ds in preschool need some btdt support..... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 09-22-2004, 08:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DS started preschool on September 8.
He only goes 3 days a week and one of the days the school was closed.

so today marks his 6th day of school in 2.5 weeks.
he is only there 9-12:30.

He turned 3 in July.

Okay there is the background. I
I unfortunately got a job just before his school starated so DS has been going to school with his sitter. Other kids have mommies there and a couple have nannies, so that was not unusual...but I always drop them and off and say good bye and he could hardly care less if I leave he is immediately thrilled to play with toys etc. That is the way it has been each day. I thought after the first week I would not have to send the sitter any longer but the teacher said that he likes to try to run out the door and head for the hallway or the playyard when she is trying to circle them up for some activites. And so she asked that I continue to send the sitter because she does not feel comfortable leaving the room and leaving the other children. She does have an assistant. There are 14 kids in the class. At first I was kind of bugged and thought, 'isn't this part of the learning curve of socializing?" but I figured I'd go with it.
Well, this monday she said "let's try wednesday without a sitter." Since he was doing so well not running out and participating more..
so, I picked him up today and she said, "I definitely need the sitter." He tends to run out during the first 90 minutes when they have a looser freetime.
Just so you know on Monday his sitter can't go and so my girlfriend whom my son loves goes and she said ds definitely does not listen when he is told some things...this is not news to me. When he doesn't want to do something he acts like he doesn't hear. but man I whisper the word 'cookie' from ten feet away with his back turned and he immediately responds "Yes."

I am just a little bit concerned about this whole thing.. I guess if I were to categorize it, my concerns would be:
1. is this a real issue
2. is the fact that he only turned 3 in july and other kids will be 4 in december and january etc in his class
3. is this just a learning stage and he'll get it.
4. am I off?

My initial thought on this is that it has only been 6 days. Where other kids cry when they enter school which indicates that they are still transiting into this, he doesn't cry but this could be a transition sign.

anyway, anyone been there?

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#2 of 4 Old 09-22-2004, 10:53 PM
 
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Tracy,

I'm confused about the physical set-up of the pre-school, or perhaps how they do things there. How is it that a child in a room with only 13 other children and two staff people is able to be a "flight risk?" So much so that the teacher is asking your babysitter to stay there for the whole time - am I understanding that right? Or is it just when they are getting the kids settled in?

Although he is on the younger side of the age group for pre-school, most seem to be able to handle kids from age 3 on (here they often take kids at 2.9, which for my ds was way too young - he was 3.9 when he started last year - however other younger kids did just fine). Our previous pre-school grouped young threes and older threes in two separate bunches, but that isn't always possible.

For a recently-turned three year old, some difficulty joining the group for circle time and being more interested in movement seems age-appropriate, especially if you have an active/energetic little boy like I did. So for me a few alarm bells would be going off if the teacher isn't able to handle your son along with a reasonable amount of other kids, without a de facto third staff person - does he really need constant supervision like that? Or is the physical plant not properly set up? No child should be able to easily get out of a schoolroom - that sounds like the environment isn't safely arranged.

Is the director of the pre-school available to discuss the situation with? That might help make some accommodations to resolve this. I'm not sure if given your work situation that you could spend one full pre-school session observing things, but if so this might either reassure you or guide you towards making a switch.

I feel for you! My ds spent last year in a pre-school that turned out to be not a great fit overall, but it was very hard for me to put my finger on my uneasiness, and the situation didn't become clear until right before the end of the school year, in a rather dramatic fashion (they told me he couldn't come back - without any previous discussion about the problems they'd apparently been having with him). As it turned out, they did me a favor as we just started a Montessori pre-school that is far more suited to his personality and needs. So while I wouldn't rush to pull your son out of there without more clarity on why they are having such trouble, I certainly would be exploring more of what is affecting their stance on having the babysitter there.

I'll be interested to hear the opinions of others, and more from you on your observations.
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#3 of 4 Old 09-25-2004, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Larklinnet,
You and my friends are confused equally.... it is really kind of goofy to me too, there is no possibility of ds running out into the street or anything like that. When he makes a run it is either to the hall which leads to another class or it is out the other door which leads to the playyard. The whole facillity is completely surrounded by a wall.
When I mentioned this to my SIL who used to teach Preschool she said, 'wow, we had a babygate on our door because of course kids want to wander out.'
in this case the door is open all the time.

The teacher said it is only an issue for the first 90 minutes of class when it is freeplay...

Apparently he doesn't need constant supervision..usually at some point in the freetime he wants to go out...my son has been an explorer since he came out of the womb... what's that, lets go look at that...etc...and I think this is part and parcel of the new experience of school.

thank you for the youngerthree versus olderthree perspective. That was my feeling too about my ds. When he started he was not even 3 years 2 month. (one week shy)

I'm probably going to go to the director in the next week or so.... I want to give it a few more days. he had a cough on friday and was really tired so I didnt' take him to school. So, day 7 will be monday. day 8 will be wednesday. They have no school next Friday...so I will probably go with him the following Monday because I will be done with Job and then I can assess for myself and I would feel like I could say things to the director from my experience there.

the more and more I sit with it all, I just feel he is a young 3 and they should HAVE a baby gate...but more will be revealed.
Thank you so much.
hugs
tracy

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#4 of 4 Old 09-25-2004, 10:49 PM
 
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I still have more questions than answers! I must say I've never heard of a pre-school where parents and sitters are required to stay with the children - I thought one of the purposes of pre-school was to give the children experience with other kids and adults who were not family members. Now I could see if it were the first couple of days, if your son was having trouble with the transition and was crying about you leaving. But that's not the case. Perhaps you could ask the teacher how long she expects to have the sitter to accompany your son. If she sees it as helping to contain him while he gets used to the program, at least if she has a plan for this ending, you might feel better about it. If on the other hand it will be an ongoing thing, I have to wonder if they are adequately staffed (or baby-gated!)

And why does the teacher need to leave the room - I think you said one of the reasons she wanted the sitter there was because she didn't feel he would always stay put if she wasn't there? I'm not quite sure I understand why this is.

My son was never one to want to participate much in circle time, and certainly not at just turned three. He'd do it if I were there and it was a new experience, but once it became familiar he wanted to move around. And if I weren't there to help get him into the circle, it's unlikely he'd be real responsive. Circle time for kids that young is hard, and more so for movement-oriented children like your ds and mine. So is it your child who isn't "getting with the program" or is the program unrealistically structured for your child?

Your own observations will tell you the answers to these questions and others that I'm sure you have. You may find that the teacher is just having a bit of trouble figuring out how to handle the group but really does demonstrate warmth to your son. So if things settling down, and you like the school, then you'll feel a lot better about continuing. If on the other hand you see more there that doesn't sit right, perhaps a switch might be needed.

Anyone else have any experiences like this?
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