We Are Deep In the Heart of Texas

Nomadic seasons of farming adventures with nature thrown in to include; a pinch of family, snippets of friends, counting our blessings, paying IT forward, home school, and the spicy things I decide to rant about.







Tuesday, May 19, 2009

WHY is it a problem?

Three weeks ago, I asked Saenz's elementry school principal to loan us his fifth grade books so, I could give him a few lessons over the summer. The first five months of this school year was hell for Saenz.

He not only had to adjust to:

new teachers
new school buildings with new layouts, multi rooms
being away from his trusted environment & routines
4th grade students are allowed many freedoms primary students are not,
homework grew exponentially and
add Saenz was targeted by another child bullying him throughout the year.

My intentions for the books were to glance through them and then 'teach' Saenz with my own methods and not actually conduct SIT DOWN classes here at home.

Another point, for giggles I often quiz Saenz on his current fourth grade math. He still does not know his multiplication tables though he has taken the TEXAS TAKS. In fifth grade, the TAKS becomes a pass or fail for the sixth grade with math on the cusp of adding calculus. How on this Earth will Saenz cope with Algebra and Calculus if he can not mulitiply 6 X 6?

The principal is under the impression that Saenz will need to 'decompress' for the upcoming stresses of the 5th grade. Makes you wonder why students hate school doesn't it?

Think of this: 180 student days of that the first ten and last ten are for transitioning in and out of each grade.

180 - 20 days = 160 student days Xs 7 (hours) or 1120 hrs to learn

of that subtract 160 for lunch or 960 hrs to learn

of that subtract 160 for recess & transition into other rooms or 800 hrs to learn

of that subtract 32 hours for pep rallies or 768 hours to learn

of that subtract 60 hours for subject transition and paper work turn in or 702 hrs

ON AVERAGE are you counting? that is 3.9 hrs a day out of 7.5 hours devoted to learning. OR approximately 50% of each school day.

Now think of this, I have not added in any distractions from students, weather, announcements over the intercom, fund raisers -- this is just off the top of my head. Is it any wonder why our children are bored with the current set up of our school systems?

Thoughts from inside the coop......

1 comment:

mixednut555 said...

That principal is not exactly smart. Here in Hawaii we have year round schools. The summer break is only 5 weeeks. There is a fall break of a week, 3 weeks at Christmas and two weeks at Spring break. This system has proven to help ALL students retain what they learned during the year. At EACH break, including summer break, homework is sent home. The homework for all breaks including summer is a recap of what was learned since the past break. It amounts to about a page a day of writing, a page of math and anothe r of social studies and a book a week, with book reports for each week of the break. Every school here sends homework home EVERY day, including kindergarten. Schools nationwide are so far behind what USED to be taught. It is not good for our children. And if a child has any type of special needs, it is so much worse. U'i's school just got a program on the computer which is a virtual classroom. It will be available for all students as soon as school is out for summer break. It is designed to be fun, yet teach basic skills for each grade level and if a child masters their own grade level they are ENCOURAGED to go up to the next grade level. YAYE for Hawaii.
Hugs to you my Sister.
Kat