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to take my DS out of pre school because they say he is needs 'extra support'.

(267 Posts)
Elvisina Fri 05-Jul-13 08:25:37

My 3 yr old DS has always been on the lively side! His idea of heaven is being allowed to just run through a park, woods or along a beach, preferably with some older children. He very rarely shows an interest in any kind of ‘mark making’ (despite our best efforts – we have enough arts and crafts stuff in this house to start up our own nursery). He had been quite a few months behind with his speech but his language has recently taken off in a big way! A recent visit to a speech therapist reassured me he is/will be fine.
Anyway, this April he started at a local pre school for 2 and a half days a week. It’s a new pre school that is attached to a primary school which only opened 2 years ago. They’ve just received a very good Ofsted and the resources are great. I was so delighted to get him in there and he absolutely loves it, running into the playground each morning with a massive smile on his face. However, over the last few weeks, I’ve been feeling increasingly uneasy about how they think he’s doing. Whenever I made a friendly enquiry to his teacher I’ve had rather crisp, negative responses such as “He doesn’t like joining in activities, especially if they’re led by an adult. He’s just not really ready” and “I’m like a broken record having to tell him all the time to put his coat on”. Nothing positive (and I know I’m biased but he is damn cute!). Last week I decided to phone up for a chat about how he’s doing, basically expecting some reassurance along the lines of, ‘he’s happy and friendly and we’re working on getting him to use his ‘listening ears’’ etc however it turned into a serious talk about how they have been preparing documentation to get him ‘extra support’ because he wants to play outside all the time and doesn’t want to join in the teacher led activities. Language such as “he needs a different learning path” was used. Apparently he stood out from the other children who were all happy to listen to teacher led activities. I was devastated and I know it’s ridiculous but I cried! It really hurt that they felt he was so different from the others. I mentioned that I had noticed there were loads more girls than boys and she said she hadn’t noticed this as a particular issue but in his class picture on their website there are 9 girls and 3 boys!

My DH thinks we should just accept the extra help and not worry about it but I now feel as though perhaps this isn’t the place for my DS. I don’t even feel as though they like him very much. I took him out of a lovely, friendly nursery where they seemed to really ‘get’ him and like him to go to this new pre school. I’m now considering sending him back there. Thing is, he loves it and I could be doing him a disservice by not letting him have this ‘extra support’. I honestly hadn’t realised that he would be required to take part in so many teacher led activities. I thought he got to play all day! What’s wrong with him wanting to play outside for 2 hours pretending to be a pirate? (I’m a teacher myself – secondary – so should have known better really). I keep looking at my wonderful boy who I honestly, honestly, honestly don’t think there is anything wrong with and feeling upset that they’ve made me feel as though he is somehow ‘failing’/different. I’m going in next week to observe him and discuss his ‘learning path’ but actually I just feel like I want to remove him. Would that be ridiculously unreasonable of me? Am I just being too sensitive?

Tee2072 Fri 05-Jul-13 08:28:22

It's preschool, not nursery. They learn things there.

If he needs extra help, what's the issue with him getting it? Do you not want him to be the best he can be?

writermama Fri 05-Jul-13 08:29:54

Three is still so young. I think it's a GOOD thing he wants to be outside, exercising his imagination! Children should be allowed to be children.

chartreuse Fri 05-Jul-13 08:32:52

I honestly think a 3 year old boy should spend his days running around rather than doing structured work. I didn't send my dc to school until they were 5 for that very reason. If your instinct tells you that his old nursery was better suited to your ds then I would go with that.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 05-Jul-13 08:33:21

Just get the extra help.

mrsscoob Fri 05-Jul-13 08:35:11

Yanbu I did the same thing. Looking back now I am wondering if they were trying to use certain children to get extra funding or something. They also implied my son was "different". Anyway fast forward 5 years he is really happy at school always gets very positive parents evenings and in one year of preschool and 3 years of school not one teacher has ever had to speak to me about his behaviour or say anything negative about him at all. Stick with your gut instinct. If there is a problem well then the new school will pick it up anyway and you can then take it from there if necessary.

Jinsei Fri 05-Jul-13 08:36:51

Well, it's difficult to say as we don't know your son. It's awful if you feel that they don't like him, but they may have a point about him needing support. Can you try to see it as a positive thing, rather than a criticism of your DS? Hope that the observation gives you a bit more insight into what is going on.

How about a child minder? One who does an absolute ton of outdoor stuff. Maybe has a dog the children help walk? There would be a range of ages then and who he plays with would be his choice. A child minder would still be qualified (I think) to be honest about whether there is an issue with him. He just sounds active to me and that's a good thing will keep him happy fit and healthy. Some kids like reading, others like drawing or dressing up and some like your son just want to run around. It's far to early to decide he "can't" sit and concentrate, he's three .

Whocansay Fri 05-Jul-13 08:38:23

This woman is giving you her professional advice. You were happy for him to go to this nursery as it has a good reputation, so why don't you listen to her?

Not all children are the same. And it doesn't mean that there is anything 'wrong' with you son.

ZiaMaria Fri 05-Jul-13 08:41:06

Could you go and speak to the old nursery and ask their opinion. It seems the preschool is definitely more 'school', and maybe they are right that your son is not ready for it.

But then he is only three. It seems a little bit too early for him to be labelled as needing extra support. He sounds like a normal energetic lad - is there somewhere else you can send him that would make better use of all his energy and desire to be outdoors?

Dorange Fri 05-Jul-13 08:42:18

the other nursery just want your money
the current one actually is offering your child extra support
I know 3 is young but you can still take him to run around before and after school and at weekends
hope he settles soon

glitch Fri 05-Jul-13 08:42:38

It is great that they are paying him that much attention and if they think he may need extra support then great, it can only help.
They may be over-reacting but far rather that than ignore him.
The pre-school my DS may need extra support and we discovered he has ASD. With their help we had support for him from day 1 in school. (it seems to be much harder to get help once they are in school).
Don't just dismiss their thoughts, they see a lot of children and if it turns out to be nothing you have lost nothing.

ChangeyMcChangeName Fri 05-Jul-13 08:43:02

I think you need to try to remove your personal feelings here (obviously that's hard as his Mum!) and listen to what they are saying.

When is he going to turn 4? Is he starting reception in September? If so, I think you'd be rather foolish not to listen as by that point he will need the skills to sit and listen for periods of time as well as write his name.

burberryqueen Fri 05-Jul-13 08:44:17

if you have trained as a teacher and are sure that he is fine, go with that.
goodness me,he is 3 years old!
these types can hardly wait to label and classify tiny children and teach them and their parents to conform.
take him out if you want to.

BabyMakesMyEyesGoSleepy Fri 05-Jul-13 08:45:56

WhoCan just posted what I was about to. Needing extra support is not a failing,its giving them the best chance to flourish at school. What sort of preschool is it? (or do preschools there follow a curriculum?)

ChangeyMcChangeName Fri 05-Jul-13 08:46:04

But where will you send him? To another school?

Januarymadness Fri 05-Jul-13 08:46:30

Dd is damn cute. But without help and support from her pre school there would be no way at all she would be ok to go to school in september. Their structured and targeted work with her has made an incredible difference to her ability to communicate and interact with other children and adults. In no more than 6 months she has gone from walking away when another child approaches her to leading group play.

Support at this age is so very important. It is heartbreaking to think your child may need it but needing it now doesnt necessarilly mean it is forever (and even if it does its going to do no harm)

Lilicat1013 Fri 05-Jul-13 08:48:01

Personally I would move him, just on the basis you feel they don't like him and can't say anything positive about him. That is more of a concern to me than their request for additional support. My son is the same age and can be a challenge (he is autistic) but his preschool have always been really positive about him even when they are talking about things he struggles with.

Pascha Fri 05-Jul-13 08:48:23

I read your OP nodding along a bit because my DS1 is very similar but slightly younger - some speech delay, wants to play outside all the time, little patience yet for more focused activities. He turns 3 in September and will be starting preschool 2 mornings a week then and I am really really looking forward to it because I know he will be gently guided toward doing things in a teacher-led setting and I think it will take all of the two years he will have at preschool to get him ready for school proper.

You know, the thing about being given extra help, or different learning pathways (or whatever wanky term they use) is just that - appropriate help at an early age to help him achieve everything you and he want in life. Its not bad, or labelling, or marking him out as a problem, its just help.

Too many children have grown up and gone through school struggling because they could have been given better support at an early age, ended up dissolutioned with education, dissolutioned with life.

Sometimes just a little bit of intervention at the right point can make all the difference.

YoniBottsBumgina Fri 05-Jul-13 08:48:29

You could look and see if there is a forest school in your area, they are brilliant for children who like being outdoors.

shewhowines Fri 05-Jul-13 08:49:24

I would go and observe and I would send him to where he is happiest. Where does he prefer? 3 is old enough to have an opinion.

My concern is that they will force him to do more teacher led activities when they get extra support for him. Persuade/ encourage-yes. Force-no.

lottiegarbanzo Fri 05-Jul-13 08:50:07

So you think he needs a different learning path too but would rather provide it yourself or elsewhere than allow the pre-school to do so, is that right?

thecakeisalie Fri 05-Jul-13 08:53:40

I can totally relate to what your saying. My 3.5yr old boy went to the local pre-school and then a nursery for 2 mornings a week when he was about 2.5. I was getting really concerned about the labelling of children going on at such a young age. I know there is nothing wrong with my little lad but he just did not get on with a preschool setting and shut down while he was there. He was also delayed with his speech and I think that didn't help. He would much rather play outside than do activities especially craft. I've found from doing alot of craft, baking and sensory play at home he prefers to do things independently and hates people interfering or telling him he should do things a certain way.

To me there is/was nothing wrong with him but he is a square peg that they were trying to fit into a round hole. I took him out of preschool and ultimately the negative experience of a 'school' setting led us to discuss home education. I personally think the skills they were telling us he was struggling with were the skills they want them to have in preparation for school. Removing the idea of school removed the need for listening ears, sitting still when he wants to run round - he can do these things quite happily but just not on someone else schedule.

I would say remove him from that preschool if your not happy but the fact that he's happy there makes it a more difficult decision. It sounds to me that the skills he needs extra help with are the school preparation skills and he has over a year to learn these before starting school so like you say I certainly wouldn't be concerned about him. I second the post suggesting you follow your instincts. We certainly did and now I have a huge sense of relief knowing my boys will not be going to school now in favour of home ed.

Branleuse Fri 05-Jul-13 08:54:30

children who need extra support can be wonderful happy and friendly too.
theyre suggesting his needs are markedly different from his peers and want to be able to encourage him in a way that suits him. this is a good thing and they sound really on the ball.

neunundneunzigluftballons Fri 05-Jul-13 08:55:09

It does not sound like if is ready for pre school I would hold him another year. As a teacher yourself you know what they mean by another learning path I suspect he is an experiential learner so sending him to the complete read write environment that is traditional schooling does not best meet his educational needs yet. Wait a while and he will be more ready.

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