My Life

So I didn’t go off…..

I've got my boy!!!
( taken with Iphone 5, edited with VSCO)

 

So if you don’t know what I’m talking about, go check out this post first, and then come back.

We’re all on the same page now?

Ok.

 

So, All day I stewed about what I was going to say ALL day.

I practiced what I was going to say all day.

I was nervous. Somehow, this one talk with Pookah’s first real teacher seemed like the most important one in his life up to this time.

I walked in the classroom, and Pookah ( and three other boys) were all doing work. That is, they were all attempting to write.

It seemed that this was the slacker table.  The ones left behind.

I wasn’t too happy with how this looked.

I went and sat near Pookah and observed.

The lesson of the day seemed to be to write the letter N.

Pookah was having trouble( of course) but he wasn’t the only one.

I found it interesting that the other three were boys also.

Little black boys.

They were all struggling to write/concentrate/focus( according to his teacher). And also according to his teacher, she “know that you can do it. Do that again. Focus”

So I observed. Pookah wrote his name ( backward e and all) completed his N’s after much much practice, and then showed it to the teacher. She corrected his e. She said good job. and I told him to go get his book bag while I talked to his teacher.

I laid out what I had heard and asked her what she was trying to accomplish.

In her words, the Kindergarten that they are all going to next year will be expecting these 4/5 year old to do  CURSIVE writing and to be able to do work on their own without the hand holding and the attention that she is giving them.

That comment right there by the way, made me reevaluate sending him there.  I mean damn, it’s Kindergarten, isn’t there supposed to be individual attention and a little bit of hand holding at a PRIVATE Kindergarten? Won’t I be paying all of that money for the SMALLER class size and INDIVIDUAL attention????? Sorry, I digress……

She stated she knows that Pookah can do the work, she doesn’t like “can’t” (I don’t either) and sees potential in him. She said that she knows that most preschools have Pre-K doing circle time, more play time and more coloring and JUST writing letters. But our pre-k is doing the A BEKA curriculum. And I got a updated copy of it.

And at this stage: the kids are supposed to be writing letters, learning a bit of math and learning site words/sounds.

Ok.

So I explained that I understood what she was saying, but I had a few concerns.

Number 1 being my son’s confidence.

I told her what Pookah told me and she seemed shocked. At first, she said she didn’t even know Pookah was still 3( he’s a big three).

But how you don’t know the ages of all of your students????

When she heard the comment about being different/only 3, she said that the kids say things like that to each other all of the time and that maybe that’s where he heard it from.  But I suspect that she suspects her teaching assistant like I do.

Next I addressed his confidence. I let her know we’ve got 13 more years of school left. And this is NOT the time to start him with confidence issues.  I told her that I understand what she is trying to do with the curriculum, but that my priority is his mental well being as well as his educational well being.  And that I understand that handwriting is a priority for them, but that it’s not for me. I reiterated that I felt that he would improve in time. As he is supposed to. And she said she understood.

Basically, my message was, build him up, don’t break him down. Encourage him. Or I will be back.

Basically, I let her know that Pookah had two parents who are watching, concerned, and involved.

I left the meeting feeling….OK about it.

Not perfect, but OK.

I think time will tell how well I got my point across.  But she KNOWS that we will be watching.

And I think that is the most important thing.

So we will see.

We will see.

 

 

 

  • Reply
    Reginia {PoisedinPrint.com}
    October 23, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Sounds like she was a bit caught up and needed to back track. Cursive isn’t taught anymore in many public schools but if it is it’s introduced around 3rd grade. Secondly, preK -3 grade children do not have the fine motor skills to properly scribe cursive and 2nd it’s a pointless skill in regards to core learning, problem solving, and critical thinking. I would question any curriculum that has such emphasis. Oh and the last gripe, hand-holding goes on during the primary years, it’s supposed to regardless of public or private.

    Here’s the thing about some private schools. Unless it’s accredited by the regional accreditation system, then they do not have to hire certified or experienced teachers. With that, these people may not have any clue about early learning, appropriate development, and pedagogy.

    I need these people to do right by my little Pookah.

  • Reply
    Kita
    October 23, 2013 at 8:55 am

    I grew up with the A Beka curriculum so I know it first hand and I don’t know if it has gotten any worse but back when I was in school I was up sometimes til 10 doing homework at 5 yrs old I remember it like it was yesterday *shudders* They don’t teach cursive anymore in public schools which is sad I think they need at least one year of it so they can know ho to sign their name. Glad you feel okay but as you were leaving I would have pointed my two fingers at my eyes and then pointed them at the teacher….make sure she know the watching you signal.

  • Reply
    hya21
    October 23, 2013 at 9:54 am

    I think the most important thing you did was, as you say, to let the teacher know that you will be watching. Not all parents are as engaged with their children. Having done this,the teacher will know to tread carefully next time.

  • Reply
    Christina
    October 23, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Cursive in kindergarten? That just seems ridiculous to me! We didn’t start cursive until 2nd or 3rd grade, and who even still uses it?! I am glad that you feel a little better, and that I didn’t have to hear via Twitter about you killing anybody, lol.

  • Reply
    Trina - Baby Shopaholic
    October 23, 2013 at 10:10 am

    Glad you got that worked out. I had some issues with Peyton’s school too. Letting the teachers know you are paying attention and you let them know if you see something that you don’t like it a must!

  • Reply
    KalleyC
    October 23, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    Wow, just wow. I think that it’s great that you are standing up for your child. Since he’s only 3, they are asking a lot of of him–seriously. I agree with the other commenters that at 3 a lot of kids don’t have the fine motor skills, and let’s be honest, they will get better at writing over time. No need to pressure. Cursive may not be taught in PS but I know I will be teaching it. But seriously though, I don’t expect my child to to know how to write cursive at 5, that’s just setting her up for failure.

  • Reply
    Krissy
    October 23, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    you handled it well. I think they need to ease up on these babies. What I appreciate most about Jas’s school is that there is no pressure. They encourage them, but they don’t force them to do anything. It’s the best way for 3yr olds who are still learning.

  • Reply
    Nicole P.
    October 23, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    Good for you for advocating for Pookah! It’s good that knows you’re watching. Cursive in kindy? That sounds so weird and pointless. Most schools don’t even teach script anymore. And expecting five year olds who are just getting the hang of their fine motor skills to do it seems like an exercise in failure.

  • Reply
    Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama
    October 23, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    I love that you are so in tuned with what is going on with your boy. Cursive tho?! goodness. I feel like there are some more important things to learn (even though I adore cursive). Glad you didn’t go off and got some resolution on the situation. (How does she not know the ages of the children?!) smh.

  • Reply
    Bernetta
    October 24, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Both my kids were on a beak curriculum before they went to PreK and I love it. Baby e will be on it as well. He is only 3 and like you said he will be fine. Most kids write letters backwards sometimes! But I agree I don’t want my children not to have attention either. Not sure what she meant with that comment.

  • Reply
    Demetra
    October 24, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    ummm Hand holding and attention…isn’t that TEACHING?!?

  • Reply
    Katherine G
    October 24, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    I think you handled this great!! Not every child moves at a fast pace. Sometimes kids need extra help. I wish my kids could go to private school i taught my kids cursive. For whatever reason they don’t teach it in public school anymore. That so irritates me.

  • Reply
    Kristy
    October 25, 2013 at 6:14 am

    I had this same sort if thing last year in K-5. My son attends a private school that uses Abeka. His teacher was really nice but I believe not focused or seasoned enough. She was worried about the kids making her look bad during testing. We had a conversation in which she told me he probably would fail the first grade. I cried. But God!!!. This year I don’t know what the difference is other than a teacher that everyone thought I shouldn’t choose but my son is thriving, encouraged and receiving exceptional grades. Won’t he do it!!!! In a previous daycare that was mostly Asian he was made to feel different because he wouldn’t talk/respond. I believe he didn’t understand what they were saying to him in their dialect. We didn’t have this problem at home. They had me taking him to a speech therapist and all. And get this speech therapy is considered and housed under special education/learning disability. I rebuked that label. I say all of this to say I share your pain. Stay on it and them!

  • Reply
    Candace
    October 26, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    Cursive in Kindergarten!!! WOw ok then NY is all the way behind lol You did/said all the right things and maybe she can pass this on to her assistant. When Chunks started school I made sure that the teachers know he has a mother who puts education first and is expecting them to do their share (teach and uplift). Teaching is frustrating at times but they need reminders of hands on parents every once in a while. We’ll see…

  • Reply
    Ashley McLure
    October 28, 2013 at 10:47 am

    I have a son in HS and a daughter in MS. Neither was taught cursive in B&M school. I’m sure there are some younger children with the fine motor skills to do cursive, but for some it’s more work. I agree, building confidence at that age is more important. If they think they can, they eventually will.

  • Reply
    Mimi
    November 4, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    I stay in my son’s teacher’s email. STAY you hear me and I get a different kind of attention in my opinion. When they know you are watching they tend to go that extra mile because they don’t want to deal with you. Stay on her arse..you hear me!!

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