Kindergartener bored - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 01-15-2003, 11:55 PM - Thread Starter
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My 6 year old son loves his kindergarten class. He socialize very well with the children and loves all the interesting things he gets to do. He is happy except he told me the other day that he was bored. They just started studying vowels and my son knows his vowels and reads above and beyond his grade level. He told me he was bored with the lesson. I love his teacher tremendously and she has told me that she works with him individually. He still is bored with the academics of the classroom. Any suggestions for relieving his boredom?
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#2 of 10 Old 01-16-2003, 01:34 PM
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Can his teacher have him help other students or help her with things that need to be set up in the classroom?
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#3 of 10 Old 01-17-2003, 01:51 AM
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Can he write? His teacher could just give him a piece of lined paper and let him write a story if he's demonstrated knowledge of what she is teaching the rest of the class. Or he could read a book on his own.
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#4 of 10 Old 01-17-2003, 01:07 PM
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mama R ~ I can relate to your post so well! My oldest two sons (now 11.5 and 8) are "profoundly gifted" (this is the school system's label, not ours) and we continue to learn a lot through trial and error as we go along. One thing that did not work out well is when the teacher has them help out other students or help the teacher. (No offense mommasgirls, this is just what we experienced). My main problem with this is that it allows the teacher to get "lazy" long as the child is kept busy she/he doesn't have to actually differentiate instruction to suit the child's needs. Helping someone else on work that you've already finished and found not the least bit challenging the first time around is not terribly enriching.

Also, I want my child to be a child - a friend to his peers, not a mini-teacher. When my oldest son was in second grade it became obvious that he was very uncomfortable with his role as "teachers helper" and it was really impacting his interactions with the other kids. He got along well with them, but they came to him for help rather than for friendship. I had asked many times that he not be put in this position, but at that point I went barreling in and demanded...loudly.

His second grade teacher admitted that she just didn't know what to do with him after he had finished all of his "accelerated learning materials" and she was just trying to keep him from being bored. Understandable, but not acceptable. I continue to work diligently to be sure that the school supplies the mandated training and materials to accomodate these gifted learners , and not just with more busy work.

OK, end of rant. There are some good books out there to help you and your teachers in guiding your son. I actually started and maintain a G/T (gifted/talented) library in our school with books and materials that can be checked out by teachers and parents. Maybe your school or public library has something like that? Good luck!
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#5 of 10 Old 01-17-2003, 11:19 PM
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I was wondering what things you know of that your son is interested in-- dinosaurs, trains, etc. If you could fill the teacher in on what brings him excitement and passion, maybe it would help her to find activities that would interest him more. It shouldn't be hard for her to find a way to tie in the lessons with topics he is ecxcited about. Do you think this is a good teacher? or one that just gets by? I agree with 3boysmom that constantly making a child a helper won;t work out well socially in the long run. Are there enrichment activities in the district? Things you could do with him afterschool to keep his interest in learning alive?


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#6 of 10 Old 01-20-2003, 10:03 PM
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I agree that making a child a helper is not his job in the classroom - there is a place for 'each one - teach one' but for every child not just the brightest.

A good teacher will differentiate for all the children in her class. If they are learning vowels, realistically only about half of the children will be ready for it, almost a half will probably already know them, or still need to be working on earlier sound recognition. And anyway, learning vowels should only take up a small part of the day, during which time your child should be doing something appropriate to his needs.

Personally, I'd go in to see the teacher and/or principal to ask what is happening to differentiate the curriculum for your child. He shouldn't be sitting in on lessons that are not at his level, she should be providing for him at that time. I'm not saying it is not a challenge with a gifted child, but it is her job to cater for him, possibly with an IEP in the same way she would for a child with a special need or learning difficulty.
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#7 of 10 Old 02-01-2003, 09:45 PM
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Would it be a possibility to have your son go to a first grade classroom during reading instruction? That might give him more of a challenge. Also, many schools have a program called Accelerated Reader (there's also one called Reading Counts, that is very similar) where the students read books at their level (which is determined by a computer assessment) and then take tests on the books to earn points. I use this a lot with all my students, but particularly for my higher readers, I make it a requirement for them to read and test at least 3 books per quarter in their reading level range. Generally kinders don't participate in this program but usually an exception can be made. Also, maybe you could find out what they are studying in social studies or science and have your son do an independent project where he could then do a presentation to the class on what he did and learned?
One of the dificulties with young gifted students is that most districts don't test for giftedness until 2nd or 3rd grade unless it is extremely apparent that this child isn't being served in the regular ed program. One reason is that, at a very young age it is harder to score high enough on the IQ test to make it into the program. Another reason is that once you don't make it into the program, they can't retest for 2 years so you don't want to rush it and then have to wait a while to qualify again.
Also, your school might not offer much of a gifted program until the upper grades. My district starts full time gifted programs at 3rd grade...until that it is a 1 day a week pull out program. Many parents simply wait because they feel that they don't want their child to miss a day of the regular ed program for enrichment only 1 day a week. Hopefully you have some things you can think about! Good luck!
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#8 of 10 Old 02-02-2003, 01:54 AM
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My dd is really bored in K, too. I'm not sure what to do about it , either.
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#9 of 10 Old 02-09-2003, 04:15 PM
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Most districts won't test for "gifted" classes in K but does your district have a "gifted school." If so, you can request testing for placement. (Our 1 day/week program starts in 2nd grade.)

Some kids benefit from helping and some don't . I always tell the kids that if they finish early, they may help and this is a big treat for most of them. I have one little boy this year, sounds like yours, who doesn't enjoy this so Ihave separate projects for him. Also,his biggest love is simply reading so often I'll give him a pass for the library for 15 mins. so he can read on his own.

All of our activities are easily extended for those kids who are ahead; ie. we write the sentence "The moth is flying." I challenge kids who finish early to write a longer sentence or their own sentence.

Math is easily changed per the child's needs.

Even in K, most classrooms have guided reading lessons approp. to their reading level. Ask the teacher what his reading level is. If, for some reason, she doesn't know what this means, then ask about having him visit 1st grade for that period.

K is SUCH a flexible grade that it should be easy to challenge him. Yes, some of the "sit down" lessons may be too easy, but he can extend them in some fashion.

Good luck!
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#10 of 10 Old 02-12-2003, 04:50 PM
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(I don't mean to say that you shouldn't try to get the school to challenge him more. Others had great suggestions about that. This is something to do in addition.)

Everybody has times when they get bored because they already know the material that's being taught, or they are waiting for something to happen (like waiting for a bus). Boredom is your brain getting antsy and wanting some exercise! There are all kinds of exercises it can do.

Say you're bored by the lesson about vowels. Look around the room and count all the vowels you can see; which vowel shows up the most? How many different vowel SOUNDS are in the words you can see? You say you already know this stuff the teacher is saying--so can you guess what she's going to say next? Think of an example for every vowel sound she talks about, and see if she uses the same example. Look around the room and think of the vowels in everybody's name--whose name has the most vowels, and whose has the least?

You also can play brain games that don't have anything to do with what's going on around you. Make a mental list of everything you ate today, yesterday, and as far back as you can. Can you remember what everyone in your family was wearing this morning? Turn your head a little to one side and try to remember everything that's on the wall on the other side of the room, then turn back and see if you were right. How many numbers can you see in the room, and what do you get if you add them all together? Take a mental walk down your street and see if you can remember all your neighbors' names. Pretend you're talking to a detective who needs to know exactly where you were one week ago today; how much detail can you give her? Imagine what you will do on this day 5 years, 10 years, 20 years from now. Imagine it's 50 years ago; how would your classroom, your clothes, your home be different? Pick an object in the room and try to figure out all the steps in manufacturing it.

etc., etc., etc.

We had a session on brain games in the gifted program when I was in 4th grade. It changed my life!!! I found so many fascinating ways to occupy myself inobtrusively during boring regular school. (I still wished that the gifted program was every day instead of 1/2 day a week, but c'est la vie!) I still play them whenever I get the slightest bit bored. I think this has been a major factor in sharpening my memory and attention to detail--I grew up to be a proofreader and then a data analyst!

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