Wednesday, February 16, 2011

School Cononundrums

Darsie loves kindergarten. She goes to our local public school and it is a great place. The principal is fantastic, the kids seem happy. But I have a big problem with it which I didn't see as a problem early on. It is a three hour program. And in a class with upwards of 18 kids, three hours a day isn't a lot of time to learn the basics.

Since the start, we've been given updates on Darsie's progress and it has always been dismal. We were told she didn't know numbers, she didn't know letters, she didn't know sounds.

At home, she does know these things. And I made sure going into kindergarten, that she was prepared. I read the kindergarten brochure and the things they said kids needed to know going into kindergarten, she was on top of. Besides tying her shoes.

Recently, Darsie joined an extended kindergarten program. She goes an extra hour every day just for a reading class. They use a zoo-phonics program to teach them the sounds of the letters. And I've actually noticed that it has given Darsie a lot more confidence.

But she is having problems connecting those sounds and also sounding out words. I would imagine that a phonics program of some nature would help this, but I'm not a teacher. Just a mama that wants the best for her girl.

We've upped our reading time here at home and we spend time perusing every day to work on phonics.

I don't know if it that her kindergarten time is so limited and the teacher so maxed out, if it because of Darsie's brain bleed (it was in the language part of her brain), or if it is just a timing thing.

I just hate to see her frustrated and I know, to my core, that once she can read, she will be the over-the-moon reader who never puts books down.

I want to open that world up for her. So, if anybody has any advice, I'd love to hear it.


Amelia Sprout said...

Given that you know that her bleed would/is impacting her language skills, I think it isn't out of line to ask the school for what your options are for her. Even if it means going the route of a IEP. That extra help may not need to be long term, but given that she is responding well to extra assistance, I think it would be absolutely worth it so she is prepared for 1st grade.
Good luck!

Sarah said...

Have you ever thought of taking her to see someone who does educational testing (for things like ADD Dyslexia etc)? I forget what they're technically called. I can find out if you're interested. I had my first testing around kindergarten. It really does help, even if they don't find anything. I had testing repeated in my 20s and now that the testing is better (although long) I found out I have attention & reading issues, not math like I thought. It might be something you'd want to look into.

Mommy Daisy said...

I think the steps you've taken (extra help and more work at home) will be a big help. You have to remember that every kid develops at a different rate anyway. Sometimes it just takes a little longer for something particular to click for a kid. I think if you just keep it up, she'll start catching on. And a little extra attention won't hurt. Hang in there.

Sarah said...

Is it weird that I'm envious of the three hour kindergarten? Ours in this school district is ALL DAY. Period. No half day options, nothing. So at least she's had preschool to prepare her, but going from two and a half hours a day to being gone all day long is going to be a hard adjustment for all of us.
Anyways, no advise really, just sympathy, because I too am anxiously waiting for Addy to learn to read so that the world can open up for her. I remember that feeling, still, of just having reading CLICK all of the sudden and feeling like you've been blind and now you can see. I can't wait for her to have that!

Amy Rhodes said...

I agree with Amelia. As a former teacher of the hearing impaired I strongly recommend asking for some educational testing and depending on the results, an IEP. IEPs must be revisited at least once a calendar year and if/when the time comes that she no longer needs the support, she can exit from the program. If you get her extra support and help now while she's still young and just starting out, she'll be less likely to fall significantly behind her same-aged peers.

Ilana Estelle said...


It sounds like there could be a link with the bleed on Darsie's brain, her CP and concentration. I could have done with extra help in school. It's nice that you are working all of this through with her.

If the extra help that Darsie is receiving is helping, it would be worth keeping that help in place, but it would also be worth getting her tested as Sarah has said, just so you can have things confirmed.

I remember being tested to make sure that I was capable of learning. It may be that the class sizes are too big for Darsie to be able to concentrate over the other children.

A smaller class would allow her to learn at her own pace, with more personal attention in case she did have problems. They would certainly be picked up earlier.

In school I had concentration issues as a child that were never picked up. I still do have concentration problems because of brain fatigue.

I am sure Darsie is capable, she may just not be able to concentrate for as long as the other children do and in a large class that could prove to be more difficult.

Hope this helps.

Inspired Mommy said...


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