{August 10, 2016}   First Day of School

Today was my older kids first day at their new school and their first day of school in three years, since we homeschooled the last two. Their school is small they only have 12 kids enrolled 4 of will not be starting until Friday. They said they didn’t do any work today just did some about me pages and got to know each other and make friends. Tomorrow they will start their testing on each subject to see what grade level they are on for each one. They said it will last 2 or 3 days maybe a week, it depends on each child and how long it takes them. I figure my oldest will probably finish in a day or two, my other one will probably take a little longer but probably not a week. They will just have to keep him on track and he should have no problems.

My big boy got in the truck and started talking about his new best friend he met today and how they sat together and talked all day. He said they sat with my oldest and some kids she had met for a little while too. I love that it is all the kids all different grades and ages together. It’s like the old little one room school house kind of school. I like them to be somewhere a little bigger with more kids and who do sports and things but at the same time I don’t miss all that comes along with that in the form of bulling, being left out, lice, not getting the help they need or being stuck in a grade that your board in and not being able to move ahead. My oldest needs to be able to work on her own independent at her pace so she can just keep moving instead of having to wait for the rest of the calls to catch up or having to stay on grade level because by age that is the grade she is supposed to be working in. Most things she is testing above grade level. Everything she test above grade level in they will move her up to the level she is testing in instead of making her to 7th grade work because that is the grade she should be in because of her age and birthday. When I pulled her from school two years ago she was so board and hated it because they would give them a book to read with 200 to 300 pages and tell them to read a chapter for homework. She have the book done by the time she went back and the other kids hadn’t even read the chapter then she was waiting for them.

My next one needs that redirection to help him stay focused on what he is doing and some extra help once in a while. They want to throw him in a mainstream class when he is in public school. He would sink and drawn in a mainstream class because he wouldn’t be able to focused and finish his stuff as fast as the other kids. They wouldn’t do much to help him. If I put him in a special needs class he is ahead of a lot of the kids in them. They put more of the nonverbal kids and kids who are below grade level in them. My guy is all over the chart, in math he is below grade level other things he is at level and then others he is above. So he needs that tailored to him kind of work inviroment as well.  He ended up in a class where he was ahead of a lot of the kids and he regressed in some ways because the teachers had so much to do with the other kids he wasn’t getting the help he really needed.

The schools can only do so much with the number of kids they have, the number of staff they have, and the range of levels, disabilities and things kids are on. I know they can’t teach every kid on their level or their pace and that some kids who are slower or more behind need the extra help and separate classes. I think it is great they have it set up to help the kids. But I do feel that there is a better way to do things than the way they do it with so many kids falling through the cracks and so many kids not getting the help they need. Even when I was in school things were different and the kids were split up my by their levels than they are now. Now they want to include everyone and all help each other but that don’t really work. When so many parents complain you would think they would listen.

I also think that the over all this is how old you are and this is when your birthday is so you are in x grade regardless is not the way to go. If we changed that I feel it would help a lot with the kids not getting the help they need and falling through the cracks. I think that this is your age so this is your grade is ok for kids in grades k through maybe 2nd. Let them get the basics down and a good understanding how things are. But after that they should all go through testing to see what grade they are testing at and then be put in a grade accordingly.

Private schools can do it and it works for the kids, why couldn’t the public schools do it. You still hire your teachers that are able to teach 6 th grade English, math and all the rest of the subjects and let them teach that subject. The only difference would be instead of just having “6th” grade aged students she may have 4th through 8 th grade aged kids in her class. Regardless of the age of the child the subject is still the same and still taught the same. It wouldn’t be much different than high school. If you fail a class it don’t hold you back a grade you move up and repeat that class. You may be a junior or senior taking a freshmen class if you failed it freshmen year. The teacher isn’t teaching any different because she has a junior and senior mixed in the class. Electives are the same in jr high and high school it is a mix of different ages and grades. It could be the same for core subjects as well, because just because the age isn’t “grade” level does not mean the child isn’t on that grade level for the subject.

I think a lot less kids would fail or be held back, oh I forgot they get moved up regardless because no child left behind. I think that they wouldn’t have to worry about a child being left behind if they did it this way. Now if they didn’t pass a class they just repeat that class instead of repeating the whole grade or getting moved up and being lost later in that subject. There should be one big school that goes from k-12th or the k-12 schools should be all beside each other on one big campus like a college or something. This way the kids can walk back and forth between them for each class if they have a class since they may have classes in the jr high and high school buildings or the jr high and elementary school.

You may still have the bulling and things for the first several years or so because all the kids starting out are use to being with kids their age, grade or whatever. But I think that the kids coming out who start out in the system and work their way through from the be gaining up you would have less bulling because of them all being together and getting to know each other. Lot of times kids get picked on because they are ahead or behind and don’t relate to the other kids. It will not do away with bulling all together but I think it would put a dent in it.

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