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Old 10-13-2011, 07:41 PM
 
275 posts, read 645,842 times
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We just had our first teacher conference with my son's K teacher. Before the start of school, I was really worried that he has never been to pre-K and English is his second language. For the last two months, I thought he was doing great. I heard nothing from the school or his teacher. Tonight, his teacher told me my son doesn't listen or follow any directions unless he is told couple of times. He constantly demands her attention. Too friendly (too much hugging and touching) and sometimes rough with other kids. She said she will watch him for a month and if there is no improvement, she will write him up to some committee which will probably mark him as a problem child for the future. I explained he is an only child and never seen a school structure before so he is probably having a difficult time adjusting to this new environment. I am quite upset right now. I felt like a terrible parent with spoiled child. How do I get him to change his behavior? We spoke to him about it but I don't know how effective it is to talk to a 5 year old. Any suggestions? He loves school and I told him if he doesn't start behaving, he will have to stay home but I really don't know how get thru to him. He is well behaved at home when he is with me and will do as told most of the time. I don't know what to do. One good thing, she told us his school work is pretty good. I don't want him written up so it follows him up to higher grades. Anyone had to go through this? how did you handle it?
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Old 10-13-2011, 07:51 PM
 
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I would have asked the teacher why she hasn't said anything until now? That's really strange. If it's that much of a problem, why wait until conference time to bring it up?

I think if she sends him to a committee for review, they would probably put him in a "D-K" program ("Developmental Kindergarten") to give him an extra school year to be ready for regular Kindergarten. That might be a help to him if he has a problem with the English language and if he's not yet focused enough to follow instructions or directions.

You are NOT a terrible parent. Your son is FIVE, not fifteen!!! Some K teachers expect all the children to be perfectly behaved and to have attended at least 4 years of "pre-school" before entering Kindergarten. It's ridiculous!!!!

Also, you may consider posting this in the "Parenting" forum --- you'll get a ton of responses over there!
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Old 10-13-2011, 08:02 PM
 
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Thanks omigawd, I agree they should have let me know about this before. I e-mailed her in the beginning of school year, explained my son's situation and requested she contact me if there is any problems. I received no response. He doesn't have any problems with the language or the school work. He knows his shapes, numbers, colors, letters, can write his name and even read some etc...She says his problem is behavioral. He has no problems focusing or finishing things at home so I don't know how to control his behavior at school.
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Old 10-13-2011, 08:22 PM
 
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That's odd that they would recommend that, most schools have only been in school at most 8 weeks... Just know that they can't place him in a D-K without your consent, and they also can't have him evaluated without your consent.
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Old 10-13-2011, 08:31 PM
 
15,287 posts, read 16,833,735 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyvictoria View Post
We just had our first teacher conference with my son's K teacher. Before the start of school, I was really worried that he has never been to pre-K and English is his second language. For the last two months, I thought he was doing great. I heard nothing from the school or his teacher.

I think it is a shame that the teacher did not contact you before this time, but what is done is done.

Tonight, his teacher told me my son doesn't listen or follow any directions unless he is told couple of times.

Could this be because he is not understanding the language well? I would suggest that the teacher try some visual supports when giving directions to help this.

He constantly demands her attention.

This may have to do with being an only and getting lots of adult attention from you. The teacher can work on this some, but you may want to work on some things too. Does he have chores at home? Can he complete them without constant monitoring? If not, I would try giving him an easy chore that he can be successful at on his own without you helping him and see how that goes. You might suggest that the teacher give him *classroom chores* as well.

Model self-reliance in your own behavior.
Show him step by step how a project is done then step back and let him try on his own.
Make sure he knows the goal of any chore or project.
Make it fun.
Let him do the job in parts if necessary.
Let him fail sometimes. Children learn more from failure than from success in many ways.


Too friendly (too much hugging and touching) and sometimes rough with other kids.

The hugging may be cultural since you are not from the US. I would explain that hugging is a way of life in your culture if that is so. I would also talk to him about the fact that hugging in school is generally not allowed so when he needs hugs he should store them up and give them to you at home.

The rough play is really something most boys this age need, but unfortunately most schools cannot allow it. Make sure he has opportunities at home for rough and tumble play with dad or other male relatives or even buddies at play dates. At the preschool level, we used to allow wrestling on mats with supervision and we talked to the kids about stopping when someone looked hurt or upset. We also only allowed two kids at a time to do this. As I said though, most schools are not set up for this. As a YMCA, we had a large gym and we actually had teenage boys who came in and talked about the *rules* for wrestling. You may want to actually get him into one of the martial arts where the sensai can help him realize the limitations of roughhousing and how to respect others (I know it sounds weird, but many kids actually come out of Tai Kwan Do with less need to play rough).


She said she will watch him for a month and if there is no improvement, she will write him up to some committee which will probably mark him as a problem child for the future. I explained he is an only child and never seen a school structure before so he is probably having a difficult time adjusting to this new environment.

The write up is probably not something to worry about actually. It probably would mean they would want to evaluate him to see if he had any special needs and if an IEP might be helpful to him. That is not the end of the world. It does not sound like he needs it, but you never know.

One thing to consider is having him evaluated for sensory issues given the hugging and rough housing. He may not have any issues, but if he does, you can get help for them quickly with an OT (occupational therapist) who is trained in Sensory Processing disorder. If you think this might be an issue, read The Out-of-Sync Child by Carol Stock Kranowitz to see where he fits. You should be able to get it at your local public library.


I am quite upset right now. I felt like a terrible parent with spoiled child. How do I get him to change his behavior? We spoke to him about it but I don't know how effective it is to talk to a 5 year old. Any suggestions? He loves school and I told him if he doesn't start behaving, he will have to stay home but I really don't know how get thru to him. He is well behaved at home when he is with me and will do as told most of the time.

Seriously, you are a good mom, not a bad one. Don't be so hard on yourself. Talking to 5 year old boys can be hard. You may want to try some books.

Depending on the issue:
For too much activity: Whoa, Wiggle Worm: A little Lemon Book about an Overly Active Child by Betsy B. Lee

For listening: The Listening Walk by Paul Showers

For following the school rules: Know and Follow Rules by Cheri J. Meiners

If he is hitting in school: Hands are not for Hitting by Martine Agassi

Truthfully almost any book you read can teach these kinds of lessons though. Aesop's Fables are good.


I don't know what to do. One good thing, she told us his school work is pretty good. I don't want him written up so it follows him up to higher grades. Anyone had to go through this? how did you handle it?
I am glad his school work is pretty good. That's a positive.


Good luck!
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Old 10-13-2011, 08:40 PM
 
275 posts, read 645,842 times
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Well, she took my phone and e-mail and will let me know if there is any improvement. She said she will observe him one more month, after that if there is no change she will write him up for a committee. My son is already really tall for a 5 year old. If he stays back one extra year, he will tower over all the kids and will be really bored too since his class work is at same level right now as every other child in the class. I don't like this at all. She talked about the importance of respect and manners, effectively, making me feel like s..t. I do teach him manners and respect but he had no experience with other kids or how to behave in classroom. She said we should have talk to him about going to school. I have been talking to him about how to behave in school for the entire summer. We have a great respect for a teaching profession in my home, both my husband and I are highly educated. I am too upset right now, I need to think about this after I calm down. I will not put him DK or any other program. I'll rather pull him out and home school him.
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Old 10-13-2011, 08:47 PM
 
15,287 posts, read 16,833,735 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyvictoria View Post
Well, she took my phone and e-mail and will let me know if there is any improvement. She said she will observe him one more month, after that if there is no change she will write him up for a committee. My son is already really tall for a 5 year old. If he stays back one extra year, he will tower over all the kids and will be really bored too since his class work is at same level right now as every other child in the class. I don't like this at all. She talked about the importance of respect and manners, effectively, making me feel like s..t. I do teach him manners and respect but he had no experience with other kids or how to behave in classroom. She said we should have talk to him about going to school. I have been talking to him about how to behave in school for the entire summer. We have a great respect for a teaching profession in my home, both my husband and I are highly educated. I am too upset right now, I need to think about this after I calm down. I will not put him DK or any other program. I'll rather pull him out and home school him.
I understand your feeling about putting him into a developmental K, but you may have to bite the bullet *if* that is what he needs. Sure, you can homeschool if that is what you want to do, but are you sure that would work for you? What makes you think they would keep him back? That's not the normal procedure as long as his academics are ok. As for other programs, not every child with special needs would be in a developmental k anyway. He might just need some help with learning the rules that can be provided by special ed services. Some kids are gifted, but still need special ed services.
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Old 10-13-2011, 08:50 PM
 
275 posts, read 645,842 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
I am glad his school work is pretty good. That's a positive.


Good luck!

Thank you, those are great suggestions. I will buy the books and read them to him. That might work. He also does chores at home, perhaps, I should give him some more. As I wrote, he has no problems following or focusing on directions at home. I also explained to her, he loves her which he tells me every day and being an only child, I think he is trying to get her attention because he is used to getting that attention at home. I am upset, they seem to be making a federal case out of it. She said he is not disruptive or mean to other kids. He doesn't fight or hit or anything like that. I also suggested, while he knows the letters, numbers, etc...he may have a problem with complicated directions she gives. I don't know, I just need to stay on top of it.
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Old 10-13-2011, 09:18 PM
 
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IME, as much as knowing letters, numbers, phonics, etc., Kindergarten is about being the child being able to handle a classroom environment.

That may mean things like keeping hands to self, walking in line, raising a hand before speaking, taking turns, etc. If a child cannot handle those kinds of things by the end of K, most likely the child will have more difficulty come 1st grade, when the academic work also becomes more difficult.

I think that as much as Kindergarten is about preparing for 1st grade, it has also become the place where teachers "screen" for problems that will make the lower elementary years difficult. I think that teachers are looking for "red flags" like not being able to color in the lines (vision or motor skill difficulties), inability to sit still or follow directions (ADHD), writing backwards (dyslexia), etc.

I would ask the teacher if I could observe in the classroom a few different times. That way, you may be able to see the "problems" in a way that you cannot see them from home.

One last thought, have you had your son's hearing and vision checked?

Good luck.
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Old 10-13-2011, 09:50 PM
 
4,044 posts, read 5,943,114 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyvictoria View Post
We just had our first teacher conference with my son's K teacher. Before the start of school, I was really worried that he has never been to pre-K and English is his second language. For the last two months, I thought he was doing great. I heard nothing from the school or his teacher. Tonight, his teacher told me my son doesn't listen or follow any directions unless he is told couple of times. He constantly demands her attention. Too friendly (too much hugging and touching) and sometimes rough with other kids. She said she will watch him for a month and if there is no improvement, she will write him up to some committee which will probably mark him as a problem child for the future.
That sounds very hasty and harsh to me. So he's a 5 yo who needs to be given directions several times, demanding attention from the teacher and hugging his friends?

The teacher seems more abnormal to me for delivering this news to you as if your son was in the process of adopting Nazi doctrine or something of that nature. You would think she would have just let you know about some of his quirks and asked you to work on him at home a little bit...instead of threatening "problem child" committee.

I am usually on the side of the teachers ... but this one sounds really weird. I would be disturbed too.
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