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What would you say/do if your child came home with this report card...


lovinmomma
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Okay, let me preface this by saying that I in **no way** want to berate my child or that I even feel that my child is in any way in the wrong in this situation. I'm just looking for a bit of perspective. K?

 

I never struggled with grades myself growing up until middle school and that was because I literally did nothing after a very horrible experience when I was 14. I, like many parents, find myself taking it personally when there is a sudden realization that my child isn't perfect in every single way. :)

 

So, here's the good: my child came home with a report card that is mostly Bs. Minuses and pluses. My child feels positive about how well she did on her report card, and I was able to focus and congratulate her on her positive success.

 

Here's where I need persepctive: DD also had 2 Cs. One was a C-.

 

I do NOT think that there's any issue with Cs. I truly don't. What I am concerned about is this:

 

1) Her teacher has mentioned that dd tends to rush through her work instead of taking the time to do it right. 

 

2) DD is only in 3rd grade. Work is going to get a TON harder in 4th grade. There's a big leap between 3rd and 4th. DD had to work extremely hard to get those Cs. She came home with many Ds and Fs on papers and I asked her to correct every paper that was below a "B" for half credit from her teacher. I'm extremely invloved. I'm there every night to help her understand concepts that she doesn't get. It just feels like it's really early to not be getting at least a B with as much effort as she is putting forth, and as much effort as I'm putting forth for that matter! lol What about when she's in 6th grade and the topics are much more difficult?

 

So I need some perspective. Am I just being a crazy over-achiever? Am I expecting too much? I know Cs aren't bad, but I guess it feels like if we start out here what happens later on? Do I say anything to her about the Cs? I don't want to make her feel like she didn't do a good job so I just focused on her best grades, but most of those were for art and behavior (those sorts of things). DD is a perfectionist. She's very "A" type personality. She's literally the child that her teachers use as an example of great behavior. I guess I just need to know what (if anything) you would say to your child that came home with this report card in 3rd grade.

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I would only say something to my child if I truly thought she was not doing her best. If she was doing her best and the C was a fair evaluation of the results of her effort, I would let it go. If she was doing her best and I felt the Teacher's expectations were unreasonable, I might talk to the teacher. Not in a confrontational way, but just to ask what she sees as the issue and what I can do to help my child succeed.

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I would try to look over the work and ask myself, "does this seem like C material? B material?" But I don't know if you can accurately access that. You will probably be a bit biased and may not have a sample of what the teacher marked as A or B material to compare it to.

 

But that is probably what I would do. Mull it over based on the actual work. Then determine what types of things would make it better and see if that's something she can easily practice.

 

Those papers that she had lower grades on... did she have to write those in class? Or did she write them at home? I would just look over her work prior to the first grade if that is possible. But I don't know if that is. I agree that you could probably get input from the teacher if you want. They may be able to point out what they are looking for in the assignment.

 

As for what to say. I don't know, I might not say anything until I research the situation more. But I might ask her how she felt about that class overall (if she hasn't been open about it). She may dislike the class, find it really hard, or have to do work in a rush.

 

This is Reading, Spelling, and Math. They are worksheets done in school, so I don't get to see them before she turns them in. I can only have her correct them after they're graded. They are typically multiple choice questions or fill in the blank.  

 

Thank you for helping me to think through this! :)

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I would only say something to my child if I truly thought she was not doing her best. If she was doing her best and the C was a fair evaluation of the results of her effort, I would let it go. If she was doing her best and I felt the Teacher's expectations were unreasonable, I might talk to the teacher. Not in a confrontational way, but just to ask what she sees as the issue and what I can do to help my child succeed.

 

Thank you for the response! I'm just so unsure about if I'm overreacting or if I should be concerned. DS gets straight As and we don't hardly do a thing. With DD we spend a large chunk of our nights re-doing papers and doing homework.

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It is not the report card I would be concerned about, but this:

 

 

She came home with many Ds and Fs on papers

 

would raise a red flag to me, especially since she is only in 3rd grade. Have you looked into the possibility that she is dealing with a learning disability?

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I agree with regentrude.  If she is really working that hard and you are working that closely with her, could there be any underlying issues that have not been addressed?  Working memory issues?  Stealth dyslexia?  Developmental vision issues (many of which do not show up in vision screenings, are exceedingly difficult for a layman to even know are there and can occur even if a person has perfect 20/20 vision), etc.?

 

I say this as someone who had two kids with special issues that were NOT caught right away.  DD, especially, made it all the way to 5th before we found out what was going on.  She actually had several underlying issues but managed to make A's and B's and one C on her report cards throughout elementary, but she was fighting every day to achieve those grades and her daily grades frequently were D's and F's.  Somehow she managed to pull up her grades enough each time for the report card to be better than daily grades but those grades did not reflect just how hard she was having to work.  Teachers felt that since she was still getting pretty good report cards there was no real issue.  They were incredibly wrong.  We finally had an assessment in 5th grade and discovered her underlying strengths were masking a lot of issues and the issues were masking a lot of her strengths.  The assessment was a HUGE help in determining the best way to teach her.

 

Honestly, as a parent I would be concerned about the C's, too, but not because she got a "C".  I would be concerned that she, as you said, is already struggling in 3rd and 4th will amp things up quite a bit.  I would be worried that she is missing some critical basics, that she will continue to struggle if the underlying cause for why she is struggling isn't addressed and that middle school may become overwhelming.

 

Best wishes.

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I would suspect first that she does not read well and did not understand the questions. So if you ask the question aloud, sure, she may be able to answer it--and then it looks like she rushed through the written work.

 

Does the report card include a reading level? Is she able to read aloud to you and discuss a chapter from a book?

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I agree with regentrude.  If she is really working that hard and you are working that closely with her, could there be any underlying issues that have not been addressed?  Working memory issues?  Stealth dyslexia?  Developmental vision issues (many of which do not show up in vision screenings, are exceedingly difficult for a layman to even know are there and can occur even if a person has perfect 20/20 vision), etc.?

 

I say this as someone who had two kids with special issues that were NOT caught right away.  DD, especially, made it all the way to 5th before we found out what was going on.  She actually had several underlying issues but managed to make A's and B's and one C on her report cards throughout elementary, but she was fighting every day to achieve those grades and her daily grades frequently were D's and F's.  Somehow she managed to pull up her grades enough each time for the report card to be better than daily grades but those grades did not reflect just how hard she was having to work.  Teachers felt that since she was still getting pretty good report cards there was no real issue.  They were incredibly wrong.  We finally had an assessment in 5th grade and discovered her underlying strengths were masking a lot of issues and the issues were masking a lot of her strengths.  The assessment was a HUGE help in determining the best way to teach her.

 

Honestly, as a parent I would be concerned about the C's, too, but not because she got a "C".  I would be concerned that she, as you said, is already struggling in 3rd and 4th will amp things up quite a bit.  I would be worried that she is missing some critical basics, that she will continue to struggle if the underlying cause for why she is struggling isn't addressed and that middle school may become overwhelming.

 

Best wishes.

 

THIS x1,000. Oh my. When I read your post it almost brought tears to my eyes. This is exactly what I'm worried about. She struggles so hard and works so hard to makes those grades! It doesn't make sense to me that it would be this difficult for her in 3rd grade. I have very much wondered and asked many times over if dd possibly has dyslexia due to her letter reversals (still). I'm not sure if there's a LD under the surface, but your post makes me want to delve into it further! I just feel like we are spending So. Much. Darn. Time. on homework/corrections. Sigh. It's gotta be frustrating to dd.  

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I would suspect first that she does not read well and did not understand the questions. So if you ask the question aloud, sure, she may be able to answer it--and then it looks like she rushed through the written work.

 

Does the report card include a reading level? Is she able to read aloud to you and discuss a chapter from a book?

 

Her reading grade was poor, but in the past it hasn't been quite so low. However, all year she has been getting very poor AR scores. I'm not a big fan of AR, but it does tell me that either she's rushing through books or her reading comprehension is really not doing well.

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Ahhh. In that case, I would probably try to find out what material they are covering now/soon so you can over prepare her. I don't know if they will release a syllabus or anything like that, though. I went to PS and my dad would always tell me to learn everything "110%" lol I made countless flashcards over the years on various topics. Not saying I always mastered it all! But making my own flashcards forced me to write the material, then read the material, and I could ask myself the material aloud/have someone ask me as I went through the stack. This required various learning styles I suppose. Maybe your dd would like to make some learning aids with you?

 

For spelling it sounds like there are a lot of ways you could do it. I'm not an auditory learner, but in class the teacher probably reads the words aloud and expects students to write them down. But at home you could have her practice with scrabble letters or whatever and the way the teacher does it?

 

Math, you could probably find some free worksheets on the same topic or play games to reinforce a topic. This website looks overwhelming but perhaps is useful. http://www.ixl.com/math/grade-3. I like a website called math-aids.com for a few things.

 

Not sure if any of this is helpful. Good luck!

 

Thank you! I appreciate the links and ideas!!! :)

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I would not respond to the grade itself. I would email the teacher and ask her whether, in her opinion and experience, those grades represent your child's 'best effort,' or something less. Then see how she responds, and those comments and observations are what I would address with my child.

 

I actually did that with an older child and the teacher gave me more specific feedback that was useful. I don't want to be all about the grade, but I do want to know if my child is working hard or is struggling with things that we could address.

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I don't think children that young should be getting letter grades. They tell you very little about what is actually happening. We use standards-based report cards. So under the heading of Math there would be a list of our goals for that quarter and your dd would be assessed on each one and marked either...

 

Limited progress

Approaching standard

Meeting standard

Exceeding standard

 

That way you know exactly which aspects of math she is struggling with. Not an overarching "C" which tells you almost nothing. For instance, perhaps she is doing well with her multiplication facts for 1, 3, 5 but struggling with 7, 8, 9. Or maybe she is doing well with subtracting 3 digit numbers but struggling when she has to use regrouping to do it.

 

You need to have detailed information in order to help her progress.

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I would not respond to the grade itself. I would email the teacher and ask her whether, in her opinion and experience, those grades represent your child's 'best effort,' or something less. Then see how she responds, and those comments and observations are what I would address with my child.

 

I actually did that with an older child and the teacher gave me more specific feedback that was useful. I don't want to be all about the grade, but I do want to know if my child is working hard or is struggling with things that we could address.

 

Great suggestions. I'm in her classroom on a very regular basis due to leading book club, etc. and in the past her teacher has said that DD tends to rush through her assignments. In math, when I'm going over it with dd after school dd acts like the concepts are completely foreign and I have to re-teach them to her. For spelling, we have to work really, really hard for her to get good grades. She gets good grades because we go over and over and over the list ALL week. Probably 2-3x per day in various ways.

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I don't think children that young should be getting letter grades. They tell you very little about what is actually happening. We use standards-based report cards. So under the heading of Math there would be a list of our goals for that quarter and your dd would be assessed on each one and marked either...

 

Limited progress

Approaching standard

Meeting standard

Exceeding standard

 

That way you know exactly which aspects of math she is struggling with. Not an overarching "C" which tells you almost nothing. For instance, perhaps she is doing well with her multiplication facts for 1, 3, 5 but struggling with 7, 8, 9. Or maybe she is doing well with subtracting 3 digit numbers but struggling when she has to use regrouping to do it.

 

You need to have detailed information in order to help her progress.

 

Absoultely! This would be awesome. DD's report card gives an overall grade for the subject but under each subject gives either a + or a - for more specific areas. So, for example, we have worked extremely hard to get DD's spelling grades up on her tests so under spelling dd got a + for "spells accurately on weekly tests" or something like that, but then for the part that I"m not there to help with (ugh) dd got a - for "uses learned spelling skills across the curriculum". DD also got a + for knowing her math facts (x and division- the part that I CAN help with), but then got a - on "understands math concepts as taught". Sigh.

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Is AR assigned to everyone or just certain students? I thought the fact that she was assigned AR meant she was an advanced reader, but I don't really understand how it works.

 

 

It's just a ridiculous reading scale that assigns each student a reading level and supposedly books that match up with that level. The students each take tests on the computer to guage their reading comprehension of the book.

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Tell me more about how you think her 'being a type A personality' and 'rushing through work' and 'getting Ds and Fs' all correlate.

A few questions to think through...you don't have to necessarily answer them.

 

 

Does she feel like she did the work correctly in the first place? and is surprised when the answer is wrong?

Does she act surprised that she answered a question the way she did?  Saying 'I meant to circle B instead of C' a lot?

Does she have strategies to answering questions that she doesn't know the answer too? (guess and check, estimate, narrowing choices, etc) 

Does she remember skills learned last year...and new skills too.  This is most obvious in math, where they may pull out something that isn't a skill that is built upon... like review of telling time,  Roman numerals, etc.

Does she have issues with remembering how to spell words?  Knowing them one week and then forgetting them the next week.

Does she complain about tired eyes or headaches?  Do you see her rubbing her eyes?

Does she do better on assignments done at home or at school? If she needs to do corrections do you nudge her along on every problem, or reteach her and let her do them by herself? 

Does she complain about feeling stupid or behind her peers?

If you look at assignments that she got an A or B on by her self, were there other parts that helped her grade other than the academics?  Drawing an illustration, having an artistic flare or giving a presentation are examples. 

 

If you look at assignments that have a verbal component (giving a verbal answer) do you see a trend in grades? How about a visual component (ie copy work)? How about auditory (following verbal instructions?

When you help her, do you find she understands better if you draw it out, talk it out, give other examples, work it out with her, let her figure out her own path, or something else? 

Does she come up with unique ways to solve problems that don't really work out.....or ones that often do?  Does she find her own short cuts? 

Does she show her work or want to just give answers? Can she illustrate her work (draw 2 pairs of apples to show 2+2=4 etc)?

Has she changes schools or curriculum more than once? 

 

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Tell me more about how you think her 'being a type A personality' and 'rushing through work' and 'getting Ds and Fs' all correlate.

A few questions to think through...you don't have to necessarily answer them.

 

 

Does she feel like she did the work correctly in the first place? YES she does think she did it correctly.  and is surprised when the answer is wrong? Yes.

 

Does she act surprised that she answered a question the way she did?  Saying 'I meant to circle B instead of C' a lot? Hmmm... no. This one is more difficult to answer. Mostly she's confused on why/how she answered something incorrectly.

 

Does she have strategies to answering questions that she doesn't know the answer too? (guess and check, estimate, narrowing choices, etc) Yes, the teacher has given her those strategies and they work for some areas. There are many areas that they don't work....i.e. spelling, science, fill in the answer, etc.

 

Does she remember skills learned last year...and new skills too.  This is most obvious in math, where they may pull out something that isn't a skill that is built upon... like review of telling time,  Roman numerals, etc. This is an area that I feel she struggles in. If I were homeschooling her I would say that she needs a more spiral approach because she often lacks the confidence to "guess" and has trouble remembering past concepts.

 

Does she have issues with remembering how to spell words? YES, yes and yes. :)  Knowing them one week and then forgetting them the next week. Very much so.

 

Does she complain about tired eyes or headaches? Headaches. Yes. Regularly, but her optomotrist says that he doesn't see any issues and so does her doctor. Both of her last teachers have requested she get her eyes checked due to headaches/squinting/etc. but when I take her there's no issue.  Do you see her rubbing her eyes? Hmmm.... let me think about that one.

 

Does she do better on assignments done at home or at school? Home. If I sit with her and work through it with her she seems to get it better, but don't get me wrong there are times that she just doesn't get that "lightbulb" moment and I don't know if it ever clicks for her or if she truly understands certain concepts no matter how many times we go over it.  If she needs to do corrections do you nudge her along on every problem, or reteach her and let her do them by herself? I reteach her and let her do them, but often times after reteaching and sending her off on her own she'll come back with the whole page done wrong again and so we have to start back over. That usually prompts me to only give her a couple problems at a time to do independently. This is very common.

 

Does she complain about feeling stupid or behind her peers? No, not yet. She honestly seems completely oblivious to the fact that she doesn't know everything. lol

 

If you look at assignments that she got an A or B on by her self, were there other parts that helped her grade other than the academics?  Drawing an illustration, having an artistic flare or giving a presentation are examples. Yes, she's very creative and artsy fartsy. :) For example, she got a great social studies grade because most of the grade centered around a diorama that she did a fantastic job on as well as a speech that she practiced over and over and nailed. :)

 

If you look at assignments that have a verbal component (giving a verbal answer) do you see a trend in grades? This is harder to answer because I'm not there. I'm not aware of any verbal assignments. She does well in art and music and often has her pieces displayed at art shows.  How about a visual component (ie copy work)? This is where she really struggles. Even when all she has to do is copy the spelling that's already on the paper it will often be wrong, but I don't know if that's because she's rushing...or what?  How about auditory (following verbal instructions? Auditory isn't an issue at all. She's very verbal.

 

When you help her, do you find she understands better if you draw it out, talk it out, give other examples, work it out with her, let her figure out her own path, or something else? Hmmm... she's easily frustrated when she doesn't understand a concept so repitition is really the only thing that I have figured out how to explain. In the early years, visual (using objects) with things like math helped.

 

Does she come up with unique ways to solve problems that don't really work out.....or ones that often do? lol Yes, she does but they often don't work out.  Does she find her own short cuts? She tries to. I have given her **my shortcuts and they seem to help her but she forgets them from 1 day to the next. Well, I should say that she forgets to utilize the short cuts from 1 day to the next.

 

Does she show her work or want to just give answers? The teacher requires that she shows her work. She's very methodical and a rule follower, so those things help her when she remembers the steps and how to work through each problem. Going back to old concpets, or adding something in that she hasn't done in awhile throws her for a loop, though. illustrate her work (draw 2 pairs of apples to show 2+2=4 etc)?

Has she changes schools or curriculum more than once? No, she changed schools between 1st and 2nd but nothing else.

.

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THIS x1,000. Oh my. When I read your post it almost brought tears to my eyes. This is exactly what I'm worried about. She struggles so hard and works so hard to makes those grades! It doesn't make sense to me that it would be this difficult for her in 3rd grade. I have very much wondered and asked many times over if dd possibly has dyslexia due to her letter reversals (still). I'm not sure if there's a LD under the surface, but your post makes me want to delve into it further! I just feel like we are spending So. Much. Darn. Time. on homework/corrections. Sigh. It's gotta be frustrating to dd.  

Then I strongly urge you to get her assessed.  If the school seems to be extremely reliable and willing to do the assessments, then you could try going through the school.  I will caution you, however, that many schools do an assessment only to determine if the child needs a bit of remedial help to just survive school.  They frequently do not have the training or even the mandate to delve deeply into all the things that might be causing your child difficulties and they also frequently do not actually look into your child's strengths, which can be even more important for helping her find a good fit for careers, etc.  I suggest you read The Mislabeled Child by Brock and Fernette Eide.  Start there.  If anything speaks to you, then pursue further evaluations, probably through a neuropsychologist or edupsychologist first, along with a Developmental eye exam through a Developmental Optometrist.   Make it clear to the neuropsychologist that you are not simply seeking an IEP/504.  You want in depth answers for the long term. You want a better path for your child not just to get her through this next year of school, but for her to thrive in her life as a whole.

 

Her reading grade was poor, but in the past it hasn't been quite so low. However, all year she has been getting very poor AR scores. I'm not a big fan of AR, but it does tell me that either she's rushing through books or her reading comprehension is really not doing well.

Actually, this could also mean that she is spending so much time decoding the words that she hasn't got a lot of brain power left for comprehension of the passage or perhaps even just the questions,  If the questions were asked of her verbally, she might do fine.  And AR irritates me terribly for many reasons, but that is for a whole different thread....

 

Great suggestions. I'm in her classroom on a very regular basis due to leading book club, etc. and in the past her teacher has said that DD tends to rush through her assignments. In math, when I'm going over it with dd after school dd acts like the concepts are completely foreign and I have to re-teach them to her. For spelling, we have to work really, really hard for her to get good grades. She gets good grades because we go over and over and over the list ALL week. Probably 2-3x per day in various ways.

DD and I would study spelling 7 days a week.  We wasted years trying to rote memorize the sequence of letters.  It was absolutely the WORST way for her to learn to spell.  And even when she got a good grade on a test, she frequently retained NOTHING by the next week.  Once we had the diagnosis (stealth dyslexia) and switched her to a reading and spelling system specifically designed for dyslexics, she went from struggling daily to remember ANY spelling long term to getting 100s on tests that she didn't even have to study for...at all.

 

I honestly think your best bet is to go ahead and start the process of a private evaluation.  School will be out soon and they usually take months to get the ball rolling on evals once it is back in session.  Perhaps your school is different and is great with this, but so many aren't.  Ask around, though.  Be aware that most teachers are NOT trained to truly recognize learning issues, especially if the child has multiple strengths, too.  The issues and strengths mask each other and make it notoriously difficult to figure out what is really happening without specialized training.  A private evaluation may also take months but maybe not.   You might get answers over the summer and be able to come at this next year with a better idea of how to help.

 

You may want to post additional questions on the Learning Challenges board.  Lots and lots of parents have been in your shoes.  Many have answers and have a lot of experience with this now.  Many were extremely surprised by what they found, many were relieved because things finally made sense and they were pointed down a much more productive path, and I don't know any who regretted seeking an explanation after they had one.

 

Hugs and best wishes....

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I would not say anything to her at this point, but I would look for ways to help her so the work gets a little easier rather than harder.

 

One of mine would definitely be getting Cs (probably even some Ds or worse) if I didn't work with her a lot.

 

My kids' school posts grades online, so I can check them on an ongoing basis.  If I see something concerning, I can try to address it before it goes on for too long.  Also, teachers make mistakes, and it helps if I can let them know before the grades are finalized.

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Absoultely! This would be awesome. DD's report card gives an overall grade for the subject but under each subject gives either a + or a - for more specific areas. So, for example, we have worked extremely hard to get DD's spelling grades up on her tests so under spelling dd got a + for "spells accurately on weekly tests" or something like that, but then for the part that I"m not there to help with (ugh) dd got a - for "uses learned spelling skills across the curriculum". DD also got a + for knowing her math facts (x and division- the part that I CAN help with), but then got a - on "understands math concepts as taught". Sigh.

But what in the heck does "understands math concepts taught" even mean? That is so vague. Exactly which math concepts does she understand and not understand? You could help your dd more if they could be more specific.

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I am still hung up on the fact that elementary kids are getting letter grades.  Out here no letter grades until high school.  Before that they get E- excellent, S- satisfactory, NS- not satisfactory, or NI- needs improvement, G- good, VG- very good, or even 1,2 or 3, 1- exceeds standards, 2- meets standards, 3- below standards.  And then comments of areas to work on or something good about student.  No letter grading.

Now as for the grades, I would honestly have mixed emotions about the Cs on one hand you know your dd is working hard to get those half credits to earn that C, you can't penalize her for that. Yet she is continuing to struggle and you mentioned the jump in work.  I would look at working with her on the same concepts over the summer and hiring a tutor to help her in 4th grade to strengthen her ability in those courses.  Better to get her all the help at 4th grade than have her getting those Cs in high school 

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Did her teacher write detailed comments on the report card? Also letter reversal at this age and headaches would warrant an evaluation. The time needed to learn spelling is honestly on the high side and tiring for your child.

4th grade has a lot more reading and writing in public school. Get any evaluation process started now because it can take a long while to get the appointments.

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I feel so sad and angry on your behalf reading all this.  She's in third grade!  If there's this many tests and this much pressure, no wonder she's a little bit perfectionist.  And no wonder you're lost about what to do.

 

I agree with others that you should look into some assessment.  The headaches may just be stress related, but I agree with others that getting her eyes checked properly makes sense.

 

But I also think - even if it turns out that she has some learning differences - that it sounds like she's facing work and expectations that she's not ready for.  I really mourn for kids like this these days who a generation or two ago would have had time to catch up, wiggle room to grow, and a gentler experience in school.  OP, you and your dh were "A students" but think about what was even expected of you at that age and it was probably not nearly as much as is expected of your dd.

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Then I strongly urge you to get her assessed.  If the school seems to be extremely reliable and willing to do the assessments, then you could try going through the school.  I will caution you, however, that many schools do an assessment only to determine if the child needs a bit of remedial help to just survive school.  They frequently do not have the training or even the mandate to delve deeply into all the things that might be causing your child difficulties and they also frequently do not actually look into your child's strengths, which can be even more important for helping her find a good fit for careers, etc.  I suggest you read The Mislabeled Child by Brock and Fernette Eide.  Start there.  If anything speaks to you, then pursue further evaluations, probably through a neuropsychologist or edupsychologist first, along with a Developmental eye exam through a Developmental Optometrist.   Make it clear to the neuropsychologist that you are not simply seeking an IEP/504.  You want in depth answers for the long term. You want a better path for your child not just to get her through this next year of school, but for her to thrive in her life as a whole.

 

Actually, this could also mean that she is spending so much time decoding the words that she hasn't got a lot of brain power left for comprehension of the passage or perhaps even just the questions,  If the questions were asked of her verbally, she might do fine.  And AR irritates me terribly for many reasons, but that is for a whole different thread....

 

DD and I would study spelling 7 days a week.  We wasted years trying to rote memorize the sequence of letters.  It was absolutely the WORST way for her to learn to spell.  And even when she got a good grade on a test, she frequently retained NOTHING by the next week.  Once we had the diagnosis (stealth dyslexia) and switched her to a reading and spelling system specifically designed for dyslexics, she went from struggling daily to remember ANY spelling long term to getting 100s on tests that she didn't even have to study for...at all.

 

I honestly think your best bet is to go ahead and start the process of a private evaluation.  School will be out soon and they usually take months to get the ball rolling on evals once it is back in session.  Perhaps your school is different and is great with this, but so many aren't.  Ask around, though.  Be aware that most teachers are NOT trained to truly recognize learning issues, especially if the child has multiple strengths, too.  The issues and strengths mask each other and make it notoriously difficult to figure out what is really happening without specialized training.  A private evaluation may also take months but maybe not.   You might get answers over the summer and be able to come at this next year with a better idea of how to help.

 

You may want to post additional questions on the Learning Challenges board.  Lots and lots of parents have been in your shoes.  Many have answers and have a lot of experience with this now.  Many were extremely surprised by what they found, many were relieved because things finally made sense and they were pointed down a much more productive path, and I don't know any who regretted seeking an explanation after they had one.

 

Hugs and best wishes....

Thank you so much!!! Such a well worded response and so very helpful. I am truly very appreciative of your time and help.

 

Regarding the spelling, I'm more than convinced that the rote memorization of spelling lists is not helping dd in any way whatsoever. I'm simply doing it because if I don't....she'll fail spelling. It really sucks.  

 

I appreicate the suggestion for the Learning Challenges board...I will certainly ask some questions over there. Good idea!

 

Our school is very kind and sweet, but they obviously have zero experience helping to identify learning challenges. When I've asked about dyslexia in the past...they didn't even know anything about how to know if dd had dyslexia or what steps could be taken to find out.

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But what in the heck does "understands math concepts taught" even mean? That is so vague. Exactly which math concepts does she understand and not understand? You could help your dd more if they could be more specific.

 

Such a very good point! I see what you mean. It would definitely be helpful to understand how to target the specific areas that dd needs mroe help with.

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I am still hung up on the fact that elementary kids are getting letter grades.  Out here no letter grades until high school.  Before that they get E- excellent, S- satisfactory, NS- not satisfactory, or NI- needs improvement, G- good, VG- very good, or even 1,2 or 3, 1- exceeds standards, 2- meets standards, 3- below standards.  And then comments of areas to work on or something good about student.  No letter grading.

 

Now as for the grades, I would honestly have mixed emotions about the Cs on one hand you know your dd is working hard to get those half credits to earn that C, you can't penalize her for that. Yet she is continuing to struggle and you mentioned the jump in work.  I would look at working with her on the same concepts over the summer and hiring a tutor to help her in 4th grade to strengthen her ability in those courses.  Better to get her all the help at 4th grade than have her getting those Cs in high school 

 

DD didn't start getting letter grades until 2nd semester this year, but yes it seems early. Very good plan as to the bolded part above. I think that I need to help her solidify some concepts over the summer. Too bad dd will be with her dad most of the summer and I can't even get him to ask the kids to read regularly...groan. lol

 

Did her teacher write detailed comments on the report card? Also letter reversal at this age and headaches would warrant an evaluation. The time needed to learn spelling is honestly on the high side and tiring for your child.

4th grade has a lot more reading and writing in public school. Get any evaluation process started now because it can take a long while to get the appointments.

 

Yes, she did. The comments are mostly all about how amazing her behavior is, though. Nothing negative.

 

I feel so sad and angry on your behalf reading all this.  She's in third grade!  If there's this many tests and this much pressure, no wonder she's a little bit perfectionist.  And no wonder you're lost about what to do.

 

I agree with others that you should look into some assessment.  The headaches may just be stress related, but I agree with others that getting her eyes checked properly makes sense.

 

But I also think - even if it turns out that she has some learning differences - that it sounds like she's facing work and expectations that she's not ready for.  I really mourn for kids like this these days who a generation or two ago would have had time to catch up, wiggle room to grow, and a gentler experience in school.  OP, you and your dh were "A students" but think about what was even expected of you at that age and it was probably not nearly as much as is expected of your dd.

 

Thank you. I agree! 3rd grade seems absolutely ridiculous to be worried about GRADES. I feel like this should be fairly easy for her at this stage since she has an active and involved parent??? Ugh.The headaches could be stress, but she's complained of them for years. Ahhh...to be a SAHM again homeschooling all of my kids. I feel like I spend MORE time on school work now that they are in PS than I did when I homeschooled them!!!

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Just wanted to send :grouphug: to you and to your little girl.  My son's school doesn't have grades yet (new school so not sure when they will introduce them). We have what Heather in Neverland was suggesting - more of a scale "All of the time, some of the time, infrequently, never) related to a LONG list of metrics.  My son has just finished third grade.  I can tell you it is much less tress to get a "infrequently" than to get a C-.  Too much baggage with seeing those letters.  And too much stress on the kiddos. 

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Oh myyyyy....YES. Bullet for bullet everything listed for the dyseidetic dyslexia list is my daughter.

Put in a request for evaluation to your school district office. The district office would appoint someone who can diagnose dyslexia to do the evaluation.

Below link is info about dyslexia evaluation

http://dyslexiahelp.umich.edu/parents/learn-about-dyslexia/dyslexia-testing/what-to-expect-in-dyslexia-evaluation

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The last bullet on the above link gets me... "can spell difficult phonetic words but not simple irregular words". DD can spell a 10-12 letter word if it's phonetic, but she can't spell "of" (ov) or "off" (of).

LOL that is actually one of the tests they use to diagnose dyseidesia.  They give the child a spelling list.  The words are common words and uncommon words all mixed together.  DD15 spelled every word correctly that was phonetic even if she didn't know the word (probably the only 100% on a spelling test ever in her life LOL).  She got a 3/10 on the words that were not phonetic, despite them being below her grade level and were common words.  DD15 had an A in a private school's honors English class at this time, so it wasn't an aptitude issue.  

 

For dd15, she had always excelled in school because she had learned how to boost her grades with things like art projects, speeches, and is a great problem solver. She is very smart, but the kid just can't spell and struggles with grammar.  Another thing that she can't do is touch type. She can type if she is looking at the keys, but not by touch (visual memory problem with dyslexia). It was her inability to get over 10 words per minute on typing tests after months of practice that led us to finally seek a formal diagnosis.(So she could get a 504 modification on certain issues like typing grades). Since she wasn't 'behind' the school didn't think there was a problem. I knew she was dyslexic since she was little (I have dyseidesia also) but we just made modifications and talked to teachers.  In our area, most schools won't pay for testing unless the student is more than 2 years behind in core subjects. I would start by talking to the schools though,  to see if they will test her, and if they put you off, seek a private diagnosis.  She was also diagnosed with a mild convergence issue, but it isn't a big enough issue to worry about much. 

 

For dd7, (different issues-not dyslexia) I had to get a private diagnosis, because while the school agreed there were issues, she wasn't far enough behind for them to invest in the tests.  I didn't want to wait for her to be 2 years behind before they bothered to even test her! I had a neuropsych eval done and those results opened up all kinds of doors for testing at the public school level.  

 

 

 

 

As far as the report card....meh.  I say the scores may reflect her academic grade on papers, but that doesn't reflect what she has learned.  Learning is what school is about, not grades. Our culture is so into quantifying learning, it is hard to not get caught up in it.  I wouldn't worry about what the teacher puts on a paper, when you know the true effort she put into the assignment at home....especially in grade school.  Over time, you are going to see that she learns very differently than her peers and that isn't always going to be reflected in her grades.  

 

If you like TED talks, listen to this one to give you a boost on thinking about dyslexia and by extension the public school grading system. If you don't want to watch, there is a quote he uses that is often found in the Learning Disabilities culture.  

Everybody is a Genius. But If You Judge a Fish by Its Ability to Climb a Tree, It Will Live Its Whole Life Believing that It is Stupid. Albert Einstein
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Thank you so much!!! Such a well worded response and so very helpful. I am truly very appreciative of your time and help.

 

Regarding the spelling, I'm more than convinced that the rote memorization of spelling lists is not helping dd in any way whatsoever. I'm simply doing it because if I don't....she'll fail spelling. It really sucks.  

 

I appreicate the suggestion for the Learning Challenges board...I will certainly ask some questions over there. Good idea!

 

Our school is very kind and sweet, but they obviously have zero experience helping to identify learning challenges. When I've asked about dyslexia in the past...they didn't even know anything about how to know if dd had dyslexia or what steps could be taken to find out.

Regarding the bolded, I know exactly how you feel. I didn't know what else to do to teach the words to her but we had to keep reviewing for her to even have a hope of passing those tests.  So we did.  We practiced and practiced.  And wasted hours and hours and hours every week.  And put both of us under unnecessary stress.  For the moment, you are kind of stuck.  But you have the summer to seek some answers.  I urge you to do so.

 

Think about it this way... If you can get a diagnosis for why this is such a struggle, you may be able to address the issues far more effectively and find a much more efficient path.  She could actually thrive in school.  You know what is happening now is not ideal.  

 

I will just say this, although perhaps it does not apply to you and your child:  I robbed my daughter of a lot of her childhood and caused us both tremendous stress because we studied so hard and so long just to keep her grades up.  But I had lost focus.  I failed to look at the bigger picture because I was working so hard to keep her moving forward within the demands of the school for the immediate future.  

 

Schools frequently see the grades as the end goal.  All they really care about are the grades on the report cards.  I fell into that trap, too.  I finally realized that the grades don't matter much at all if my child is not really mastering the material and is even getting left behind in many areas.  The grade should not be the end goal, especially in elementary.  It should be used as a diagnostic tool to determine if the child needs more review, a different approach, maybe more time to progress developmentally, or has some underlying issues that need addressing.  As a parent of a child in the school system, yes, you have to work with their grading system and their philosophy.  You are in a difficult position.  You have worked hard for your child and I commend you, Mom.  You care.  Huge hugs.  This isn't easy.   I urge you to look at the bigger picture, though.  Are getting good grades the goal?  Or  are mastery of the material and building a critical foundation for higher level learning, along with inspiring a love of learning and belief in self the end goals?  

 

You have been given some great links and some good advice upthread.  And you are trying hard to help your child.  Keep pushing.  You are doing the right thing.  Read The Mislabeled Child, as I mentioned up thread.  It really opened my eyes.  

 

Also, you might read through the information on this website to see if anything there speaks to you:

 

http://www.bartonreading.com/dys.html

 

Edited to add, also pursue a Developmental eye exam as I and others have posted.  You might consider doing this first.  It might really help to at least eliminate this as a possible source of problems.

 

I wish you all the best.  Huge virtual hugs to you and your child.

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Can you find out the break down on the grade? If this is a teacher that heavily figures daily work into the grade and your daughter is simply not giving much effort to the daily assignments but is picking up the material and doing well on the tests, I would not be as concerned as if it appeared she was struggling to learn the material thoroughly.

 

Is the teacher a tough grader or easy or somewhere down the middle? I'm a tough grader. Always have been. As one of my former principals put it, "C's from you are an achievement", meanwhile I had colleagues that were so easy on the kids that a B meant almost nothing and an A was just wayyyyy to easy to get. Often, at the end of the semester, I would soften my final grades in order to be somewhere in the middle since I didn't want to discourage the kids or the parents too much. But, I did have pretty high expectations and then worked really hard with my class to help each one achieve the best that each student could. Teacher/student/class dynamic all plays a role in grading and you may want to explore that. I would reserve judgment until I investigated all of this.

 

Then I'd consider what MY expectations for my child was and clearly lay that on the line. I might oversee more of the homework; I might be asking for weekly reports from the teacher. I might do remediation work at home/afterschooling. I might get tough on my child if laziness was the number one factor in the lower grades. The reason for that is that yes, the work should be getting tougher each year, and if you are family that is college oriented, getting into bad habits is going to affect high school performance which in turn affects merit aid and all of that can affect college performance when you, the student, or both are paying a pretty penny for the education. So, there is a long term goal that may need to be considered. However, that said, it's third grade and I wouldn't be too upset yet.

 

Mostly, I'd just be looking at all of the factors and then seeing what I can remediate and assist with and go from there. My dad was one of those kids that just did.not.jump.hoops. and did not care about grades if he found the material uninteresting to him. He'd routinely blow of homework...give it a lick and prayer, or not turn it in at all and then ace every exam given to him. His grades in high school were not great and yet he took his Air Force entrance exam and only missed one question, a rare high score. So, he knew what he knew, he just simply didn't feel the need to demonstrate it on a daily basis to his teachers.

 

 

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Piping in to second Ottakee's recommendation that, in addition to an evaluation for dyslexia, you also rule out developmental vision issues with a COVD optometrist, as it is not uncommon for a person to have both vision issues and dyslexia, or for one to be mistaken for the other.  (FWIW, getting in for a covd appointment is usually quicker than getting in with a psych for dyslexia testing, so it may be convenient to get it done while you're waiting for the other one.  You can also just have a regular vision checkup where the covd screens for further issues, before doing the actual full developmental vision eval, which is a separate, lengthy appointment.)

 

On the grades in general, at the elementary level they don't "count" for anything whatsoever, though if they help catch a learning issue, then that's useful.  My kids' elementary school does not give out letter grades.  There's a simple scale of four categories on the report card: proficient, satisfactory, needs more time, unsatisfactory.

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Thank you for the response! I'm just so unsure about if I'm overreacting or if I should be concerned. DS gets straight As and we don't hardly do a thing. With DD we spend a large chunk of our nights re-doing papers and doing homework.

 

I have twins and one taught himself to read, excels at piano, does math without blinking etc. The other catches on, but in his own time.

 

He reads like a maniac now -- I can barely keep him in books, but he wasn't a solid reader until he was close to eight! (I read every book I could find on dyslexia and was sure he had it. He doesn't. He was just learning in his own time.)

 

I don't think schools allow for this type of timing. In fact they don't: at all. One of my sons would no doubt get straight A's. My other would get B's and C's -- and that would not reflect how truly intelligent my second child is. Some of the things he comes up with truly stuns me.

 

So, personally, I wouldn't put a lot of stock in grades. Plus, the teachers giving her C- etc. is going to make her feel dumb. I know this from experience.

 

One more thing: we didn't get grades in third grade. We got S for satisfactory, U for unsatisfactory etc. Maybe I'm behind the times, but grading little kids seems. . . like our culture is just out of whack.

 

But I do agree w/ everyone that checking for learning abilities isn't a bad idea.

 

Alley

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If my child had previously been getting D's and F's and then started making C's I would be praising the heck out of them for improving their grade. Not everyone is cut out to be an A student. Improvement is all I look for ..not perfection.

 

For what it's worth....I was a straight A student and my brother always got D's and C's. My brother is the one who completed a university degree in architecture while I only finished 12th grade. Grades don't determine success in life.

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To my child I would praise her. She obviously worked hard for those grades.

 

Then I would work on getting her evaluated to figure out why she needs to to work so hard.

 

For the spelling/reading I suggest reading the book "Uncovering the Logic of English". It was a lightbulb book for me. I have always struggled with spelling. I use her Curriculum (logic of English) with my boys. It has helped my struggling spelling speller, my new reader can read just about anything. He can spell most anything and tell me why! But I have learned do much teaching it to my boys that when my struggling speller is working on his school words I can sit and explain to him why.

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The rushing through papers is probably the bulk of her problem, but don't assume it is her issue solely.  My DD rushed through her 5th grade work and that led to carelessness and mistakes, and I didn't find out until later why.  The teacher assigned so much work, it *had* to be done in class, there was often not enough computers for every child (which meant that whoever started working on their papers last didn't get a computer), and the kids got screamed at if they didn't type or write fast enough.  My DD churned out slop just to get it churned out.  Can't say I blame her; I would have done the same thing under those conditions.

 

So...talk extensively to your DD and ask for her experiences and opinions; you might be surprised.

Okay, let me preface this by saying that I in **no way** want to berate my child or that I even feel that my child is in any way in the wrong in this situation. I'm just looking for a bit of perspective. K?

 

I never struggled with grades myself growing up until middle school and that was because I literally did nothing after a very horrible experience when I was 14. I, like many parents, find myself taking it personally when there is a sudden realization that my child isn't perfect in every single way. :)

 

So, here's the good: my child came home with a report card that is mostly Bs. Minuses and pluses. My child feels positive about how well she did on her report card, and I was able to focus and congratulate her on her positive success.

 

Here's where I need persepctive: DD also had 2 Cs. One was a C-.

 

I do NOT think that there's any issue with Cs. I truly don't. What I am concerned about is this:

 

1) Her teacher has mentioned that dd tends to rush through her work instead of taking the time to do it right

 

2) DD is only in 3rd grade. Work is going to get a TON harder in 4th grade. There's a big leap between 3rd and 4th. DD had to work extremely hard to get those Cs. She came home with many Ds and Fs on papers and I asked her to correct every paper that was below a "B" for half credit from her teacher. I'm extremely invloved. I'm there every night to help her understand concepts that she doesn't get. It just feels like it's really early to not be getting at least a B with as much effort as she is putting forth, and as much effort as I'm putting forth for that matter! lol What about when she's in 6th grade and the topics are much more difficult?

 

So I need some perspective. Am I just being a crazy over-achiever? Am I expecting too much? I know Cs aren't bad, but I guess it feels like if we start out here what happens later on? Do I say anything to her about the Cs? I don't want to make her feel like she didn't do a good job so I just focused on her best grades, but most of those were for art and behavior (those sorts of things). DD is a perfectionist. She's very "A" type personality. She's literally the child that her teachers use as an example of great behavior. I guess I just need to know what (if anything) you would say to your child that came home with this report card in 3rd grade.

 

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For dd15, she had always excelled in school because she had learned how to boost her grades with things like art projects, speeches, and is a great problem solver. She is very smart, but the kid just can't spell and struggles with grammar.  Another thing that she can't do is touch type. She can type if she is looking at the keys, but not by touch (visual memory problem with dyslexia). It was her inability to get over 10 words per minute on typing tests after months of practice that led us to finally seek a formal diagnosis.(So she could get a 504 modification on certain issues like typing grades). Since she wasn't 'behind' the school didn't think there was a problem. I knew she was dyslexic since she was little (I have dyseidesia also) but we just made modifications and talked to teachers.  In our area, most schools won't pay for testing unless the student is more than 2 years behind in core subjects. I would start by talking to the schools though,  to see if they will test her, and if they put you off, seek a private diagnosis.  She was also diagnosed with a mild convergence issue, but it isn't a big enough issue to worry about much. 

 

Regarding the above bolded... this sounds JUST like my dd. She's very creative. Very intelligent, and contrary to a lot that I had read about dyslexia... her oral vocabulary is excellent and she wasn't delayed in speech.

 

For dd7, (different issues-not dyslexia) I had to get a private diagnosis, because while the school agreed there were issues, she wasn't far enough behind for them to invest in the tests.  I didn't want to wait for her to be 2 years behind before they bothered to even test her! I had a neuropsych eval done and those results opened up all kinds of doors for testing at the public school level.  

 

 

This is what I forsee happening at our school. DS is gifted. He was tested in a different school district and was to be put into their gifted school vs. 1 day per week satellite school because he was "across the board gifted". When I took those results to DS's current school district they never even tested him further... just reviewed his work and said that he doesn't show enough "ambition" to be in the giften program. They based that off of DS's every day school work. Of course he doesn't have drive and ambition!!! He's ADD and having to sit still for hours a day doing work he's bored with!!! Grrr.... That's a whole different post, but suffice it to say that I don't see the school persuing testing for dd unless I'm able to get a teacher to go to bat for dd.

 

As far as the report card....meh.  I say the scores may reflect her academic grade on papers, but that doesn't reflect what she has learned.  Learning is what school is about, not grades. Our culture is so into quantifying learning, it is hard to not get caught up in it.  I wouldn't worry about what the teacher puts on a paper, when you know the true effort she put into the assignment at home....especially in grade school.  Over time, you are going to see that she learns very differently than her peers and that isn't always going to be reflected in her grades.  

 

Very good points!

 

If you like

on thinking about dyslexia and by extension the public school grading system. If you don't want to watch, there is a quote he uses that is often found in the Learning Disabilities culture.  Everybody is a Genius. But If You Judge a Fish by Its Ability to Climb a Tree, It Will Live Its Whole Life Believing that It is Stupid. Albert Einstein

 

One of my very favorite quotes! I watched the talk. Good stuff. Thank you again so much for all of your help!!!

 

 

Regarding the bolded, I know exactly how you feel. I didn't know what else to do to teach the words to her but we had to keep reviewing for her to even have a hope of passing those tests.  So we did.  We practiced and practiced.  And wasted hours and hours and hours every week.  And put both of us under unnecessary stress.  For the moment, you are kind of stuck.  But you have the summer to seek some answers.  I urge you to do so.

 

Oh my gosh!!! You understand!!! lol This is us.

 

Think about it this way... If you can get a diagnosis for why this is such a struggle, you may be able to address the issues far more effectively and find a much more efficient path.  She could actually thrive in school.  You know what is happening now is not ideal.  

 

Absolutely. I looked up a behavioral? eye doctor. I'm not sure if that's what it's called. It was suggested on this thread. I found 2 in my area and I hope to get a referral from her pediatrician.

 

I will just say this, although perhaps it does not apply to you and your child:  I robbed my daughter of a lot of her childhood and caused us both tremendous stress because we studied so hard and so long just to keep her grades up.  But I had lost focus.  I failed to look at the bigger picture because I was working so hard to keep her moving forward within the demands of the school for the immediate future.  

 

Thank you. I needed this reminder. I think I'm falling into this trap. Thank you. Thank you.

 

Schools frequently see the grades as the end goal.  All they really care about are the grades on the report cards.  I fell into that trap, too.  I finally realized that the grades don't matter much at all if my child is not really mastering the material and is even getting left behind in many areas.  The grade should not be the end goal, especially in elementary.  It should be used as a diagnostic tool to determine if the child needs more review, a different approach, maybe more time to progress developmentally, or has some underlying issues that need addressing.  As a parent of a child in the school system, yes, you have to work with their grading system and their philosophy.  You are in a difficult position.  You have worked hard for your child and I commend you, Mom.  You care.  Huge hugs.  This isn't easy.   I urge you to look at the bigger picture, though.  Are getting good grades the goal?  Or  are mastery of the material and building a critical foundation for higher level learning, along with inspiring a love of learning and belief in self the end goals?  

 

Gosh... this is just such an awesome post!!! Thank you! You're absolutely right. The grade isn't the end goal. I don't feel that dd is getting that solid base of understanding and I need to do everything in my power to fix that.

 

You have been given some great links and some good advice upthread.  And you are trying hard to help your child.  Keep pushing.  You are doing the right thing.  Read The Mislabeled Child, as I mentioned up thread.  It really opened my eyes.  

 

THAT was the book title that I couldn't find... I knew someone suggested a book but I couldn't find which post it was in or who suggested it. Great! I'm off to see if I can find it cheap anywhere.

 

Also, you might read through the information on this website to see if anything there speaks to you:

 

http://www.bartonreading.com/dys.html

 

Thank you! I will do that.

 

Edited to add, also pursue a Developmental eye exam as I and others have posted.  You might consider doing this first.  It might really help to at least eliminate this as a possible source of problems.

 

I wish you all the best.  Huge virtual hugs to you and your child.

 

^^^ THIS. Developmental eye exam. I found 2 on the website linked that are close to me. I think that's going to be my first step.

 

You all are so amazing! Thank you for all of your help. I feel so much better today.

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Can you find out the break down on the grade? If this is a teacher that heavily figures daily work into the grade and your daughter is simply not giving much effort to the daily assignments but is picking up the material and doing well on the tests, I would not be as concerned as if it appeared she was struggling to learn the material thoroughly.

 

Good point. The only problem there is that she doesn't seem to understand the material when I try to correct papers with her and we're spending a large amount of time studying spelling words, etc.

 

Is the teacher a tough grader or easy or somewhere down the middle? I'm a tough grader. Always have been. As one of my former principals put it, "C's from you are an achievement", meanwhile I had colleagues that were so easy on the kids that a B meant almost nothing and an A was just wayyyyy to easy to get. Often, at the end of the semester, I would soften my final grades in order to be somewhere in the middle since I didn't want to discourage the kids or the parents too much. But, I did have pretty high expectations and then worked really hard with my class to help each one achieve the best that each student could. Teacher/student/class dynamic all plays a role in grading and you may want to explore that. I would reserve judgment until I investigated all of this.

 

That's hard for me to guage since I'm not the student or teacher. I would say middle of the road probably??? I wouldn't say she's overly tough.

 

Then I'd consider what MY expectations for my child was and clearly lay that on the line. I might oversee more of the homework; I might be asking for weekly reports from the teacher. I might do remediation work at home/afterschooling. I might get tough on my child if laziness was the number one factor in the lower grades. The reason for that is that yes, the work should be getting tougher each year, and if you are family that is college oriented, getting into bad habits is going to affect high school performance which in turn affects merit aid and all of that can affect college performance when you, the student, or both are paying a pretty penny for the education. So, there is a long term goal that may need to be considered. However, that said, it's third grade and I wouldn't be too upset yet.

 

Another good point. We won't be paying for college for our children at this point, so if they want to go they will either have to pay or get scholarships so it is important to some degree. I completely oversee her homework at this point. I check every answer, we go over the mistakes, and I reteach anything she doesn't already understand.

 

Mostly, I'd just be looking at all of the factors and then seeing what I can remediate and assist with and go from there. My dad was one of those kids that just did.not.jump.hoops. and did not care about grades if he found the material uninteresting to him. He'd routinely blow of homework...give it a lick and prayer, or not turn it in at all and then ace every exam given to him. His grades in high school were not great and yet he took his Air Force entrance exam and only missed one question, a rare high score. So, he knew what he knew, he just simply didn't feel the need to demonstrate it on a daily basis to his teachers.

 

No, that's not dd. She cares about her grades, and she is a "rule follower" so it would drive her batty if she didn't turn in an assignment. She has a ton of ambition and drive. She does rush some. But mostly, it's just about her effort not quite being enough.

 

How is spelling taught in school? You mentioned memorization, but was there any seatwork?

 

The ONLY realted work that I have seen related to her spelling words is in her homework and all that is is worksheets with fill in the answer blanks for the spelling words. There's a word bank of all the spelling words for that week at the top of the page.... then there would be ... 1. cardinal, crow,  BLANK and dd would have to pick bluejay out of the list at the top and fill in the blank. That's a terrible example, but you get the idea. :)

Is the list random, or based on phonemes learned in LA?

 

The words tend to follow a pattern, BUT the list combines groups of words that have the same sounds but are spelled differently YET provides absolutely NO instruction or guidance on WHY we spell the different sounds differently or how to know which letters to use. ??? It's really frustrating to be studing a spelling list that has all the different ways to spell a certain sound but no indication of why we spell each one differently or how to know which letters to use.

 

You are corect that rote memorization does not help. My kid was a total failure when he had a teacher that thought memorizing equals learning. He did well when the lists had patterns and the teacher had daily seatwork to help them learn the words.....use each word in a sentence, sort and alphabetize them, write a story using the list, etc. --Spelling Workout would be the similar program as a consumable. I didnt figure it out until grade 5, then caught him up with Megawords Book 1 over the summer. What I heard from the teachers that were just asking for rote memorization is that they felt that was enough for most students....and that is true for the highly visual with good memories, but my one child needed a true spelling program. He was not far enough behind to get that thru the district unless the teacher wanted to offer it to the whole class.

 

During our brief HSing expereince we used AAS/SWR. I'm off to check out your suggestions!

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Yeah this all seems rather harsh for a 3rd grader.  Frankly, I might tell her good job!  And then find out what is going on. 

 

Some people really struggle with spelling.  No matter what program or method.  Some people just don't grasp it for some reason.  My mother told me that if she managed a D on a spelling test the teacher would put a gold star on it and hang it up with the other perfect scores.  She felt embarrassed by that, but that truly was as good as she could do on it. 

 

I get that. I understand what you're saying. For what it's worth... I DID tell her good job. My comments were only encouraging and positive because regardless of her grades she had put forth a lot of effort and had some great grades to show for it and some not-so-fabulous grades.

 

Given the vision concerns I would suggest an evaluation by a vision therapist....not just a regular eye doctor. Vision therapy made a huge difference for my nephew.

 

Thank you! That seems to be the consensus. :)

 

Piping in to second Ottakee's recommendation that, in addition to an evaluation for dyslexia, you also rule out developmental vision issues with a COVD optometrist, as it is not uncommon for a person to have both vision issues and dyslexia, or for one to be mistaken for the other.  (FWIW, getting in for a covd appointment is usually quicker than getting in with a psych for dyslexia testing, so it may be convenient to get it done while you're waiting for the other one.  You can also just have a regular vision checkup where the covd screens for further issues, before doing the actual full developmental vision eval, which is a separate, lengthy appointment.)

 

On the grades in general, at the elementary level they don't "count" for anything whatsoever, though if they help catch a learning issue, then that's useful.  My kids' elementary school does not give out letter grades.  There's a simple scale of four categories on the report card: proficient, satisfactory, needs more time, unsatisfactory.

 

THIS. There's the link I was looking for! :) We have 2 optometrists on the COVD list that are close to us, so I'll be seeing what I need to do to get a referral to one of them.

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I have twins and one taught himself to read, excels at piano, does math without blinking etc. The other catches on, but in his own time.

 

He reads like a maniac now -- I can barely keep him in books, but he wasn't a solid reader until he was close to eight! (I read every book I could find on dyslexia and was sure he had it. He doesn't. He was just learning in his own time.)

 

I don't think schools allow for this type of timing. In fact they don't: at all. One of my sons would no doubt get straight A's. My other would get B's and C's -- and that would not reflect how truly intelligent my second child is. Some of the things he comes up with truly stuns me.

 

^^^ No, they difinitely DON'T which is why I always imagined that we would homeschool.

 

So, personally, I wouldn't put a lot of stock in grades. Plus, the teachers giving her C- etc. is going to make her feel dumb. I know this from experience.

 

One more thing: we didn't get grades in third grade. We got S for satisfactory, U for unsatisfactory etc. Maybe I'm behind the times, but grading little kids seems. . . like our culture is just out of whack.

 

But I do agree w/ everyone that checking for learning abilities isn't a bad idea.

 

Alley

 

Just to clarify... I don't have an issue with a "C'. My issue is that she put forth a TON of effort to get those Cs and in only 3rd grade...it just doesn't seem right that she should put forth that much effort to get a "C' almost "D". It very well may just be that she's missing some building blocks and is now struggling overall or it may be that she's rushing and not doing her best...or there may be a LD. I just want to make sure that I'm doing everything within **my** power to help her succeed and do the best that she can do. I don't want roadblocks there that don't have to be there.

 

If my child had previously been getting D's and F's and then started making C's I would be praising the heck out of them for improving their grade. Not everyone is cut out to be an A student. Improvement is all I look for ..not perfection.

 

For what it's worth....I was a straight A student and my brother always got D's and C's. My brother is the one who completed a university degree in architecture while I only finished 12th grade. Grades don't determine success in life.

 

Are you referring to the assignments that I said she got Ds and Fs on? She's never gotten a D or F on a report card. Her report card went down as well as did her testing scores. Not all, but some.

 

To my child I would praise her. She obviously worked hard for those grades.

 

Then I would work on getting her evaluated to figure out why she needs to to work so hard.

 

For the spelling/reading I suggest reading the book "Uncovering the Logic of English". It was a lightbulb book for me. I have always struggled with spelling. I use her Curriculum (logic of English) with my boys. It has helped my struggling spelling speller, my new reader can read just about anything. He can spell most anything and tell me why! But I have learned do much teaching it to my boys that when my struggling speller is working on his school words I can sit and explain to him why.

 

Great thoughts and information. Off to check that out. Thank you!

 

The rushing through papers is probably the bulk of her problem, but don't assume it is her issue solely.  My DD rushed through her 5th grade work and that led to carelessness and mistakes, and I didn't find out until later why.  The teacher assigned so much work, it *had* to be done in class, there was often not enough computers for every child (which meant that whoever started working on their papers last didn't get a computer), and the kids got screamed at if they didn't type or write fast enough.  My DD churned out slop just to get it churned out.  Can't say I blame her; I would have done the same thing under those conditions.

 

So...talk extensively to your DD and ask for her experiences and opinions; you might be surprised.

 

I will do that. Thank you for that reminder. :)

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THIS. There's the link I was looking for! :) We have 2 optometrists on the COVD list that are close to us, so I'll be seeing what I need to do to get a referral to one of them.

 

Why would you need a referral?  They are just optometrists with extra training.  Just call and make an appointment like you would for any eye doc.  You can start with a regular checkup before making an appointment for a full developmental eval.  When you call, you can ask about insurance (e.g., our medical doesn't cover vision without a medical diagnosis, but we have separate vision coverage with VSP, so that at least covers an annual checkup; the person you make the appointment with can usually check your coverage).

 

Eta, I'd still set up an eval with an ed psych or neuropsych, as the vision is often only one component of a bigger picture.

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I've only read through some of the comments, but what I've read leads me to urge you in the same direction as others have - neuropsych or ed psych eval ASAP.

My daughter squeaked through grade 4 before we realized her dyslexia. Our issue was compounded by that our state doesn't recognize (or test for) dyslexia as a special need. She finally had a great 4th grade teacher who basically said "I haven't the time to give her what she needs; I suspect dyslexia but the schools will be of little assistance to you" - we pulled her out in April of that school year. Prior to that, she had struggled, but because an eval done at around 4 or 5 years of age indicated highly gifted/superior intelligence, it was assumed (by all involved - teachers and us) that she was just "lazy"; it's one of my biggest regrets, even years later.

 

Even in a situation with a neurotypical child, I would not penalize over a C unless I knew for a fact that my child didn't do his/her best, and that the teacher's expectations were realistic and age appropriate.

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I agree with getting an evaluation by a developmental optometrist.  VT helped my son (who also has dyslexia), but it wasn't the entire answer.  I'd also have her evaluated by someone who specializes in dyslexia.  The public school likely won't diagnose dyslexia though they will be able to tell you if she is below grade level in reading and spelling.  She would have to be significantly below grade level to qualify for services though.

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Why would you need a referral? They are just optometrists with extra training. Just call and make an appointment like you would for any eye doc. You can start with a regular checkup before making an appointment for a full developmental eval. When you call, you can ask about insurance (e.g., our medical doesn't cover vision without a medical diagnosis, but we have separate vision coverage with VSP, so that at least covers an annual checkup; the person you make the appointment with can usually check your coverage).

 

Eta, I'd still set up an eval with an ed psych or neuropsych, as the vision is often only one component of a bigger picture.

I guess I made the assumption that I would need a referral because there were referral forms on their website.

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