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What would you do with my kindergartener? - Page 2

post #21 of 26

Wow, 26 students is a LOT of kids for a kindergarten class.  I'm a teacher in BC, Canada and by law 22 is the max, and I think that 22 is a lot.  


I haven't read the other posts so I'm sorry if I'm repeating any advice someone else has said, but I would suggest that for the next few years at least, your son will probably be ahead of his peers academically.  This means that now is a great time to teach him how to extend his own learning and challenge himself.  In my experience, truly bright children are never bored...unless they are discouraged from exercising their natural curiosity and desire to learn through play.  I would ask the teacher about her program, and if there are any opportunities in the classroom program for extending his learning.  For example, if they are doing waterplay at centers, might she give him an opportunity to conduct his own experiments (eg sinking/floating, or which structures hold the most pennies and still float on top of the water...) and then perhaps he can write/draw a picture of his experience at the water table. 


I don't ever think it's too early to help kids learn their potential to be self-directed learners, and it sounds like your son is slowly slipping into an apathetic role and he needs to realize that he is in charge of his own attitude and therefore his own potential for enjoyment!  I mean, I could say, "I'm bored, this job is too easy," but instead I choose to challenge myself and take new opportunities to make my job interesting and fun, kwim?  We are not consumers of education, we play an active role as learners...therefore if I'm bored, it's my problem and I need to take action!  Yes, even at 6!  


There is a student in my class currently, a grade 2 girl, who is has so much potential but is convinced that everything is a "review" and her grandmother (who raises her) is convinced she's bored because she's not being challenged.  The thing is, I provide lots of opportunities for her to extend her learning, but she doesn't take them.  With writing activities she does the bare minimum required, she turns down books I suggest that I think would stimulate her, and she chooses the easiest strategies for math rather than challenging herself to come up with new strategies or find more than one way to a solution.  It is the saddest thing!  She could go so far but she's totally a "lazy learner" who would rather be smug and say she knows everything already!  I would hate to hear that your son becomes like that, because it's not a happy place to be.  


Anyway, definitely talk to the teacher and be proactive, and involve your son too!  

post #22 of 26
It's great to hear you may be moving in 6 weeks -- what a perfect time to take him out of school and "reset" as another poster said. I agree that I wouldn't let his boredom go on too long, for fear of him starting to have negative associations with school instead of the positive ones he should be having (especially as a bright and capable learner).
post #23 of 26
Thread Starter 

Just wanted to update:


We decided to take him out of school a tad early, partially because the logistics of trying to deal with two homes was getting to be a bit much, and partially because of the school issues.


He's been out of school for a couple weeks now, and it's going really well.  We've worked a tiny bit on his handwriting (which actually improved pretty drastically before he left school, but could still definitely use work), but mostly he's just enjoying his "freedom."  I haven't felt the need to impose a lot of "order" on his day because I'm really pleased with the way he's spending it on his own.  Before we took him out of school, we explained that the rules regarding TV, computer, et cetera would not be changing (normally we don't let him use those things, at least not much, during the school week).  He and his sister (4) have been playing nicely in their room in the morning with things like legos, animal figures, or Playmobil stuff, then they'll decide to go out and ride bikes and be out there an hour or so, and then they'll get out colored pencils and draw pictures--they're just spending their days really productively, from my point of view, and I'm happy to just...let them.  My son is reading much more than he had time to when he was in school, too. He read a Magic Treehouse book cover-to-cover before 9:30 a.m. this morning, and now he's working on a book of really cool dot-to-dots that use numbers and letters and go up to 300 or so, which he really enjoys.  I even found him playing with dolls, which I haven't seen him do in a really long time.


Before he finished school I asked him if there were any particular things he'd like to learn about together in his time out of school, and he immediately answered, "space, maps, and how to identify trees by their leaves."  So we've checked some books on space out of the library and he's really enjoyed learning about the planets and has taken a particular interest in the dwarf planets, so we've been doing more reading about those together.  I was thinking of helping him learn to identify the U.S. states on a map, and we may still do that.  Exploring leaves/trees will come easily enough with the changing weather (the university also has a really fantastic conservatory that we can visit for free on Wednesdays, which we've done once and will likely do at least once or twice more).  


Anyway, I think we made the right decision and that this time will be really good for both kids (and the little one, almost 21 months, is enjoying all the activity with her brother and sister, too!).


Thanks, everyone, for your input! 

post #24 of 26

Sounds like you are having a great time - so glad it is working out!


post #25 of 26

I can't believe that teacher would say that to you! What a terrible attitude!


I've been a teacher for a number of years and an advanced kid is quite difficult to teach, especially when there are kids who are behind. There is that idea that they are already fine so they can just do the assignment and won't need help.


However, your child clearly needs to be challenged. This might need to start at home. If they have any free read time at school, have him bring a harder book home from school. Or tell him that, if he does his handwriting nicely, that he'll be rewarded at home. Unless there is explicit handwriting practice in class, this is going to be difficult for the teacher to address explicitly during class.


If there is a gifted program at the school, definitely look into it, otherwise you may to take matters into your own hands to start.

post #26 of 26

What you're doing is pretty much the same approach we took with our dd12 when she was in 1st grade and we took her out to try homeschooling after spring break.  It wasn't anything formal, but she just took off academically and was reading Harry Potter and the Chronicals of Narnia within a few weeks.  The freedom itself and not being stuck all day doing rote work made a huge difference for her.  Being plenty far ahead academically, like your ds, also allowed me the freedom to not worry about whether I had to teach her anything specific to keep her on track for when she went back to school, which she eventually did.


I hope that your move goes well and that you find a better schooling situation once you are settled.

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