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  1. #191
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    The one size fits all approach is basically gone now. My DD is in a selective high school and does gifted classes. Our primary has an amazing remedial and reading recovery program and I know teachers have done extensive training beyond the undergrad to run them. We have a music program, a heap of active sports team and our debate team is consistently one of the best in the state. We cater for ASD/ADHD/SPD. Our primary has a gifted program.

    It's not like when we were at school. Differentiation is huge now.

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  3. #192
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    Default play

    Quote Originally Posted by HollyGolightly81 View Post
    I just wanted to share this quote regarding Finnish schools up until the age of 7. Finnish (and most Scandinavian children) are not just randomly left to their own devices until they start 'proper' school. Yes they believe in play based and child led learning but they still have qualified teachers facilitating and organizing this to ensure they are actually giving the children all they need. This is one of the reasons Finland has such a successful education system. Not just because regular academics do not start until 7.

    'Great care is taken to plan not just what kind of play takes place – there is a mix of “free play” and teacher-directed play - but to assess how children play. The children’s development is constantly evaluated. “It’s not just random play, it’s learning through play,” says Marjoniemi.

    Play at this stage of child development can successfully engage them in the process of learning, says David Whitebread, director of the Centre for Research on Play in Education, Development & Learning at the University of Cambridge. Once engaged in a task they enjoy, whether acting out a story or constructing a building, children become motivated to constantly refine and improve on their task and to increase the challenge. “From a psychological point of view you can see how play can help children become powerful learners,” he says.
    That is great insight. Thanks.

    It reminds me of my children playing with my tape measure today. They were really improving on some key skills.

  4. #193
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    Default parents career

    Quote Originally Posted by magicmashie View Post
    What about your own career winter is coming? Are you prepared to not work until your children finish school? What happens if at one stage down the track you don't want to be at home anymore? It could potentially be a case where your child might have to go to school?

    I can imagine it is very exhausting!
    Super exhausting, especially with young kids.

    I work three days a week but my partner was just considering working a day a week to get some time away from the kids.

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  6. #194
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cdro View Post
    Something I'm also vaguely thinking about for her confidence on the learning tasks is some tutoring (ducks for cover before getting flamed by others for putting to much pressure on already stressed child)...

    The reason I thought of this is that I've noticed that she isn't at all worried about her reading because she's quite far ahead of everyone else in the class (and she can tell because they all have different level readers so she can objectively compare herself). If she was also that far ahead with her maths and writing, she might not be so concerned? Maybe if she can learn and make the mistakes with a tutor first, then she'll be more confident when they learn the material in class because she will have seen it before? (To be crystal clear, the intention would be to boost her confidence, not that I think she needs to learn more stuff. I am really not a tiger mum or into putting pressure on her).

    Then again, I don't really want to spend all her time learning - she's only 5 and needs downtime as well. I'd really love it if I could just pick her up at lunchtime each day and then take her for some private tutoring!

    This has also got me thinking - her homework every day is reading, but she's good at that already and might benefit from maths or something instead. Then I could round her abilities out without the tutoring. I might chat with the teacher about that...
    This thread has gone off on such a tangent but I wanted to reply to this. My DD is quite anxious and probably gifted. She started reading well before formal school started. She's in grade 4 and has pretty consistently been 12 months ahead in maths, reading and writing. However she still gets anxious about parts of her learning, especially her writing. For grade 2 she had a great Math/Tech teacher but her way of teaching writing did not suit DD. DD lost a lot of confidence and became incredibly anxious if she knew they were expected to do a writing piece the next day. She was still getting grades 6m ahead in writing, but it didn't matter where she sat compared to others, this was a battle coming from the inside caused by a variety of factors.

    In your DD's case, I think tutoring would be a band aid solution at best. Better to work on strategies to help with anxiety and building resilience.

    I can't multi quote on my phone but you also talked about the school being open plan etc. I've only taught in schools set up like this as a relief teacher but I hated it. I didn't apply for jobs if I knew the school was set up like this as they just didn't suit me as a teacher. Obviously teachers are individuals and many thrive with this setup, as do many kids.

    I'd also had the choice of sending DD to one (before I'd worked a few days there) but was glad I didn't as the things I didn't cope with, she would not have either.

    We're both easily distracted, so sharing a space with other groups meant constant distractions. We are also quite sensory sensitive, so constant noise overloads us.

    I like my class to have a variety of noisy and quiet times, sharing a space meant working this in with a schedule so all groups sharing the space were quiet together, rather than following the cues of the students I was with and giving them a noisy brain-body break if needed, or some quiet focus time when they were deep in the flow of a task.

    I also like kids to take ownership of their space and feel that having their own allocated desk provides stability. It also stops the sprint in after break time to all grab a seat near their friends (which endlessly leaves some kids rejected).

    Sorry, that's a bit of a rant, but I'm just not a fan of the setup and know my DD would never had coped at one of those schools. Choosing a school is so hard, lots of people will rave about a school but it doesn't mean it is a fit for your child. Then it can change year to year as well!

    I do think give it some time though as it's early days. Starting full time school is very physically tiring. Try to pare back weekend socialising and ensure early bedtimes, especially late in the term. I thought DD would be fine as she'd coped easily with full time daycare previously, she loved school and made new friends easily - but full time school was a whole new level of tired for her initially.

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  8. #195
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    Default WWYD? Trouble settling into big school

    Quote Originally Posted by Winter Is Coming View Post
    That is great insight. Thanks.

    It reminds me of my children playing with my tape measure today. They were really improving on some key skills.
    I'm sure they were but you seem to be missing the key point of that post. You mentioned Finland earlier and how they have the best schools in the world and they do not start school until 7. They may not start traditional academics until 7 but they still attend preschool with teachers creating structure and lesson plans for them, it is play based and child led but not completely unstructured and free range. If I'm wrong and that's what you do for your 5 and 7 year old then great, but I've gotten the impression from your posts that you don't and seem to practice more unschooling right now.

    ETA: also, your example with the tape measure...I'm fairly certain that is something that would happen in households around the world where parents value their children's curiosity. That example doesn't seem particularly special to me, most of us do things like that; teach them how to use a tape measure, teach them how to bake and work out quantities, take them to parks and botanic gardens, etc. How does your child's day differ from a weekend or afternoon in my house?
    Last edited by HollyGolightly81; 07-05-2017 at 23:40.

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  10. #196
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    Quote Originally Posted by rachy82 View Post
    ...don't let your pride stand in the way of helping your child.
    I've already said that we don't have a problem with homeschooling. The fact that my thread went off topic and turned into a debate about the pros and cons of homeschooling isn't my fault.

    How dare you imply that I wouldn't help my child because I am too proud.

  11. #197
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stretched View Post
    This thread has gone off on such a tangent but I wanted to reply to this. My DD is quite anxious and probably gifted. She started reading well before formal school started. She's in grade 4 and has pretty consistently been 12 months ahead in maths, reading and writing. However she still gets anxious about parts of her learning, especially her writing. For grade 2 she had a great Math/Tech teacher but her way of teaching writing did not suit DD. DD lost a lot of confidence and became incredibly anxious if she knew they were expected to do a writing piece the next day. She was still getting grades 6m ahead in writing, but it didn't matter where she sat compared to others, this was a battle coming from the inside caused by a variety of factors.

    In your DD's case, I think tutoring would be a band aid solution at best. Better to work on strategies to help with anxiety and building resilience.

    I can't multi quote on my phone but you also talked about the school being open plan etc. I've only taught in schools set up like this as a relief teacher but I hated it. I didn't apply for jobs if I knew the school was set up like this as they just didn't suit me as a teacher. Obviously teachers are individuals and many thrive with this setup, as do many kids.

    I'd also had the choice of sending DD to one (before I'd worked a few days there) but was glad I didn't as the things I didn't cope with, she would not have either.

    We're both easily distracted, so sharing a space with other groups meant constant distractions. We are also quite sensory sensitive, so constant noise overloads us.

    I like my class to have a variety of noisy and quiet times, sharing a space meant working this in with a schedule so all groups sharing the space were quiet together, rather than following the cues of the students I was with and giving them a noisy brain-body break if needed, or some quiet focus time when they were deep in the flow of a task.

    I also like kids to take ownership of their space and feel that having their own allocated desk provides stability. It also stops the sprint in after break time to all grab a seat near their friends (which endlessly leaves some kids rejected).

    Sorry, that's a bit of a rant, but I'm just not a fan of the setup and know my DD would never had coped at one of those schools. Choosing a school is so hard, lots of people will rave about a school but it doesn't mean it is a fit for your child. Then it can change year to year as well!

    I do think give it some time though as it's early days. Starting full time school is very physically tiring. Try to pare back weekend socialising and ensure early bedtimes, especially late in the term. I thought DD would be fine as she'd coped easily with full time daycare previously, she loved school and made new friends easily - but full time school was a whole new level of tired for her initially.
    I'm starting to think the same thing about the setup at the school. They do a lot of co-teaching, which sounded great to me, but it sounds like it might not be the best for DD. I've volunteered for reading groups tomorrow morning so I can go and see for myself how it works. DD's teacher left after a term, and I think that part of it was that she didn't like the co-teaching or the environment.

    And you're right - she is exhausted. We have moved her bedtime half an hour earlier and we stopped all her activities except swimming for term 1. This term we've picked up a drama class and she seems to like one of the other kids in the class. A friend! Woohoo!

    I also agree that dealing directly with the anxiety issues is the answer, but thought that some tutoring could ease that anxiety a bit until she has some coping strategies, and also more friends. I think even just one good friend would make a difference to her state of mind at school.

    Maybe I should be considering a more traditional environment.....

  12. #198
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    Default WWYD? Trouble settling into big school

    Quote Originally Posted by rachy82 View Post
    I have six children, three went to school just like they are "meant" to. And all three of them have had one struggle after another. Some years were okay but others were hell. When my now 14yr old son was not even 6, he started telling me he wanted to die, he said it often and would describe exactly how he would do it. I tried getting him help and nobody would help him. I tried my hardest but it didn't really help. The suicide talk did stop but he cried for help in other ways like OCD tendencies, turning into a bully and being super energetic. Finally in year 5 I pulled him out of school because I had had enough of the system and how it was failing him. He stayed home being home educated until beginning of year 9 (last year) when he decided to give school another try. He got into all of the top classes. Within a month his behaviour went backwards and he started acting out. I wanted him to come home again but he wanted to stick it out. Around this time I decided to never send my younger three children to school because I felt it had failed my other three. I then decided to offer my older three the chance to come home and try unschooling. They all, one by one, decided to come home. I have watched all three thrive after coming home and my sons behaviour has settled, my 16yr old is doing much better and my 9yr old is no longer feeing like his life is pointless. Sometimes school isn't for a child, sometimes that child cries out for help in ways you wouldn't believe, and sometimes parents are able to do what's right for their hold instead of believing the stereotypical crap about homeschoolers. Obviously if you work and it isn't an option then that is fair enough, but don't let your pride stand in the way of helping your child.
    Can ask how they are thriving? Since you are 'unschooling' what types of things are you doing to ensure they are learning and thriving?

    You said yourself all children are different, with that in mind, aren't you being unfair to your children deciding that all 6 will be unschooled or homeschooled? You're deciding for all what you feel worked for a couple. How are you fostering learning in your 9 year old? Do you really think he has enough knowledge to know unschooling is what will work best for himself?

    When some describe their days, I really struggle to see how they differ from anything I do with my children in the afternoon or on the weekend. I find it amazing that you (collective) feel you can give your child all they need in terms of opportunity. I'm not directing this at homeschoolers that do utilize specific curriculum and extra classes, tuitions, etc.
    Last edited by HollyGolightly81; 08-05-2017 at 00:11.

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  14. #199
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stretched View Post
    This thread has gone off on such a tangent but I wanted to reply to this. My DD is quite anxious and probably gifted. She started reading well before formal school started. She's in grade 4 and has pretty consistently been 12 months ahead in maths, reading and writing. However she still gets anxious about parts of her learning, especially her writing. For grade 2 she had a great Math/Tech teacher but her way of teaching writing did not suit DD. DD lost a lot of confidence and became incredibly anxious if she knew they were expected to do a writing piece the next day. She was still getting grades 6m ahead in writing, but it didn't matter where she sat compared to others, this was a battle coming from the inside caused by a variety of factors.

    In your DD's case, I think tutoring would be a band aid solution at best. Better to work on strategies to help with anxiety and building resilience.

    I can't multi quote on my phone but you also talked about the school being open plan etc. I've only taught in schools set up like this as a relief teacher but I hated it. I didn't apply for jobs if I knew the school was set up like this as they just didn't suit me as a teacher. Obviously teachers are individuals and many thrive with this setup, as do many kids.

    I'd also had the choice of sending DD to one (before I'd worked a few days there) but was glad I didn't as the things I didn't cope with, she would not have either.

    We're both easily distracted, so sharing a space with other groups meant constant distractions. We are also quite sensory sensitive, so constant noise overloads us.

    I like my class to have a variety of noisy and quiet times, sharing a space meant working this in with a schedule so all groups sharing the space were quiet together, rather than following the cues of the students I was with and giving them a noisy brain-body break if needed, or some quiet focus time when they were deep in the flow of a task.

    I also like kids to take ownership of their space and feel that having their own allocated desk provides stability. It also stops the sprint in after break time to all grab a seat near their friends (which endlessly leaves some kids rejected).

    Sorry, that's a bit of a rant, but I'm just not a fan of the setup and know my DD would never had coped at one of those schools. Choosing a school is so hard, lots of people will rave about a school but it doesn't mean it is a fit for your child. Then it can change year to year as well!

    I do think give it some time though as it's early days. Starting full time school is very physically tiring. Try to pare back weekend socialising and ensure early bedtimes, especially late in the term. I thought DD would be fine as she'd coped easily with full time daycare previously, she loved school and made new friends easily - but full time school was a whole new level of tired for her initially.
    My school and my children's school isn't open plan. The classes are only with their teacher and their class. They are just flexible working spaces. Children can choose to work at the work space they like. But you are right, a small minority of students took a while to adjust. Interestingly, it is the children who are on the spectrum that prefer their own space and like to choose the same spot to work yet some parents in this thread of children on the spectrum who have taken their kids out of mains.tream are the ones being critical of traditional classroom settings and children sitting in rows. Not that many classes are in rows these days anyway.

    I also want to add that it takes more than a few days to adjust to flexible learning spaces and I'm guessing open plan although I have not had experience with that. We started introducing it at our school in 2014 and it was a huge adjustment for the teachers and the students. But our students are so much more engaged and have greater choice about their learning. We have actually been nominated for an award for student achievement/growth for 2016.

  15. #200
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    Quote Originally Posted by HollyGolightly81 View Post
    When some describe their days, I really struggle to see how they differ from anything I do with my children in the afternoon or on the weekend..
    I've thought this before too. We'll cook with the kids - which includes following written directions, maths for measurement etc. We'll discuss world events, play soccer out the back DD and I will talk about the themes in Romeo and Juliet that she is reading.

    That doesn't mean it's enough for an entire education. We supplement. This is a normal weekend for us *shrugs* But I'm not a science teacher. Or maths, in fact I'm not even a real teacher yet.


 

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