Friday, October 15, 2010

The Bane of Parents. . . Conferences

On Tuesday we had parent/teacher conferences. This isn't our first conference but it was the first one for Monkey. We came out with mixed thoughts. And well some of mine not so positive.

You see Monkey just turned 5 in July. And has been in school now for six weeks or 12 days at the time of the conference. She never went to preschool. Not because we didn't want her to go, but cost and scheduling pick up and drop off from and to daycare. Made it near impossible. I know we could have figured out a way but I just feel preschool shouldn't have to be necessary. So we worked with her at home on some stuff and they worked on some stuff at daycare.

When we got to conferences we found out she was a chatter. NO surprise there. Not a big deal. But one of the things that did get me was that the teacher felt she needed more help. Gave us a sheet to fill out to sign her up for KIP (Kindergarten Intervention Program). What????? Intervention after less 12 days of school? You got to be kidding me. And Oh by the way it's due back on Thursday, two days to decide if we want her to be in this program. (Later when I was talking to my daycare lady, it seemed to us this was the program to push this year, Monkey being the 4th person she knew that was offered this and it's just the beginning of conferences)

What is this program you ask? Well she would go to school on two of the days she doesn't go to school. And the follow the curriculum that they are working on in normal class. And well right there is my first problem. I work, my hubby works, we have no family in the area that would be able to help. So there would be no way to get her to or from school. We have daycare at school on normal school days and she rides the bus home. All this had to be set up back in April for this school year.

Second of all why is this needed? Well she doesn't know everything she needs to know by the end of the school year. Key work END. We have 8 more months of school left.

I know some of you out there are going to dislike this comment of mine, but I wanted to tell her teacher 'You are her teacher, so teach her.'

Now don't get me wrong, I know teachers work hard, I have great respect for teachers. And parents should take an active role in helping their kids learn. But I send them to, so you can teach them, because I can't do it. But sometime I think the school districts get in the way too much, by providing this type of help. I feel too often that a child gets put into such programs just because it's offered. And most of the time with a little bit of help from the teacher and some effort by the parents, would help the child get to where they need.

For example with The Boy, who is now in 8th grade, was put into Title 1. Part of Title 1 is extra funding from the government to help kids who need extra help in Math and/or Reading. Now back when he was starting to learn to read he needed the extra help in reading and so his mom signed the form to allow this. But since he was in it for reading they then also placed him in it for math. Which he might have needed to work a little harder at but did not really need the extra help. Most of his time in the Math group was spent on helping other kids in his group. This group worked at a slower pace the normal class did. So he did not keep up with his class and when he did have math homework from his regular class, he didn't know how to do the problems, because they went over it while he was out for Title 1 math. Please tell me how much this actually helped him?

So to wrap up this part of conferences. We did not sign the form for Monkey to go the KIP. Will she struggle this year? A little. Will we work hard to get her to where she needs to be by the end of the year? You bet we will. Will her teacher have to work a little more with her? I hope she will.

Where does she stand on what she needs to know?
  • letters? 31/52
  • write letters? some
  • letter sounds? some
  • count to 32? no problems 1-8 but does get 10-12 right too
  • count backwards from 20? we've got from 5 down pat
  • Read a small book (they said level 4)? no

I would love to hear from anyone out there on how they feel their school? Am I wrong to feel that this way about my child's schooling?

Well I'll get off this soap box for now. You'll see another one here soon about the writing style that they are teaching her.

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