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  1. Top | #11
    My Brane Hertz spikepipsqueak's Avatar
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    Not to start it up again, rather to inoculate us against the possibility.

    Remember that we lost some good people in the Battle of Smacking Hill and the Circumcision War.

    If anybody wants to address those issues - Just Say No.
    My Brane Hertz

  2. Top | #12
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    Oi! School is absolutely nuts! My daughter is in Kindergarten and they expect so much! My daughter's teacher has to deal with kids that can handle basic arithmetic... and a student or two that barely knows the alphabet! How do you do that?!

    We received one homework assignment and I actually commented on it being poorly formed... for Kindergartners, expecting them to pull critical thinking skills out of their rumps, instead of it being stepped out for them. I get frustrated having to figure out if my daughter should or shouldn't be able to do some of this stuff. I'm all for pushing children, but the level expected... and my daughter's stubbornness (despite being very bright), just create serious first world problems.
    Quote Originally Posted by bigfield View Post
    I don't have children but my partner and I are planning to start fairly soon (once we actually have a home to live in).

    So someone will be actually using your advice.
    The best advice is that advice can be absolutely worthless as so many children react in so many different ways to so many different methods of parenting. The best thing to say is "Yeah... children... oi!"
    Please don't let this thread become a shitfight about competing parenting techniques.
    Dude, this is the Internet.

  3. Top | #13
    Elder Contributor Keith&Co.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Higgins View Post
    for Kindergartners, expecting them to pull critical thinking skills out of their rumps, instead of it being stepped out for them. I get frustrated having to figure out if my daughter should or shouldn't be able to do some of this stuff. I'm all for pushing children, but the level expected...
    Deep breath.
    Don't get frustrated until you see the grading rubric.
    It could be just exposing them to the possibilities, to see what they can do, or maybe part of a before/after evaluation.

    It's possible that there will be no penalty for not being able to do this at this point in their academic explorations.

    If it's Kindergarten, the teacher knows they haven't been taught shit in previous years. So ask 'what did your teacher say about doing this?'

    It could also be a test of you. See if you're participating, see if you're doing her homework for her.

    So, figure out of it's a 'see what you can do' assignment or 'CIRCLE OF LIFE!' culling of the weak, before you freak. Don t make it more significant than it needs to be.

  4. Top | #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigfield View Post
    I don't have children but my partner and I are planning to start fairly soon (once we actually have a home to live in).

    So someone will be actually using your advice. Please don't let this thread become a shitfight about competing parenting techniques.
    We're a long way off of it being relevant, but I read The Whole Brain Child in January which I found pretty good. They did leave out the extraversion spectrum, though, which I think is an underrated aspect of understanding kids anyone. In that case Quiet by Susan Cain should suffice.

  5. Top | #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Higgins View Post
    Oi! School is absolutely nuts! My daughter is in Kindergarten and they expect so much! My daughter's teacher has to deal with kids that can handle basic arithmetic... and a student or two that barely knows the alphabet! How do you do that?!

    We received one homework assignment and I actually commented on it being poorly formed... for Kindergartners, expecting them to pull critical thinking skills out of their rumps, instead of it being stepped out for them. I get frustrated having to figure out if my daughter should or shouldn't be able to do some of this stuff. I'm all for pushing children, but the level expected... and my daughter's stubbornness (despite being very bright), just create serious first world problems.
    Quote Originally Posted by bigfield View Post
    I don't have children but my partner and I are planning to start fairly soon (once we actually have a home to live in).

    So someone will be actually using your advice.
    The best advice is that advice can be absolutely worthless as so many children react in so many different ways to so many different methods of parenting. The best thing to say is "Yeah... children... oi!"
    Please don't let this thread become a shitfight about competing parenting techniques.
    Dude, this is the Internet.
    I never got very far with commenting on how poorly assignments were laid out. It's more useful to ask short, direct questions in one sentence. Make sure you don't imply criticism of the teacher. As you said: they've got everything from kids who don't know the alphabet (or colors or how to count) to kids who are reading well and doing basic (or more) math. Just: How long do you want this report to be? That sort of thing....

    One of my kids had a teacher who was much sought after because of how much she pushed the kids. In second grade. Anyway, she assigned research papers. Yes: research papers on various aspects of Japanese culture. At the time, there were very few resources at an elementary school level (any grade) on Japanese culture at the local or school library. There was no internet. My son was assigned a topic because he was home sick when they were chosen and because of his illness, he had less time to complete the project. The entire class project was presented at a 'traditional Japanese tea ceremony' for parents and kindergarteners. (No, no Japanese or Japanese American students or staff at the school.) My husband attended as our younger child caught what the older one had and he came home shaking his head. It was apparent that our child had actually done his report himself, with a little help from his parents locating books in the library. Other kids' reports were done by their parents. I protested: some of those kids were really smart! They could have done it themselves! My husband just laughed and shook his head: Then why couldn't they read or pronounce the words in their report? OTOH, I worked with some elementary school kids as part of a gifted/talented group and one second grade girl did produce a report with a bibliography in correct form. The report was 3 sentences long and I'm sure she wrote it. Her parents both taught at the local university and I'm sure helped her with the format for the bibliography.

    Anyway: your kids' homework is for your kid to do. You can help but it shouldn't stress either of you out. Don't be one of those parents who does all the work for your kid.

  6. Top | #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toni View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Higgins View Post
    Oi! School is absolutely nuts! My daughter is in Kindergarten and they expect so much! My daughter's teacher has to deal with kids that can handle basic arithmetic... and a student or two that barely knows the alphabet! How do you do that?!

    We received one homework assignment and I actually commented on it being poorly formed... for Kindergartners, expecting them to pull critical thinking skills out of their rumps, instead of it being stepped out for them. I get frustrated having to figure out if my daughter should or shouldn't be able to do some of this stuff. I'm all for pushing children, but the level expected... and my daughter's stubbornness (despite being very bright), just create serious first world problems.
    The best advice is that advice can be absolutely worthless as so many children react in so many different ways to so many different methods of parenting. The best thing to say is "Yeah... children... oi!"
    Dude, this is the Internet.
    I never got very far with commenting on how poorly assignments were laid out. It's more useful to ask short, direct questions in one sentence. Make sure you don't imply criticism of the teacher. As you said: they've got everything from kids who don't know the alphabet (or colors or how to count) to kids who are reading well and doing basic (or more) math. Just: How long do you want this report to be? That sort of thing....
    The teacher noted to my wife that she knew that that portion was over the kids heads, and I was diplomatic in my comment. It asked to identify what portions of a paragraph were relevant to a mathematical question, also embedded in the paragraph. Had they just started off with the mathematical question, then provided the paragraph, then the students would have had a target, and then it would be easier to parse from there.

    Anyway: your kids' homework is for your kid to do. You can help but it shouldn't stress either of you out. Don't be one of those parents who does all the work for your kid.
    Agreed! I don't do the work, I try to reorganize how questions may appear or teach methods of solving the specific type of problem. They obviously need to be able to solve the questions in the classroom.

  7. Top | #17
    Veteran Member James Brown's Avatar
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    Good thread.

    My only offspring is full-grown, off to Boot Camp for the next few months.

    But hardly a month goes by when I don't hear of someone's parental advice and think, "Dang, I wish I had thought of that twenty years ago."

    A couple from one smart fellow I know:

    When in a restaurant, he tells his kids, "You can order a soda to drink, but if you order water, I'll give you a dollar when we get home."

    For Christmas, each kid gets just four presents: "Something you want. Something you need. Something to wear. Something to read."

  8. Top | #18
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    I only have one son, age 48, and he was extremely easy to raise, although he was never a good student until he went to college. My advice is not to worry too much about your kids' grades, as long as they graduate high school. My son was a computer nerd who taught himself how to program in machine language but the high school he attended didn't think he even had the skills to take a high school computer course. He barely passed a few of his courses. This was in the early 80s, btw, When he graduated from high school, I encouraged him to attend the local community college. That's when he started to bloom. He got excellent grades and received a AD in computer engineering technology. After working for a year, he went to a four year college and graduated with honors and a BSCE. He's been a successful programmer for over 20 years. So, my point again is not to stress out too much over your kid's grades. There are many options for a person with less than stellar grades, as long as you don't have your heart set on him/her attending an expensive prestigious university.

    I also never mentioned that I'm the one who taught him how to read, when the highly rated elementary school he attended failed at that. Some children need one on one attention to learn the basics.

    I think it's probably much easier to raise an only child because they think of parents as friends and they can't gang up against you with their siblings. Perhaps someone here could give advice on how to handle things like sibling rivalry. I don't think I was cut out to raise more than one.

  9. Top | #19
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    When I was a new parent I received lots of advice. It surprised me how many people read up on being a parent. I was told things like, don't let your baby sleep in your bed, don't give them a pacifier, don't pick them up when they cry and then someone else would say the exact opposite, it's good to let them sleep in your bed etc etc. All I got from that was there are no hard and fast rules when dealing with an infant.

    I think one of the best things you can teach your kids is to fend for themselves, let them take little risks and see how they get on before intervening. Let them watch TV if they want even if your busybody friend says that's a no no. Get them to bed early. Don't give them soda, candy and crap except at Halloween or keep it heavily regulated. And get them vaccinated.

  10. Top | #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by James Brown View Post
    Good thread.

    My only offspring is full-grown, off to Boot Camp for the next few months.

    But hardly a month goes by when I don't hear of someone's parental advice and think, "Dang, I wish I had thought of that twenty years ago."

    A couple from one smart fellow I know:

    When in a restaurant, he tells his kids, "You can order a soda to drink, but if you order water, I'll give you a dollar when we get home."

    For Christmas, each kid gets just four presents: "Something you want. Something you need. Something to wear. Something to read."
    For littler kids, I'd add something to cuddle. No matter what gender.

    I also simply didn't have soda as an option, aside from maybe birthday parties and even then, most of the time, the kids invited were from families who avoided sodas so it was juice instead. Yeah, I know: no real food value in juice and lots of sugar but that wasn't the thinking in those days. In any case there's no carbonation in juice. Now, one of my kids developed a mean soda habit when he went to college. Not the others. Thing is, otherwise, he's not at all inclined to eat sweets or junk. Two of mine were really sugar freaks and we had to limit what was in the house very closely because they could survive 3 days on a single cookie. The other two just didn't have a sweet tooth at all. No idea why. Just wired differently, I guess.


    Which brings up something else: Don't be afraid to tailor punishments or restrictions to the child. Two of my kids are pretty introverted. The other two are pretty extroverted. If you send an introvert to his/her room, they're like: cool! Even if the most exciting thing in their room is books and crayons and paper. So, you need to find something else. I made my introverts help me in the kitchen. Usually if they weren't behaving, what they really needed was some attention anyway and introverts naturally shy away from that, even if part of them craves/needs the attention, albeit in smaller doses than the extroverts. Both are pretty good cooks, which I just realized. The extroverts? If I restricted their access to their friends for however short a period of time, it was THE END OF THE WORLD. HONEST. Both seem to partner up with good cooks but don't cook much themselves. Oh, and their father is an excellent cook so they always had that role model. Make of that what you will.

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