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Mrs.Kubalabuku
Please Help, Trying to Figure Out if Homeschool is Right for Us.
November 6, 2013 at 6:41 PM

First, we live in Nebraska, and I can't make heads or tails out of how to start the process.

But my son is in Kindergarten.  Prior to this, he went to two years of preschool and loved every minute.  He was super excited to start Kindergarten.

His teacher, however, is a nightmare.  She is VERY strict on the little boys in his class.  They use a color chart system for discipline, but she is very lazy about doing it correctly.  She'll have boys (specifically, I've heard this from several students in his class) clip down to yellow or red, and then there is NO standard for clipping back up to the "good" colors.  It's just whenever she's decided they've behaved well enough for long enough.

And as you can probably guess, in a class of 30 that means she sometimes forgets!  My son has clipped down in the morning, been an angel the rest of the day by her own admission, but I look and he's still on red.  My son has told me she forgets to let them clip up.  That they can't apologize and make things right.

My 5 year old has said this exact phrase:  Once you clip down, that's it.  You're done for the day.  She's mean to you the rest of the day and you get no warnings, just trouble.

He's also said:

You know it's not possible for me to be a good boy.  You know I'll get clipped down no matter how hard I try.  (In response to me telling him "I love you, have a good day!")

Mom, could I just go to school at home?  I don't understand why I'm good there and bad at school.

My 5 year old is DEPRESSED!

I've talked to his teacher numerous times.  The day after I talk to her, my son goes up to Blue, which is really good but not the top.  Then right back to nothing but bad colors.

We're talking to the principal tomorrow, but I don't have high hopes for this right now.  The whole school uses the color charts.  My son is defeated and upset and he no longer embraces life like he once did.  He firmly believes he is "bad" and that he shouldn't enjoy things because he'll be punished no matter what.

I'm going to ask to try a different teacher, but my sister homeschools in Montana and I'm thinking I'd like to be prepared to go that route, at least for his early years, so he doesn't get so defeated by the system.  If the new teacher uses the same system and guidelines, it's likely things won't work out there.  of course, she might not be as strict and allow children to be children, but it's killing me to see my son this way.

Update Nov 7:

DH is not on board with homsechooling yet.  Per my state laws, I would have to get his signature as well on the forms.  I'm not sure what his hangups are and I'm still talking to him.

So far, DH has said he really wants to try another teacher.  I am compromising by telling DH I'll give it another Quarter, tops.  If something goes drastically wrong, of course, I'm not waiting.  DH has agreed to those terms.

I've let my son know I have his back.  I've told him he has to respect his teacher, be polite, and do his best.  But I've told him also I'm not even going to look at his charts for a while.  The pressure from DH and I is off.  I cannot see how 99% of the people who interact with my son praise his good behavior, but his school sees him as a "troubled problem child" in the classroom.  There is too large a gap between his behavior outside of school and what they claim is happening in school.

Another major problem I've had is that I spoke with this teacher earlier in the year about this problem.  She said she had a more personal chart broken up into time blocks the kids could use.  I thought this might work better, since my son does respond better to more immediate consequences and rewards.  But last night, my son informed me she fills out all the charts at the end of the day!  How is that helping kids?  What if she forgot something or mixed up what kid did what?!

I'm allowing that my son might not be accurate in all his assessments of the situation.  However, his situational awareness, logic, and his ability to understand consequences are all exceptional.  Even his school noticed this in his report cards.  He also has a large vocabulary and by the school's own admission, he's Above Average in his ability to explain a situation properly and in proper sequence.  His own smarts is proving to be the teacher's undoing.

Replies

  • Chasing3
    November 6, 2013 at 7:50 PM

    I think I can predict the future for your son. By next year, you will be called in for conferences and told they are concerned about his attentiveness. They will talk about how he can never sit still or never complete a worksheet or how he always talks out of turn or that he can't keep organized or that he can't follow instructions, blah, blah, blah. They may hint at talking to your pediatrician about this problem. Or they might be much more blunt and straight out tell you he has adhd and he needs meds and try to bully you into believing he is the problem and it has nothing to do with their rediculous color system, curriculum, class size, or teaching approach!

    You might find several of these books interesting: The Minds of Boys, The War Against Boys, Boys Adrift, The Wonder of Boys, The Trouble With Boys.

    I'm sure others here might know more about your state's laws and how to figure out how to get started.

    good luck to you and your son!!

  • mem82
    by mem82
    November 6, 2013 at 8:01 PM

    Wow, poor kiddo. 8(

    Look at it this way...Kindergarten is amazingly easy. Pull him out, homeschool for this year and see how you both like it. He can't fall so far behind that he can't go into first grade if you decide you can't/don't/won't continue, right? 8)

    That's terrible that a five year old should be saying those things about himself.

  • Mrs.Kubalabuku
    November 6, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    You sound like you learned from experience.

    This is honestly what I'm afraid of.  My brother had TRUE ADHD.  There was no denying it, it wasn't just a boy being a boy.  I'm sure my son doesn't have it, he's just a smart boy.

    I forgot to add that he's smart, and he gets bored.  When I asked the teacher if he could do more than just sit and listen to her read, maybe illustrate the story or something, she said NO.  He has to do what the others do, and when he gets bored he'll fidget, talk, or overall get in "trouble."

    Quoting Chasing3:

    I think I can predict the future for your son. By next year, you will be called in for conferences and told they are concerned about his attentiveness. They will talk about how he can never sit still or never complete a worksheet or how he always talks out of turn or that he can't keep organized or that he can't follow instructions, blah, blah, blah. They may hint at talking to your pediatrician about this problem. Or they might be much more blunt and straight out tell you he has adhd and he needs meds and try to bully you into believing he is the problem and it has nothing to do with their rediculous color system, curriculum, class size, or teaching approach!

    You might find several of these books interesting: The Minds of Boys, The War Against Boys, Boys Adrift, The Wonder of Boys, The Trouble With Boys.

    I'm sure others here might know more about your state's laws and how to figure out how to get started.

    good luck to you and your son!!



  • Jinx-Troublex3
    November 6, 2013 at 8:34 PM

    Been there done that ....I let my DS stay in through almost the end of 1st grade and he was saying things like"Why did God make me stupid?"  and "How come Mrs.** hates me?" It crushed him. 

    Best thing I ever did for my family was to homeschool the kids.

    That said, no one can decide for you. Check out your state laws at http://www.hslda.org/ and as PP mentioned, I wold give it a try for Kinder. Kinder is not compulsory in ANY sttate in the USA so you can skip straight to 1st grade if you homeschool for Kinder.

  • Mrs.Kubalabuku
    November 6, 2013 at 9:17 PM


    Ty.  I'm really considering this.  DH wants to try one more teacher, but I told him I'm willing to give it 1 Quarter and if things don't improve I'm blaming the system and pulling him out until he's old enough to stick up for himself or at least understand and sit still.

    My sister is planning to move here and she homeschools because her youngest is dyslexic and has chronic bladder problems.  They wanted to put her in special ed courses but she's SMART.  She just has a bad bladder and mixes up letters!  If she moves here, we can put our kids together and work together on it.

    But if all I "have" to do for Kinder is just encourage him and get him ready, that sounds great to me!

    Quoting Jinx-Troublex3:

    Been there done that ....I let my DS stay in through almost the end of 1st grade and he was saying things like"Why did God make me stupid?"  and "How come Mrs.** hates me?" It crushed him. 

    Best thing I ever did for my family was to homeschool the kids.

    That said, no one can decide for you. Check out your state laws at http://www.hslda.org/ and as PP mentioned, I wold give it a try for Kinder. Kinder is not compulsory in ANY sttate in the USA so you can skip straight to 1st grade if you homeschool for Kinder.



  • Bleacheddecay
    November 6, 2013 at 9:27 PM

    I'd pull him out now. Chances are they will be like that in each classroom for K-5.

  • ripemango
    November 6, 2013 at 9:32 PM

    there is something really irksome about a child constantly being labeled as either bad or good.....doesn't seem right imo BUT I guess a diff teacher could be a very different scenario.

  • ripemango
    November 6, 2013 at 9:34 PM

    I agree. If feasible, I would pull my child out of this environment. It doesn't sound like it is fostering a love of learning at all.

    Quoting mem82:

    Wow, poor kiddo. 8(

    Look at it this way...Kindergarten is amazingly easy. Pull him out, homeschool for this year and see how you both like it. He can't fall so far behind that he can't go into first grade if you decide you can't/don't/won't continue, right? 8)

    That's terrible that a five year old should be saying those things about himself.



  • Precious333
    November 6, 2013 at 9:36 PM
    Poot kid! I would have left, like yesterday!
  • Mrs.Kubalabuku
    November 6, 2013 at 9:44 PM


    I can't get DH on board to take him out that quick.  I'm doing the best I can, considering BOTH parents need to sign the forms.  I said 1 more Quarter with a new teacher and then I'm done if things haven't improved.

    I don't punish my son at home, either.  I tell him what he did wrong according to the teacher, and let him know I have his back and that I don't believe things are as bad as she is making it all seem.  I tell him he has to respect her, and do his best to follow rules, but that I don't think she is right about him.

    Quoting Bleacheddecay:

    I'd pull him out now. Chances are they will be like that in each classroom for K-5.



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