Kindergarten nightmare - FamilyEducation
Kindergarten nightmare
03/03/2010 at 15:27 PM

My son will be 7 in July. He is currently attending all day kindergarten. He has attended 3 years of preschool so he was very prepared for kindergarten. I will admit my son is very talkitive. He gets that honestly from me. I was swatted everyday in kindergarten for talking. I explained to his teacher when I met her for the first time, that he likes to talk and that is his major problem. She told me at the time she is the same way and it would not be a problem. My son can be talking and doing something else, but when you ask him to tell you what you said he can do so without a problem. Now everyday at school he is in trouble. He has been on a point system for the last 3 weeks (this is the second time on the point system) and out of that time he has only had one day his teacher deemed a "successful" day. He can only earn one point or no points for the following behaviors: not disrupting the class, respecting others personal space, following instructions the first time he is told, and using an appropriate indoor voice. He is so smart and has always earned the highest grades possible for his age, but now the teacher is saying she will not tell him how to do his assignments more than once and his grades will be affected if he does not learn to listen to her the first time. Am I wrong or does this seem like a big expectation for a kindergartener? I just do not know what to do anymore. My son comes home crying that he did not earn his points for the day and in the mornings he whines his stomach hurts so he has to stay home. This is crazy. He missed school last week because of strep throat and he said, "I am sure my teacher will be glad I am gone so I am not there to annoy her" my feelings were so hurt. I told him that was not the case, but I know it probably is. I scheduled a meeting with the principal and the teacher, but I do not know what to say when I get there. Any advice would be helpful. Thank you.

This far into the school year, with a 6-and-a-half year old, the expectations this teacher laid out are not unreasonable. Certainly, no kindie teacher expects a child will ALWAYS meet these expectations but from what you said, your son may be needing an unusual amount of reminding. Is your DS a normal age for kindie in your area? I ask because his age may be part of the problem. My own DS was 2 months into 2nd grade when he turned 7. Like your DS, he's a smart chatterbox by nature but what keeps him focused in class is that the work is at an appropriate level for him. He still gets top grades but he has to pay attention. If your DS is talking through his work and instructions, if he is disrupting the class and still getting good grades, well, maybe he needs more challenging work. We know several parents who held their boys back an extra year from kindergarten for "maturity" but then ended up dealing with these sorts of behavioral issues because the younger curriculum was just not appropriate for their age. I do feel for your son. My eldest had a terrible kindergarten experience (though thankfully short.) It is hard-breaking to see them hurt. I'd talk it out with the teacher, maybe the principal. Maybe some differentiated curriculum would improve his classroom focus.

I think you are probably right about him needing more challenges. I spoke with the teacher and he is doing MUCH better I told her he thrives positive attention so when he has a good day it is more important to say good job than to just give him a sucker and move on. I was there one day when he achieved his daily goals and when she gave him his reward all she did was put his sucker on his successful day sheet and shove it towards him and tell him to sit down. I had already told her that the sucker means nothing to him, but the praise is priceless. OH WELL Kindergarten is almost over and hopefully next year will be better with more challenges and a different teacher. Thanks for your input. It is not always easy to know what the right thing to do is.