1St Grade - School? EDITED

Updated on October 05, 2011
M.R. asks from North Olmsted, OH
12 answers

Ok ladies.. I'm seeking your help again!! My son will be 7 and is currently enrolled in a public school. However, I'm becoming concerned b/c last year he went to a private school (claimed he didn't like it) therefore we moved him to a public school. We did private last year b/c when we moved he was in a public all day kindergarten and where we moved to they did not offer full-day anywhere, except the private school. So my son is in public, but yet I'm concerned with his learning. So far we're 6 weeks into the school year and no spelling test?! I talked to my neighbor and she said that b/c the kids were 1/2 time last year that they were 'easing' them into full day first grade! I went to a catholic school and I felt that I was more advanced when I went to a public high school later on. I think the private school are very tight knitted (such as if your the new person it's hard to 'get in' with the other parents) but I noticed the work my son was doing was better. He had a hard time adjusting and I feel like he is in the public school as well. This teacher is a new teacher and is insisting on moving my son's colors on the first warning (green to yellow to red) even though others get a few warnings. She think that my son needed to have a stricter policy... which i was ok with, but with the option that it wasn't too negative and perhaps he could 'redeem' himself lets say if he ended up on red at 11 in the morning. She said no, and stated that he should 'feel bad for his actions'. I get that but I also feel that if he feels like he can't 'be good' anymore he won't try. I don't know what to to do and I don't even know what my whole point it. I don't want to keep moving my son around, but I just feel like his education is very important and I feel that as of right now he's testing me and seeing what he can get away with. I know catholic schools are pricey and I know there's assistance. I also know that this particular school has a 'no turn a child away' policy if you can't pay. I don't mind the catholic learning, however i prefer to go to a non-denominational church, which could impact my son as well. I don't know what to do I just feel the quality of learning isn't where it should be. I know another mom has a son in a public school not far from me and they are on their 5th spelling test already. I don't know if I should be concerned or not?! Any advice would help. Thanks mamas!
**EDIT - i had a sit down with the teacher already.. she was the one who suggested the stricter chart b/c he would listen by the 3rd warning.. However, since this has been in effect I've noticed more red colors b/c he can't be on green again. Also I have reward behavior and discipline at home. However i get a general form as to what he did circled..nothing about what actually happened or what he specifically did.. so when he comes home I don't know what was the problem that occurred at school and I don't want to go just off what my son says.. b/c obviously we know how kids can be.. :)

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M.F.

answers from Portland on

I can't give you advice on what you should do, that is too personal, and I have too many opinions to make a fair judgement.

I just wanted to say, on your statement about private schools being more advanced.
I went to a private Christian school from preschool to 4th grade. I then went to public school in 5th grade.
I was so far behind the other kids in my class I didn't know what they were studying and ended up having to repeat 5th grade.

It is not always true that private is better.
Just my opinion.
Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful

T.S.

answers from San Francisco on

You should start by having a parent teacher conference. Every district is different so you shouldn't base your decision on what your friend's child is doing. Get a copy of the first grade rubric for your son's school so you know exactly what's expected in first grade throughout the year.
Private/Catholic schools vary a lot, some are easier, some are harder. Again, if you consider looking at other schools get a copy of their rubric so you know ahead of time what is expected.
If you have already changed schools once based on the fact that your son didn't "like" it then I imagine he's having some behavioral issues in class. When you sit down with the teacher you can get a better picture of what's going on and work together to support your son. If you are able to volunteer in the classroom at all that's also a great way to observe the learning environment as well as your son's behavior in the classroom.

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☆.A.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Hmmmm....If I had moved my child every time he assured me he "didn't like" his school, we'd be on school #479 right about now. And he's in 3rd grade! LOL

Are you believing him that only he gets no warning, while "everyone else" gets "many" warnings?

That said, the rules and consequences should apply equally to all students and I'm confused by the fact that the teacher told you "she think(s) that my son needed to have a stricter policy". ???? Than the rest of the class? Does he have underlying discipline issues?

As far as the curriculum goes, if you feel the private school offers more, why not go back? It doesn't matter a hill of beans what church you go to if you send your child to a Catholic school! It just plain does NOT matter.

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D.B.

answers from Charlotte on

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A.V.

answers from Washington DC on

I think you need to bring your concerns to the teacher in a parent-teacher conference. You might also speak to other parents to see what they experienced with the school.

You have a LOT in this message. I get that 1) you are concerned about your child's mental health and quality of education but 2) you need to consider the costs of private school and would prefer a non-denominational academy and 3) your son is testing you. Those are all different issues.

I think you need to be "all in" on this school year if you don't want to move your kid around a lot. Think about the private school but unless you are going to move him ASAP, then you are eating up his year and it can be very disruptive to move mid-year, especially if you feel one school is more advanced.

B.S.

answers from Lansing on

Wow, sounds like you have a few issues going on. My daughter has not liked school since she started, but knows its something she has to do.

In regards to the spelling tests, yes my daughter is doing them weekly, but whose to say your sons school doesn't have something in mind.

You can always study words with him at home, that is pretty much all I'm doing with my daughter anyway. Every week we get a list, every week we study at home, then she goes in to take the test. It isn't like she is studying these words at school anyway. Oh and this is on top of practicing sight words at home. :)

In regards to your sons behavior at school, my daughter has had it both ways, without warning and the now the option to improve behavior. When it all comes down to it, you need to set something at home to reward/discipline him for good/bad behavior. That should help.

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H.M.

answers from Dallas on

I would sit down and talk with the teacher. Also is it your son that tells you he's the only one that does not give warnings to him and not the other kids. I have found with my boys I don't always get the entire story. My son was one that I had to talk to the teacher regularly. But if you don't feel you are being hurd after talking to her talk to the school counclior or the principle. The color chart works for some kids but not for others. With my youngest I learned to ask what he did from him. At one point the teacher started writing down on his daily folder what it was so I knew. And I would deal with him acordingly. As a parent you need to feel they are listening to your concerns. If you can't get anywhere with the teacher, councilor or principle then I would consider moving him. But not till you use all avenues. My son's principle had leaned that if there is an issue that if I am notified it will be delt with. Not all teachers are reseptive and I have had some that where are to deal with and his may be one of them. But do everythign you can before moving him. In the end you have got to do what's best for your son!

Good luck and God Bless!

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J.K.

answers from Phoenix on

Unless there is a HUGE issue regarding the well-being of your child, I vote for hanging in there with your child and making the best of the school he's already at. In the grand scheme of things, it won't matter if he starts spelling now or two years from now. It's like walking or potty training, he'll learn it eventually. Even if spelling ends up being a weakness of his, I doubt it'll be because this school didn't start it soon enough. I prefer waiting until they're reading more fluently until they start spelling. Reading is more important at this stage, in my opinion. I think your son is doing great. I wish you the best!

T.C.

answers from Austin on

You may want to speak with the principal or someone else at the school to find out if the other 1st grade classes are the same. Do all the 1st grade classes have the same schedule for learning spelling, do they group the advanced readers together? Aside from the behavior issues, is your son learning and are they doing assessments to find out what level each child is at? Ask if they have any other teachers that are more experienced in dealing with behavior problems, or if they have a behavior specialist that can give this new teacher some advice.

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E.W.

answers from Cleveland on

If you can't the teacher to work with you then you need to go to the next level to the principal. If she is a new teacher she should have a teacher mentor guiding her. There is no way she should be this inflexible already. If you want you can ask for an evaluation by the school psychologist to make sure they are doing things right. It will also help by identifying any behavioral issues that may or may not exist. But at least it would bring your child to the attention of the administrators that something is not working in the classroom.

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C.K.

answers from Cleveland on

I have four kids and they are all grown now--but I have to tell you that one of the hardest things we did was suffer through a lousy teacher for a full school year. In hindsight, I should have transferred my son to a different class. One of the parents of a fellow student, who was also a teacher, sat through some of this teacher's classes and was shocked at how terrible she was. With another child, in another school district, I was recently looking at my daughter's report card--and it was terrible. The teacher was a new teacher, and she spent the school year screaming at the children--fortunately, she decided to go back to school, and hopefully, not to teach again, since that obviously didn't work for her. It was a tough year for my child, but fortunately, she had a couple of good teachers along the way, and she became an outstanding student and person. Hindsight is always 20/20.

A.M.

answers from Kansas City on

Our 1st graders don't have regular spelling test either. We have sight words, words they should know by sight (duh!). We have a list of 200 words that they have to know by sight by the end of the year. Each quarter has about 50 words. I made flash cards and just this last Friday Syd one the blue ribbon for knowing all her sight words in less than 2 minutes. She is able to spell them correctly without having the standard spelling test.

Find out from the teacher if maybe that is what they are doing. If you'd like PM me and I can give you the list if you want to work on them with your first grader.

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