Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Downside to School Starting

Pickles, to me, is a great kid but he has a few school issues. He has struggled with most subjects and does horribly in Math. He has very basic understanding of mathematical concepts. Math, for him, is like expecting a Preschooler to understand Algebra.

Every year I come in and speak to the teachers, especially the math teacher. I try to explain to him or her that my son really needs a teacher who is patient and understands his limitations. He starts off every year with a willingness and a thirst to learn and by the middle of the year he's been beaten down by the failures he's endured.

Every year I have the same problem... Yes, he looks and acts like any other child in his grade, but after you spend some time teaching him you begin to notice that there is a problem, but you just can't seem to put your finger on what it is.

Every year I encounter teachers who are less than passionate about their jobs (the 6th grade science teacher spent her classroom time shopping online and watching YouTube)

Pickles has already been tested for a learning disability, and they claim he doesn't have one. So why can't my son understand math ?? His teachers last year said that he wasn't a "serious student" and that he "acted like he wasn't interested in the work".
Well, duh, it's kind of hard to be serious about something you don't have a clue about.

When he was in the 5th grade his teacher stated that " he asks too many nonsensical questions."
I had to (nicely) explain to her that it's not nonsense if you really don't understand what's going on.

He does not understand.

He does have the ability to understand. It just takes a little more time and effort to get the information into his head.

Pickles has worked on math all summer, he still is not even close to being where he should be. He getting better at it, but it's going to be awhile.

Maybe I'm not ready for school to start yet...


Eric Patnoe said...

Hi Kathy,
Does your son have an IEP? Regardless if he has a learning disability or not he may qualify for services at school. tutoring or an para to work with him on his math.

Hey! I went to your sister's website. I want to get my youngest, with locs, a t-shirt. I'm dirt poor right now so it'll have to wait. I promise though.
Eric over @

Kathy said...

Hi Eric,
We had a meeting (can't remember what it was called) to discuss whether or not he needed an IEP. It was, myself, his teacher, the school counselor, the principal and the special education teacher. They reviewed all the facts and decided he didn't need an IEP. They wanted to monitor him to see if being in a stable environment would help him. However, they did decide to give him a reading tutor for two years. I think it's time for me to go back in and insist on IEP.

And thanks for looking at the NappyGear site.

jen said...

Hi Kathy,
I homeschooled for 10 years so putting my kids in public school was really hard for me. I had too many learning problems and too many issues to keep them at home anymore.

Five of my kids have IEP's. One of my sons has ADHD. He does not have an IEP (or a learning disability) but until I talked to my doctor about putting him on Adderal he had a serious problem with his schoolwork. I knew this when I homeschooled but was resistant to giving meds to my children. When I put him in public school I gave in and put him on the meds and now he does great.

Could your son have an attention deficit problem? Just a thought.


Kathy said...

Hi Jen,
I do believe he has a mild attention deficit problem. Especialy when it comes to things he doesn't want to do. lol
I think he can do okay with some intensive tutoring, he really needs a lot of help with learning his basic skills. Once he's caught up on the basic stuff, I think he'll do well.
He'd probably also do better in a classroom with fewer kids, he really does thrive on one-on-one attention.
I'm also going to try a more direct proactive approach with his teachers. I'd like for them to e-mail or call immediately if they start noticing him not turning in his work or slacking off.
He seems to have matured a bit over the summer, so I'm going to try to use this to get him focused.


Yolanda said...

Good luck with the year starting- hoping he gets an incredibly patient and understanding math teacher!