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  1. #1
    jent's Avatar
    jent is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Default Would you talk to the teacher?

    Help me figure out how to help DD. I've come to realize that she is a perfectionist in many ways. The current school issue that I'm trying to figure out is with her freshman English class. Her teacher has assigned the class to read for 2 hours every week. No big deal. Except, when you're my DD and decide that many things don't "count" towards your 2-hour total: if you re-read a paragraph you didn't understand, if you find your mind wandering and daydreaming for a few minutes. The other evening, we were sitting together in the living room working together for at least an hour. She had her book in front of her the whole time. No TV, no computer, not using the phone except as a timer. However, when we were finishing up, DD told me she only had 22 minutes on her stopwatch, since she'd paused the timer for the above reasons.

    DH and I have had many conversations with her but she she still seems to be under-counting her reading time. I've suggested she talk to her teacher about it. She hasn't yet- she is waiting for her upcoming "conference", although she is not sure when that will be. I'm worried though that he won't understand the situation, since it's far more common for students to be pushed to do something than to undersell themselves. Should I reach out ahead of time? Or see how the conference goes, then intervene only if the teacher doesn't seem to understand what is going on?

    BTW, I also realize that this is part of a larger issue of anxiety and possible OCD. I've talked to her pediatrician and am working on getting her into counseling. But in the meantime I'm wondering how to handle the school issue.
    Jen, mom to "Little Miss Tiny" 4/07

  2. #2
    SnuggleBuggles is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    Maybe.
    But have you talked to her about how kids read at different speeds so itís gotta be a rough gauge on total pages anyway.


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  3. #3
    PunkyBoo is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    At high school age, I would not contact the teacher. I would advise my child to discuss her concerns with the teacher. If it seems like my child is resisting that conversation, I might reach out to the guidance counselor on her behalf.

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    Mama to DS1 Punkin (2/04) and DS2 Boo (1/09)

  4. #4
    Liziz is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    I'd start by having a conversation with your DD about how ineffective her timekeeping method is. By keeping the timer close and starting and stopping it all the time, she's distracting herself and taking away from quality reading....while getting less. I would push very hard/insist that she took one week to try it "my way", which would be: set a countdown timer for 15-30 minutes and put it across the room. Then, sit down and just read until it goes off.

    I'd tell my DD that she's had several weeks (presumably? I don't know when your school started) to try it the way she's been doing it, and it's not been very effective. Therefore, you'd like her to try it another way for one week. Hopefully she'll realize she's getting much better quality reading done with a different approach. Is she worried that she's lying about how much reading she's doing if she's not tracking it the way she has been?

    I always prefer for my kids to handle things with their teachers themselves first, before I get involved, so I'd aim for that here too. If your DD is still worried about her reading time after trying it with a new method, I'd work with and coach her on the conversation to have with her teacher. Even writing out the questions/writing a letter/email to her teacher herself would be great. I'd coach her to ask something like "When I read for homework, I set a timer, then read for that amount of time. Sometimes while I'm reading, I have to go back and re-read parts I didn't understand. Is it okay to count the full time on my timer, even if some of that time was spent re-reading tricky paragraphs?" I can't imagine any teacher that would say "no" to that question -- so hopefully it would give your DD the confidence she needs that she's appropriately doing what's asked of her. I do think planning out what your DD will say in advance is important though, because otherwise she could all too easily just say something like "so if I'm reading for homework, but I stop to think about other stuff for awhile, the time I'm not reading doesn't count, right?" which might get a very different answer from the teacher!

    If after your DD speaks with her teacher she doesn't get great resolution, you can always step in after the fact and provide some more details from your point of view.
    Lizi

  5. #5
    KpbS's Avatar
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    I definitely think you are on the right track looking deeper into anxiety. (((Hugs)))

    I would insist on keeping the time for the next couple of weeks. You can obviously pause it if she goes to the bathroom or gets up to do something else, but short of those, she just needs to read without thinking about the timer/timing.
    K

  6. #6
    mmsmom is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by PunkyBoo View Post
    At high school age, I would not contact the teacher. I would advise my child to discuss her concerns with the teacher. If it seems like my child is resisting that conversation, I might reach out to the guidance counselor on her behalf.

    Sent from my Pixel 3a XL using Tapatalk
    I agree with this. I would also encourage her to ask teacher if she can have a page goal instead of time. She needs to let the teacher know she is struggling with the time goal and ask if she can have a pages per week goal instead. Of course this will vary by book but would maybe get her talking to the teacher. She definitely needs to talk through this and come up with some solutions.

  7. #7
    mom2binsd is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Why not see if she can find something to read for pleasure, and encourage her to set aside 15 or so minutes a day, even if it's reading about something fun (I"m taking that the teacher just wants them reading, why make the task so difficult).

  8. #8
    ezcc is offline Gold level (500+ posts)
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    I agree with the above suggestion to take over the timing for her- as long as she is sitting with her book and not watching tv or on her phone it counts as reading time. Rereading, daydreaming, staring at the ceiling all fine. I am sure her teacher does not want kids to be rigid about this at all, so I wouldn't bother contacting the teacher unless it continues to be a problem.

  9. #9
    bisous is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    I haven't had much contact with high school teachers. When DS1 was going through some mental health struggles though, at the urging of the high school counselor, I did reach out to his teachers, just to let them be aware of what DS1 was struggling with. My aim was to inform. I try really hard with special needs not to ask for accommodations for things that I know my kids can actually do. Even if it takes a little bit more effort, if they are capable I try to let them just carry on. I do intervene when I feel like because of a disability or illness my kids need to have some special consideration. I can't quite tell from your post if you're "there" yet with your DD or not. But this is the guideline I always use. So far in HS I've only intervened at one point and that was just to give them a perspective about what he struggles with. I think it helped them to better reach him as a student.

  10. #10
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    Is the teacher actually asking kids to submit reading logs documenting when/how long they read? I would think by high school, it would be past the stage to be doing reading logs. I would ask your daughter to talk to the teacher about what his expectations are when he asked the class to read 2 hours each week. Re-reading a paragraph definitely still counts as reading time and if she was "reading" for an hour, I wouldn't even subtract the few minutes that she took to go to the bathroom.
    Mommy to 2 DS's (2003 and 2007)

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