Troubles at School Already

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-04-2003
Troubles at School Already
9
Mon, 09-13-2010 - 1:46pm

Well not even a full week into school and Ray is already having troubles. Apparently he doesn't want to do his work. A note was sent home on Friday along with all the work he didn't do to do over the weekend. From what I read instead of working he would rather play with his scissors and glue stick, or work on his comic strips (thank you Captin Underpants). (Something also in the note about having to re-direct him 4 or 5 times as well.)

I did have a talk to him about it and he knows the consequences of not doing his work, and we made a deal that I would work on making school better for him, but he also had to promise to do what the teachers asked.

He also isn't sitting with anyone at lunch. He has a "friend" in his class who he sits with on the bus, but he says the boy won't sit with him at lunch. His only real friend from his K class has a different teacher and is often in trouble and missing recess, so he's not playing with anyone at recess either (according to him).

After all the run around last year I am at a loss where to start fresh this year.

I know I need to call special ed and get on them about rescheduling the meeting from last spring. They don't think he has dyslexia, but I really do think that is part of the problem. I also think he would benefit greatly from OT, but they don't agree either. How do I get my point across to them? And let's not leave out the fact that they are not challenging him at all. His work to this point (which I understand is review) is counting, writing letters, and coloring. DS loathes coloring and would rather suffer the consequences than do it... and come on... he can do multiple digit addition in his head as well as simple multiplication.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2006
Tue, 09-14-2010 - 8:02pm

Sorry, I certainly didn't mean to suggest that you haven't done your homework. I wrote my post the way I did because I have seen this before and it frustrates me. Sometimes these things drag on without resolution, and the completely innocent party, the child, suffers because he is unable to meet an adult's unreasonable expectations, and is made to feel incompetent or "bad" about a situation over which he has little or no control.

Too bad the Montessori didn't work out ... there is a lot of variation...sometimes they don't look like they could have possibly been inspired by the work of Maria Montessori, other than the "prepared" environments...sigh.

I "get" the rural area stuff and I feel for you...dh is our chief breadwinner and his salary isn't high, but he wouldn't make half as much out here if he were employed elsewhere, and might not be able to find a job at all, other than the $8/hour agricultural jobs harvesting hydroponic crops. So I don't know what he'd do if I weren't around to be the facilitator for my "unschooled" kids. Maybe get them up for that 7:15 bus.

Deborah

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2000
Tue, 09-14-2010 - 2:42pm

If your insurance doesn't require a referral for OT, I see no reason to get one.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-04-2003
Tue, 09-14-2010 - 1:10pm

I did call back the outside testing company we met w/ about a year and a half ago, and asked about them seeing Ray again (my insurance and previously denied coverage for testing, but circumstances have changed). They are looking into how we go forward now, and I am waiting to hear back from them.

I sent a note in to the school consoler about getting Ray back into his "social group" which meets once a week. And I set a separate note to Ray's teacher about meeting with her to see what she can offer him and to talk about his class performance.

Any suggestions on the outside OT eval? Do I start with his ped even if my insurance doesn't require a referral?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-04-2003
Tue, 09-14-2010 - 12:55pm
Deborah - While I would love to home school DS that is not an option; I am the bread winner and carry the insurance. I've tried looking for other jobs but none are going to pay me what I make (and for what it's worth I was a single mom for many years, so HS was not an option then either). He also went to a Montessori school and it was a disaster, worse so than PS has been for him. We live in a rural town, so unless I am about to move away from everything we (and he knows) other "afternoon" education options are not available. And a move right now would not be good for him, he needs the stability of his current home environment. Trust me, I have done my homework.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2006
Tue, 09-14-2010 - 11:14am

Pardon me while I vent, but I do not see how Ray is going to be successful in this situation. He's way beyond the class in terms of knowledge and most skills, he could be dyslexic, and he has no friends. It's a setting for disaster, and unless the his needs are addressed right now, there is going to be more trouble later.

I've been watching your story unfold with dismay for a year now. If I were in your position and I knew what I know know, with a 19 year old son and two daughters aged 16 and 12, I'd find an alternative educational option for Ray this afternoon...homeschooling, Montessori, Waldorf, Reggio Emilia. I'd redo my work schedule or change careers to make it happen. There is no one on this earth as valuable as your child, and the teacher is NOT getting it, and is in fact, not able to get it. Her experience and training has not prepared her for child like your son.

But if you feel that you can work with this situation a bit longer, insist on differentiation. Don't say he's bored, and don't listen to excuses that she can't make accommodations for every kid. Your son is falling through the cracks because of her inflexibility. I know that teachers can make in class accommodations for students...in fact, my daughter's PG friend, in a tiny school, spent all of one elementary school year doing nothing but reading while the class swirled on around her...she was beyond the class in every subject and there was no reason to put her "on task" or make her feel "the consequences". One of the major failings of the public school system, in my opinion, is the notion that children have to be controlled every second or something very bad will happen. Yeah, like maybe they'll learn something not in the "ministry approved" sequence.

None of my kids were developmentally ready to read at your son's age, but if dyslexia is a concern, you can work with him on this at home. Just don't make it look anything like school. One indication that a child has dyslexia is lack of phonemic awareness...inability to connect letters and letter combinations to their sounds. There are several good books out there with differing approaches...intensive phonics is often prescribed, but with a child as visual as my daughter, a whole language approach was more effective.

Best of luck!

Deborah

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2006
Tue, 09-14-2010 - 10:49am

"Which goes back to my other posts about lower grades not being set up to make little boys successful."

I agree...but I don't think upper grades are either. It's common for town newspapers in our area to publish the "top ten" graduates, and sometimes lists of scholarship winners...it was pretty common for seven out of the top ten spots, and most of the scholarships, to go to girls.

Deborah

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-2003
Mon, 09-13-2010 - 8:06pm

You may need to look outside the school for support.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2000
Mon, 09-13-2010 - 5:01pm

The school won't admit your child has a LD until he's actually failing.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-18-2008
Mon, 09-13-2010 - 2:28pm

(((Kate))) I can hear the frustration. My son just started Kindy and, although he's not gifted, he is having the same issue in class. He hates all the silly coloring and gluing and, as a result, was sent home with a folder of work he didn't complete this week in class.

At any rate, we have some education experts available to us through the upcoming Education Nation summit. They're looking for iVillage members who might have questions. I'll be sure to pass your question of " How do I get my point across to them?" on and see if they might have any advice for you!

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