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Old 09-25-2011, 11:14 AM
 
4,044 posts, read 5,943,114 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TabulaRasa View Post
Not necessarily. There is plenty of enrichment to be had that doesn't come with the cost of buying a cello and paying for costly lessons or paying dues to be a member in an elite sports club. I grew up lower income, in a poorer, blue collar and agricultural/industrial rural area. My parents ran a small business that struggled for 40 years, and between four children, didn't have extra money for so-called frills.

I still played in band from grades 5-12 (free flute procured from a second cousin who had played it 20 years earlier), sang in choir (free), availed myself of public library programs (free), played piano (free piano from a church that got new ones and gave old one away...my mom cleaned the church, and when she would work, she'd take me with her, and I'd sit and play, and they remembered that and offered it to me), did Girl Scouts (free, except for camp, which was paid for by working fundraisers), performed in school plays (free), sang in church choir (free), and participated in a nationwide gifted/talented program (free). Just to name a few enrichment activities that really benefited me, continue to have impact on my life as an adult, and came at no extra cost to my already cash-strapped family.
What you are talking about has academic implications. My beef is with the sports. Most families equate extra-curriculars with sports and allow the kids to spend A LOT of time on it.
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Old 09-25-2011, 11:17 AM
 
Location: Middle America
35,817 posts, read 39,346,783 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syracusa View Post
I expect my child to LISTEN TO, MIND and RESPECT the teacher.
You do.

Obviously, many parents don't. And, even worse, in some demographics (particularly those where a chip on one's shoulder regarding higher education and those who have had it is a common accessory), many parents actively go the opposite direction, and instill in their kids that they don't HAVE to listen to somebody "telling them what to do."

I can tell you within one week of working with a kid which category the parenting falls under. Unfortunately, the cases where the influence of teachers trumps the influence of home life are few and far between.
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Old 09-25-2011, 11:26 AM
 
Location: Middle America
35,817 posts, read 39,346,783 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syracusa View Post
What you are talking about has academic implications. My beef is with the sports. Most families equate extra-curriculars with sports and allow the kids to spend A LOT of time on it.
I wouldn't say that athletic activities have no redeeming value, or that they don't play a role in development important for succeeding in a classroom either, though, although I did not choose to participate in them. Activities that don't have a straight-up academic focus still do allow for the development of skills that can be critical in succeeding in school.

Both my younger brothers participated primarily in athletics, in terms of extracurriculars, in addition to the same gifted/talented program I had done - they didn't do any of the arts involvement, though, although they are both musicians independently of school. Both of them excelled in college (where they were both scholarship athletes, one of them going on to coach at the collegiate level himself in addition to being an honors graduate), and the dedication, leadership skills, time management skills, propensity for teamwork ability to focus on the task at hand and see it through to fruition, and to accept and learn from coaching all contributed to scholastic success.

My sister, the youngest, did it all...the academic extracurriculars, the fine arts, athletics, danceline. She's got a pretty clear picture of how each sort of activity acted to prepare her for success in college and beyond.
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Old 09-25-2011, 11:33 AM
 
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That is for sure. I once had a meeting with a child's parents, to discuss hygiene, attitude, grades, and other issues. After I met the parents, I adjusted my entire attitude about the child, and thought, "Gee, he is actually doing pretty good, considering where he is coming from". I spent more time with this particular child, outside of normal teaching duties, to help him get his life together, as it was obviously not going to happen at home.

The parents were divorced, one unemployed, on welfare, the other was barely making it as a truck driver. Sometimes I wonder how much our current economy has to do with kids problems. These folks were depressed, barely able to hold their lives together, their focus was not on discipline or school for their kid. Their focus was food on the table and a place to live.
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Old 09-25-2011, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Middle America
35,817 posts, read 39,346,783 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasper12 View Post
That is for sure. I once had a meeting with a child's parents, to discuss hygiene, attitude, grades, and other issues. After I met the parents, I adjusted my entire attitude about the child, and thought, "Gee, he is actually doing pretty good, considering where he is coming from". I spent more time with this particular child, outside of normal teaching duties, to help him get his life together, as it was obviously not going to happen at home.

The parents were divorced, one unemployed, on welfare, the other was barely making it as a truck driver. Sometimes I wonder how much our current economy has to do with kids problems. These folks were depressed, barely able to hold their lives together, their focus was not on discipline or school for their kid. Their focus was food on the table and a place to live.

I have for sure had this happen. I'll meet families at IEP meetings, and there have definitely been times where it becomes abundantly clear how well the child is doing DESPITE the parents. When you know, you can provide extra support as a teacher, but even then, you can only do so much, and a lot of what you can do is just as likely to get undone by the primary environment the kid spends his or her time in.

In regard to the economy, it absolutely plays a role...which is why we're now seeing many of the same issues in kids in former supposed middle class backgrounds that used to be seen more exclusively in poverty areas such as inner cities and very rural, economically depressed areas. People who are mired in economic disaster aren't necessarily going to be prioritizing active parenting strategies...they're focusing on the basics of survival, at best.
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Old 09-25-2011, 02:06 PM
 
Location: So Ca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syracusa View Post
First, young people working at the grocery store SHOULD know their math...
...not if they don't need to, and they don't. The computerized register makes it unnecessary. They just look at the screen to find out how much change to return to the customer. This includes every fast food restaurant I've ever seen.

Quote:
I do volunteer to make it "better". Breaking news: my volunteering is not the answer. You continue to refuse to look at the original argument...and parents volunteering within the given cultural framework is not going to make one BIT of a difference.
I disagree. There are plenty of parent volunteer programs such as reading assistance, math tutoring and art docent demonstrations that have an enormous imact on students' learning. Another benefit of volunteering is that the parent can find out exactly what goes on in that particular classroom.
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Old 09-25-2011, 02:23 PM
 
14,253 posts, read 14,738,973 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TabulaRasa View Post
I have for sure had this happen. I'll meet families at IEP meetings, and there have definitely been times where it becomes abundantly clear how well the child is doing DESPITE the parents. When you know, you can provide extra support as a teacher, but even then, you can only do so much, and a lot of what you can do is just as likely to get undone by the primary environment the kid spends his or her time in.

In regard to the economy, it absolutely plays a role...which is why we're now seeing many of the same issues in kids in former supposed middle class backgrounds that used to be seen more exclusively in poverty areas such as inner cities and very rural, economically depressed areas. People who are mired in economic disaster aren't necessarily going to be prioritizing active parenting strategies...they're focusing on the basics of survival, at best.
The problem is not the economy. The problem is a culture amongst too many parents - and it is reflected in attitudes to teachers and schooling that you often read on C-D - that does not value education. There are cultures that put enormous value on education and that is reflected in the extent to which their kids achieve academic success compared to others. Parents set expectations and they can still do this even if they are focusing on survival.
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Old 09-25-2011, 02:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
Yes, BUT, being involved in sports and band is far better for kids than our national passtime of playing video games. The truth is, our kids wouldn't read if they had that extra time. Group activities keep kids busy and keep them from doing other things that might not be good for them because they just don't have the time. They also teach kids not to procrastinate. I could never get dd to do her homework on time until she joined sports and marching band. Now she does her homework as soon as school is over because she knows it's the only time she has.

While I agree in theory, I do think group acivities that keep our kids too busy to find trouble are good.
I understand your point of view - but I still think it is scary and sad that we have to raise our children in this bee-hive, regimented manner or else. We have become a Spartan and vacuous society at the same time.

To give you an example, the first thing I expect my son to do do when he comes back from school is rest in his room. Not homework, not extra-curriculum, nothing. He has an hour or so of down time in which he can choose to read and sleep, or both and that's about that. If you count reading for pleasure as extra-curriculum, then OK.

Otherwise, he has no access to anything else during that time. His room has a bed, a desk and book-shelves, no toys. The fact that kids no longer have some unstructured time in their hands during which they can be guided to do something relaxing and truly enriching for the mind like reading for pleasure is...that is very, very sad.

Not everyone is a "group activity" kind of individual but virtually all children should be expected to get to a point where they read for pleasure.
Group activities can be extremely tiresome for many children and they leave no room for self-reflection or any other TRULY enriching and personal moments.

Besides they do little in the way of advancing high academic performance or quality relationships. The vast majority of children can derive lots of pleasure out of relaxing with a book in their hands.
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Old 09-25-2011, 03:03 PM
 
4,044 posts, read 5,943,114 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TabulaRasa View Post
You do.

Obviously, many parents don't. And, even worse, in some demographics (particularly those where a chip on one's shoulder regarding higher education and those who have had it is a common accessory), many parents actively go the opposite direction, and instill in their kids that they don't HAVE to listen to somebody "telling them what to do."
Yes, I have seen this trend out there myself. It is very unfortunate as far as I am concerned. There is a difference between "don't let scary stranger out of the bush tell you what to do" and "don't let the teacher tell you what to do".
The teacher ALWAYS tells you what to do you and should ALWAYS listen what the teacher has to say.

But what you wrote here reflects exactly what I wrote in my original post.
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Old 09-25-2011, 03:07 PM
 
Location: Middle America
35,817 posts, read 39,346,783 times
Reputation: 48613
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggy001 View Post
The problem is not the economy. The problem is a culture amongst too many parents - and it is reflected in attitudes to teachers and schooling that you often read on C-D - that does not value education. There are cultures that put enormous value on education and that is reflected in the extent to which their kids achieve academic success compared to others. Parents set expectations and they can still do this even if they are focusing on survival.
It seems pretty clear that poverty affects home environment, and that home environment is a major factor in academic success. When people are broke, they don't always have the resources (time-wise, money-wise, energy-wise, whatever) to do the most effective parenting, and it's highly likely that academic achievement suffers in many cases where this is occurring.

You will get your success stories of kids in abject poverty who beat the odds...and there's a reason that these stories get press...because they're vastly the exception, rather than the rule. Economics are ABSOLUTELY a significant predictor of academic success. Less money equals diminished opportunity, all around.
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