Craftivity Corner

Creative crafts, book suggestions, and tips to make time for learning in your busy day.



Omaha Mama's picture Omaha Mama

I get it. I really do. And would've been upset by it.
L's mastery of skills may never look like typical mastery, but it is, just the same. He is a smart cookie.
I'm sorry about your disillusion and have nothing to offer in terms of comfort. I just hope that as the materials get more challenging through the years that he will be inspired. He will do great in the upper years, when his intense subject knowledge will be on spotlight.

Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

Thank, Omaha--I've heard that high school can be very successful for kids like L. Our fear is that he'll get so disillusioned with school that he won't make it that far! His self-esteem has really been hurt this year and I've seen the other end of it--I've seen what poor self-esteem over school can do to 18 and 19-year olds...

mouse's picture mouse

We've been luckier in our experience--so far. Kindergarten here is not immune from the pressure of No Child, but there's some balance, so still time for some projects. But I have started to see some of the let-down just this past week. There's a real pressure for all the kids to be reading by year-end, so Scooter's teacher has started to really focus on the ones who are struggling, at the expense of the readers, my son in particular. Instead of getting 4-5 opportunities to read with the teacher each week, he's getting more like 1 or 2--he's always the last one and doesn't get a chance when they run out of time.

I get it from the perspective of the teacher looking for the greatest return and trying to get everyone past the lowest bar. I don't envy the teacher the task of trying to balance all of this. But as a parent, I'm seeing my son miss out on one of his favorite activities and I hear the frustration when he tells me he's been reading the same book for two weeks now (not because he's struggling with it, but because he's barely had the chance to touch it).

I'm hopeful that we will see some substantive changes in No Child that allow teachers to return to creative projects and to move away from pushing kids to learn things that they may not be developmentally ready for (some kindergartners' brains are simply not ready for the complex skill of reading, but they're being made to feel dumb already).

Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

You really said it well, mouse.

L.'s class has been working through a longer chapter book for WEEKS now and L. really wants to read ahead and finish the thing already but they have to put it away after only one chapter per reading time and it's taking forever. I try not to fault his teacher because she's been struggling to make up for lots of time she missed because of health issues. But as a result I'm sure she has to frantically get them ready for EOG and all chances at creative projects have slipped through the cracks. The other 3rd grade classes are doing a tad more creative work--but just a tad more.

I hope things continue to go well for Scooter--I know you've had successes so far!

Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

Thank you, both of you, for your thoughtful responses. I don't object to using proven curriculum at all--I think you're right, Sherry--it can be very beneficial. But I do think NCLB has failed so many kids for all the reasons you mention. I also hope the new administration will act quickly to reverse some of the damage, so we can move ahead for this next generation.