Friday, April 8, 2011


How often do you ask your kids "How was school?"

How often do they answer "fine or good?"

What if they answered "The same, boring and I hate it."

What do you do?

Maybe you follow up with "What do you hate about school"

The answer is "Everything except gym, lunch, and recess"

So then you say "Well, if you could change something about school, what would it be"

They might say "I don't even know where to start, the whole thing is terrible"

This happens. To me. Almost everyday.

It breaks my heart.

Since the age of 3 when he started preschool, I can count on one hand how many days my child has enjoyed being at school. I mean, really excited, coming out of school and wanting to tell me about a project, or a topic.

Mostly, he comes out of school flat.

My kid? Is not a flat kid.

So you sit there and ask more specific questions to try and find out exactly is going on.

I think a big part of his frustration is the amount of idle time he has at school.

So now you have this information, how do you communicate it to the teacher? How do you work together to try and get your child to enjoy it?

Is it even possible?

The following is a letter that I wrote this morning. I publish this for other parents who might be in this position.

Wish me luck. (Note all names have been changed)



I was talking to Brian about school and have a few concerns. He mentions that a big frustration for him is that he finishes his work so quickly that he feels like he reads a book “for two hours a day.”

Though I’m sure he is not reading for that long, his perception is so.

He is also currently in a book rut. I need someone’s help finding a series of books that he might enjoy. He reads very quickly and when we do find a book he likes, he generally reads the whole book in one day.

He claims that he’s read his current book at school five times. Obviously, this is not desirable.

There must be someone who can help him in the library find something for him. I have tried numerous times at the Smithville library system but they are unwilling to help me find books that are not “grade level” for him.

This has been a frustration of mine as well. How, as parents, are we to find the resources to help our reading hungry children?

I understand that maybe Brian is “picky” about his reading, but this should be met with a challenge. You have to remember that he started independently reading at a very young age and has read hundreds of books. It’s not a surprise to me that he has a good sense of what he likes and what he doesn’t.

I also have a concern about the amount of reading he is doing at school. Is this reading part of a curriculum directive? He said that once he is done with his work, he is instructed to read until others are done. I think this is ok in theory, but if you have a child that finishes consistently early with work, this child would be reading for a greater overall percent of the school year.

He would much rather have more work to do than reading casually. He reads about an hour at home everyday on his own as it is.

So, I guess I want to know, how much reading IS he doing on any given day or week?

On a final note, I attended the assessment presentation last night given by Dawn Morris. He mentioned that there are 10 different reading assessments given at the elementary level.

I am interested in seeing how Brian’s assessment scores were for the fall versus the spring.

If this needs to be done in a meeting, I am willing to do so.

Together, I hope we can create an environment in school for Brian that not only fulfills him, but inspires him.

Thank you,

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