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Old 03-07-2007, 11:32 AM
 
76 posts, read 255,248 times
Reputation: 36

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkeast View Post

We asked about holding him back last year and this year, but both times were told that the district frowns upon that (now I think it's because of politics and not the children), so we haven't had any luck with that either. He does seem to blossom at the end of the school year; last year and now he's doing it again. We're seeing that he comes into his own late, but does seem to get there. Last year he was in the bottom 10% of his kindergarten class throughout the whole year, until the end of the year when he matured and sprung to the top 10% of his class; go figure! We're starting to see that same trend now, so maybe he'll catch up by June and be okay. I'm praying for it!

Thanks for the comment.


whether the school "frowns " on it or not you have the right as a parent to hold him back if you feel that is what he needs. if you really feel strong about it than fight for it and demand it. sad that a parent has to do that --the child should come first not politics. this really gets me steamed that politics are running the schools instead of the welfare of the children

hopefully your child will bloom at the end of the year -- visual aids help alot with my son. or telling him to put a picture in his head with the words. when we read a book i say that its like a movie in his head. Good luck
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Old 03-07-2007, 05:02 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
7 posts, read 19,493 times
Reputation: 11
Smile Schooling in California or elsewhere

[
On one hand, I like that my son is being pushed to his fullest potential; on the other hand, I don't want him developing self-esteem issues because he has to struggle all through school to keep pace. Any thoughts on this?[/quote]


I'm a former elementary teacher, and I now teach education courses on the college level. My advice to you, as a parent, is not to buy into the "hurried child" phenomenon. Because of No Child Left Behind, and all the testing pressures on teachers and children, the tail is now wagging the dog! I get crazy when I hear that young children are expected to read a whole book by the end of first grade. Some will be ready, some will not-- some kids just need more time. It has nothing to do with learning disabilities. This is simple child development theory-- kids are not designed to learn in lockstep-- I hope you can relax, keep reading to your son, encourage his love of good books and a strong vocabulary.... and the rest will happen!
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Old 03-07-2007, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Tijuana Exurbs
3,988 posts, read 10,414,053 times
Reputation: 4697
Quote:
Originally Posted by bkeast View Post
Everyday we go over a list of 120 words (flash card style) that are called "sight words" to help him recongnize the words just by sight, much the same way you did. They do help, but it doesn't seem to be enough, unfortunately.

I make sure to keep reading time as fun as possible for him so that the story holds his interest and he wants to get to the next page. I buy new books each month from the Scholastic Book Club order sheet the school sends home so that he also has new adventures to read about.

I really wish it was easier for him, and these things were enough to get him from point A to point B. I think a big part of the problem is that he started kindergarten when he was only 4 (we thought he would do fine because we had no idea how much would be expected of him; our mistake), and he's just not there yet, maturity-wise. His teacher was saying that there are a bunch of kids in his class that are already 7 going on 8 (he just turned 6), so there's a significant learning gap between him and many of his classmates.

We asked about holding him back last year and this year, but both times were told that the district frowns upon that (now I think it's because of politics and not the children), so we haven't had any luck with that either. He does seem to blossom at the end of the school year; last year and now he's doing it again. We're seeing that he comes into his own late, but does seem to get there. Last year he was in the bottom 10% of his kindergarten class throughout the whole year, until the end of the year when he matured and sprung to the top 10% of his class; go figure! We're starting to see that same trend now, so maybe he'll catch up by June and be okay. I'm praying for it!

Thanks for the comment.
At the beginning of your response I thought, yes, if you think holding him back is the answer go ahead and do that and force the issue with the school. But with this last comment about his really blossoming in the last few months of the school year, I'm thinking you should stay with keeping him with his class. Being 6 months younger than anyone else can really matter in Kindergarten, will matter only somewhat by 4th grade, and will be irrelavent by 9th grade. If he catches up at the end of the year, keep working with him over the summer. This 6 month age gap is going keep shrinking in importance every year. You've probably gotten 2/3 of the hard work done all ready.

Find out at the end of the year if his reading score advances by more than 6 months from his mid-year score. If the gap is shrinking between now and the end of the year keep going. If he progresses only at the normal rate of aging, and he's not closing in on the standard for his grade then yes, hold him back.

If you can get him up to grade level and then beyond, by the time he's in high school I believe he'll be thankful to you for getting him to graduation a year earlier than everyone else.

Good luck, and let us know at the end of the year what you decide.
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Old 03-07-2007, 06:36 PM
 
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
96 posts, read 701,761 times
Reputation: 58
Gosh, all of you are nice and helpful; I appreciate it so much! I'm going to just keep plugging away with him and try to get him as caught up as possible, continuing with it over the summer. Hopefully he'll be doing better by year's end and won't need to be held back. If he does need that, I'll fight for it, you'd better believe it! I didn't even know I had rights with that until now. Thanks again to all of you, and I'll keep you posted.
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Old 03-07-2007, 07:16 PM
 
Location: The Big D
14,874 posts, read 37,172,881 times
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Macro6 is right on the money. As the mother of two girls that are as different as night and day when it comes to reading, not every child can be on the same page all year long in each grade. My oldest.... she taught herself to read. By age 3 she was reading and I was not pushing her. We would read some of her little books together but she was ALWAYS wanting to know what something said everywhere we went. By first grade she was reading entire books on her own. She has been at a magnet school for the gifted & talented since kindergarten and has blossomed. It has kept her attention and I don' believe that she would have been as successful in a mainstream school as she considers some things "boring". Oh, and someone said something about working in groups, her school does and I LOVE IT!!! They do group projects and each person has a certain position in the group (ie: project manager, etc). She is in middle school now and in enriched honors classes for all of her core subjects and doing very well w/out much effort.

Then we have my second child. The one that would rather play than read. I have to tell the oldest to put the book down and eat/walk. The youngest I have to REALLY work w/ her. I have had a private tutor for her since kindergarten as the schools did not think she was as bad as some others, she is the "bubble" student. First grade was a struggle too w/ reading and she had TWO tutors (her teacher and the private tutor). Second grade........ HELLO!!! They finally woke up but it is only because in 3rd grade they have the TAKS tests (part of NCLB ) and she is receiving more tutoring at school but still is not eligible for the reading recovery program. Her school actually does the opposite of what your sons does. They take the bottom two kids out of each class to get reading recovery and the bubble kids are left to flounder. So here we are now closer to the end of school and she is coming along pretty good. Her kindergarten teacher told me that she is the type that "gets it" towards the end of the school year just like how you have described your son. But then the next year starts up and she is behind again no matter what we do over the summer. It is frustrating and I totally feel what you are going thru. But it gets tiresome for us as parents. My daughter tells me she is good in math and that is great and I let her know how proud I am on her math grades. Then I have to explain to her that next year the math problems are going to be word problems and she will need to know how to read.

I am so sick of TAKS and NCLB that it is pitiful. Right now some in our state legislator are talking about getting rid of TAKS in high school and having instead end of the year kind of "benchmark" tests. Well duh........ isn't that what we use to call a FINAL!!! LOL!!!
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Old 03-07-2007, 08:37 PM
 
76 posts, read 255,248 times
Reputation: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by bkeast View Post
Gosh, all of you are nice and helpful; I appreciate it so much! I'm going to just keep plugging away with him and try to get him as caught up as possible, continuing with it over the summer. Hopefully he'll be doing better by year's end and won't need to be held back. If he does need that, I'll fight for it, you'd better believe it! I didn't even know I had rights with that until now. Thanks again to all of you, and I'll keep you posted.


yeah i didnt know i had the rights either til believe it or not the school told me. i always thought it was the school that determines that and in the older grades perhaps thats true but in the lower grades.. i was told that the parent is the final decision on that. i was happy to know i had control on things that pertain to my son.
good luck and yes please keep us posted
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Old 03-09-2007, 05:48 AM
 
53 posts, read 284,817 times
Reputation: 24
18 sounds about right; they're probably using the REading Recovery leveled book scale. That means 18 by the end of the year. Still, many kids in my school will not be at that level. Unless your child is in the single digits don't worry too much. At this age kids can make big gains in a short time. End of second grade reading level is key. An abundance of research shows that kids struggling with reading at the end of 2nd grade will be struggling in 4th grade, 8th grade, etc. As a teacher I wouldn't even consider retention.
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Old 03-09-2007, 08:36 PM
 
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
96 posts, read 701,761 times
Reputation: 58
Well, after reading all of your posts, I do think it would be best not to hold him back, but try to just ride it out and get him as far as I can by year's end. I agree quite a bit that once he gets a little older, the age gap won't even be an issue. Also, he does show slow but steady progress in reaching higher reading levels, so I'm just going to keep plugging away with him and try to get him as "up there" as possible. Okay, thanks for the thread about 2nd grade being of most importance in reading level skill; I'll try not to stress too much at this time as long as I can have him at least in the double digits by the end of the year. Thanks again everyone.
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Old 03-10-2007, 01:46 AM
 
2 posts, read 9,960 times
Reputation: 10
Default CA standards set the bar high

[quote=bkeast;427296]I'm curious how fast-paced the curriculum is in California grade schools compared with other states. My son is in first grade and is expected to read a paragraph story book front to back without missing more than 5% of the words by the end of the year. I was suprised by this, and am wondering if it's just California or if it's this way everywhere?

QUOTE]

When my daughter was in kindergarten in CA last year, I was amazed at the expectations. They were journaling by the end of September and bringing home books to read every night! She was expected to read at level 4 by the end of kindergarten and I think it was level 16 by the end of first grade.

She is in first grade in Seattle this year and has a fabulous teacher, but has not had a single spelling test, learns writing by copying what the teacher writes on the board, and only started bringing reading books home in February (and they were about the same level she was bringing home in kindergarten).

I was a little worried last year that they might be pushing too hard, but believe me, it is way better to set the bar high. Do what you can at home to build skills (and confidence especially) and fight for that tutor...I think you got a really lame excuse...don't accept it!
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Old 03-10-2007, 07:49 AM
 
1,868 posts, read 5,222,162 times
Reputation: 525
Where in California PSUMom?? It sure isn't like that in San Diego.
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