19 February 2011

Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic

It's been a long time since I've been around children, especially one who thinks she's already an adult. I'm staying with some friends who have a ten year old.

We're repeating the third grade this year. Something that was necessitated because she didn't pass the required AIMS test to move forward. Reading and writing are issues as is mathematics. The basics. In any case, when this child was moved from a non-traditional charter school setting into a traditional classroom setting (for this school year), she apparently got lost in the shuffle. She was supposed to be tested to determine where her learning disabilities lie. It hasn't been done (at least not in a timely manner) and the shcool year is more than 1/2 over. There are still learning problems in the new school and class.

What's my point? She reads at less than first grade level, she writes/prints words and letters backwards and upside down, she barely puzzles out a math problem.

Her grandmother (who is also her legal guardian) had a meeting at the school this week. She's pushing for the testing she was promised before school started back in August. This child needs to learn the basics. Apparently, it has been determined she is dyslexic and ADD.

She goes to school form 710 to 245. I don't know what the school day consists of because she seldom speaks of how her day went or if she learned something new that did interest her. In this house, I see bookcases full of movies, DVD's and CD's, and a TV in every room. She watches TV all the time, even to the point of blanking everything else around her out. She rarely goes out to play and then only if she has a 'playdate' with a friend over. She does ride a horse, participates in gymkhana, (FYI, her saddle and tack are still laying where her aunt set it down on Sunday after they returned from their latest gymkhana day). I think her only interst in riding is because a friend does.

She doesn't take care of her horse, her grandmother and aunt do that for her. She does not participate in chores around the house (and there's a lot to do around here with three little dogs, three cats, two birds inside and outside three large dogs, two miniature horses, and they're three large horses). Everything is done for her even to getting her heair ready for for school. This kid is ten years old!

Okay, so in July they are moving to a new state, far far away from the life this child has known the last ten years. Oh, yes of course, the move is being talked up and she's excited about it. It's a rurual setting, more rural I think that where they are now. I supposed she's excited because she realy doesn't have playmates here.

What is bothering me is she will probably repeat the third grade again in the new school. Arizona's educational system ranks 49 out of 50 nationwide. The new state's school system ranks between 12 and 15 nationwide, big difference. She will be at a disadavntage when she starts the new school in September.

Learning to read, write, the alphabet, and simple math problems begins at home. If it doesn't start at home with a child ... then how can a teacher be expected to interest said child enough to learn?