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My kid finally did some teenage shit that he had to be grounded for. It’s the most California thing ever— he skipped an evening class he has to go the gym with friends.

Like a genius, he’s already driven to the gym and then let his mother knew “class MIGHT get out early” and was thinking of going. She tracked his phone and he was already there.

Grounded for the rest of the week, car privileges revoked!

Literally the first time he’s ever gotten in trouble. We’re secretly proud that he’s at least getting out and being something of a teenager.

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At what age should two same sex siblings stop bathing together?

I saw, when they don't want to anymore.  Family member chastised us for letting them still bathe together.  I am sure this is a no real right/ all cultural philosophy answer.   Just wondering what everyone here thinks.

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Honestly, I feel like boys are less embarrassed about nakedness. I guess when they get uncomfortable with it? I mean E is 8 and has no shame. Q is 11 and mortified when she sees him naked, which is about 3x a week because he just doesn't give a rip walking from his room to the bathroom for a shower (its literally the eoom next to his bedroom. He also gets distracted while getting dressed, some days I find him half dressed reading a book instead of getting ready.

However, I will say that E doesn't like seeing the rest of us naked. He is more uncomfortable with other people's nakedness than his own.

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11 hours ago, Destiny Skywalker said:

Honestly, I feel like boys are less embarrassed about nakedness. I guess when they get uncomfortable with it? I mean E is 8 and has no shame. Q is 11 and mortified when she sees him naked, which is about 3x a week because he just doesn't give a rip walking from his room to the bathroom for a shower (its literally the eoom next to his bedroom. He also gets distracted while getting dressed, some days I find him half dressed reading a book instead of getting ready.

However, I will say that E doesn't like seeing the rest of us naked. He is more uncomfortable with other people's nakedness than his own.

Yeah...both boys are super comfortable and said family member is mortified around body stuff--even the kids going to the pool without a swimming shirt. 

I don't want the boys feeling shame about their body. 

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19 hours ago, Hobbes said:

At what age should two same sex siblings stop bathing together?

I saw, when they don't want to anymore.  Family member chastised us for letting them still bathe together.  I am sure this is a no real right/ all cultural philosophy answer.   Just wondering what everyone here thinks.

No clue. We still bathe Luke (6) with his little cousins (boys 4 & 5 and girl 3). Nobody seems to care. Noah went through a weird "don't see me naked!" thing when he was 8/9 and then got over it until he was 12ish, and now he's solidly in teenage privacy zone (and he takes 30 minute showers but doesn't seem to come out completely clean...somebody help me here!!). 

 

22 hours ago, Tank said:

Literally the first time he’s ever gotten in trouble. We’re secretly proud that he’s at least getting out and being something of a teenager.

Looking forward to this with Noah. I get it. 

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Alright, parents and educators, what do you think about learning loss during the pandemic? This has been on my mind the last few weeks and now I see this article. https://apnews.com/article/online-school-covid-learning-loss-7c162ec1b4ce4d5219d5210aaac8f1ae?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=news_tab

I'm really starting to notice it in E, actually. He is a smart kid so he has gotten by. But I'm realizing he didn't get the strong phonics background that should've happened in 1st grade (2020-21 school year), so while he can read, he can't spell and it's put him even further behind in writing. He can still do math in his head and I felt like the resources for that were better during online learning. He is flunking every spelling test, even when he can answer verbally. I would say this is the first year he has had that has been like real school. It is conference week next week and I've heard from the special education teacher that his gen ed teacher is very worked up about his handwriting. The district that we are now in went back to in-person hybrid learning months before his former district did.

Q was in person the entire 2020-21 school year, so she seems right on target still. But that 3 months of virtual school at the end of 2019-20 was awful and she was really struggling.

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Being "behind" is a concept that only exists in schools and has little to do with learning in general. All educational benchmarks are essentially made up by people and some of those are even arbitrary. Whenever someone pulls their kiddos to homeschool and starts panicking on the FB groups, the first thing we have to make them understand is that homeschool doesn't have to (and shouldn't) look like public school. The second thing we have to make them understand is that there is no such thing as being "behind". Kiddos always learn best on their own timeline, and regardless of the intention and effort of individual teachers, public school simply cannot accommodate each student on their own timeline. Inevitably, this leaves some students "behind". It also leaves gifted and advanced learners "behind" in their potential because they too cannot learn on their own (accelerated) timeline. This is possibly my least favorite thing about our educational system as a whole, and one of the main reasons we homeschool. 

If we judge solely by state or national standards, both of my kids are "behind" in various subjects. My kiddos are both very smart (though only one has been officially labeled gifted, I'm pretty sure they both are), but they still have a natural learning timeline that doesn't match up with state or national standards. At this point, and I'm not even joking here, Luke's handwriting is better than Noah's. I'm not sure Noah's ever going to have "good" handwriting. Both kiddos use the same math program (very conceptual for exceptionally gifted math-y people) - Luke is flying through Level 1 and will likely be starting Level 2 well before summer, and Noah is FINALLY (OMG FINALLY) on the last section of Level 5. Age-wise, these kids are in 1st and 9th grade. There's a very real possibility that they'll be working on the same math in the next 3-4 years. But the only real advantage Luke has over Noah is that Noah has very low processing speed and working memory. 

And also, from what I've seen and read, many public schools barely even teach phonics anymore. They rely on other reading methods. Check this out, you might find it enlightening. 

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Oh we are still fighting learning loss I feel like I see a difference in classes from five years ago and what they were doing compared to now. Some of it is nonverbal. Like certain terms or words take time to recall or get right. 

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1 hour ago, Cerina said:

Being "behind" is a concept that only exists in schools and has little to do with learning in general. All educational benchmarks are essentially made up by people and some of those are even arbitrary. Whenever someone pulls their kiddos to homeschool and starts panicking on the FB groups, the first thing we have to make them understand is that homeschool doesn't have to (and shouldn't) look like public school. The second thing we have to make them understand is that there is no such thing as being "behind". Kiddos always learn best on their own timeline, and regardless of the intention and effort of individual teachers, public school simply cannot accommodate each student on their own timeline. Inevitably, this leaves some students "behind". It also leaves gifted and advanced learners "behind" in their potential because they too cannot learn on their own (accelerated) timeline. This is possibly my least favorite thing about our educational system as a whole, and one of the main reasons we homeschool. 

If we judge solely by state or national standards, both of my kids are "behind" in various subjects. My kiddos are both very smart (though only one has been officially labeled gifted, I'm pretty sure they both are), but they still have a natural learning timeline that doesn't match up with state or national standards. At this point, and I'm not even joking here, Luke's handwriting is better than Noah's. I'm not sure Noah's ever going to have "good" handwriting. Both kiddos use the same math program (very conceptual for exceptionally gifted math-y people) - Luke is flying through Level 1 and will likely be starting Level 2 well before summer, and Noah is FINALLY (OMG FINALLY) on the last section of Level 5. Age-wise, these kids are in 1st and 9th grade. There's a very real possibility that they'll be working on the same math in the next 3-4 years. But the only real advantage Luke has over Noah is that Noah has very low processing speed and working memory. 

And also, from what I've seen and read, many public schools barely even teach phonics anymore. They rely on other reading methods. Check this out, you might find it enlightening. 

Regrading most public schools never teach phonics anymore:

I am sure there are some that don't, but all approved Colorado Department of Education literacy curriculum have significant phonics components.  In fact, all the major curriculum have phonics instructions.  We use EL Language Arts K-8 and it has a full hour of phonics instruction in K-2 classrooms.  A school can choose not to use one of these curriculums, but they may be ineligible to receive additional funding to help struggling readers.  Additionally ALL K-3 teachers in the state of Colorado were mandated to complete a 40 hour course on evidence based reading instruction which emphasizes phonics instruction.  I know many states are requiring similar instruction--including Texas.  I don't disagree with the article, but the fact that most schools don't teach phonics is simply untrue.  The challenge is that phonics is difficult to teach remotely. 

I agree individual students have various learning and developmental timelines...just like they do with their bodies.  All students have different developmental needs and strengths--whether that be emotional, cognitive, social, or whatever that factor into the students achievement level.  But as far as saying that a student is "behind" does not correspond to real learning, I very much disagree. 

I completed my doctoral dissertation in educational equity within elementary stem education so a lot of this will be through that lens.  When we talk about educational equity and social justice--whether that be racial, economic status, gender, etc--a key component is  students having the skills necessary to access in demand and higher paying jobs.  STEM careers are the fastest growing and highest paying careers.  There are two foundational benchmarks of whether or not a student will be able to graduate from college with a degree in a STEM field: being at grade level in third grade for literacy and 7th grade in math.  If students are NOT at grade level at those two markers, although possible, it is highly unlikely that students will catch up.  The qualitative SAT score is the biggest predictor of success in STEM college degrees.  In order to obtain a strong quantitative score, the student should be hitting those state/national benchmarks.  The converse of this--the farther students are from peers at these grade levels  are more likely to drop-out, be incarcerated, etc.  I know it was often misquoted in some political debates that prisons predict future bed numbers based on third grade scores--but there is strong correlation between low literacy and incarceration rates

Let's say I have two schools.  School A has 90% of students reading at grade level and school B has 10% of students reading at grade level.  School A is in a white, affluent neighborhood and school B is in a black, poor neighborhood.  If I were to say, "students in school A are just on their own learning timeline than students at school B".  That is straight up racist and many people hold that worldview to justify why white students out perform black students without looking at the structural racism built into our system.  There are multiple educational organizations that are going into low performing schools and turning them around resulting in strong longitudinal impacts in higher earnings, lower incarceration rates, etc for their students.  Their primary focus--getting students to grade level.  If a student is at grade level at these benchmarks, the odd of them falling behind is significantly less.

I took over a school that was in turnaround status.  Many of the students have high social and emotional needs, large special education population, and a high low social economic status  and I was  told by the school community (including a few teachers) "academics just aren't our students strengths--and not trying to toot my own horn (okay maybe I am)--but I am a finalist for Colorado Principal of the Year due in large part to our CMAS (state testing) results:

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I follow a system that many of these high turnaround schools use.  My school has a high percentage of students from low-income homes and on IEPs.  I now many educators that say--well these kids can't/aren't ready to learn.  FUCK THAT.  ALL students can learn.  It is just that school educators may not have the resources to move so many students.  By putting it with lowered expectations and excuses you are loving your child into illiteracy. 

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On 10/17/2022 at 11:41 PM, Tank said:

My kid finally did some teenage shit that he had to be grounded for. It’s the most California thing ever— he skipped an evening class he has to go the gym with friends.

Like a genius, he’s already driven to the gym and then let his mother knew “class MIGHT get out early” and was thinking of going. She tracked his phone and he was already there.

Grounded for the rest of the week, car privileges revoked!

Literally the first time he’s ever gotten in trouble. We’re secretly proud that he’s at least getting out and being something of a teenager.

Lol. Must also feel quite weird to discipline him for essentially doing something good and healthy, i.e going to gym. 

But yeah, can't bunk out of a commitment 

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On 10/18/2022 at 2:03 AM, Hobbes said:

At what age should two same sex siblings stop bathing together?

I saw, when they don't want to anymore.  Family member chastised us for letting them still bathe together.  I am sure this is a no real right/ all cultural philosophy answer.   Just wondering what everyone here thinks.

My take would be that gender in this case should be irrelevant, but basically whenever one of them feels uncomfortable/self aware about it, or just before the hormones start kicking in.

Hell, when I was at boarding school we had communal showers which I admit was a little weird but did me no harm. Showered with 14 other naked boys till I was 18 years old. Not sure schools would get away with doing that these days 

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Hobbes said - "I now many educators that say--well these kids can't/aren't ready to learn.  FUCK THAT.  ALL students can learn.  It is just that school educators may not have the resources to move so many students.  By putting it with lowered expectations and excuses you are loving your child into illiteracy. "

And I whole heartedly AGREE. Every kid is a sponge wanting to learn and lowering expectations really hurts a family trying to grow a student. I think having benchmarking and testing and why isn't my kid isn't .... starts probably in the pediatricians office with where you're kid is in percentiles and talking about like when they sit up or start walking. It's great to have that and all but it starts putting a kind of competitive edge on it for a parent and child. But we're human sooooooo.  

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2 hours ago, Ms. Spam said:

Hobbes said - "I now many educators that say--well these kids can't/aren't ready to learn.  FUCK THAT.  ALL students can learn.  It is just that school educators may not have the resources to move so many students.  By putting it with lowered expectations and excuses you are loving your child into illiteracy. "

And I whole heartedly AGREE. Every kid is a sponge wanting to learn and lowering expectations really hurts a family trying to grow a student. I think having benchmarking and testing and why isn't my kid isn't .... starts probably in the pediatricians office with where you're kid is in percentiles and talking about like when they sit up or start walking. It's great to have that and all but it starts putting a kind of competitive edge on it for a parent and child. But we're human sooooooo.  

Supporting Cerina's points--is that these things should be looked at as a body of evidence.  I am not a fan of high stakes testing.  I know many students that had plenty of indicators that they were strong readers, but fell short on a standardized test.  I swear to god, last year I had a group of fifth grade girls make HUGE growth, but the weekend before CMAS they all got their nails done with these ridiculous long nails making it difficult for them to type.  With so many social services in our community, many of these services are falling on schools to provide and without additional funding.  So without a doubt, the system is far from perfect.  High stakes esting has also been historically bias against certain groups.  Although we still have a ways to go--it has come a long, long way. 

I think you can look no further than gifted education.  Nationally, approximately 13% of all Asian students, 8% of all white, and 3% of all black students are gifted.  The local affluent, white school had one grade level test at 40% gifted.  As a former director of a district highly gifted program, pretty much all students were ALL white and affluent.  In order to get into this program you needed to have a teacher recommendation (look up SIGS).  Guess who was not referred for gifted programming?  Non-white students.  Questions on the SIGS asked teachers and parents on specific student behaviors in the classroom--generally these behaviors are prioritized in Euro-Centric households...for example how often students ask deep questions or challenge the status quo--when for many cultures, that is something students are taught not to do.  I had an argument with a teacher that refused to refer an adopted Haitian immigrant  into a gifted program because of this.  My pushes to look at different qualifications for gifted students was one the reasons a I left that job (and went to Aurora). 

My old district went away from teacher recommendation and started using, test scores as a recommendationIf a student scored within a certain level, they were automatically tested even without a teacher recommendation.  It turns out, many non-white students were not being tested for gifted programming even with high test scores because they were "hard workers" and not "gifted".  Whereas many white students that had lower scores were tested because teachers (mainly parents pressuring teachers) felt their kid was gifted they just didn't have the scores.  I do believe there are students there are gifted students--but the whole gifted thing has lots of elements of pseudoscience  that is only there to stroke parent egos--but that is a completely different post. 

 

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I hate the referral process for gifted testing. I really don't think most teachers would refer difficult or neurodiverse kids.

Q was also terrible at phonics, and is a bad speller, although I kind of blame the fact that she was in speech therapy at the time. I've always tried to have my kids sound words out, and then I get back a spelling test and there is a R in random places where there is not even a R anywhere in the word. I mean they can both read and comprehend just fine, but their spelling is pretty atrocious. No one has identified them as dyslexic because they can read, but I have to wonder.

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We had parent-teacher conferences today. Gen ed teacher had lots of good things to say. I'm glad she is able to focus on the positive. He is at or above grade level according to all their benchmarks. She admitted that assessing his writing ability is very difficult, however. She said he has lots of good ideas but can't get them out on paper. He does math in his head since he can't write very well, but she says she knows he's doing it because he can explain it. She wasn't worried about spelling because he can read above grade level. She understood my concerns, though, and said they would work with him on that.

Friend whose daughter is in the gifted program says we should definitely get him assessed for it. I'm not sure he can make it through the assessment. Hopefully they have some IEP accommodations for that. Testing is in the spring.

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I treat them all like gifted students. It's like you start at the same level but I teach in a charter school that focuses on language arts so most of my students are where they want to be. 

In fun things I did with my class I went out on the riverwalk reach for museums because right now it's Monarch season but also a lot of other butterflies. I was doing a science unit and it had to do with how butterflies grow and identification so they all had little butterfly books and had to find 5 different butterflies and identify them (we're trying to be eco friendly so they were to take snapshots with their tablets and not pin them like we used to back in the day). It was a good way to get some energy out and they had to become really still to get the best butterfly pics. We also grated some apples and put some water on the grated apples on plates to help lure them to spots. We got to talk about biodiversity and they also caught a few pics of moths and dragonflies.  

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The bananas get eaten HA. For my free breakfasts they eat the bananas but toss the apples and oranges so I didn't want to waste them. We're trying to also do the from chrysalis type experiment so I have a ton of ball jars with paper towels, sticks and punched holes in the lids all over the classroom.

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Well we finally pulled the trigger and notified the school that Q is withdrawing at the end of next week and returning to public school after another meltdown Thursday night. Her teacher's my way or the highway attitude is causing her anxiety to go through the roof, and the Mean Girl stuff isn't being addressed by the administration. When other kids accuse Q of ridiculous stuff, the principal has badgered her to "just admit it so we can move on". No "let's hear your side", they've already decided she is guilty. Principal won't even call me, she sends an automated email. And Q has moved from being sad to angry, which isn't a good place. Teacher kept her in from recess earlier this week because she was doodling after finishing her math work early and told her that she was being disrespectful. And then yesterday she got out of line on the way back from gym to snag a drink from the water fountain, so the teacher made the entire class walk all the way back down the stairs and back up. I don't get the bizarre power tripping and I don't appreciate her using peer shaming to get a kid with anxiety to comply. So yesterday I pulled her out a few hours early and we visited the local public school. It didn't go as well as I hoped. It's an older building with a very California campus feel. Her school is running their 2nd security fundraiser campaign in 5 years because they've run out of shit to fundraise for, so she felt very insecure and unsafe on such an open campus. There are only 2 5th grade classes of 29 students and one of those classes is a combined 5/6 class. It's not ideal. She said she would prefer to go to E's school. In some ways this would be more convenient for us and honestly, really good for E because he wouldn't be on the bus (that part is a little less convenient for me in some ways but more convenient than hanging around another hour to drop Q off at school). I emailed the principal to ask if it's even possible on short notice (I do hear that the district will allow this to keep families together). All I can do is ask, right? And worst case they say no.

Last night, I felt like Q was finally relaxed, and I asked if she was relieved and she said yes. I admittedly think this week is going to be a rough one. The school is going to be pissed because I put a stop payment on the tuition withdrawal (1st of the month), and we are overpaid by more than a month because they make you pay ahead, and I know they are going to try to fight to keep that money. I am also concerned that her teacher and administration is going to pull her aside to ask why, and they need to just leave her alone and talk to me instead of setting her off. I am concerned that all of this trauma is making her more easily provoked and her last week will be awful. If so, I'm prepared to keep her home.

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So about security - what I tell parents who ask I say we are as safe as you are in the grocery store or shopping. All this stress on security heightens anxiety kind of on purpose. There are ways we are more secure than even the store because schools have communication. So as long as you feel comfortable with her teachers and the school communicates and does what it’s supposed to teach I think Q will relax. My job is Tom make sure your kids are secure. 
 

Probably the biggest issue with public is class sizing. I am over capacity. My classroom is designed for 18 students. This year I have 36 in my biggest class. 
 

check in on Charter schools if you get a chance. 

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16 minutes ago, Ms. Spam said:

So about security - what I tell parents who ask I say we are as safe as you are in the grocery store or shopping. All this stress on security heightens anxiety kind of on purpose. There are ways we are more secure than even the store because schools have communication. So as long as you feel comfortable with her teachers and the school communicates and does what it’s supposed to teach I think Q will relax. My job is Tom make sure your kids are secure. 
 

Probably the biggest issue with public is class sizing. I am over capacity. My classroom is designed for 18 students. This year I have 36 in my biggest class. 
 

check in on Charter schools if you get a chance. 

I think her school is driving that anxiety on purpose to raise funds for new fancy shit that they don't need so they can brag about how superior they are. I think she will be perfectly safe on campus, but I admit it's kind of a stupid design for a Pacific Northwest school. E's school is a more secure campus, and mostly indoor. In all honesty she may just prefer that it's a more modern campus.

Charter schools really aren't a thing in our area. I know they are in Florida, but they sometimes aren't well managed.

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