Jump to content


What's with the ads?

Photo

Differentiation / Advocating for Diffrentiation

diffrentiation / advocating f above grade level

24 replies to this topic

What's with the ads?

#1 LovesToLearn

LovesToLearn

    Hive Mind Larvae

  • Members
  • 11 posts

Posted 29 October 2017 - 02:53 PM

I'm pretty new to this forum but I am so impressed with what I've seen so far. I am hoping someone here can help me with my problem.

 

I have a six year old boy who is in second grade in a religious private school in NY. From 9 - 3 they learn history, culture, religion and text-based foreign language (which includes translating, grammar and handwriting). From 3-5 they do "secular studies", which at this age is just reading and math, on a low level.

 

My child is very bright and displays lots of gifted traits like perfectionism, persistence, curiosity and intensity, though he has not been tested. He was already grade-skipped once, but he is still several grades ahead in the secular studies. We managed with his boredom last year by sending in a reading workbook he could do on his own (while the rest of the class was learning the alphabet!). When this proved insufficient, we were finally able to get him pulled out for individual learning at the tail end of the year. This was not enrichment nor a differentiated curriculum; rather it was a high-schooler working with him on the next grade's textbook. Unfortunately even this did not carry through to this year. Now we are having additional difficulty - he is complaining about the repetition and memorization during the morning hours. He has also been sent out of class occasionally and once even had recess taken away.

 

The teachers at this school are pretty old-school and don't really understand differentiation. The teach the class as a group, in a very structured way. They are afraid that if they allow him to do his own thing, as I keep requesting, the other kids will want to do it too, and the class would fall apart. I am willing and able to be involved and take responsibility for his learning. I can't actually home-school him since I work, but I can send in work to do, if they would only allow it! They told him that he can do the work I sent only AFTER he finishes the work they assigned. And then they are upset about his behavior! As of now my child comes home from school having learned almost nothing, and he devours anything academic that I have laying around the house.

 

I am afraid the problem will keep getting worse as he grows older. I don't want him to develop a bad mouth or self- identify as a troublemaker due to his boredom! We will not be changing schools at this point in time, so I need advice on how to work through the difficulties of differentiation in my situation. Thank you so much!



#2 maize

maize

    Maizgyver

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 18764 posts

Posted 29 October 2017 - 03:20 PM

How important is the religious aspect of the school to your goals for your son? Are there other schools (private or public) you might consider?

Many private religious based schools are pretty rigid in their student expectations. While advocating for your child is a great place to start sometimes there is just a mis-fit between a school environment and a student.
  • SeaConquest likes this

#3 8FillTheHeart

8FillTheHeart

    Alice or Mad Hatter or maybe a little of both

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 14105 posts

Posted 29 October 2017 - 03:22 PM

9 to 5 of mind numbing work is a lot to ask of anyone, but if a 6 yr old? Poor guy. Making him do more work on top of a full load of work even if easy seems like an equally rough choice. Letting him read, do tangrams, play single player logic games like Rush Hour, etc...that might be more palatable.

I'm sorry I don't have any real advice. My 6 yr olds are only on task for an hr or so.
  • regentrude, Nart, maize and 4 others like this

#4 Jackie

Jackie

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2469 posts

Posted 29 October 2017 - 08:34 PM

If changing schools is off the table, you may be rather stuck. Private schools really aren’t required to work with you in any way; advocating can be even more difficult than in public schools. Would an additional grade skip be worthwhile?

#5 mathnerd

mathnerd

    Slacker Mom

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2284 posts

Posted 30 October 2017 - 12:49 AM

You may have to consider changing schools sooner rather than later. When one is a 6 year old child, an hour feels like an eternity. If he is bored and his curriculum feels like repetition and if he has no intellectual peers, it is very possible that he is resentful or confused as to why he does not get an opportunity to learn like other kids or that he is lashing out. This is not productive in the longer term. What you can do is to supplement with online programs and ask the school to allow him to quietly work on the online curriculum at class time - even if they agree, there is no point in paying for private school and then not participating in class.

The best option at this time would be pull-outs for core subjects. There is no use doing another grade skip as I suspect that it will not be adequate for his needs. The pull-outs could be arranged in such a way that he joins the older grade kids for math, LA, science etc and spends time with his age peers for art, music, PE, foreign languages, religion. That way, you can avoid too many grade skips and get subject acceleration and keep the boredom to an acceptable level. This involves a lot of logistics and scheduling which the school would have to be willing to do. Good luck.


Edited by mathnerd, 30 October 2017 - 11:42 AM.


#6 SeaConquest

SeaConquest

    Advocatus Diaboli

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2841 posts

Posted 30 October 2017 - 01:07 AM

We had a similar experience. My kid was being sent to the director's office regularly in preschool due to boredom. We ended up homeschooling as a result. Would they be more accommodating if you had some test scores to back up his giftedness? I agree that another grade skip may be your best option if you have to stay with the school. Another option would be to change schools and afterschool just the religious subjects. Big hugs and best wishes as you figure things out.


Edited by SeaConquest, 30 October 2017 - 01:08 AM.


#7 Sandwalker

Sandwalker

    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 296 posts

Posted 30 October 2017 - 02:42 AM

Does the school have decent-length recesses where the children get to run around? If not, I'd be more likely to make sure he got plenty of large muscle fun exercise after school than teach more after such a long school day.

I pulled my (now adult) gifted dd out of ps kindergarten for similar reasons. Sitting there listening to stuff she already knew with a bunch of kids--well of course she'd rather talk to them and play than listen to "s as in snake" when she was reading chapter books.

#8 kiwik

kiwik

    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 5446 posts

Posted 30 October 2017 - 05:23 AM

I am guessing there are valid religious reasons for your school choice. I think, however that it is simply wrong for a 6 year old to have school from 9 to 5 - unless they are going home for 3 hours in the middle for a siesta? I also question whether many children are able to learn much in the last 2 hours of an 8 hour day. You may need to have a discussion with your partner about what your priorities are for school.

Eta. With not changing schools. Could he skip further just for the secular studies? It would probably be a struggle to maintain focus in religious studies at two years younger but if everyone does secular studies at the same time it may be doable. But you have made the decision that religion is more important by sending and keeping him there.

Edited by kiwik, 30 October 2017 - 05:30 AM.

  • LovesToLearn likes this

#9 Heigh Ho

Heigh Ho

    Amateur Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11819 posts

Posted 30 October 2017 - 07:11 AM

Have you spoken with the head of the school?   This can't be the first time they have had out-of-level students.

 

One thing that my dc found helpful was exercise before school and reading up on things they found interesting -- they would think through while keeping one eye/ear on the review in the classroom.  What they couldn't do was participate in the review 100%, just too mindnumbing.  I had to involve the school psych, who was able to show the principal the downside of the lock-step expectations and open up some enrichment. 


  • mathnerd and LovesToLearn like this

#10 4kookiekids

4kookiekids

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 868 posts

Posted 30 October 2017 - 03:15 PM

Have you spoken with the head of the school?   This can't be the first time they have had out-of-level students.

 

One thing that my dc found helpful was exercise before school and reading up on things they found interesting -- they would think through while keeping one eye/ear on the review in the classroom.  What they couldn't do was participate in the review 100%, just too mindnumbing.  I had to involve the school psych, who was able to show the principal the downside of the lock-step expectations and open up some enrichment. 

 

I remember spending lots of my time just in my own little world, paying just enough attention to the teacher to realize when I was expected to do something, and the rest off thinking about stuff that I found interesting. So I agree that giving him interesting stuff to think about right before might be a great idea! :)



#11 Have kids -- will travel

Have kids -- will travel

    Hive Mind Level 2 Worker: Nurse Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 160 posts

Posted 30 October 2017 - 08:23 PM

Being stuck with your school makes things challenging.

If money was no issue, I'd say to send him to school for the religious studies and take him out at 3 p.m. Hire a high quality nanny/tutor to educate him on math and literacy after school.

 

Could you pay for a tutor to come to the school to teach him separately? 

 

The issue with having him just learn next year's curriculum is that the pace is likely too slow and it simply delays the problem for a short time. You'll want to look at different curriculums that stretch him in different ways. The teacher my preK'er has is introducing negative numbers to him. It's a new way of thinking about numbers, rather than just testing him with bigger and bigger numbers.

 

Solving this problem will likely require resources on your part (someone to teach your child). Leaving up to the school will likely be highly unsatisfactory. The school's priority is clear in how the time is divided. A school that leaves literacy and math as an afterthought at the end of the day is not prioritizing that learning, and your philosophy may be fundamentally different from the school.



#12 Tanaqui

Tanaqui

    Qualified Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 8195 posts

Posted 30 October 2017 - 08:33 PM

I know religious education is important. But a secular education is also important - and it sounds like this school doesn't value it. Not even a little. Nor does it value your child's physical and mental health. A 9 - 5 schedule is inappropriately long for a six year old, and the need recess at that age. You can probably get through the same curriculum much faster while homeschooling, and he'd still have time to play.



#13 katilac

katilac

    Chief Educational Executive & Cruise Director

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 9136 posts

Posted 30 October 2017 - 08:42 PM

A 9 - 5 schedule is inappropriately long for a six year old, and the need recess at that age.  

 

They might have recess. The OP didn't mention it, but she also didn't mention lunch, which I assume they are eating, lol. 



#14 katilac

katilac

    Chief Educational Executive & Cruise Director

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 9136 posts

Posted 30 October 2017 - 08:47 PM

I remember spending lots of my time just in my own little world, paying just enough attention to the teacher to realize when I was expected to do something

 

 

Ha, this makes me think of the Ramona Quimby book when the teacher asks her a question, 'in a voice that hinted she had found Ramona napping' (or something like that, going by memory). 


  • 4kookiekids likes this

#15 katilac

katilac

    Chief Educational Executive & Cruise Director

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 9136 posts

Posted 30 October 2017 - 09:11 PM

Can he just hide a book inside his textbook like most kids do?  :laugh:

 

It's tough when the school doesn't want to work with you. All you can do is make it as easy for them as possible, and try to come up with counterarguments. 

 

I can sympathize with them to a certain extent - if he does his own thing, the other kids will want to follow suit. That's why I don't think they will go for 8's suggestion of reading, tangrams, and logic games. Group classes generally do mean that differentiated work has to look like work. 

 

Heigh Ho and 4kookiekids both bring up a strategy frequently used by bored students: fill your mind at other times, and learn how to compartmentalize your thinking so you can still recite or answer the teacher. Daydream. Buy small paperbacks and practice your stealthiness. Pretend that you are a spy who must endure this nonsense in order to infiltrate the school's hidden inner circle of international criminals. 

 

I think the school is wrong for requiring the easy work to be done before the difficult, extra work, but all you can do is try to persuade them. Can you find resources that aren't likely to appeal to other kids unless they are also accelerated, and ask the teacher to give it a trial run with only doing that work in certain subjects? Can he take the weekly test to show he has mastered the material, and only do the work on what he missed? Can you brainstorm with the teacher about more difficult assignments that any of the children could choose to do? 

 

It sounds like the repetition and memorization comes during the religious studies, so I'm thinking you are out of luck there. 

 

It may not get worse as he gets older. He will learn more self-control and coping skills as the years go by. When his classes start taking notes and working more independently, that opens up a whole new world of doing your own thing . . . quietly! 


  • LovesToLearn likes this

#16 Tanaqui

Tanaqui

    Qualified Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 8195 posts

Posted 30 October 2017 - 09:44 PM

They might have recess. The OP didn't mention it, but she also didn't mention lunch, which I assume they are eating, lol.

 

She did mention they have recess. Specifically, she said recess was taken away from her son at least once and also has been sent out of class.



#17 Gabrielsyme

Gabrielsyme

    Hive Mind Larvae

  • Members
  • 29 posts

Posted 02 November 2017 - 01:00 PM

Is this a Classical school? My moderately gifted DD attends a Classical study center two days a week that has a similar schedule (8-3). She is in 3rd grade and only goes twice a week so I am more comfortable with the amount of time spent. They also play vigorous gym games at the beginning and  have three breaks throughout the day. I spoke with the headmistress before we enrolled her about grade skipping and was informed that they've tried it before with poor results. I agree with a previous poster that I have some sympathy with the teachers. Even in my homeschool I have seen things fall apart when I've allowed one kid to work in a way that appears to siblings to be slacking off. 

 

In our case what has been allowed is pulling her out early. I pick her up from the center before Math (which similarly is the last subject of the day) and teach that at home. I wonder if a previous poster's suggestion of pulling the kid earlier in the day (9-5 does seem long on the daily) and having a tutor work with him. It's far less disruptive for the other kids if he's out of sight out of mind. 

 

I also wonder if the pressure will lighten as the child gets older. My oldest was miles ahead at that age and plateaud enough to find fourth grade work interesting in most subjects. This is only one grade ahead and while I know she could work harder I am happy that she seems to be enjoying it and thriving. Humanities subjects especially can be sort of naturally differentiated in that a student can always learn to write better, the Illiad is always worth reading, etc...

 

On the other hand I am very concerned that a natural slow-down is not coming for my now five year old. There are times when you're just dealing with a square peg and a round hole. Given the length of the school day and the  full-time arrangement that may be the case here.



#18 LovesToLearn

LovesToLearn

    Hive Mind Larvae

  • Members
  • 11 posts

Posted 02 November 2017 - 02:18 PM

Thank you, thank you all for your excellent ideas and for all the encouragement!



#19 LovesToLearn

LovesToLearn

    Hive Mind Larvae

  • Members
  • 11 posts

Posted 02 November 2017 - 02:23 PM

They might have recess. The OP didn't mention it, but she also didn't mention lunch, which I assume they are eating, lol. 

 

They have 1.5 hours of recess every day, which as I understand is a lot more than they have in some schools. 


  • MarkT likes this

#20 LovesToLearn

LovesToLearn

    Hive Mind Larvae

  • Members
  • 11 posts

Posted 02 November 2017 - 02:28 PM

9 to 5 of mind numbing work is a lot to ask of anyone, but if a 6 yr old? Poor guy. Making him do more work on top of a full load of work even if easy seems like an equally rough choice. Letting him read, do tangrams, play single player logic games like Rush Hour, etc...that might be more palatable.

Actually I don't make him do any work at all - he makes me do it lol ! He has an insatiable appetite for learning and is always begging for more. But almost all of his free time is spent in reading and games  which are fun, even if he does learn tons.



#21 LovesToLearn

LovesToLearn

    Hive Mind Larvae

  • Members
  • 11 posts

Posted 02 November 2017 - 02:34 PM

One thing that my dc found helpful was exercise before school and reading up on things they found interesting -- they would think through while keeping one eye/ear on the review in the classroom.  What they couldn't do was participate in the review 100%, just too mindnumbing.  I had to involve the school psych, who was able to show the principal the downside of the lock-step expectations and open up some enrichment. 

These are ideas I can see really working! Thanks!



#22 LovesToLearn

LovesToLearn

    Hive Mind Larvae

  • Members
  • 11 posts

Posted 02 November 2017 - 02:49 PM

I guess what I need to do is build on what the school had offered me to begin with - which was a high schooler to to pull him out in the afternoon. I can  provide my own curriculum and specific direction, and if need be, pay a tutor to pull him out instead. 

 

Can anyone suggest a curriculum or a curriculum base that would work for me? I don't have anything specific that I need him to learn. His one weakness is writing - the subject matter, not handwriting. He does not enjoy being prompted to be creative; he is more of a checklist kind of kid. I would want a curriculum that is inexpensive since I have other education expenses.



#23 Heigh Ho

Heigh Ho

    Amateur Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11819 posts

Posted 06 November 2017 - 08:00 AM

writing is great fun to do with a high schooler.  perhaps the high schooler could guide him to progressing while engaging in thinking activities.  Do science experiments, projects showing what he has learned about a complex topic, write letters, write stories and poetry, etc.  


  • LovesToLearn likes this

#24 MarkT

MarkT

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Moderators
  • PipPip
  • 2349 posts

Posted 09 November 2017 - 12:07 PM

Would the school be flexible enough that he attended only for the religious part and recess (to have friends) and then go home for the secular part (he could take their required school exams if any)?

 

Try broaching this idea.



#25 pinewarbler

pinewarbler

    Hive Mind Worker Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 77 posts

Posted 16 November 2017 - 01:56 PM

I recommend reading this book to start....Teaching Gifted Kids in the Regular Classroom.. I think that's the title? Here's the link..

https://www.amazon.c...L40_&dpSrc=srch

 

It helps to see this in a different perspective, which this book helped me do. First of all, you're not asking for your child to have something different. You are asking for him to have the same thing as everyone else: the opportunity to work to his maximum potential.

 

I find it helps to talk about it as if there are other kids in the class who could benefit from the same steps (there may or not be those kids). One of the options that has worked in the past.. we've had teachers in the past provide a box of enriched work for our kids to do (and that work is available to anyone in the class). No one says "Hey how come THEY get to do THAT... they know it's harder work. Then our kids could go to the teacher with the enriched work and discuss some part of it, which helped the teacher really understand the level they were at. 

 

Yesterday my youngest had the teacher run up to him after school to say "OK, I've finally found a scientific calculator so I could check your work and that proof is right." THAT teacher gets that a) my kid is ahead of him in math AND b) that it can be fun to have a kid like that in your class if managed well.


  • LovesToLearn likes this