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Mormon Newsroom and Suicide

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On ‎9‎/‎17‎/‎2017 at 11:54 PM, Bernard Gui said:

We were talking about this at our extended family dinner tonight. Sister Gui teaches kindergarten. Our oldest son Artisticosso taught in a daycare facility for a while. They both have observed numerous kids who are dropped off at daycare at 6am so mommy and daddy can get to work, picked up after school by a friend, relative, or the daycare bus, get dropped off back at the kindercare until mommy or daddy pick them up at 5 or 6 pm to go home for a take-out dinner, to bed, and back again the next day. One Friday a month is "Parents Night Out" so the parents can drop them off again in the evening to go on a date. That would be 14 to 16 hours when the kids are away from home under someone else's care. The village raising the child. Artisticosso noted that for many kids, this pattern of daycare warehousing started at age 18 months and went on through their primary school years.

Sister Gui observed that her kids in this situation are emotionally and physically exhausted by lunch time and struggle to make it through the afternoon. She has kids who just give up and put their heads on their desks, act out in bizarre ways, or get down on the floor and sob and cry for mommy.  Rather than get angry, she gives them a little stuffed animal to hold while they rest in a quiet space, and tells them they can join the class again when they feel better. Many of her problem kids attend the same over-crowded day care. And now our state wants to impose mandatory pre-school for four-year-olds!

I can't imagine being a little kid in those circumstances. This can't be good for their mental health...especially anxiety, don't you think?

 

SUPERB!!!

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1 hour ago, hagoth7 said:

Finland has attempted to get rid of homework...and in the process, their schools are ranked best in the world for learning. Imagine that.

 

Teachers there say it's important to have free time to be a kid with friends and with one's own family. Very much in line with what you're saying.

My understanding is that they also don't bother instructing students to read until they are in the first grade and that kinder starts at age 6. They also give lots of recess time for the kiddos.

Another huge plus to the Finns for that way of thinking.

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44 minutes ago, Darren10 said:

My understanding is that they also don't bother instructing students to read until they are in the first grade and that kinder starts at age 6. They also give lots of recess time for the kiddos.

Another huge plus to the Finns for that way of thinking.

There are numerous things the Finns do differently, but there are are also very significant societal and demographic differences between the US and Finland that have greater impact than homework requirements.

The three things that drive American education are not significant in Finland, in order of importance: 1. The fear of lawsuits and its impact on administrative decisions, 2. The voracious appetite for and dependency on federal funds with resultant centralized control, 3. The perpetual quest for the perfect curricula, testing, and pedagogy that keeps schools in constant turmoil.

For a great peep into the problems in education, I recommend https://www.amazon.com/Rotten-Common-Core-Standardized-Surveillance/dp/193417064X. This book perfectly describes my 40-year experiences as a public schoolteacher and the disaster our schools have become.

Sister Gui has observed that what is now expected of today's American kinders is what used to be expected of first graders. She firmly believes this is seriously flawed because 5 year olds are not developmentally ready for that. She cites studies that show the gains made by accelerated early expectations fade by the middle grades. Unfortunately, American schools are doubling down on these kids moving to all-day kindergarten, and as I said, many are now talking about mandatory pre-school for 4 year olds. 

All of this increases anxiety levels in kids and teachers. The pendulum will eventually swing the other direction as education thingies always do, but it hasn't yet reached the optimum chaos that will force it to reverse direction.

Edited by Bernard Gui

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14 hours ago, Avatar4321 said:

I suffered anxiety and depression for a while when I was younger. It stopped being aa significant a problem for me when I started really exercising faith in Christ.

it's impossible to feel worthless when you feel the truth that someone loves you so much that they gave their life for you. That they carried your pain. When you feel the the love of God in your life it changes you.

when I felt that love, I had hope again. I made changes that were keeping me down. Particularly I how I take care of my body.

life isn't perfect, but we need to get more people feeling the love of Christ and the fruits of the Spirit. Sometimes that means a leap of faith

While not the perfect solution in every situation I do think the decline of religion is partially responsible for the increase in suicides. I would not call it the primary reason but definitely a contributing factor. Existential anxiety over one's place in the world can be hard to cope with.

I had minor to moderate sporadic depression for many years and found out later it was tied to an easily treatable physical cause (and was led by revelation to that cause) so yeah, the gospel will not cure everything but it can and does help. :) 

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50 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

While not the perfect solution in every situation I do think the decline of religion is partially responsible for the increase in suicides. I would not call it the primary reason but definitely a contributing factor. Existential anxiety over one's place in the world can be hard to cope with.

I had minor to moderate sporadic depression for many years and found out later it was tied to an easily treatable physical cause (and was led by revelation to that cause) so yeah, the gospel will not cure everything but it can and does help. :) 

Do we have information on what demographic of Mormons we are seeing commit suicide?

Do we have information on what demographic generally are committing suicide? I.e. Is it the non religious (which would lend itself to your thinking)?

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We do have studies out there where suicide rates go down the more active one is in their faith.  We have specific studies for LDS that correlated low rates with higher activity.

There is also a study that shows iirc that LGBT have more difficulties if they are in a religion (I am assuming it was traditional, socially conservative in terms of homosexual issues), but their suicide rate goes up if they choose to leave their faith.

There have been many threads on suicide in the past, a search should quickly pull them up.  I think Nevo was the first one to post the last study if you want to narrow the search.

 

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3 hours ago, Calm said:

We do have studies out there where suicide rates go down the more active one is in their faith.  We have specific studies for LDS that correlated low rates with higher activity.

There is also a study that shows iirc that LGBT have more difficulties if they are in a religion (I am assuming it was traditional, socially conservative in terms of homosexual issues), but their suicide rate goes up if they choose to leave their faith.

There have been many threads on suicide in the past, a search should quickly pull them up.  I think Nevo was the first one to post the last study if you want to narrow the search.

 

I don't think that anyone would disagree that being gay and Mormon or a number of other christian denominations complicates choices one is forced to make about life.  From the people who I know that have had to go through these conflicting choices, I can tell you that often there are stags that a gay christian goes through.  

They first think that if they are just good enough, just righteous enough, willing to do whatever God asks them to do, then they can some how change.  They can some how be like everyone else.  It doesn't seem all that difficult to want to be attracted to the opposite sex.  Everyone else seems to just do it naturally.  

Then at some point, they begin to realize that no matter how much they want to change, it isn't going to happen.  They realize that this is something they are going to have to deal with for the rest of their lives.  And at this stage there may even be anger against God and the church.  They may very well withdraw from church activity.  Some even start to engage in behavior that by the very nature of that behavior will force them to be separated from the church.  It is also at this point that the person internally wonders how his family is going to react.  Will anyone ever love them again.  Will they even be allowed to dream about love and finding that special person to share their life with.  This is where the church policies can really spiral someone who is already fragile into a tailspin.

When people at church who always told them they were such a good kid finds out that they are gay will they all the sudden think that they are not such a good kid after all.  This can be a very volatile time and very emotional, and even depressive.  The person also becomes hypersensitive to how they are treated.  If a person fails to shake their hand or come up and talk to them or turns away at just the wrong time, they can internalize it as a sure sign of rejection and  their worse fears of never being loved become heightened.  Everyone is being tested, yet those around them have no idea that they are even taking the test.

The problem is, often the parents, family and friends are themselves trying to process what this means.  They also may be angry.  They may blame themselves.  They may doubt that their son or daughter is really gay.  Perhaps it is society that makes them think they are gay.  Their main focus can be upon themselves and not their child.  Saying something like "I don't want to talk about it right now" may very well reflect how they feel, but the message their child receives is probably not what they intended.  Often it is very small signals that may even be distorted by emotion that can lead to a decision that seems to be a good decision for not only themselves but their family and church as well.  Now they don't have to deal with me being gay.  Fortunately, most people don't come to that erroneous conclusion.

Just my observations. Perhaps someone will find it helpful.  And perhaps some of this helps to interpret what the data is reporting.

 

Edited by california boy

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  1. Quote

     

    1. Youth in the 15-19 age group who live in states with heavy Mormon populations are at higher risk for suicide. As Knoll put it, “These are objectively small numbers, but it means that (again, controlling for other factors) youth suicides are twice as high in states with the highest levels of Mormon residents compared to states with the lowest levels of Mormon residents.”
    2. This association did not exist in any statistically significant way in 2009.Take a look at the second of the charts in Knoll’s post, which shows the greater frequency of teen suicide in 2014 versus 2009 in Mormon-heavy states such as Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, and Alaska. In those states, teen suicide is increasing at higher rates than it is in many (not all) other states; in Utah the rate has actually doubled since 2009.

     

    http://religionnews.com/2016/03/12/study-shows-link-teen-suicide-mormon-populations/

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4 hours ago, bsjkki said:

My oldest child had a lot of homework in elementary school. As soon as he came home from school, the battle would begin to get it finished. I think this had lasting consequences for his love of learning and our relationship. As an old mom with a lot of space between kids, I don't let this happen anymore. With my 3rd child, I went in and told the teacher we were not going to do all the homework she sent home in 2nd grade and that she was not to punish my child for it.  The teacher was stunned but I was adamant. I knew how useless the work sheets and busy work were by then and we had better things to do with our time and I had a very ill child to care for and sometimes, we did not have time to help the 2nd grader with busy work. Plus, she did not need repetition to learn. I also told a teacher in 5th grade that my child was not going to do some of the assignments and just to give her a bad grade. It was fine to punish with a grade but then not to also punish her with no recess and then taking away field trips. 

The school system is set-up to be one size fits all but our kids are not one size fits all and as parents we need to advocate for them. My high school drop out (due to health) who I let not do assignments in 5th grade, graduated from college and has a great job. My 2nd grader, has a full ride scholarship and is planning on majoring in mechanical engineering. My oldest, who I made do all his homework in elementary school, lost his love for learning, resented homework and hated school. He is planning on returning to college after having dropped out twice---it has been a hard road. He has anxiety issues too. Kids are not meant to go to school for 7 hours a day and then have to do an hour or two of homework. This is what my child faced in 3rd grade and I should not have made him do it. Studies have shown that homework in elementary school is useless, mostly useless in middle school and has some worth in high school with math studies. Lessons learned but I think our society has fallen in to the trap that more homework = more learning. That actually is not true and leads to a lot of anxiety and over scheduled kids. I have read a few articles about children who aIre completely burned out on sports before they even reach high school. We need to let kids be kids. 

I so admire what stand you took with the teachers and homework.  My son was in and out of the hospital when he was 7 years old...the homework and make up work for a little boy with incisions in his head was a chore for him...it never let up..someone at the door with more homework!  He was tired and so frustrated...!  It took a year to get him interested in school again and regain his love of learning.  To top it off...the teachers without my knowledge wanted to satisfy the curiosity of his classmates and undid the bandage on his head...I screamed!  He was humiliated and laughed at...and I screamed!  Because of a dent in his head even now...he won't go anywhere without his hat.  It hurt also that he was forbidden to play football on a jr. league. 

Edited by Jeanne

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11 hours ago, california boy said:

I don't think that anyone would disagree that being gay and Mormon or a number of other christian denominations complicates choices one is forced to make about life.  From the people who I know that have had to go through these conflicting choices, I can tell you that often there are stags that a gay christian goes through.  

They first think that if they are just good enough, just righteous enough, willing to do whatever God asks them to do, then they can some how change.  They can some how be like everyone else.  It doesn't seem all that difficult to want to be attracted to the opposite sex.  Everyone else seems to just do it naturally.  

Then at some point, they begin to realize that no matter how much they want to change, it isn't going to happen.  They realize that this is something they are going to have to deal with for the rest of their lives.  And at this stage there may even be anger against God and the church.  They may very well withdraw from church activity.  Some even start to engage in behavior that by the very nature of that behavior will force them to be separated from the church.  It is also at this point that the person internally wonders how his family is going to react.  Will anyone ever love them again.  Will they even be allowed to dream about love and finding that special person to share their life with.  This is where the church policies can really spiral someone who is already fragile into a tailspin.

When people at church who always told them they were such a good kid finds out that they are gay will they all the sudden think that they are not such a good kid after all.  This can be a very volatile time and very emotional, and even depressive.  The person also becomes hypersensitive to how they are treated.  If a person fails to shake their hand or come up and talk to them or turns away at just the wrong time, they can internalize it as a sure sign of rejection and  their worse fears of never being loved become heightened.  Everyone is being tested, yet those around them have no idea that they are even taking the test.

The problem is, often the parents, family and friends are themselves trying to process what this means.  They also may be angry.  They may blame themselves.  They may doubt that their son or daughter is really gay.  Perhaps it is society that makes them think they are gay.  Their main focus can be upon themselves and not their child.  Saying something like "I don't want to talk about it right now" may very well reflect how they feel, but the message their child receives is probably not what they intended.  Often it is very small signals that may even be distorted by emotion that can lead to a decision that seems to be a good decision for not only themselves but their family and church as well.  Now they don't have to deal with me being gay.  Fortunately, most people don't come to that erroneous conclusion.

Just my observations. Perhaps someone will find it helpful.  And perhaps some of this helps to interpret what the data is reporting.

 

I regularly value your insights on these matters. Thank you for sharing californiaboy.

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17 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

... For a great peep into the problems in education, I recommend https://www.amazon.com/Rotten-Common-Core-Standardized-Surveillance/dp/193417064X. This book perfectly describes my 40-year experiences as a public schoolteacher and the disaster our schools have become. ...

You, Sister Gui, and Mr. Farrell might be absolutely right about common core. Compared to me, you're the experts, and I am inclined to defer to you. However, reading the titles and descriptions of some of Mr. Farrell's other offerings makes me want to put on my tinfoil hat to block out the ∆-rays. :huh::unsure: 

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I actually like a lot of Common Core in terms of how it teaches things like math. It is a more intuitive system then the more traditional method. The absurd obsession with standardized testing and homework and mindless busy work in schools still drives me insane.

I remember in High School in one math class I saw the grading setup would be 50% tests, 40% quizzes, and 10% homework. When I saw the homework was excessive and tedious I realized I had a choice. An A and give up about an hour of my life after school every school day or a B and my time was my own. I chose the latter and to this day have no regrets.

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20 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

There are numerous things the Finns do differently, but there are are also very significant societal and demographic differences between the US and Finland that have greater impact than homework requirements.

The three things that drive American education are not significant in Finland, in order of importance: 1. The fear of lawsuits and its impact on administrative decisions, 2. The voracious appetite for and dependency on federal funds with resultant centralized control, 3. The perpetual quest for the perfect curricula, testing, and pedagogy that keeps schools in constant turmoil.

For a great peep into the problems in education, I recommend https://www.amazon.com/Rotten-Common-Core-Standardized-Surveillance/dp/193417064X. This book perfectly describes my 40-year experiences as a public schoolteacher and the disaster our schools have become.

Sister Gui has observed that what is now expected of today's American kinders is what used to be expected of first graders. She firmly believes this is seriously flawed because 5 year olds are not developmentally ready for that. She cites studies that show the gains made by accelerated early expectations fade by the middle grades. Unfortunately, American schools are doubling down on these kids moving to all-day kindergarten, and as I said, many are now talking about mandatory pre-school for 4 year olds. 

All of this increases anxiety levels in kids and teachers. The pendulum will eventually swing the other direction as education thingies always do, but it hasn't yet reached the optimum chaos that will force it to reverse direction.

My last year of full time teaching in public schools my principal announced how "very excited" he was that the school district was to begin a new program to get kids reading by 3 years old. The very thought of getting kids to more academically at a younger age made me cringe inside. More troubling is that I believe he was genuine about how "very excited" he was that this program was to role out. 

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1 hour ago, The Nehor said:

I actually like a lot of Common Core in terms of how it teaches things like math. It is a more intuitive system then the more traditional method. The absurd obsession with standardized testing and homework and mindless busy work in schools still drives me insane.

I remember in High School in one math class I saw the grading setup would be 50% tests, 40% quizzes, and 10% homework. When I saw the homework was excessive and tedious I realized I had a choice. An A and give up about an hour of my life after school every school day or a B and my time was my own. I chose the latter and to this day have no regrets.

There are many ways to learn and implament Math. Teaching multiple ways to solve a problem is good but students should be free to solve problems according ot what works best for them. The problem with Common Core is that it obligates students to solve problems, even on standardized tests, to solve them using a specific method. In real life people don't care how you solve a problem, so long as you do that's what people pay others to do and that's how we essentially live. 

Ditto on the emphasis on standardized testing. That and its overall program of No Child Left Behind has got ot be the worst thing to hit the American education system ever. 

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11 hours ago, bsjkki said:

My oldest child had a lot of homework in elementary school. As soon as he came home from school, the battle would begin to get it finished. I think this had lasting consequences for his love of learning and our relationship. As an old mom with a lot of space between kids, I don't let this happen anymore. With my 3rd child, I went in and told the teacher we were not going to do all the homework she sent home in 2nd grade and that she was not to punish my child for it.  The teacher was stunned but I was adamant. I knew how useless the work sheets and busy work were by then and we had better things to do with our time and I had a very ill child to care for and sometimes, we did not have time to help the 2nd grader with busy work. Plus, she did not need repetition to learn. I also told a teacher in 5th grade that my child was not going to do some of the assignments and just to give her a bad grade. It was fine to punish with a grade but then not to also punish her with no recess and then taking away field trips. 

The school system is set-up to be one size fits all but our kids are not one size fits all and as parents we need to advocate for them. My high school drop out (due to health) who I let not do assignments in 5th grade, graduated from college and has a great job. My 2nd grader, has a full ride scholarship and is planning on majoring in mechanical engineering. My oldest, who I made do all his homework in elementary school, lost his love for learning, resented homework and hated school. He is planning on returning to college after having dropped out twice---it has been a hard road. He has anxiety issues too. Kids are not meant to go to school for 7 hours a day and then have to do an hour or two of homework. This is what my child faced in 3rd grade and I should not have made him do it. Studies have shown that homework in elementary school is useless, mostly useless in middle school and has some worth in high school with math studies. Lessons learned but I think our society has fallen in to the trap that more homework = more learning. That actually is not true and leads to a lot of anxiety and over scheduled kids. I have read a few articles about children who are completely burned out on sports before they even reach high school. We need to let kids be kids. 

The best thing to do at home is for mom or dad to read with their young child. That alone opens up lots of avenues of learning and enthusiasm to learn.

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1 hour ago, Darren10 said:

There are many ways to learn and implament Math. Teaching multiple ways to solve a problem is good but students should be free to solve problems according ot what works best for them. The problem with Common Core is that it obligates students to solve problems, even on standardized tests, to solve them using a specific method. In real life people don't care how you solve a problem, so long as you do that's what people pay others to do and that's how we essentially live. 

Ditto on the emphasis on standardized testing. That and its overall program of No Child Left Behind has got ot be the worst thing to hit the American education system ever. 

Yes, but schools should try to teach the best methods. Common Core has intuitive math. It is based on how people who are good at math naturally do it.

The main complaint I hear is it is not how parents do math so we should stick to the old way so parents can help with homework. So let us combine the two ideas and use that common core method and abolish homework. Problem solved.

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12 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Yes, but schools should try to teach the best methods. Common Core has intuitive math. It is based on how people who are good at math naturally do it.

The main complaint I hear is it is not how parents do math so we should stick to the old way so parents can help with homework. So let us combine the two ideas and use that common core method and abolish homework. Problem solved.

I say use it but don't obligate the students to implament it. You can for small assignments in order to teach the concept and the relationship of numbers and values. That developes in depth learning. But do not obligate it for big assignments and especially not for any significant part of a test.

I agree with the abolition of homework for young ones. 

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3 minutes ago, Darren10 said:

I say use it but don't obligate the students to implament it. You can for small assignments in order to teach the concept and the relationship of numbers and values. That developes in depth learning. But do not obligate it for big assignments and especially not for any significant part of a test.

I agree with the abolition of homework for young ones. 

The problem is you probably do not want to teach multiple methods. Also, if kids are using different basic principles then when they get to more advanced or more difficult concepts they may not have the same baseline to start from.

I do not need "borrowing" to subtract 3 from 10 but if I can only do subtraction intuitively and do not learn the steps and then later move on to problems using five digits I may end up not knowing how to start while the kids who did learn will.

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On 18/09/2017 at 5:22 AM, Kenngo1969 said:

Perhaps.  But I think being "over-connected" technologically and, correspondingly, being "under-connected" in the real world is huge factor in behavioral health, both for young people and for those who are not so young.

You and others might find this article interesting then: Teens and their screens: Are we raising a generation of unhappy, non-resilient adolescents? I've read some of the quoted researcher's work, and I find it quite compelling.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan

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On 18/09/2017 at 5:51 AM, Kenngo1969 said:

I might say, "Insofar as possible ..., we're going on a technology fast.  You'd better taper off and wean yourselves down to nothing by the time we leave for camp ..."

Good advice not just for camp. I remember hearing a mission president who said that emotional melt-downs caused by lack of being perpetually connected was hands-down the greatest cause of missionaries going home in his mission.

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10 hours ago, Darren10 said:

The best thing to do at home is for mom or dad to read with their young child. That alone opens up lots of avenues of learning and enthusiasm to learn.

Agreed. All my kids are great readers. I agree strong reading skills help in all future academic endeavors. I would let my kids read whatever books they found entertaining when they were young. There are a few authors I am grateful to because they were able to instill a joy of reading in my kids. Ironically, my oldest loved books the most.  I despise dialectic journals and reading logs. They absolutely make reading a chore. My very scholarly student, dropped AP lit because she realized the type of assignments required would be torture.  I would teach all my kids to read at home... not something I left to teachers. Also, I would make sure they memorized their math facts even when their schools did not require it anymore. 

Our system is a little messed up these days.  My senior is in a unique position where she was admitted to college in the summer and her scholarship is gaurenteed for next year. She was able to take more challenging courses because if she gets a "B" she will still be fine. This will benefit her as she tackles her college courses. The pressure is off and she can enjoy learning. I talked her out of taking a few honors and ap courses because there is more to life than homework. 

 

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18 hours ago, Jeanne said:

I so admire what stand you took with the teachers and homework.  My son was in and out of the hospital when he was 7 years old...the homework and make up work for a little boy with incisions in his head was a chore for him...it never let up..someone at the door with more homework!  He was tired and so frustrated...!  It took a year to get him interested in school again and regain his love of learning.  To top it off...the teachers without my knowledge wanted to satisfy the curiosity of his classmates and undid the bandage on his head...I screamed!  He was humiliated and laughed at...and I screamed!  Because of a dent in his head even now...he won't go anywhere without his hat.  It hurt also that he was forbidden to play football on a jr. league. 

I'm sorry you had to go through that. The relentless make-up work is why one of my kids dropped out of high school. For health concerns in elementary school--its best not to do make up work at all. My advice to anyone in that position is to withdraw and officially homeschool until your child is ready to return. Stay home, read some fun books and practice math facts. When they are doing better, enroll them back into school. I've learned these things the hard way so I'm just passing on my hindsight wisdom. We moved once in April...the new school did not want them to enroll but said  to enroll for the next school year. Missing the last 45 days of school did not matter. (This doesn't work in high school)

I can't believe the teacher did that to your son...how horrible. 

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5 hours ago, bsjkki said:

I'm sorry you had to go through that. The relentless make-up work is why one of my kids dropped out of high school. For health concerns in elementary school--its best not to do make up work at all. My advice to anyone in that position is to withdraw and officially homeschool until your child is ready to return. Stay home, read some fun books and practice math facts. When they are doing better, enroll them back into school. I've learned these things the hard way so I'm just passing on my hindsight wisdom. We moved once in April...the new school did not want them to enroll but said  to enroll for the next school year. Missing the last 45 days of school did not matter. (This doesn't work in high school)

I can't believe the teacher did that to your son...how horrible. 

IN hindsight..what a wonderful idea...I should have just withdrew him from school and homeschooled...I was anyway! 

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