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Old 08-26-2011, 11:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
Ours seem to have workbooks, not textbooks. They use them at school and these are often sent home at the end of the year.
I find this quite odd too. Why not bring them at home every day so parents can see the progress, what was done in school for the day? Why not do homework in the workbook too?...

Bringing them at home the end of the year sounds like an afterthought to me.
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Old 08-27-2011, 09:21 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syracusa View Post
I find this quite odd too. Why not bring them at home every day so parents can see the progress, what was done in school for the day? Why not do homework in the workbook too?...

Bringing them at home the end of the year sounds like an afterthought to me.
Many schools have kids bring papers home on a weekly basis so that the parents can see what is going on in school. When my kids were in elementary some of the teachers sent home a packet of completed, graded work. We were supposed to look at it and sign that we had seen it. It worked better than sending random papers home every night and was current enough for parents to see what was going on in school.

Our teachers also sent home a newsletter on Fridays that outlined (at a high level) what would be going on for the upcoming week. So every Friday we got a newsletter saying what they would be doing next week and a packet of papers showing what they had done the previous week.

Schools are pretty variable in what they send home to parents.
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Old 08-27-2011, 11:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syracusa View Post
I find this quite odd too. Why not bring them at home every day so parents can see the progress, what was done in school for the day? Why not do homework in the workbook too?...

Bringing them at home the end of the year sounds like an afterthought to me.
They did bring home completed work each week and they had homework packets that were given to them on Mondays to be completed by Friday.

I just realized that the math workbook was sent home in their Mack Binder (trapper keeper) each day - and homework was assigned out of that and she had to tear out the pages and turn them in. However, we made copies in case those pages were lost.

The spelling homework was not from the workbook they had, but they had activities they could choose using the spelling words from writing each one 5 times to writing each one and writing the definition, etc. Some of the activities were more creative. My dd always chose to do one where she wrote the word with the vowels in one color and the consonants in another or where she wrote the word with its configuration (hard to explain, but interesting to her).

The other homework was a reading log for the week with the books she read listed and how much time she spent reading.

She didn't have a lot of homework though. The other major thing was projects like doing an all about me poster (for which one thing she had to do was choose her favorite song, tell why she liked it and put it on a thumb drive to bring in so other kids could hear it). She also had other projects involving a longer time frame. This was 3rd grade.

The other workbooks were for classwork rather than homework, but completed work came home graded.
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Old 08-27-2011, 12:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syracusa View Post
I find this quite odd too. Why not bring them at home every day so parents can see the progress, what was done in school for the day? Why not do homework in the workbook too?...

Bringing them at home the end of the year sounds like an afterthought to me.
That one is easy....a large amount of parents do not bother to look at the work brought home much less do anything to support their child with it, therefore workbooks that go home are often never returned because the parents never even see it. The teachers cannot afford to send home things that they need in class when so many never come back.or if they have to fight to get them back. It's better to keep them under their control.....
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Old 08-27-2011, 01:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by hypocore View Post
That one is easy....a large amount of parents do not bother to look at the work brought home much less do anything to support their child with it, therefore workbooks that go home are often never returned because the parents never even see it. The teachers cannot afford to send home things that they need in class when so many never come back.or if they have to fight to get them back. It's better to keep them under their control.....
That's a really interesting point.

When I was growing up, that was never an issue. You were expected to look at the daily schedule a night before, see what subjects you had the next day, and pack your back with all the appropriate materials, textbooks and note/workbooks for the next day.
If you didn't - you were in major trouble. I never heard any teacher or student thinking of "forgotten books/notebooks" as an issue. They started us like this in first grade and by the end of the year the act of carefully packing your backpack a night before, according to tomorrow's schedule, was already in your bloodstream. It also forced you to become responsible, organized and to take care of your schoolwork - as opposed to just leaving some random pages at school somewhere - which you can't review at home if you wish to do so.
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Old 08-27-2011, 02:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syracusa View Post
That's a really interesting point.

When I was growing up, that was never an issue. You were expected to look at the daily schedule a night before, see what subjects you had the next day, and pack your back with all the appropriate materials, textbooks and note/workbooks for the next day.
If you didn't - you were in major trouble. I never heard any teacher or student thinking of "forgotten books/notebooks" as an issue. They started us like this in first grade and by the end of the year the act of carefully packing your backpack a night before, according to tomorrow's schedule, was already in your bloodstream. It also forced you to become responsible, organized and to take care of your schoolwork - as opposed to just leaving some random pages at school somewhere - which you can't review at home if you wish to do so.
Same for me growing up. Not today.

With so many single parent households and a prevailing attitude of 'it's not my responsibility' there are plenty of parents who are not involved at all and many just barely involved. Many kids are home alone until the evening, parents are busy trying to feed everyone and bringing home work with them that it is mostly left up to the kids to get done what needs to be done. If you have a kid who doesn't remember to get mom to sign something or ask for help or even show mom, then it won't get done. Add in all the extra activities - sports, dance, music - and the time at night is whittled down to perhaps an hour to get everything done.

Teachers are often faced with children arriving at school with nothing. No backpack, no supplies, no money for lunch. Anything they send home they are running the risk of it not coming back. Textbooks, reading books, notes needing signatures and report cards don't get returned either at all or on time.

It starts young too. When I was still in the child care center we'd keep an extra stash of clothing for when kids had a potty accident and didn't have extra clothes. Not only did we rarely get the extra clothes returned....there were some who ended up wearing them as if they were their own. We even had a child wear shorts that had our center name emblazoned on the bottom in black permanent marker! Mom had no clue it was there nor that it was ours and not hers......don't ask how she didn't know, it just boggles the mind.
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Old 08-28-2011, 02:09 PM
 
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Just wondering, did the teacher act as though you were "rocking the boat" when you asked about the standards?
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Old 08-28-2011, 08:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Slinkygirl View Post
Just wondering, did the teacher act as though you were "rocking the boat" when you asked about the standards?
Well... no. She didn't act bothered or anything like that - or if she was in the slightest, she managed to hide it quite well; but it was clear that this particular topic was not going to be discussed that evening, had I not brought it up.
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Old 08-28-2011, 08:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syracusa View Post
Well... no. She didn't act bothered or anything like that - or if she was in the slightest, she managed to hide it quite well; but it was clear that this particular topic was not going to be discussed that evening, had I not brought it up.

So...you asked a question and the teacher answered. Then what's wrong? The teacher probably has reasons for covering things in a particular way....just ask lots of questions.
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Old 08-28-2011, 09:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Slinkygirl View Post
So...you asked a question and the teacher answered. Then what's wrong? The teacher probably has reasons for covering things in a particular way....just ask lots of questions.
If this is not too much to ask, take my word for it: the academic meat is simply NOT played up. All the frills in the world are - but to be well informed about the true substance of the schooling process, you need to push, dig, shove and elbow your way.

For example, they have this practice of having the children write in their journals every day. We were told that they will send these journals at home sometimes at the end of the year.

This is absolutely crazy to me. The parents should have been able to see what the child wrote in that journal EVERY SINGLE DAY...not at the end of the year! The kids should have simply dragged the journals to and fro school every day. I don't care how hard it is and what the likelihood of children forgetting them at home is. The expectation that they will step up should have been there.

But if I were to request that my child bring the journal at home every day, I would be considered a heretic. I was told that we will see it sometimes later in the year maybe, and that they will bring it home at the end of the year.

Really? When it might be too late to fix any problems?

For example, my child's school practices phonetic writing.
"We write how we hear, we don't worry if the child writes apl instead of apple. If you ask them to write correctly they will get annoyed and will not want to write anymore".

Well, this type of "new age" educational philosophy kills me, to be honest with you. I completely disagree with it but I am aware that I cannot force the public school to change it. I have to adapt to it or else home school my child or find a private that still uses old-fashioned pedagogy.

What I DO try to do though is to correct my son when he writes at home with me. This is where being able to see the journal every day would have helped. I expect him to remember the correct spelling. If he doesn't, it's OK - but I DO take the liberty to correct him. I explained to him that I will use red, the old-fashioned way, when I correct spelling mistakes so that he will remember the correct spelling in the future. Miraculously (sarcasm here), the red hasn't killed his self-esteem and he is still doing his very best to write, often asking me to correct his mistakes.

By the time you correct apl 5 times and turn it into apple, you'd better believe the child's brain will absorb the correct spelling and "apple" will become second nature and that will be the end of it - with or without spell checker handy.

I don't agree with expecting academically virgin children to "write" phonetically in journals. How can a student write in a journal if you're yet to teach him HOW to write? How can any new K student write anything period?

Why let them write some crazy random sounds (btrfl as butterfly) accompanied by some drawings and call that "creating writing"?
That is not writing. Period. That is drawing coupled with desperately groping in the dark about letter-sound correspondence which nobody has bothered to teach you before having you "create" something in writing.

I am pretty sure such methods sound quite cutting-edge, sophisticated, progressive, enlightened and oh-so-NOT-restrictive to most parents. In reality they are just a way to fail to teach children the BASICS - in a rigorous manner.

At the elementary school level, I don't expect my child to create ANYTHING (unless he wants to do that in his spare time, voluntarily, driven from within). Otherwise he's got some BASICS to learn from those who were here before him and know a thing or two about how to write "butterfly" correctly. The only method that will set a strong foundation for the future (when he REALLY will be able to create if he naturally has that creative fire in him) is the REPETITION method. Yes, the rote.

The child should be shown X (whatever the topic of the day is) and then expected to repeat, practice, exercise, and copy after the model one million times or however long it takes - until he masters the darn thing and he knows it even 3 seconds after being woken up in the middle of the night.

I remember my teacher in elementary school repeating to us in latin over and over again: reptitio matter studiorum est.

The moment students stopped repeating in elementary school was the moment when learning outcomes became a mess.

This is why I feel largely left in the dark by the system. The message is "we'll do the academic meat here at school, don't need to tire your pretty little head with it, don't need to know everything that's going on here - but please DO stay involved at your child's school by volunteering for fund raisers, crocheting bows, gluing cut-outs on walls and any other frill of your choosing.

They don't understand that I have no interest in being involved "at school". I want to be involved with my child's DAILY academics (and behavior/character shaping, of course).
NOTHING else.
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