Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Should I take Reese out of School?

Reese has been in play school since last year. It was not a smooth journey. He has problem co- operating with his teachers at school. Throughout of last year, he hardly did any work (academic) with the teachers... in fact less than 10% of work. He refused to sit down with the teachers. At the end of the year, every child went home with a folder filled with books and worksheets they did but my son's.... hardly anything.

He also has a problem with group time. He just refused to join the children during this activity. Only occasionally joining or when a story caught his attention. He was constantly sent to the corner and that upsets him alot with lots of crying and scolding from mummy too.

He has this tendency of disturbing his friends like sweeping things off their table, destroying their building blocks or just throwing things up in the air while at play. He is not a destructive person. When he does those things... to him it's all part of play. He loves to pretend that there is an earthquake or tornadoes....etc... He did not do it with an evil intention, if you know what I mean. He is not the type that snatches or being violent. In fact when others bully him, he doesn't know how to fight back.

I really believe he is immature for his age even though his intellectual knowledge is way beyond his peers. Another sign of a gifted child. Sometimes I pity my dear son. People don't see Reese as a 4 year old child but more like a 6 year old because of his size and intellectual knowledge and thus expect him to behave like one. He is a hyper active boy. So much so a Montesori lecturer who was at school one day evaluating one of the teachers asked whether Reese has ADHD?

I know he doesn't have that because he can sit with me for 20-45 minutes to do math or other work. When it comes to his drawings, he can spent up to an hour drawing and fixing puzzles... with the 108 pieces... he sat there for almost an hour to finish it.

At home he is a very different child. He behaves well at home. Maybe because he is alone. I realized that when he is around other people, he gets very very excited. When he plays with other children, he always want them to play his way! He is always the leader leading the play. He gets upset when they don't play his way. (This is normal right?)

Since school started few weeks ago, everyday Reese was send to the corner for the same old reasons. Almost every school day he will cry at least once or twice because he was sent to the corner. It created stress in him and me too! I have to keep reminding him to be good, to behave... and yet the next day I will get a complaint from the teacher. Barely a month back to school and he is already saying that he doesn't like school.

Yesterday was bad, I scolded him again and felt bad afterward and that also got me thinking, should I just pull him out of school. It's not healthy for him to be reprimanded by both teachers and me all the time. I want him to be happy. I want him to have a wonderful childhood.

I homeschool him and going to play school 4 times a week is merely for social interaction.

He will be attending the performing art Saturday school in April and after Chinese New Year we will be sending him for football fun at Little League. That will give him social interaction with other children. These are activities that do not require him to sit down and do work!

Should I take him out of school? :(


mumsgather said...

Perhaps you need not worry too much about social interaction at this stage. There is plenty of time later on for this. I sent my girl to kindy at age 6 and my boy at age 5. Before that they were mostly at home with me with no other children to interact with. I think they are fine nevertheless.

Leona said...

Could it be that Reese is bored at school?And he does not find in mentally stimulating there? As in ... his intellectual capabilities is just not on par with what the teacher teaches in school and hence, he makes a ruckus there? Is there any special classes/ centres for gifted children in PJ...maybe u can look into it...?

I see Reese as a very unique and different boy. I would take him out from this school environment if he is not showing any interest there...

A gift from God said...

Maybe I should worry less about social interaction for now. One thing though, your children have each other to play with at home. My boy doesn't have anyone to play with except sometimes with my students. I am monitoring the situation, if it does not improve... I will take him out of school.

I don't know whether he is bored, but how boring can it be when there are lots of toys to play with, story time, singing time...etc..? Even though he doesn't work with the teachers... he can still sing the songs and tell me the stories from school! I have already shown the teachers what Reese is doing with me in terms of academic stuff. I told them to give him more challenging things to learn...but he just refuse to sit with them at all.

I haven't heard of any gifted programs around (Government initiated Pintar Permata for 8 years and above I think) but I don't think its necessary for now because I am teaching him based on the homeschooling program that we use. So far so good. Next year we might let him take SCAT and see whether he qualify for a distance learning program for gifted children by John Hopkins University in the US. Heck! We don't even know he is really gifted or just smart....hehehe... we are just assuming...except for art.

Anonymous said...

Don't take him out from school. He need to go through this phrase sooner or later. Better to go through it now than later as he will have other hurdles to go through. These are simple hurdles that are best instilled at the ripe age, his age. Daily reminders on how he needs to behave in school will definitely help. Tough but he will ultimately get there, may be on his own terms.
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Forgot to mention that.....if you could talk to the teacher to also give positive encouragements/praises for actions that he has performed appropriately. eg sth that he normally would refuse to do. Daily punishment is not very encouraging to anyone.

A gift from God said...

Hi Anonymous,

Everyday without fail I will remind him what he can or cannot do before going to school. The teachers are very nice. In fact, they only lightly scold the kids or the last resort.... thinking chair/corner for a short while or until the child calms down. Children are given choices on what they want to do. They do not force.The teachers are always loving. Full of praises to the kids. They give cuddles and kisses too. Each child will be given individual attention for every subjects. There are only about 12-13 kids with 4 teachers!!

I too hope that he can stay on in school but if the stress level is too much for him then it may be harmful to him instead. I am working hard with the teachers to help him be more discipline and fit in better. I am using the reward system. So we will see! :)

justpassingby said...

Hmmm, given that Reese is an only child, and (I haven't read your entire blog, I must confess, so I'm guessing here) you are at home with him, spending the time interacting with him - could it be that he is not used to the more structured environment? You know, the requirement that he participates in whatever activity is going on at the moment, whether he feels like it or not at that point, rather than it being like what it is at home, where, if he were uninterested in doing something, you would not push it and let him lead on into the next activity?

Also, with the "destructive" behaviour - could it just be that at home, when he does that, you rejoice with him in his imagination, and allow him to "destroy" whatever you have made, without alerting him to the fact that a child of his age might not appreciate his destroying their creation since it's their hard work?

Sometimes, when we only have one child, and that child has all our attention, we forget to teach the child things like learning to follow rather than lead, or being much more aware of the effect their actions have on others simply because it doesn't occur to us (at that point in time) that if he was interacting with a child, the reaction from the child would be terribly different from our reaction to him. I learnt this the hard way with my eldest... who was incredibly bossy because as adults, we would always let him lead in what he wanted to do or play, simply because it didn't make sense to "fight" him about it. But I saw later on that my girls (his younger sisters) learnt the art of being in a group a lot quicker because there was always a need to consider someone else, who is equally as self-centered... haha.

I don't know if this makes sense to you... but this was what I observed when my own son was little. So we had to actually teach him that he would meet with resistance if he behaved a certain way... and not everybody would be happy to let him lead. :p

Too much stress on anybody is no good, but I would say that everybody needs some stress in order that they be stretched and that they learn to be flexible in taking things in their stride.

I don't think he's deliberately being naughty or bad - he's just finding out that life in school with other people around, is rather different from what is required of him at home. You say he behaves well at home - well, most of us would too if generally speaking, we got to do what we wanted when we felt like it, and didn't have to do things we didn't feel like doing. :)

Just a thought. Again, I'm just guessing, cos I don't really know what it's like with you and him. :)

A gift from God said...


Hi and thank you for your thoughtful comment. You are absolutely right. The only child with all the love and tolerance at home! We are working hard to teach him about sharing and things he can and cannot do while outside the house. We reason with him about disturbing others and their feelings and how he felt if he were them. He can tell you that he will be mad and sad...etc... he understands very well and yet he tends to forget! The past few days he was co operating....with some minor problems. It's a good sigh. I must admit at home the learning environment is very fun and entertaining. He loves being at home.