school daze update

After days of ridiculous phone calls with my contact at Monkey’s school, we made the decision to pull him out. Cue the backpedal! Oh no, she says, she never said he was behind or anything of that nature. She was simply concerned with consistency and stability for him. It is not good to have him start and stop schools so quickly. It would have been much better for him to stay with them for a full year. I was like, lady, you cray. Man did we make the right call. Communication – learn it!

DW and I also decided we are just not boarding this crazy train to push academics on a 5 year old. We went to our beloved co-op because we truly believe that the best foundation for preschoolers is to learn through play. Not through rote memorization, worksheets, etc. Through hands-on learning and fun. Monkey absolutely loved going to school at the co-op. That is an important first step – getting your child to view school as a place they love to be. He learned how to be a good friend, how to be part of a team, how to sit still during circle time. His vocabulary is through the roof and his storytelling abilities are awesome. Side note: Just last night he told DW that he loved her so much that if a bear ever came, he would protect her. He said he wasn’t sure how, but he would. He guessed he’d fight it? LOL!

He has had 2.5 years of preschool with a teacher who told us he was a delight and super smart and would have no trouble in Kindergarten. Still I worried, so we put him in a weekly pre-K prep class last year with a licensed Kindergarten teacher. He did great and we were told he’s bright and will be great in Kinder. Still I worried, so I took him to a speech assessment last year, which was administered by a local Kindergarten teacher. She said his speech was fine, his vocab and math skills were better than many of her current Kinder students. So you know what? I’m done worrying! I’m not going to second guess myself any more. Monkey is awesome and he is developing just fine! I. WILL. NOT. BOARD. THIS. CRAZY. TRAIN. Sell my ticket to someone else!

slowdown

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “school daze update

  1. sj

    Pulling him out of that school really sounds like it is for the best. Are you going to try to find him another pre-school?

    • Unfortunately, there are no spots this late in the game for another pre-school. The town we live in has year-round schools, so there are always camps running for the few weeks they are out (intersession). I started looking into this so we’ll see. I saw a horseback riding option and a karate option, either of which he’d love. I’m also Pinterest-ing to find stuff to practice writing, fine motor skills at home.

  2. Kids learn differently, they just do. They also learn at different speeds. Having a special needs child has really opened my eyes to the pressures that come with early academics in this country. It is ridiculous really. Little Monster has tested gifted, has attended two preschools for the last two years, and yet he sometimes struggles with what most consider “typical” academia. During these instances, I find that it is things that are simply boring to him. He is very much a learn through play, discovery, and exploration. Are you familiar with Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligence? It might help you feel better about Monkey’s learning style. For what it is worth, he seems to be a normal active boy and I am sure will do fine in Kindergarten. Clearly that cray cray lady just wanted to ensure that they got another year tuition out of you, with the potential for a younger sibling as well. I hate places like that. Find him some good fun summer camps and start your local Kindergarten fresh and rejuvenated. Also, Pinterest is the place for FUN learning ideas!!! I pull stuff from there all the time! Maybe we need to share?!?!

  3. Glad you got him out of there! They sounded totally unreasonable. Feel free to PM me if you need any ideas or suggestions on the education front. I don’t have all the answers, but at least I’ve got some experience with the kindergarten set.

  4. Saskia

    I’m sure you’re absolutely right and you know your child best.

    That said, I’ll give you my personal experience for what it’s worth(probably not much)

    My middle child (just turned 6) is very active, very verbal, totally on track or even advanced in reading and math skills.

    However, his preschool (at age 4) noted that his fine motor skills for things like cutting and drawing were lagging a bit. I really hadn’t focused on this and was very surprised to hear it.

    We were able to find an OT (occupational therapist) who worked on these with him and I did a bunch of fine motor activities at home.

    It’s made a huge difference because a lot of the kindergarten activities involve cutting or drawing, things my son used to avoid because he found them difficult.

    Anyway, just my experience.

    • Interesting. How did you find the OT? Did they do an evaluation to see if he needed the work?
      Thanks for sharing!

      • Saskia

        We were able to get an evaluation through the school district. Although he was not in school yet, he was over 3, so services (if eligible) were provided via the schools. This is a federal law, though each state manages it a little differently. You may already know all this, but I had no clue until someone told me how the system worked.

        We just called the school he would be attending, then sent a written request for an evaluation. When they found his fine motor skills were behind, we qualified for (free!) OT through the public school system.

        Anyway, Monkey sounds a lot like my son in many ways. The OT has really been amazing and has given him huge amounts of self-confidence.

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