Feeling disheartened with the education system

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Poppit, May 8, 2011.

  1. Poppit

    Poppit New Member

    Hi all,
    What a ride I feel that I am on, I feel hopeless, depressed, anxious and currently disheartened with the education system
    My son is 6 yrs. old, has just completed term one at primary school, with drastically below average results, at the start of the year I told the teacher he is on a waiting list to see a childhood specialist, as I believe he has an auditory processing problem, and possibly something else , I asked her if I could get a list of things they will be working on, so I could add them to my list of things that I work on with him at home, she said they will be holding a parent info night soon, well they had the parent info night, which only outlined normal basics that a child would do at home anyway.
    Periodically over the last term I have asked her how he is doing and how his behaviour has been, she has mentioned that he doesn’t follow queue, and needs to be reminded to stay on task, this has never surprised me, and she has never mentioned anything at all about his behaviour though.
    Last week his intermittent report came home with unsatisfactory on everything and asking to see myself and his father for a ( 15 min interview.)
    The interview went terribly, she said “he can’t read, he can’t write and well for maths he can’t do that either.”
    I said he is more than capable of all those things, he counts to 100, admittedly sometimes I need to prompt him on the 10’s , her response was we can’t do that here .
    She showed us his writing from that day, which was a whole heap of letters all together, admittedly when he writes with me at home, I remind him to use a space in between, and help him with some spelling.
    She also showed us a work sheet asking them to write 20 AT words,in the alloted time given he had only completed 2 words Mat and Sat, I said these are words he does at home all the time and actually did the AT words this morning on reading eggs as we have been re doing his lessons, she said it’s a different format, I was so upset and my mind was reeling , I didn’t mention we also do them on flash cards as well.
    I said what can I do at home to help this, she looked at me blankly, I said I spend about an hour getting him to focus some days, she said that’s too much , I said well what am I supposed to do not teach him ( bursting into tears) she said he needs to be a kid as well then continued saying he isn’t even at entry level to year one, I said I spoke to his teacher in Prep and said I was concerned he wouldn’t be ready for year one, she advised me he was fine to go up, his current Teacher said if he’s not learning it doesn’t matter what year he is in.
    She showed us more unsatisfactory work.
    We discussed the fact that he will be in to see a specialist in the next few months, and I asked if she could do a write up on my son for us to give to him, she said she couldn’t but the school will get an assessment and will work with the specialist.
    Then she went on to say that she has applied for my son to go to the special needs class twice a week, which I am happy about,
    (Hopefully I can work closely with them, as I found his year 1 teacher very smiley but disconnected for finding any type of solution.)
    Last but not least she said his behaviour needed to be improved immediately , well this was all new to me as far as school goes, she said he was out of control today and did anything happen at home this morning, I said no he was actually really good this morning, the only thing I could think of was he only had one mouth full of his weetbix , and that was a battle I wasn’t willing to have , she said fair enough.
    (In hindsight I should have mentioned that I had talked to him about his report and told him that his teacher doesn’t think he can do his work and he needs to prove it to her.)
    Anyway I was beside myself full blow negativity Interview with not one scrap of hope thrown in, I walked away with my head spinning and feeling extremely embarrassed that I had cried and continued to sit there fighting the tears back, I was wondering what the point was of my son going there 6 hours a day if they can’t help him or prompt him, or just generally work with him, I’m angry, confused and disheartened.

    Yes my son can be a handful, yes my son finds it hard to focus, yes my son sometimes has a low level of comprehension, and until now that I am aware of,has managed to keep his worst misbehaviour for home, but I love him more than anything , want the best for him and want him to get better as any mother would .

    Has anyone else had a similar experience? It would be nice to know I am not the only one
    sorry not sure how the signature works, still trying to work all this out :)
    33 yrs -Married mum of 2
  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member


    You are not the only one. School can be very difficult for our kids (and for us!). While your system in Australia is different than ours here in the USA, the hope and frustration is exactly the same! I think your idea of working with the special needs teacher is a good one. She is going to be much more informed about the techniques that may help your son. If your son can do the work for you, that is a great sign. It may be that the teacher is a huge part of the problem. If, after you meet with the Special Education teacher, you still need a list of what skills he should be working on, let me know -- I have the whole curriculum from our school and can give you some direction.
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    <sigh> No, you are not alone. We're 9 years ahead of you - and still have problems with schools. We'd heard "down under" was more progressive than here... but that's how rumours go!

    Risking repeats in other messages that are soon to follow... not sure if you have access to our favorite books around here... the most frequent suggestion being "The Explosive Child" (see book list) - because it seems to apply to a lot more than just "explosive"... as in, applies to any kid with normal intellegence and developmental delays and/or learning disabilities...

    I also like (if its still in print) "Smart Kids with School Problems" by Priscilla L. Vail - was recommended by Special Education teacher back in grade 1, and we still use it.

    Hang in there!
  4. Poppit

    Poppit New Member

    Hi JJJ,
    Thank you so much for reply and offer of information any direction would be greatly appreciated :) , I left work half way through last year to spend more quality time with the kids and help my son with his schooling, I have seen definite improvements scholastically with him as did his Prep teacher, it’s just frustrating that his yr 1 teacher doesn’t see any of it , or more so doesn’t have the time to see any of it, I am defiantly looking forward to working with the special needs class and more so looking forward to getting my son diagnosed , so I can help him all round instead of feeling like I have tried everything.

    Thanks again for you reply
  5. Poppit

    Poppit New Member

    Hey InsaneCdn,

    Thanks so much for your reply and advice,

    I have been reading alot of posts and came across the book suggestion "The Explosive Child" I will be defiantly getting it when I can :) will also have a look around for "Smart Kids with School Problems" by Priscilla L. Vail - Thank you

    Schooling here Down Under LOL has changed in the last year or so , they have brought in NAPLAN testing which has put alot of pressure on the teachers which is being filtered down to the kids , Hopefully I can get on top of things soon .

    Thank you
  6. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    I'm hoping that Marguerite may see and respond to your post--She is Australian and is quite an impressive force in her own right. Perhaps PM her if she doesn't pop up here tomorrow.

    Has your son been evaluated for ADHD?
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Book hint - if you can't get your hands on "the explosive child" immediately, check for "lost in school" - same author, covering essentially the same materials... the only diff is that the first one is written with parents in mind and uses typical at-home case studies, while the second one is written with teachers in mind and uses typical at-school case studies... We picked up both - in part so that if I have to lend one to the teachers, I still have my own!
  8. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    What can he do so far in reading?

    1) recognize all upper and lower case letters?
    2) know the sounds for all letters? including short and long vowels?
    3) knows the sounds for the letter blends, dipthongs, etc?
    4) knows Dolch sight words (pre-primer, primer, 1st, 2nd, 3rd)?
    5) can listen to a story and answer simple comprehension questions?
    6) using picture cues, tell what happened 1st, 2nd , 3rd in a story?
  9. tictoc

    tictoc New Member

    I think most of us here have been through a horrifying and dispiriting meeting with the school at some point. And, many of us have cried, especially at the first such meeting. It can be overwhelming to sit across the table from the teacher and hear so many negative comments about someone you love so much.
  10. Poppit

    Poppit New Member

    Hi pepper,

    Thanks for your Msg :), My son hasn't been evaluated for anything as yet he, he was on a waiting list from last year and I recently found out it would be another 3 years before being seen :S, so we have organised seeing a Pediatrician privately in June/ July this year
  11. Poppit

    Poppit New Member

    Hi again JJJ,
    My son reads on level one at school, needs to be level six by the end of the year
    He recognizes all upper and lower case letters
    He knows his phonics, sometimes gets stuck with association on K & C words
    He is working on letter blends
    He knows some Dolch sight words in all categories but not all in all of them ( by the way I had never heard of Dolch words,Im so clueless, I wish I knew about them & googled it before I made all my flash cards up)
    He can listen to a story and answer simple comprehension questions
    not sure on number 6 will try it out

    he can count to 100 with some prompting on the tens ( I use my hands , for 50 I will hold 5 fingers up)
    he has grasped the concept of 1 times tables
    he can add when focused
    He doesn’t grasp the concept of time, days, weeks , months etc…
    He hasn’t grasped monetary value

    Thanks so much for your questions , they have given me a lot of new Idea's which I appreciate J
  12. Poppit

    Poppit New Member

    Hi tictoc,

    I really appreciate your empathy ~ Thank you :)
    I have so much to learn, I think I enrolled my son into school with my blinkers on, i thought I was prepared ( I wasn't )
    but I will get there :)
    Thanks again :)
  13. Poppit

    Poppit New Member

    Hi again InsaineCdn,

    Will also put them on the book list and have a look, also what an awesome idea about buying one that relates to the teachers :) and can be lent out
    thanks alot
  14. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Australia has a very good online schooling program. If you can get him enrolled in that, it should help with the curriculum.

    Time, days, months, money are all a bit advanced.

    My kids still sing the days of the week song sometimes:

    Sunday, Monday
    Tuesday, Wednesday
    Thursday, Friday
    Sunday, Monday
    Tuesday, Wednesday
    Thursday, Friday
    (sung to the tune of My Darling Clementine)

    I think the #1 MOST IMPORTANT THING that you can do at this age is to make learning fun. Be creative, use environmental learning opportunities. (How many steps to the park? Counting by 10s, how many jumps to get from the slide to the swings, etc). If he likes physical activity, create an obstacle course where after each physical obstacle there is a flashcard with either a sight word or a math fact that he has to read/solve.

    I wouldn't start multiplication yet. He should really learn his addition facts first.
  15. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member