9
   

School watch

 
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Oct, 2013 10:30 am
@Linkat,
It's fun to do that with kids. I love getting to know how Mo's mind works.

We got into a giant discussion at the pizza place over the ethics of zoos and how they could be more ethical.

That turned into a discussion about the economic viability of ethical zoos.

It was something we've never talked about at all and it was so cool to see how much he'd really been thinking about this topic that I had no idea he'd even considered.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Oct, 2013 10:31 am
@Linkat,
Do you think that's due to the new Common Core?

I had a great discussion with one of Mo's teachers on it last year. I still have mixed feelings about it but he was pretty gung-ho. He said it left room for reason and debate in the way that they had not been able to in the recent past.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Oct, 2013 02:14 pm
@Thomas,
I can only speak for this one -- it's an early-college program, that recently expanded to middle school from just high school. So the idea is to do way more in a shorter time, which means more homework.

The person who is urging her to attend absolutely loves it, it works for him. And as he talks about how awesome it is I keep having "SHOULD I send her there??" pangs. But as awesome as it seems, I just am not comfortable with such an all-encompassing focus on academics at this age. And by the time sozlet gets to high school, her current school system has many early-college options too (AP but other stuff as well).

And making the whole decision not really a decision is the fact that sozlet doesn't want to go, at all. She gets why he likes it and she's happy for him but she's very happy where she is. She's doing algebra this year with the 8th-graders and has some really good (new) gifted program teachers and she's getting what she needs out of school. Plus sports and friends and all the rest of it. (The STEM school is just plain school, no extracurriculars.)
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Oct, 2013 02:14 pm
@boomerang,
This is great!!
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Oct, 2013 03:04 pm
@boomerang,
It is expected to be so in MA from the discussions I've had with some of the teachers recently.

On this topic - I had a meeting today with guidance as my girls did not do so well on parts of their MCAS - she basically disected the ones even though she told me even before looking at it - knowing their background she had already concluded where they went wrong. Seems it is these odd ball type questions they ask with these different parts. She went through how these should be answered - she felt confident they both will do remarkedly better next go around.

She also said no one from our town has ever not graduated due to these tests - she sort of indicated to me how dumb she thought they were - the MCAS - she also said that they may be changing.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Thu 10 Oct, 2013 05:17 pm
@sozobe,
For comparison, how much homework did the Evil Genius do in middle school? I'm sure he did some, but I would be very surprised if he had had to do it in the crazy quantities that hawkeye's article describes.

Not that I have a vote in this, but I think you're making the right decision.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Oct, 2013 08:45 am
@Thomas,
Yeah I don't think it was much.

Thanks. I do have these moments of "ack should I be pushing her to her potential, would she achieve more if she was more focused?" but ultimately I think balance is important. And as you say, even if achievement is the ultimate goal, this (focus on academics in 7th grade) isn't necessarily the way to get there.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Oct, 2013 08:50 am
@sozobe,
Meanwhile, I just read this, interesting:

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/time_and_learning/2013/10/should_teenagers_start_school_later.html

I'm very much in favor of later start times. I'm lobbying our local high school about that -- it's already pretty good as these things go, and since we're very close, she'd be able to wake up later than many kids who have to both be there early and take a lot of time to get there. Still, I remember this as being a major issue when I was a kid and it's always stuck with me, and the research seems to increasingly show that later start times are beneficial. I just could NOT get to sleep before midnight or so when I was a teenager, no matter what I did -- and I sincerely tried because I was always exhausted.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Oct, 2013 09:06 am
@sozobe,
I'm conflicted on later start times. Mo's a morning person and my fear would be that he'd get involved in something and not want to stop it to go to school.

He's been riding his bike to school this year (3 miles -- all uphill, BIG hills. I don't know how he does it.) and he often leaves early so that he has time to ride around "just for fun".

I do see the benefit of later start times for most kids though.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Oct, 2013 10:16 am
@boomerang,
I wish we were morning people, it would make things so much easier. I'm not, E.G.'s not, so it's pretty much inevitable that sozlet isn't but I don't think it's just nurture. My parents weren't strict about most things but they were about me getting to bed early and I had consistent, early bedtimes when I was a kid. That went haywire once I hit adolescence. (That is, the bedtimes stayed consistent -- I don't think they were even unreasonably early -- I just could. not. get. to. sleep.)

I see that with sozlet now, she has the hardest time getting to sleep before 11. School starts at 8 and we're super-close and she is very low-maintenance in terms of getting ready (clothes plus all grooming etc. in less than 10 minutes) so she gets enough sleep most days, but it's getting harder for her to get to sleep early enough, just as she seems to need more sleep in addition. (She did best on 8.5 hours until recently -- 8 was not ideal but enough, 9 was too much and she'd be draggy all day. Now she seems to really need at least 8.5 hours, with 9 being much better.)
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Oct, 2013 10:23 am
@sozobe,
Funny my 14 year old now goes to sleep at 9pm without any fuss. We don't have to tell her she just does it. She loves to sleep and due to having to get up at 6am for school - she gets so tired her clock is used to it. I think also as she plays sports and going to tournaments often times she needs to get up early for those, she has gotten used to it.

Now granted her preference would be to sleep late, but I think her level of maturity she understands that if she wants to play competively she needs to get up early sometimes on the weekend so she simply does so - the same with school.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Oct, 2013 10:26 am
@Linkat,
Oh she gets it, and she does what she needs to do. And not everyone is hit with the circadian shift, glad your daughter has been spared! I know with me it came out of nowhere, I was able to sleep just fine before adolescence and have been a famously good sleeper once I emerged from adolescence, but from about 13 to early 20's, early bedtimes weren't happening. Period. I tried so hard! (I feel really sorry for my teenaged self in retrospect, I felt terrible about it at the time. I really thought I should be able to fix it, and felt like such a failure that I couldn't. When the research about the changes in circadian cycles and such in adolescents started coming up I was like A-HA!!)
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Oct, 2013 10:26 am
how things have changed, when I was in school the district expected the oldest to have developed the intestinal fortitude to drag ourselves out of bed and get to the bus stop, the later bus runs were for the younger kids. now we are seeing a push to back up high school start times to after 9 because they need their sleep. the idea that young adults should learn to get to bed before they want to and get up when they dont want to so that someday they might hopefully be able to do this for a job seems gone.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Oct, 2013 10:30 am
@hawkeye10,
I woke up when I needed to, I just couldn't get to sleep at a correspondingly early hour. So I was chronically exhausted.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Oct, 2013 10:39 am
@sozobe,
to much clean living. when you go into the marijuana stores they have types to recomend that promotes sleep.

seriously though, I think the assumption is that expecting high schoolers to get themselves to bed before midnight is unreasonable, so the schools have to adjust. I have a problem with that, as part of education is to teach that the universe does not usually conform to us, we need to conform to it. we need to learn to do well things that dont conform to our ideal schedule. we need to learn to cope with demands that we dont like.
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Fri 11 Oct, 2013 10:45 am
@hawkeye10,
Ha, so my pothead friends had that advantage eh?

I actually agree with much of what you're saying there, but from my own experience + research I think it's a really biological/ time-specific thing that can be adjusted for in high school. And it doesn't take much -- a one-hour shift can help enormously.

I don't actually know when I grew out of that phase for sure, as college was awesome for me sleep-wise. I just didn't schedule any classes before noon, and consistently did my best work between about 9 PM and 2 AM. When I started working after college I had to wake up at 5:30 AM daily and I was petrified, but it was fine.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Oct, 2013 11:05 am
@sozobe,
it appears that what is being done in most districts is to make moving HS students the last bus run rather than the first, pushing HS start time back much more than a hour and forcing the younger kids to start earlier than they used to. this probably makes the older kids lives easier, but they are not the only people on the planet.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Oct, 2013 11:15 am
@hawkeye10,
They're not, but in that case, it sounds like it's just a rearrangement. The younger kids aren't the only people on the planet either. And from my own experience (mine + kid's) and research, it looks like the younger kids can actually withstand earlier start times better than the high schoolers. Plus it probably works out better for working parents -- they can leave for work before their high schoolers need to go get the bus. (But would need to stay home until the younger kids are seen off.)
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Oct, 2013 11:19 am
Another no tag school....

New Hampshire school bans students from paying tag. It has to do with the "no contact"rule and the "fact" of because of injuries.

One parent though took a common sense approach "To ban tag is just ridiculous; it's a simple game," Chisholm told the Telegraph. "They say the kids are overly aggressive — take the overly aggressive kids out of the game." "No parent wants to minimize the injury of a child; however, there isn't a single childhood activity that any kid could participate in that doesn't have the risk of injury," he said.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/10/11/new-hampshire-school-tells-parents-that-rules-ban-tag/

0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Fri 11 Oct, 2013 11:28 am
If the world still ran on a 9-5 time clock I'd agree that learning to get up early would be a good lesson.

Mo's so physical that he's just exhausted at night and he falls asleep the minute his head hits the pillow. Most of his friends stay up way later than he does and they talk about being tired at school all the time. Being sleepy makes it hard to concentrate. I think most kids would benefit from a late start.
 

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