered for without changing grades or entering some program.
    Special needs education should reflect the gifted as well as the least able, but schools are measured from the bottom up and this is where the money goes in the UK.
    I hope your son comes home from school happier in the future.

    1. DelFonte,
      I must say, so far I am not impressed with the public school system here. Not at all.

      It's great that they cover the spectrum of abilities over there--it makes sense, and I don't know why it isn't like that here.

      Thank you! I hope that he starts coming home happier too. It's been kind of a heartbreaking week.


Play nice.