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SD's progress and updates

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

There is some good news while SD's report card showed improvement on majority of the areas she was lacking last semester, SD does need to improve on the areas of new information and especially continuing to work on sight words. SD's state testing on reading and math came back. In September SD was "approaching grade K" in 7 areas and only "at grade K" in 3 and now in January she was "approaching grade K" in 2 areas and "at grade K" in 8 areas. It is amazing how SD not being late or missing a day of school this entire school year has made a difference. SD is at grade K completely in Math right now and the two areas that need improvement to be at grade level are in reading. We have no idea if BM got SD the tutor she claimed back in October because she did not share an update on that, but if SD is where she needs to be without a tutor, it doesn't matter. 

We facetimed with SD on Saturday and found out that SD no longer shares a room with her sister. Apparently BM and her DH moved out to the mudroom/laundry room of their 2 bedroom house. It seems the sisters are still struggling on getting along, but hey at least SD has her own room. SD was facetiming us from BM's bedroom is why we know this and said how it is the coldest room in the house... because it probably is not insulated and is not intended to be a bedroom. Not that any of that matters, just was totally judging that and the terrible taste in decorating they have. 

We also discovered that BM is letting SD watch a TV 14 show when SD is only 6 ... not going to say anything to her about it obviously, but she has such a different style of parenting. Allowing SD to watch things too old for her, playing games too old for her, encouraging make up and such. We aren't going to say anything, there is nothing we can do, we just shake our head because we think it is all too old for her. I am sure BM thinks we are too strict because we don't let excessive screen time whether it be TV, phone, tablet, etc. and she knows we don't allow roblox, basically the opposite of BM's carefree house. 

We hope SD continues to improve with school and hopefully things are going well at BM's house, but we won't really know until SD is here to tell us in person because she won't over the phone. Good thing DH stood his ground in the retention meeting last school year so SD was put in kindergarten instead of put in first grade like BM wanted and still tried to push at the beginning of this year. SD was NOT at all ready for first grade especially at this new district.


Rags's picture

Though sight reading is a trigger topic for me.  Teach a kid phonics when they are young and they can read any word. Sight reading just promotes guessing rather than actual reading and delays progress. IMHO.

We had to battle SS-30's K teacher on that.  He got blasted by his teacher because we quit dicking around with sight words and taught him phonics. In one weekend he went from struggling to actually reading any word we put in front of him. Three letters between both of his thumbs and sounding out any length word three letters at a time.

We got called to a parent/teacher/principal conference because we screwed up the teachers sight reading plan for her class.  While the other kids were guessing sight words, SS was sounding then out using phonics and correcting the guessers in his class.

We had a similar session with his teacher and the pricipal when they were pushing the make math shit up model rather than structuring math problems to solve them with a sequential progression.   His teachers hated that his engineer father and CPA mother taught him how to actually do math rather than guess, make shit up, and shrug when asked how he got an answer.  Yea, we were not the teachers favorite parents. That is for sure. At least until they wanted support on in class behavior. Then they loved us. At least some of them did.

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

test them on sight words and phonics, being able to blend etc. On the state testing they also test phonological awareness, phonics, and what they call "high-frequency words" instead of sight words. SD is at Grade K for phonics and was there as well on her report card. So I guess they are teaching both? We will be reaching out to SD's teacher next month to see what she suggests we should work with SD on during spring break and then we will need to talk to her again before summer so we know what we will be working with SD on over the summer.

This summer we are hoping to get SD for 8 full weeks and BM get 2 days shy of the 3 weeks she is supposed to get to make up for the times SD has missed her flights in the last year. If SD keeps making progress the way she is, we hopefully won't need to get a tutor this summer and instead DH and I will just work with SD together or alone on what she needs over the summer. 

Rags's picture

Other than being a smarter than everyone else PITA, my SS was a favorite of all of his teachers for the whole time he was in school, except for a 6th grade band teacher who didn't find anything appealing about SS since he was smart as a whip but would constantly strive for mediocrity.

He was polite, caused no problems, and was extremely respectful of his teachers, and any adults in the mix.

That let him get away with doing absolutely nothing. So.. off to Military School for his Jr. and Sr. year of HS.

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

she is very sweet and polite, the teachers, tutor, etc. always love her

ntm's picture

Phonetics and phonics are a tried and true method of decoding unfamiliar words, but every grade through elementary school a list of words students should be able to identify immediately (on sight) without having to sound through. For instance in kindergarten, they might include "the, one, a, I, and, is", etc. Usually about 30 words per grade, so introducing about one word per week. No one is expecting a kindergartner to completely read by sight. Just the words that are identified for that grade level. 

I'm working with a seventh grader who reads on a third grade level (was second grade at start of year - huge progress)! He pushes out to general ed social studies and science, so I give him seventh grade words that he needs to recognize by sight since they are so integral to the general ed curriculum in those areas. It's US History, so patriot, loyalist, England, revolution, constitution, independence, etc. Way above third grade, but vocabulary words for the course. He needs to be able to get through reading passages that most certainly contain these words. There will be less common words that we will break out into smaller words or sounds, but we can't sound out President every time or we'll never get through the readings. 

Just wanted to explain the difference between when students need to be able to identify words without decoding and when decoding is appropriate. 

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

for the second semester they are tested on 45 sight words and SD could identify 21 of them. I think 45 is the total they will be tested on the end of the year if I remember correctly when looking at the standards for first grade in her school district.

CajunMom's picture

Having worked in K, 1st & 2nd, I know how important consistent attendance is in these grades. Those are the building of the foundation years for learning. They NEED the classroom instruction and they NEED parent(s) to review and help them at home to make sure they retain what they're learning. Also, comprehension. Are they understanding what they are reading. Parental involvement is especially important also, to watch for any learning disabilities the child may have. The earlier this is caught, the better for the child. While I feel sorry for your SD, I feel even more for you having to sit by and watch this mess unfold. I sure hope your SD can continue the upward progress.

I agree with Rags. While we did utilize a list of site words for the kids, we were also teaching phonetics, using the Spalding Method at that time. It's a tougher system but today, my adult kids are both avid readers. 

Best to you. Again, I hope your SD continues to improve.

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

from the school and then all summer with the tutor, I think at this point we can rule disabilities out, but we will see. It is definitely hard to sit back and watch and not be able to do anything. I think BM realizes she can't slack off like she did last year or risk us taking her to court. 


floralsm's picture

Great to hear :) 

Reading is so good for kids. The skids homework is to read outloud to an adult for 10 minutes every night and log it in their reading books. BM of course did nothing. And we did it every time. I read in a child development article when even babies and toddlers are being read too, it's good to read the same book repeatedly so they can listen and see the words over and over to help them learn. I read to my DD the same books (she picks her favourites) and she remembers the words (obviously can't read haha she's only 2) and reads to me. 
It's crazy all the technology and screens out now it's so distracting for children and we monitor screen time for the skids and DD. It's free range over BMs too with no rules what so ever and SD8 is exposed to shows that is for teenagers too. Shes encouraged to wear makeup and crop tops at BM's and I feel you when SD sees you as the 'strict parents' when in fact you aren't, it's normal to have screen restrictions and routines in homes. When the skids go back to school we don't allow screens after 5 on school nights and bed time at 7.30 with lights out by 8. Over at BMs they stay awake until after midnight watching YouTube on their tvs in their rooms! It's one extreme to another for them. 

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

when she is with us and we always have. DH did that with SD and her sister before I came into the picture and we continue to do so just take turns reading with her. We bought some of the reading step books for our house as well as sent half to BM's for SD for Christmas to try and encourage her. 

Yeah that is really tough when it is so opposite! SD doesn't complain here yet about it, but she definitely knows that the houses are different on screen time, games, etc. Sorry not sorry, but routine is what children need to thrive! Plus they should really have boundaries and limits on things that are too old for them. We are all for wanting SD to be independent and support her in growing up in that way, but not to rush growing up on everything else. Let her be a kid