Friday, March 25, 2011

Proof

I am so excited... I can hardly contain myself!

I'm also so proud of Kid I am kind of crying.

So this is a good thing to read if you are contemplating homeschooling. (or if you're a skeptic)

Especially, if you are contemplating it because your child isn't "doing well" in a school setting.

Okay... I can't even take the time to write this out... you'll have to watch this: (It's straight up amazing!)

(I don't know why it is out of focus!...)

Synopsis:

Public school had her in remedial reading. Although she demonstrated reading comprehension above her grade level (3rd grade)... because she missed a 1st grade word during testing she was put into the lowest level she had completed successfully (Kindergarten).

Public school also had her placed in remedial math. Not because she had ever done ONE SINGLE math problem incorrectly... no... because she didn't take her timed math test quickly enough. A kid who up until that point has never taken a test, let alone a timed test, information they had been made well aware of.

So how is a kid placed in kindergarten level math and reading ever able to demonstrate their true abilities when they are only ever given remedial work to do?

Why would it be surprising that this same child sat at her desk bored and distracted by classmates rather than doing her work... which was... not challenging and therefore NOT engaging?

By the time we were made privy of the full extent of her learning deficits it was 3 months into the school year (which highlights another problem... doesn't it?).

This teacher flat out didn't believe Kid was capable of being in a higher level of academics and implied she was... well... not mentally capable of performing on par with her peers.

OKAY.

I'm not going to lie... that shook us up quite a bit.

Maybe she is behind? Maybe she has some kind of learning disability?

I was worried. Really.

When I took her out to homeschool I didn't even know where to start.

I put her in 1st grade math. And in 14 weeks she has finished over 144 lessons. She's finished all of the 1st grade books in a little over 3 months.

I was proud of that... and happy that we'll be starting with 2nd grade now and maybe... maybe... we'll catch up to grade level!

Then I got next year's curriculum in the mail and saw the AWESOME 3rd grade math program. I actually stayed up late one night doing the sample assignments. I was disappointed that Kid is behind in math and when we start 3rd grade we'd have to use something else until she caught up. I was really upset because I knew this computer game style of learning would really engage her. I wanted her to see it, to see if I was right about her liking it, and to give her something to work towards.

And PEOPLE she completed Lesson 51 (so a good 3 months into 3rd grade curriculum) with no problem. And loved it. And begged me to order it right away.

But she had never had any 2nd grade level math instruction. I was worried it might be a fluke and there might be more challenging topics that would frustrate her. But she loved it so much, so we took the placement test just to see. She slammed it.

I was so beaten down that even though we plowed through with the 1st grade math, I never sat down to think... hmm... maybe we're plowing through because it's too easy.

So this girl, who had been placed in remedial math in 2nd grade, after 14 weeks at home... and NO 2nd grade math instruction... is more than capable of doing 3rd grade math. Never had seen fractions or multiplication... and was able to do it on the spot. What?!!!

Oh, but that is not all.

When we started this curriculum we did a reading placement test. I was worried because she had been a delayed reader and because her teacher had her at a competent Kindergarten level reader. We took the placement test and it gave us Level 2 intermediate. I was thrilled! She wasn't delayed she was a competent 2nd grade reader.

I don't know why I never thought anything of the fact that in 14 weeks of doing our homeschool curriculum she has done the entire years worth of reading.

My one complaint about our curriculum is that they didn't give us enough reading.

I'm sure you're catching on to where this is going.

But I had had it beaten into me that she was DELAYED.

Then the new catalogue came out and they have re-labeled everything, because they found parents confused and assuming level 2 = 2nd grade. It doesn't. She had been reading 3rd grade intermediate readers this whole time! And flying through them.

So, with the math success under our belt, I thought... hmm... maybe she's flying through the readers because they aren't challenging?

We took the reading placement again this morning.

Care to guess what grade reading level she is at now, after 14 weeks of homeschooling?

SEVENTH FUCKING GRADE.

SEVENTH GRADE!

So, there you have it.

If children aren't given the opportunity to demonstrate their academic abilities... how can they?

And also... speed... is NOT the sole judge of mastery.

If it were...

Mr F...

would be living on the streets.

And, so, I think it is important for people to know this.

That some kids (smart kids, even) are getting left behind in the mainstream school system.

13 comments:

Angie said...

Oh, how happy I am right now. Hugs to you guys, and especially Ruby. And FU Mrs. Mean Lazy Teacher.

Torey said...

That literally made me tear up. You, of course, are proud of Kid, but you should also be SO proud of yourself (and Mr. F too) for believing in her and yourselves.

The Furious Family ROCKS!

blander said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gooddog said...

Made me cry too. That is WONDERFUL!!! I hope she is super proud.

Ans big ole kudos to you for doing what needed to be done for kid's wellbeing.

YAY!!

G in Berlin said...

So totally cool. I've been thinking that I should really explore some homeschooling for my girls- to try to give them some way of reaching grade level in English if we ever move back to the US (things here are a bit delayed and although my older is reading German, she needs help with English). I've lost your e-mail- could I ask some questions about what you have ordered and what tools I would need? You can reach me at bigappletobigbear@googlemail.com . I'll be in NY in May and I'd like to pre-order and bring it back with me if I can.

Kiki said...

There is no way that I would ever believe that Kid was delayed in any way, she asked thoughtful questions, she was insightful and intuitive.....she is so bright and shining her academics are just catching up to what anyone with two eyes and a heart can see!!!! That teacher was an idiot and should consider a job change!!!

Gigs said...

Excellent news! I really felt homeschooling would be a great fit for all of you, and I'm so glad it's working out in such a huge way. As you know, we've been fighting the public school on a lot of these same type of issues...why, why, why is it like that??? Your tag was awesome, because we have had always said in our family that humor is a sign of intelligence (and since we're all so very funny, we must all be very smart!). I actually really do think that is true. (If it is, you better watch out for Baby too - I'm sensing a family of geniuses!) I'm relieved for you in finding proof of Kid's gifts, and I feel validated for you, since you knew there was a better way for her all along. I hope this gives her tons of self confidence and all the other good stuff that comes from being/feeling successful. Congratulations!!!
PS: could you email me the name of your math curriculum? Computer based learning in math was one of the recent recommendations from our neuropsychologist, so I'm curious...if you don't mind :)

Deb said...

Oh, gosh, I just got teary-eyed.

I never, ever took away from your posts all these years that Kid was anything but whip smart. This is an amazing example of how public schools and their one-size-fits-all testing and teaching doesn't work.

Good for you!! This must be amazing validation for you.

Shirls said...

OMG, that is just so freaking awesome! Its absolutely thrilling, you made such a good choice :)

Marie said...

That is awesome. AWESOME!!! I am almost crying after watching the video..and could not be happier for you guys!! I cannot imagine how big of a difference this decision will make on the rest of Kids life...instead of being beaten down amd feeling "dumb" she will be able to reach her full potential..you know, the one WAY ABOVE her grade!!

BTW, which program are you using? Is it son light?

Mrs Furious said...

Marie,
Yes, we're using Sonlight.

Angie,
I'm so happy to!!

Torey,
Thank you :)

Gooddog,
Oh, she is SUPER proud. Last night I gave her a book to start and she said "Is this 6th grade level?" Bwahaha... I've created a monster.

GinBerlin,
I'll email you what we're doing. We are using Sonlight for history & reading... it is a Christian company... but it is easily secularized, as we are doing. We only had to remove 3 books out of the several dozen to keep it secular. So, don't let that scare you off... since it is a great literature based program that uses top quality materials. I've been really happy with it. The way the progress the difficulty of the readers has obviously worked to quickly increase her reading level. The math we're going to start is called Teaching Textbooks.

Kiki,
Thank you so much for that. :)

Gigs,
" I actually really do think that is true."
I do, too.

Shirls,
I know! I can't believe how quickly things have improved for her. SO validating!!

Deb,
"This is an amazing example of how public schools and their one-size-fits-all testing and teaching doesn't work. "
Word. I can't believe how wrong they have got it. I'm sure there are amazing teachers out there.. but they are fighting an uphill battle in a system that has lost its way.

Andrea said...

I'm so happy for ya'll, and for kid how awesome. I'm already starting my internal struggle with public school versus home since the fall will be here so quickly and my girl will be in kindergarten.I'm definently going to be on guard. Thanks for keeping us updated its encouraging to see you guys are doing so well.

Kelly said...

Right on, Mrs F! My kids were always getting in trouble for basically just being bored. We are now unschooling, and they are learning so much more than they ever would have at school because they do not get labeled failure or anything else. They learn what they want and need when they want and need it. I LOVE it! I could never put any of them back in a public school system. It was not my children who were failures, it is the system that is failing the kids!! Soooo glad to hear how great Kid is doing. I am really happy for you guys :)

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