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  1. #1
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    Default Spinoff- Poor Parenting = Poor Students/Schools?

    I've read through the two school-themed threads. I'm an 18 year veteran of middle school teaching. I teach in a public school in the state of Washington. We have 49% free/reduced lunch (poverty rate) in my school. Depending on the year, our success rate on the state/ NCLB mandated tests runs 75% for writing, 80% for reading and in the 50% range for math at the 7th grade.

    What I have observed about the quality of education:

    1. Kids who care about learning, learn. A lot. They succeed.

    2. Parents who care about education have kids who learn. A lot.

    3. Parents who stay involved, are supportive and encouraging from Kindergarten to HS, have kids who succeed.

    4. Helicopter parents, who do everything for their children, suck. You are doing no good, just creating kids who have no personal responsibility and who blame others for their own shortcomings.

    5. Parents who don't help educate their own kids, who don't put in place a system of discipline and responsibility from early childhood create kids who do not succeed.

    6. There are dumb kids. Seriously. Your kid might be one of them. Please help them be as successful and hard working as possible, but don't expect them to be A students. Don't be shocked and angry when they aren't at the top of their class.

    7. As your child moves up the grades, work gets harder. Surprise! Your kid's grades may go down, as the subject matter becomes more challenging. Be there to help.

    8. If you don't respond to my emails, calls and letters about your child's progress or problems, don't blame me when they fail at the end of a semester.

    9. Poor kids are just as smart as rich ones. Poor parenting happens in both groups.

    10. Your job is to be a parent. It is hard work, and takes precedent over your own enjoyment. Don't drag your kid all over town "on errands" instead of homework/project/studying for a test and expect me to "understand".

    11. Teachers work hard. We are (at least in my state) very well educated and qualified to do our job. Sure, there are teachers of poor quality out there, but most of us are damn good at our jobs. You make it much, much harder when you send ill-prepared, disinterested, self-absorbed, media-bound, un-aided-at-home kids to school each day.

    12. Kindergarteners should be potty trained. This year, we have 3 who aren't. That is a parental disgrace, for normal kids (not special needs/physically handicapped).

    13. I love Catholic-schooled kids, good basics. Fundamental Christian school kids....results may vary.
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!



  2. #2
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    Default

    Okay.... I'm the parent who started the teacher can't spell thread. Help me out here because my hubby and I are trying to make the right choices for our son. How do you know when a 5 year old is truely dumb or just not the text book enthusiastic studious kid?

    I can assure you that we are not helio parents but we have been very involved with our child's upbringing and education. Ours is potty trained, mannerly, and disciplined fairly. We have chosen not to use spanking as a punishment which many people will argue. But I can tell you from this experience that not spanking entails much more work as a parent than a good old fashion ass whipping. For example, our son had a terrible time behaving on the bus the first 6 weeks of school. He would get very wound up and act out, putting everyone at risk. We were all in it together, us, bus drivers, prinicipal until he finally had to take two days off from riding the bus. He had to understand that he still had to go to school so on those two days, I followed in the car while dad had him by the scruff and we walked. It's 5 miles from a to b. we walked at least half before getting in the car the rest of the trip. The whole way, it was repeated to him that this was his option if he didn't want to behave on the bus. He got the point ten fold.

    So if you have a kid that doesn't learn the text book way and doesn't fit into the public school teaching style of memorization, regurgitation and repetitive work, how do you help your child tolerate that environment.

    Mind you, he's 5 so we aren't getting crazy about it. but his track record shows that tedium is not our son's style. And you have to admit that the general public school teaching style is tedious.
    ...don't sh** where you eat...



  3. #3
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    Default

    I am not a "public is the ONLY way" teacher. For a little one like yours, Montessori might be a better choice. I personally think 5 is too young for boys, especially, to begin formal school. They are just too immature usually. Not a bad thing, they just get there slower. Another year of pre-school, or learning at home might be the way to go.

    Explore other options in schooling. There are amazingly good private schools, and one might match your child's needs better.

    On the other hand, a certain amount of learning to jump through hoops is required in life. That is one reason compulsory, uniform public education was created--to build a well-educated work force. Any school should develop the discipline needed to be a good student: attention to detail, thinking skills, questioning skills, doing what's asked in a timely fashion, personal responsibility.
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!



  4. #4
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    Default

    To Winfield... Boys are boys. As my son's first grade teacher, a mother of 5 boys, is quick to point out, classrooms tend to be run in a manner that expects little boys to act like well-behaved little girls. Our son loves 1st grade. He hated kindergarten. We got notes almost daily from his kindergarten teacher that he talked too much, moved too much, couldn't stay focused, etc., etc. She complimented his manners and politeness but had nothing good to say about his efforts. He was frustrated to the point of often crying at night because he'd "stayed on green" (been good) several days in a row but never got chosen to help the teacher, never got to pick a toy out of the "treasure box"... the little rewards that kids strive for. It was a long year. We'd had a very difficult time deciding prior to kindergarten if he was ready, and we questioned our decision to let him go ahead. Given his success in first grade (and thanks to the vice principal placing him specifically with this teacher!), it was the right choice.

    The only way I found to help my kid tolerate the environment was to boost his confidence at home. If they don't "get it" in the classroom, they will find other ways to amuse themselves and/or vent. When they know the material and can confidently follow along, they'll spend more time following along because success is fun. That pretty much only goes for activities though; worksheets are still boring to little kids (and even 30-year olds ). Most of the reading in our area is done through whole-work / sight-word and memorization. Works for some, but I have a major beef with it... namely that my kid learned to memorize but was otherwise confused as heck. Playing a TON of phonics games took the mystery out of basic reading and helped a ton with staying on task and making an effort where the worksheets and writing was concerned.

    ETA: Calvin - I love your list, especially 4 & 5. There is nothing that bugs me more than disrespectful kids (and adults) that think they're owed everything.
    Last edited by Aggie4Bar; Nov. 2, 2010 at 06:34 PM.
    "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals, and you know it." - Agent K, MIB



  5. #5
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    Default

    I think your list is accurate. Our first school system had a high population of transient families, and was a poor area. Poverty didn't guarantee failure, but parents with drug and alchohol problems tended to produce kids with little or no motivation - there was no support at home.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
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  6. #6
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    Default

    I agree with the list also, my daughter is 15, and I see the differences in parenting and it's effect on her friends abilities and efforts in school.
    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams



  7. #7
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    I found that using consequences (as natural as possible) from a young age really helped. For example, my daughter did not want to get dressed for school. She was in a car pool. So, she went in her pajamas with her clothes in a bag. Only happened once.

    Same thing for forgetting books, etc. She got a one time shot per year for a run back to school. After that, she had to go early or suffer the grade.

    She did go to private school, where is was looked down upon to get poor grades, which was helpful. And private schools can kick out the trouble makers, unlike public school, another plus.



  8. #8
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    Sometimes, despite parents best efforts, kids, even very smart kids, don't do well in school. Our son is a case in point. Looking back on the whole miserable experience I do not know what we could have done differently however.
    Smurf
    Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.



  9. #9
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    We are hesitant to go the private school route because the one and only private close to us that we would love to send him to starts at $15,000 for K! k-12 total = 286,000. We just can't justify that right now. But we don't want to let him go then yank him later if he's doing well but we've run out of money.
    ...don't sh** where you eat...



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by winfieldfarm View Post
    We are hesitant to go the private school route because the one and only private close to us that we would love to send him to starts at $15,000 for K! k-12 total = 286,000. We just can't justify that right now. But we don't want to let him go then yank him later if he's doing well but we've run out of money.
    No one is going to deny that it means sacrafice. It's huge. My parents spend a lot of money on my education and at the time I really wasn't all that thankful for it (probably had something to do with the 5 hours commuting every day) but I am now.

    It's not a decision to make lightly. I've said it before but I'm going to say it again, the culture shock coming out of private education into public is horrific. I went from a school of 150 to a school of 1250, and the difference wasn't only the numbers. But I wanted to graduate....

    Poor parenting is linked to poor performance at school. Children have no support system for help, and often these parents don't value education. They may not have a college degree, perhaps not even highschool. Or, they may value education, but just work so many hours or have such different priorities that they are unavailable to the children. It's tough when both parents (or the single parent) have to work so many hours they never see their children except to tuck them into bed.
    Riding the winds of change

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by carolprudm View Post
    Sometimes, despite parents best efforts, kids, even very smart kids, don't do well in school. Our son is a case in point. Looking back on the whole miserable experience I do not know what we could have done differently however.
    If it's any consolation I did terrible in elementary and highschool. Like, 60% student all across the board. College and University I'm consistently a 3.7 to 3.9 .
    Riding the winds of change

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  12. #12
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    Default fifteen years later I still tear my hair out about him

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhyadawn View Post
    If it's any consolation I did terrible in elementary and highschool. Like, 60% student all across the board. College and University I'm consistently a 3.7 to 3.9 .
    Sigh, any college that would have accepted him would not have been worth paying for. He"graduated" HS with the bare minimum, having to take one final class that summer. He even flunked driver ed, because he didn't turn in any homework!

    He has some GI benefits if they haven't expired that would have allowed him to go back to school after his 2 years in the army but he didn't want to.

    I find it very ironic that he works for a local university in their IT department
    Smurf
    Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by carolprudm View Post
    Sometimes, despite parents best efforts, kids, even very smart kids, don't do well in school. Our son is a case in point. Looking back on the whole miserable experience I do not know what we could have done differently however.
    (Quote) Sigh, any college that would have accepted him would not have been worth paying for. He"graduated" HS with the bare minimum, having to take one final class that summer. He even flunked driver ed, because he didn't turn in any homework! [/QUOTE]


    I have one of those. Very hands on type, completely not interested in anything she's not interested in. She did ok at the lower grades when she had inspiring teachers who made her want to please them, but once she got to middle school things started to fall apart. . We had to transfer her to a parochial school her sophomore year because she was failing, and we were seriously concerned we weren't going to be able to get her graduated from HS. She's now a junior in college, which is costing us a fortune, but at least she's in college, I had my doubts a few years ago. It is an Equine program, but she'll graduate with a Bachelors degree in Business. I had to chuckle at your drivers ed thing. Mine failed geometry as a freshman, so had to take it for summer school, flunked again in summer school, so had to take it again sophomore year. She's a very intelligent girl, just didn't want to do the work, she hated math and NO ONE was going to make her do it if she didn't want to. It took a long time for the whole cause/effect thing to sink in with her.
    "You can't blame other people. You can't always say what happened wasn't my fault. And you know what, even if you have an excuse, shut up."
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by carolprudm View Post
    Sigh, any college that would have accepted him would not have been worth paying for. He"graduated" HS with the bare minimum, having to take one final class that summer. He even flunked driver ed, because he didn't turn in any homework!

    He has some GI benefits if they haven't expired that would have allowed him to go back to school after his 2 years in the army but he didn't want to.

    I find it very ironic that he works for a local university in their IT department
    The college I went to accepted anyone who could pay tuition. You had to work your butt off once you were in, but they literally took anybody. I enjoyed it, loved the whole thing. Graduated top of my class, worked for 5 years and then went back last year and while not the top of my class I still had very good grades (full time school, full time business, and another part time job, all on top of the horses).

    Life takes you in many directions, and school isn't always everything. Some people manage to get great jobs and they have little specialized eduacation.
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  15. #15
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    calvinCrowe...agree with your list.
    Especially the two points of:
    *Parents need to support their kids' homework time and make sure it's getting done
    *Parents shouldn't helicopter or micromanage their children either.

    Over the years with my children I've found that in their younger to middle years, homework is done on a schedule and at the kitchen table. That way I'm in the room to make sure the little minds don't wander off out of the window, the computer is used for research and not games and the paper is used for writing and not airplanes. I can help them figure out their own answer if their stuck, I will not do their homework for them though.

    As for public vs private schools...it can all depend on area. Not just state, in my state a lot depends on which town/district you're in. heck, our entire state's property values are determined mainly by each towns' school system and how good or bad it is. Buyers with children research each school system like crazy before choosing a town. The last town we lived in was the town I grew up in. Had good schools when I was a kid, they were then overcrowded though and were still a little too heavy on the sports and too light on curriculum. (darned good teams though, LOL) So when we looked for a new home with acreage, the #1 determining factor was the school system. I could've bought a few places before we got this one and for a lot less initial price and taxes. But our public school system is excellent and safe. Had we stayed in our last town I would've gone the Catholic school route. Not many non-religious private schools here in Ct that are remotely affordable. But we do have Montessori and Magnet schools too.
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  16. #16
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    I teach 11th grade English in an urban school. I teach four classes of the lowest-performing students and one of the highest (AP). I completely agree with your list.
    Kendra
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MistyBlue View Post
    calvinCrowe...agree with your list.
    Especially the two points of:
    *Parents need to support their kids' homework time and make sure it's getting done
    Parents cannot force a child to do homework if they truely do not intend to do it.

    It is against the law to starve or beat children. Bribery did not work.

    Our son would sit at a table by himself, in silence, no music or TV for hours rather than pick up a pencil. When asked "Why don't you just do it and get it over with so you can go outside and play? " He would reply "I just don't want to" He could sit there for nine hours, with only escorted potty breaks and a sandwich for dinner, then go to bed. For days on end.

    In retrospect I probably should have met him after school AT SCHOOL and told him that we would not be leaving until his homework was done even if we sat in the parking lot all night. It's about the ONLY thing I didn't try.

    MIL was a teacher and of course she blamed his academic performance on me until she visited us for a week.... and couldn't get his homework done either.

    His younger sister was valedictorian
    Smurf
    Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
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    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.



  18. #18
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    Carolprudm- kids like that...well, schools and teachers don't know what to do with them either. Stubborn to the point of ridiculousness is possibly the most frustrating thing a parent or teacher can deal with. (Mr. CC and I have one of those too, but not quite at your level).

    However, I think my list is more general than your situation--most parents of struggling kids are not in your shoes.
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!



  19. #19
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    Default Some times they just simply WON'T

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhyadawn View Post
    The college I went to accepted anyone who could pay tuition. You had to work your butt off once you were in, but they literally took anybody.
    It is very true that many people do better in college than they did in HS but given his record we were not about to bet on it.

    Probably the last time I went to bat for him was in junior high. He was in a remedial math class and the teacher kept asking less and less of him....and getting even less from him. I told the teacher that she was making a mistake and to put him in an advanced class. After 2 weeks in advanced algebra he got 67% on the mid term..... and then flunked every subsequent test and did not do the homework for the rest of the semester.

    He did get education benefits from two years in the army, signed up for some classes but I don't think he ever finished any.

    He's a great person and has a good job but he just doesn't do school. In many cases I think he knew the material he just saw absolutely no point in putting it on paper.
    Smurf
    Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.



  20. #20
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    Default The kid wasn't struggling, but the parents sure were

    Quote Originally Posted by Calvincrowe View Post
    Carolprudm- kids like that...well, schools and teachers don't know what to do with them either. Stubborn to the point of ridiculousness is possibly the most frustrating thing a parent or teacher can deal with. (Mr. CC and I have one of those too, but not quite at your level).

    However, I think my list is more general than your situation--most parents of struggling kids are not in your shoes.
    I think it's really hard to know which parents are trying their absolute best and which ones don't give a darn when kids just WON'T

    His younger sister has PhD in Chem...and is probably the "dumb" one of the 3. She just knew exactly what she had to do and very efficiently did it.

    Probably a good thing or there would have been bloodshed, mine or theirs
    Smurf
    Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.



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