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Old 06-03-2011, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
680 posts, read 1,617,292 times
Reputation: 510

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I just got Iowa test results back for my first grade son. He scored in the 96th-99th percentile for everything he was tested on. He is in public school in a decent, although not outstanding, school district. I am not very concerned about his reading, the school has a very independent, student-directed program that allows him to read at his level. But what about math? Science? I requested enrichment materials (particularly for math) for him this year and the teacher put in a pathetic effort in meeting this request. I have already told the principal I expect better next year. Even with enrichment activities, I worry that he is bored with grade-level instruction (the classrooms are traditional and not leveled until 6th grade). I would be willing to have him tutored or provide home school opportunities, but I am concerned about this producing MORE boredom if he gets further ahead. Maybe I just need to be happy that I have a smart kid and let him coast through his elementary years and focus more on extracurriculars. Any thoughts? Advice?
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Old 06-03-2011, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Over There
402 posts, read 1,303,635 times
Reputation: 770
Cool Two Suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by cinnamon_toast View Post
I just got Iowa test results back for my first grade son. He scored in the 96th-99th percentile for everything he was tested on. He is in public school in a decent, although not outstanding, school district. I am not very concerned about his reading, the school has a very independent, student-directed program that allows him to read at his level. But what about math? Science? I requested enrichment materials (particularly for math) for him this year and the teacher put in a pathetic effort in meeting this request. I have already told the principal I expect better next year. Even with enrichment activities, I worry that he is bored with grade-level instruction (the classrooms are traditional and not leveled until 6th grade). I would be willing to have him tutored or provide home school opportunities, but I am concerned about this producing MORE boredom if he gets further ahead. Maybe I just need to be happy that I have a smart kid and let him coast through his elementary years and focus more on extracurriculars. Any thoughts? Advice?
Two suggestions:

1) Have him taken out of his regular math class and sent to another class (2nd grade) or special math enrichment class. Many schools do this. It is easily accommodated. Just don't make a big deal out of it in front of your son. Say, "We are going to see if they can teach you something new since you already know . . . Coasting teaches laziness.

2) Put him in a sport. That will give him another outlet and help him to socialize. Often kids that are in the top 5 percentile lack social skills and friends.
I'm not saying that this is true of your son, but more socialization and the benefits of athletics are great.
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
680 posts, read 1,617,292 times
Reputation: 510
THanks, I will ask the principal about moving him up for math. I didn't know how big of a deal that would be. Sure seems like it wouldn't be, but they pick the strangest things to push back about.

Fortunately he is in all kinds of sports, and is absolutely crazy about them!! It is the only way I can get him to burn off some of that bountiful energy.
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:59 AM
 
Location: On the brink of WWIII
21,093 posts, read 25,302,979 times
Reputation: 7812
Go to Wally World and buy some second and third grade workbooks..
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Old 06-03-2011, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
89,920 posts, read 107,953,864 times
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Relax a bit, as well. First grade is a little early for worrying about getting into Harvard. (J/K) In a few more years, his math skills will become apparent. I wouldn't worry about science, either in these early elementary years.
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Old 06-03-2011, 11:27 AM
 
Location: Massachusetts
4,033 posts, read 9,089,742 times
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I agree, relax.

Also, remember that he is in public school, not private school: the teacher is only responsible for providing what is required by state law. Public schools are not like private schools, which specifically cater to students on a more individual level (hence, the higher tuition; you get what you pay for). It is pretty much a rule that parents of talented public school students need to proactively supplement their childrens' educations rather than expect the teacher to do so.

Moreover, standardized testing does not mean that your child is "smart" or is not already being challenged in the classroom. It simply means that, on a standardized test, he scored higher in relation to other kids at his school.

What other indications do you have that he is not being challenged in Math and Science at his current school? Does he complain that the work is boring or that it's too easy? Does he always finish his work before other students? If the teacher is only half-heartedly increasing his workload, it may be b/c he/she does not believe that it should be increased based on what he/she has seen in class, regardless of the wishes of an ambitious parent.
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Old 06-03-2011, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Burbs near Philly
191 posts, read 869,061 times
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Hey there cinnamon toast!

I was the same as your son in early grades. I was frequently bored because I finished most of my work way ahead of my peers, but had to sit and wait for everyone else to be finished while I twiddled my thumbs. I also scored in 95-99% percentiles for standardized tests, so I know how he feels.

Does your elementary school offer any talented and gifted programs? I remember being in those classes when I was younger which was great because they pulled you out of class a few times a week to have enrichment sessions. They also allowed me to read more advanced books during reading time and to work on advanced work books for math/science during other classes.

If your school doesn't offer this I'd think tutoring at home would be a good option. He'll probably remain bored in school (I always was) until high school when he can take advanced placement courses and finally college where he can be challenged more with others who are like him. I think I would have really loved it if my parents set up time for me to have a tutor at home to learn more advanced things a few times a week.

I think you can challenge him at home too just by giving him more advanced textbooks, maybe set him up to learn another language?
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Old 06-03-2011, 01:00 PM
 
16,682 posts, read 19,258,615 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cinnamon_toast View Post
THanks, I will ask the principal about moving him up for math. I didn't know how big of a deal that would be. Sure seems like it wouldn't be, but they pick the strangest things to push back about.

Fortunately he is in all kinds of sports, and is absolutely crazy about them!! It is the only way I can get him to burn off some of that bountiful energy.
He sounds like my son at this age.

Our school automatically teamed kids who were ahead with the next grade for math (and science too if that worked for them). They did the same thing for reading for kids who were ahead. In general, it's not a big deal as long as your son doesn't have social issues with the older kids which he probably wouldn't for just a single class.
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Old 06-03-2011, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
680 posts, read 1,617,292 times
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No, I am not really worried about science. I think they do a nice job teaching science and making it engaging. He has not complained about being bored in math but he does finish very quickly. It is just disappointing to me to watch him working so far below his potential. I know he is not a genius but he is very smart. He is able to do his 3rd grade sister's homework easily. The principal promised me that they would challenge him this past year and it was just one excuse after another from his teacher... the computers were down, my daughter had cheer leading all weekend, my dog had to go to the vet, it was ridiculous! I do not expect a personalized curriculum but (starlajane) I do think a public school should be able to take reasonable steps to ensure that kids are getting what they need. Especially if it's as simple as sending them to another room for math or having them do more challenging work in place of or in addition to the regular school work.

There is a GT program at the school and he made the cut in terms of intelligence but narrowly missed on the creativity measures. The program director told me that the creativity tests are biased toward visual arts and creative writing and they recognize that they need to fix that because it does exclude some otherwise qualified kids (particularly boys). She said to try again next year. My 3rd grade girl is in the program and it isn't anything earth-shattering, but it does provide something a bit out of the ordinary from regular schoolwork.

Soraji -- I just bought him a homeschool Spanish program (Rosetta Stone) last week to work on this summer. My son has a lot of Hispanic friends so he is very excited to try and speak to them in Spanish. I do think learning a language is a great idea since it isn't offered until much later.
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Old 06-03-2011, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
680 posts, read 1,617,292 times
Reputation: 510
Quote:
Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
He sounds like my son at this age.

Our school automatically teamed kids who were ahead with the next grade for math (and science too if that worked for them). They did the same thing for reading for kids who were ahead. In general, it's not a big deal as long as your son doesn't have social issues with the older kids which he probably wouldn't for just a single class.
Flexibility in a school is great!! I wish more schools were like this.
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