View Full Version : Science Work Making Daughter Hate Science - Help with Strategy?


Shelsi
08-25-17, 02:41 PM
My daughter is 10 yrs old & in 5th grade. She is a born scientist - not in that she loves facts/reading about science - but in that she is always experimenting. Both her and I have ADHD & I'm a food scientist working on my masters (just grad with my B.S. in May). Needless to say I don't want her to start hating science!

This year science class is mostly reading from the book, completing the worksheets after the reading, and memorizing a bunch of vocabulary. School has only been in for 3 weeks and my daughter is already saying she hates science and crying whenever she has homework in it.

In a recent email to the teacher I brought up my concerns and said,

"I know that science this year is a lot of reading and filling out answers in the book. She is not a reader, not even of fiction unless it's read to her, and I think her hatred of reading and filling out worksheets in response is hampering her love of science. Since you know my background, I obviously understand the need for these skills, but I'd really like to problem solve with you some way we can make it tolerable for her."

The teacher's response :( :

"As far as reading, taking notes, and filling out lab sheets, I feel they are all part of science as well as doing experiments. I'm not sure how to change the curriculum to make it "tolerable".

That's literally the entire response other than saying she knows about my daughter's accommodations and will have her take tests separately. Clearly, this teacher is not going to be accommodating without me pushing for it - thankfully all the other teachers & school have been very helpful and willing to problem-solve with me for the other subjects.

I never had accommodations in school. My older son also has ADHD (and had this teacher) but does not need accommodations. So figuring out what will help my daughter is a challenge right now. Could you all help me out with ideas? :grouphug:

TheGreatKing
08-26-17, 05:38 PM
When i was in school, we were able to get a system going that every class i was taking would print a copy of notes and any other important pieces of information so that i could have more time with the information (at home). But honestly i ve always had issues with schools and teachers being so inflexible even when they were getting paid for aiding me, always hit walls with them. My mother always fought for me. but anyways i hope it helps let me know if you have any questions.

sarahsweets
08-27-17, 06:45 AM
This year science class is mostly reading from the book, completing the worksheets after the reading, and memorizing a bunch of vocabulary. School has only been in for 3 weeks and my daughter is already saying she hates science and crying whenever she has homework in it.
Is she classified or does she have an IEP or 504? The teacher can be a jerk and not make accommodations for her if she doesnt have in writing what should be done, by law.







That's literally the entire response other than saying she knows about my daughter's accommodations and will have her take tests separately. Clearly, this teacher is not going to be accommodating without me pushing for it - thankfully all the other teachers & school have been very helpful and willing to problem-solve with me for the other subjects.

I never had accommodations in school. My older son also has ADHD (and had this teacher) but does not need accommodations. So figuring out what will help my daughter is a challenge right now. Could you all help me out with ideas? :grouphug:

This teacher is obviously defensive and doesnt like the fact that you have a science backround. She probably feels like you are judging her ability to teach science and thinks you want special treatment for your daughter VS wanting your daughter to have an equal chance at success due to her disorder.
I suggest you have her evaluated by the school by sending in writing (certified and return receipt) a request for evaluation, why you want it and what your part in treating her disorder is. You have to send it to the child study team, special services or whatever dept handles special ed services and legal accommodations. DO NOT email it or ask for it. If you send it in writing they have 60 days by law to act on it. Google wrights law dot com and learn your rights.

Caco3girl
08-28-17, 08:33 AM
I am a chemist and I have a dyslexic/ADHD daughter and a ADHD son and so I do feel your pain. But we have to be realistic too, reading, taking notes, working out an experiment on paper....I do all of these on a daily basis and believe they are a part of science. What are YOU wanting this teacher to do? What accommodations do you think would work?

The way my very literal mind is reading this is you said your daughter hates to read and the teacher is saying well reading is part of this class. Where is the fault in her logic?

Shelsi
08-28-17, 04:44 PM
That's why I came here. I'm so new to this that I don't know the "standard" accommodations, or if they exist, or maybe some more creative ones.

My e-mail to the teacher was much longer, but the main point was: can we work together to find a solution so my daughter doesn't learn to hate science. It's 5th grade so it's not like we're preparing for college-work.

More than likely, the teacher's philosophies and mine are totally different. In my mind, keeping alive the love of learning, interest towards certain subjects, etc., is more important than the actual physical academic work. I believe that when people are interested in a topic they will learn what they need to in order to be successful. Obviously that is a "long term" vision of success whereas for the teacher success is measured by 1 year.

Having just gone through school for science myself, I have to say that reading & taking notes in the traditional way isn't the only way. Actually, thank you! I just realized that in replying to you I've been able to narrow down on what accommodations I think may help my daughter :) Yes, I did lots of reading but when I could get audio versions of the material I always used that. I did not take notes during class because if I am writing my ears/brain seem to turn off - instead I recorded each class and would later re-listen and take notes. Now, during my own experiments, I record it all via video on my phone - it allows me to make some observations later, to look and see where I spaced and screwed up a reaction/experiment, and to more easily remember it enabling me to speak/write about it more fluently.

sarahsweets
08-29-17, 04:39 AM
I meant to ask...does she have an IEP or 504? Does she receive accommodations?

Caco3girl
08-30-17, 10:06 AM
That's why I came here. I'm so new to this that I don't know the "standard" accommodations, or if they exist, or maybe some more creative ones.

My e-mail to the teacher was much longer, but the main point was: can we work together to find a solution so my daughter doesn't learn to hate science. It's 5th grade so it's not like we're preparing for college-work.

More than likely, the teacher's philosophies and mine are totally different. In my mind, keeping alive the love of learning, interest towards certain subjects, etc., is more important than the actual physical academic work. I believe that when people are interested in a topic they will learn what they need to in order to be successful. Obviously that is a "long term" vision of success whereas for the teacher success is measured by 1 year.

Having just gone through school for science myself, I have to say that reading & taking notes in the traditional way isn't the only way. Actually, thank you! I just realized that in replying to you I've been able to narrow down on what accommodations I think may help my daughter :) Yes, I did lots of reading but when I could get audio versions of the material I always used that. I did not take notes during class because if I am writing my ears/brain seem to turn off - instead I recorded each class and would later re-listen and take notes. Now, during my own experiments, I record it all via video on my phone - it allows me to make some observations later, to look and see where I spaced and screwed up a reaction/experiment, and to more easily remember it enabling me to speak/write about it more fluently.

The thing you have to remember is that the teacher has a set of rules she has to live by, and one of those rules is not dedicating any extra time to any one student beyond say 5-10%. Asking a teacher to do things for one child and not for others implies special education, so if there is a child that needs the accommodations like you are talking about then they would have to be in a special education class, that means getting an IEP.

Please don't let that scare you, it's just a label. It's not like the old days where they segregate anyone who needs extra help into a dummy class or the like. My son is technically special education and he has classes that are co-taught. Meaning two teachers, one teacher teaches, the other focuses on the special needs kids. If my son is spacing out the teacher taps him on the shoulder or desk to get him to focus. If my son has a lost look the teacher will take him aside and explain the issue in a one on one situation. There are non special ed kids in the class too, kids that don't do well in that subject, or kids the school thinks might be special education but they haven't been identified yet.

Look into getting an IEP and your daughter can have these special accommodations, but without an IEP or at the very least a 504 she isn't eligible for special treatment.