School sux

User - posted on 11/06/2009 ( 20 moms have responded )

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So my boyfriends daughter is in the first grade. She still cant read, she struggles (or rather PRETENDS to struggle) with math. I know this little girl is intelligent, she has proven it before when she wants to. But i have to wonder what the school she goes to does with their students all day. I enrolled her in homework club, which is mandatory attendance once you sign them up, and she informed me today she doesnt go. What do these people in this school all day cuz it obviously isnt work with or keep track of their students. And the teacher apparently doesnt have time to speak with us until parent teacher conferences. And she wont do homework with her father. She deliberately frustrastes him till he sends her to her room where she can watch tv and go to sleep. Im at my wits end with this.

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Carolynne - posted on 11/10/2009

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Maybe your stepdaughter, is struggling with the amount of activity in the classroom. Often times, my son comes home with sheets of homework, because he is easily distracted, and too perfectionistic, to complete things in class. My son has an area away from other students, and a desk with the rest of the class. He knows that if things get to be to hectic, and can go to his table and focus on his work. We were concerned about the education of my son at first, too, then we created a behavior plan. This is something that helped us to get on track for my son, he too, is in first grade. The teacher and parents make a team and have to work together for the children to be successful. Might I suggest a behavior plan, during conferences Id make this suggestion, if its a no go, try speaking to the school psychologist, and the principal, if you still dont get anywhere, I suggest looking into a charter school, this form of public school usually has smaller class sizes and are more strict with the curriculum and guidelines for the children to follow. There are websites that offer assistance in the form of a game without having to spend extra money. www.starfall.com is our favorite, Dad can even sit and play along with her. I am both a natural parent, and a Stepmom, it is very hard to decipher your place, just for you, and for others who do not understand your specific situation, it is even more difficult to possibly comprehend and offer "assistance", please pay no mind to people who give ill, and negative advice, it is neither good for you or worth your time.

Here are a few more websites.
www.ixl.com/math/practice -for math
www.funfonix.com/games -for reading
www.users.netrover.com/~kingskids/noun/noun.html - for spelling and writing
www.history.org/kids/games - for social studies.

Its recommended that a child in first grade spend atleast 20 minutes outside of school a week, on each subject. GAMES are the easiest way to get them involved!

Might I just add that MY oldest child (9).. is 2 grades advanced in both reading and math- just so you can feel comfortable with my advice! :0) (I have three boys of my own, 9, 7, and 5. I also have a 13 year old stepson)

Carol - posted on 11/06/2009

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Wow, the moms on this site are pretty mean lately. Good job Samantha for caring enough for your stepchild to be concerned about her schooling. The school sounds horrible. Are you sure that your bf's daughter is telling the truth? My 6 year old comes up with some really good ones that turn out to be so far from the truth (usually good natured stories).

You and the dad do need to find a way to get her to do her homework and school work. Talk to her to find out why she doesn't do it. Make it a game/ use incentives/ take away privileges (like the TV in the room). My sons were homeschooled last year and the now 6 year old used Hooked on Phonics. He began not knowing all the ABC's and finished the school year reading at a 6th grade level. It's a really simple program and can be done in about 15 minutes a day.

Have your bf request a meeting in writing. Then the teacher is required to respond within a certain amount of time. If she doesn't, bring it to the attention of the principal. Go to the school (if you have the authority) to see where she goes when she's supposed to be in the homework club. If she really never goes there's a serious security issue that needs to be addressed immediately with the principal, superintendent, or police.

Being a stepmom sucks. You can love the kid as much as the "real" parents but have no rights to do things that willl only help the kid. Plus you get jerks like Michelle telling you to mind your own business. Been there, done that.(I left my ex after 5 years and have never been allowed to see my stepson since. I never did a thing wrong to the stepson and was never accused of doing anything wrong. The dad just wanted to punish me at his son's expense - way to go "real" parent.)

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Heather - posted on 11/09/2009

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Ok people, if you are planning on spending the rest of your life with somebody weather you marry them or not their children are a package deal. Not to mention if it was a stranger I still would not want them to stuggle in school. On a good note I think the school is most of your problem. There is no reason why there has not been a meeting at this point regardless of what time of year it is. my kids teachers, all four of them, are willing to meet with me at anytime. I think I would consider another school. Because an education is something we all need in this day and age. Try to be patient and by all means take the tv out of the room until it is earned back! I am so happy that you don't mind sticking up for this child when everyone else has stepped aside. Good luck!

Sheena - posted on 11/09/2009

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Ok..I'm going to try to post my opinion as best as I can without being bashed here for it. First off, who is the boss here? You and your SO..or his daughter? The thing with school work and learning is that when the bell rings in the afternoon...learning is NOT over. Or it shouldn't be anyway. There would be no way that I would allow my child to go to their room and watch tv instead of doing their homework. What has been taught here is that "if I get daddy frustrated enough, I won't have to do it"! Until you put your foot down and devote at least an hour, more if necessary, of your time to school work you will ALWAYS have problems with her and school. There would definitely been none of the "won't do homework with her father" junk going on. Homework is not optional, it's mandatory. I'm assuming that if the school is as bad as it sounds that she is failing. Am I correct? The child is ruling the roost here. Put your foot down. You've both given her that power. If she is bringing home alot of homework then she needs to sit her butt down and do it before she does anything else.

Denise - posted on 11/08/2009

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Oh no! You need to put this to a stop now! Get involved in school and in her class. Talk to the principle and the teachers. I quit my job due to the fact that my daughter who is now in the 3rd grade was getting in trouble in 1st. I then was able to work in class and help out. What a change no more getting in trouble and getting all her homework done by herself. I believe it is the fact that I am involved and she know she can't get away with anything. Someone will tell me and let me know.

MONERA - posted on 11/08/2009

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There is something definitely not right. Have you had a one-on-one talk with the daughter? Maybe asking HER what's on HER mind & asking her if there is something she would like to share. It can be about anything...what she thinks of school, her dad, her mom, you. And then ask her what you can do to help her. Try to get to the real problem. My daughter is in 1st grade as well and I just can't imagine her not wanting to go to school! Last year we had a really hard time with homework, those sight words, & just getting up in the a.m. But this year, whole different story. She absolutely loves school & talks about her day aaaall the time. Homework is no longer a problem & she has discovered how much fun it is to be able to read things.

Sylvia - posted on 11/08/2009

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Let's not feed the trolls, y'all ...

I suspect one or both of two things might be going on here. One, she finds the homework stupid, boring, and pointless (since she already knows how to do it) and doesn't understand why she should have to waste her precious out-of-the-classroom hours doing busy-work -- a point of view I can totally sympathize with (I really think little kids have way too much homework these days, and they really need more time to run around outside and use their imaginations and just read books they're actually interested in). Two, she wants and needs more attention from her parents (including you) and has learned some really unfortunate ways to get it, such as pretending to be having trouble with her homework.

There may not be anything much you can do about problem #1, unless you're lucky enough to get an understanding teacher who's willing to be flexible despite the system. (My daughter is lucky enough to have such a teacher this year; last year, however, the teacher was, though not mean or anything, so rigid you could've used her to prop up your carport.) The general belief these days seems to be that homework is ESSENTIAL and that parents who protest about the amount of homework are lazy and/or troublemakers and/or want special treatment for our kids -- and I'm amazed at the number of *other parents* at my daughter's school who seriously think their kids are getting *too little* homework. The kids are six and seven years old, for pete's sake!

You can, although given your work schedule it'll be tough, do something about problem #2, so that's probably where you should start. The "rewards system" you mention is probably a good start, but it might be even better to try to separate this from the homework problem entirely, and see where that gets you. The homework club, for instance: would she prefer to spend that extra half-hour in the morning at home with you, or somewhere else with you (maybe the occasional "girls' morning out" where you have breakfast together somewhere -- doesn't have to be fancy or expensive, just has to be one-on-one time)? I would also ditch the TV in her bedroom, TBH -- not because I think TV is eeeeeevil (although I do try to minimize how much DD watches on school nights) but because watching TV alone in her bedroom is isolating her from the rest of the family when what it sounds like she needs is more "family time".

Would her dad be open to, for example, setting a timer for 20 minutes of "homework time" each night where she works on her own, followed by playing a board game together, cooking dinner together, or even watching TV together?

Toni - posted on 11/08/2009

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first of all Michelle H. No one on here will have a battle of wits with an unarmed person like you. Her parents are doing the bast of their ability and in fact are very involved in her education.

Michelle - posted on 11/08/2009

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Quoting user:

We do in fact have somewhat of a reward system. Its not the greatest since of course work schedules and school work dont leave alot of time for fun but I take her out and get her little things here and there. I dont believe she has a learning disability unless stubborn counts lol. She is very intelligent. I have seen her sit down and breeze thru homework when she wants to and no one is paying attention to her. But if she for any reason thinks she needs attention she will pretend she doesnt know what she needs to do and then plays done till she feels her needs for attention is fullfilled then she all of a sudden "gets it" and does her work. Thank you all so much. (Except for that Michelle naysayer she needs to keep her selfish ignorance to herself)



she acts out for attention becuase mom and dad are off being kids themself why wanna be step mom is n't there either since she's working all afternoon and into the night you know that time kids are there at home

Michelle - posted on 11/08/2009

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Quoting rebecca:

how about setting up a reward system? If she finishes her work then on Fridays she can get a toy for under $10 or a game or ice cream or something. We have a glass jar in our kitchen that has lttile pieces of paper in it and on fridays if she gets her work done for the week and does good she gets to draw a paper and we do whatever is on it, from going to mcdonalds to taking a walk around the lake also, does she have a learning disorder? my daughter has adhd and before she was diagnosed she would fight me hand and tooth to not do homework, now she is on meds and is doing amazing. as for that other mom "Michelle" she seems like the type who would throw a kid in the gutter instead of helping it just cause she didnt "birth" him/ her. I was a step mom, and even though her real mom and dad loved her they both had to work alot to pay the bills. so i took over, not because i was controlling or dumb, but because i knew if i didnt help this child then she would be on the back burner, props to you for taking care of someones elses child and having enough love in your heart to help her even though shes not "your blood"!!!! and Boo to Michelle, how mean and childish,,if you was to die tomorraow, you would expect only your husband to raise your children and what if he had to work full tiem to pay bills? should he just stick them in a cage until he got home?



actually if i were to die tomorrow my husband would not be raising our kids along... i've already spoken to my MIL and she'd be helping him with the kids and i'd expect both of them to deal with my kids and not let the kids run the show

Clare - posted on 11/08/2009

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She sounds like a little girl who needs to learn about postive parenting and negative parenting (at her level) she is after your attention and going about it all wrong. Try going out of your way with praise for those times when she does do her homework by herself, and try to tell her no fun stuff till the work is done. I would also get the telly out of her room all of the time, to me at her age there is no need. My son is also in 1st grade and would love a telly and would love no homework but unlike yourself i am home in the afternoons so the minute we walk in the door its homework time and nothing else happens except food and drink (and boy can he eat) until the homework is done. I am not home in the morning so work cant be done under my supervision then but maybe that could work for you....

User - posted on 11/07/2009

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We do in fact have somewhat of a reward system. Its not the greatest since of course work schedules and school work dont leave alot of time for fun but I take her out and get her little things here and there. I dont believe she has a learning disability unless stubborn counts lol. She is very intelligent. I have seen her sit down and breeze thru homework when she wants to and no one is paying attention to her. But if she for any reason thinks she needs attention she will pretend she doesnt know what she needs to do and then plays done till she feels her needs for attention is fullfilled then she all of a sudden "gets it" and does her work. Thank you all so much. (Except for that Michelle naysayer she needs to keep her selfish ignorance to herself)

Rebecca - posted on 11/07/2009

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how about setting up a reward system? If she finishes her work then on Fridays she can get a toy for under $10 or a game or ice cream or something. We have a glass jar in our kitchen that has lttile pieces of paper in it and on fridays if she gets her work done for the week and does good she gets to draw a paper and we do whatever is on it, from going to mcdonalds to taking a walk around the lake also, does she have a learning disorder? my daughter has adhd and before she was diagnosed she would fight me hand and tooth to not do homework, now she is on meds and is doing amazing. as for that other mom "Michelle" she seems like the type who would throw a kid in the gutter instead of helping it just cause she didnt "birth" him/ her. I was a step mom, and even though her real mom and dad loved her they both had to work alot to pay the bills. so i took over, not because i was controlling or dumb, but because i knew if i didnt help this child then she would be on the back burner, props to you for taking care of someones elses child and having enough love in your heart to help her even though shes not "your blood"!!!! and Boo to Michelle, how mean and childish,,if you was to die tomorrow, you would expect only your husband to raise your children and what if he had to work full tiem to pay bills? should he just stick them in a cage until he got home?

Toni - posted on 11/07/2009

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I don't believe we need to call children names. As legal guardian she has every right to her daughters records. My daughter is adopted after being abandoned with me and she is in second grade. She tries to push the teacher whenever she can. Our teacher is only in her second year of teaching. To get my daughter to complete her work on time she has set up two desks for her. One she uses when the teacher is doing instruction and group activities the other is be itself (not in a corner) just back a little that she uses to do the classwork. The teacher uses a timer and if she finishes it on time she is instantly rewarded (usually a sticker) this has worked well. My daughter also hates homework but it is given on Monday for the whole week so we work at her speed and it is always completed on time. I speak to her teacher often and I am able to e-mail her with questions as well. I wish you the best of luck and just remember not all kids learn the same way. It sounds like she is a very bright young lady just trying to push to see what she can accomplish. Which all children do. I also have a 25yo and a 22yo that never dropped out of high school both are married and in college.

User - posted on 11/06/2009

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TO Michelle Hansen Daberkow,

I have actually spoken with a few of the other parents and it would sem I am not the only parent having issues with this school. Roo's homework classes are actually in the morning before school starts. So I take her to school and drop her off at her locker with specific papers to do in homework club and instruct her to do them and then they will come home untouched. When I ask her what she did in homework club she tells me she didnt go to homework club. Since I take her to homework club it baffles me that these teachers are not informing me or questioning why she doesnt stay. On the days I keep Roo home from school for whatever reason (even if its just to get one on one time to do work or whatever.) half the time they dont even call to check if i dont call her in. It is very frustrating and unfortunately duet o work schedules there is very little time to enroll her in clubs or activities. But I have told her if her work improves or if she even just does the work period i would find a way to make time for her to join a club. Incentives are not really her thing as she is very all about instant gratification. If she cant have something the second she wants it she tends to just give up on it rather than put any effort into anything. Shes a good girl and i love her and she does like me and love me she tells me all the time even tho I too am the naysayer and daddy always gives in and just lets her do whatever lol. I have tried lots of different teaching and learning styles and basically what it boils down to is i have to tell her how to do everything step by step multiple times and no matter how many time she may correctly solve a problem or write a word she still doesnt seem to catch on. So our work time is me explaining everything 2 or 3 times for each and every problem till she solves it correctly and then we move on to the next one. But on occasion when told to go do her work and left to her own devices unsupervised shell breeze right through it like its nothing. Its very confusing and frustrating. I thin ALOT of it has to do with attention issues stemming from her home lifestyle before she came to me. Now she doesnt want to go to her moms and loves to see just how far she can push me befoer i send her to do her work alone lol. She already know her fathers limit (its one maybe two problems lol) and she is still trying to figure out mine cuz it fluxuates lol. Thank you for your advice though. Its good to get a teachers stand on the matter. I do have a parent teacher conference set up for next week so well see how that goes and if i cant find a more appropriate school for her needs i will simply home school her for a little while.....

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wow. I'm a teacher. I would think that learning is going on in school. I would hope it is more than can be done at home, because teachers go through many many many hours of school, then hours each year to learn the new and fantastically designed ways to present them so that children can learn more easily. It's not like when we went to school. It looks and feels differently, and we are dealing with many different types of children and different types of learners in the same class, and training them with their own leveled studies, according to their own individual Educational Plans.
I have a first grader. He does not and never will have a t.v. in his room. We do not have cable, so that he does other learning and involving things with his parents, like board games, some card games, counting games, coloring, tape, scissors, yarn, glue creations, playing with creating furniture for webkinz, etc. It makes work for parents, but then I also know what he is doing.
You might consider volunteering at her classroom. See what the school is like.
Ask about the homework club...is she attending? Or is she going home SLOWLY so that noone knows where she is during part of the day?
Maybe a club might work for her, like campfire girls or girl scouts...just to do a fun craft and earn some beads or patches...and something NOT school to get the school on the back burner, but then let it naturally be easy for her...
Maybe the homework is too much, or unnecessary. Perhaps a homework night with the teacher( stay after school not detention, but just seeing how the homework flies with teacher, you and the student together in the library, or somewhere NOT her classroom)
Then determine why she is not working on it in school. I have one student that has a sketchbook for when his work is complete...he LOVES to doodle. So he gets homework done, then gets to be rewarded for it by doodling for 10 minutes. Its not asking a lot from a teacher if you can find her LOVE and use it as a bit of a carrot until the work gets done like it is supposed to get done.
Maybe she could get all homework done for 10 days and earn a Miley Sirus concert ticket or a trip to the ice capades...or a horse ride at a farm for a Saturday.... or personal time shopping with you... seems like she LIKES you.(at least that is a start)
Hope some of this helps you. I find first grade is a bit tough. My son is really trying to push buttons, and it works with his dad, but not with me... I have to be the "No" and dad says yes to about anything...so in the end she will respect the more responsible adult ... the one who can say, "NO, right now is homework time, and that is your only option. After homework time you have 3 options....etc." instead of doing what ever she wants, whenever she wants it.
When she is 21 she can do what ever she wants under her own roof. (But she'll need a college education and a JOB to do that!)

Michelle - posted on 11/06/2009

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Quoting Carol:

pstttt they aren't married so she 's not even the stepmom she's just daddy's play thing for now... i'm sorry about your stepson but you aren't his parent

You're right Michelle, I'm not his parent. I just loved him like one. I'm just an adult he lived with from the time he was 2 until he was 7 and suddenly, because his dad is an abusive spouse, he isn't allowed to see me again. It's twisted, jealous, sick parents like you that screw kids up for life. God help yours because you certainly aren't.

Samantha - the Hooked on Phonics was a reading program for K-2 and then 3-6, not the individual books that Wal-Mart and the like sell. It's a much more comprehensive program than my oldest son had in public school. It can also be done to supplement public school - although you'll notice that the pace is very different. Homeschooling, especially at this age, is not hard and not expensive if you know where to look (the library was one of my favorites). Good luck.


if he was an abusive spouse maybe you should be more worried about getting your stepson away from him and to his mom or grandparents . my kids are well taken care of they dont have to worry about the stepparent situation .and what the heck would i be jealous of? divorced people aren't on my jealous list

Carol - posted on 11/06/2009

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pstttt they aren't married so she 's not even the stepmom she's just daddy's play thing for now... i'm sorry about your stepson but you aren't his parent



You're right Michelle, I'm not his parent. I just loved him like one. I'm just an adult he lived with from the time he was 2 until he was 7 and suddenly, because his dad is an abusive spouse, he isn't allowed to see me again. It's twisted, jealous, sick parents like you that screw kids up for life. God help yours because you certainly aren't.



Samantha - the Hooked on Phonics was a reading program for K-2 and then 3-6, not the individual books that Wal-Mart and the like sell. It's a much more comprehensive program than my oldest son had in public school. It can also be done to supplement public school - although you'll notice that the pace is very different. Homeschooling, especially at this age, is not hard and not expensive if you know where to look (the library was one of my favorites). Good luck.

User - posted on 11/06/2009

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Wow ok,apparently you have issues Michelle. I have been my boyfreinds "plaything" for 3 years and his daughter IS my responsibility as she lives in my house and has for the last 2 years. I AM her legal guardian and you dont have to be married to be a legal gaurdian. Thank you Carol for your advice. I have been seriously considering working with her at home this year and then maybe trying again next year. She doesnt know why she wont do her homework. She knows the stuff so its not that she is confused she is just stubborn. We actually have parent teacher conferences next week and i have managed a few minutes of conversation with the teacher here and there but not alot. Maybe it isnt fun enough for her. Her dad isnt the most book smart guy in the world and the math these days seems to confuse him and his daughter takes advantage of that fact lol. I work from 230 to 11 most nights so unfortunately I dont get much time with her. Maybe I will look into hooked on phonics and leapfrog as they are things all the kids can use...... Thanks

User - posted on 11/06/2009

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And she brings home anywhere between 3 and 7 homework sheets most days because she didnt do them in class....

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