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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?

MrsOakenshield Fri 05-Jul-13 09:38:33

because the child is just being a child! The extra support seem to be because they think he won't be ready for the school he won't be attending for over a year! I can't understand why anyone would think that a little boy who loves being outside and running free is someone who needs extra help - what a depressing state of affairs.

burberryqueen Fri 05-Jul-13 09:42:19

the best start in life - but is it at the age of 3? really?

Branleuse Fri 05-Jul-13 09:45:02

Theyre only going to be comparing him to his peers. Not 5 year olds. There is no stigma. Its much much easier to discard help that theyve freely given you, later, than to have to fight for it yourself later if he needs it.

He's only just becoming more verbal so surely they need to give him a bit of time to realise what that means. Perhaps the live of outdoor stuff came about more intensely as it required less communication and its gone from there.

schobe Fri 05-Jul-13 09:45:16

Take the support.

Why not chat to his key worker or the manager of the previous nursery? Ask them to be really honest with you.

The more common scenario is for children's' difficulties to be ignored and responsibility abdicated to the next teacher to come.

So for support to be sought by the pre-school indicates to me one (or more) of three things:
- he would really benefit from the support
- they are struggling with him
- they are very on the ball and proactive and really want the best for kids who they can see might run into problems

The third of these is rare and fantastic to have stumbled on. The system is as it is, whether we think they are too young to start school at 4/5 or not. So you can choose to work with it, or you can choose to remove your child and pay for a different approach. I speak as one who has gone out of the 'system' for one DC for lots of complex reasons.

If you think the preschool is good, you could go with it and see how it goes. However I would be very assertive about needing meetings to have everything explained, seeing all paperwork etc. I would also want to be sure that it was all handled, as far as your DS was concerned, in a very careful and sensitive way.

Tryharder Fri 05-Jul-13 09:45:45

What would be the point of this extra help? What are the nursery trying to achieve? Are they trying to force a little boy who just wants to run around and climb trees into sitting quietly and doing crafts with the girls? Or do they genuinely believe he has special needs and so would properly benefit from support?

This extra support they talk about, is that for your son's benefit do you think or for the staff's benefit, because they can't be arsed to deal with a child that doesn't like structured activities.

TBH, if I were you and someone said this about my child, I would be seeing my GP ASAP. If someone implies that your child has SN, this needs to be looked into rather than taking the word of someone who may be an educated, well meaning professional but whom equally may be someone who is talking through their arse and did a couple of mornings at college once.

And this nursery doesn't sound great in any case, good Ofsted or not. I would seek out a nursery that does more outdoorsy stuff.

Januarymadness Fri 05-Jul-13 09:55:12

Burberry for my dd the extra help she got at 3 means that now at 4 she no longer needs it so YES at 3

Januarymadness Fri 05-Jul-13 09:56:27

Burberry for my dd the extra help she got at 3 means that now at 4 she no longer needs it so YES at 3

lottiegarbanzo Fri 05-Jul-13 09:57:15

I'd just want to find out exactly what they are telling you. Are they going to support him to learn in an active, outdoorsy way that suits him, or, are they supporting to shoehorn him in to the same 'path' as the other children? Different path sounds like the former to me but I'd want them to explain.

Hullygully Fri 05-Jul-13 10:00:54

take him out

let him run free

he's got years of conformity ahead poor little fucker

DeWe Fri 05-Jul-13 10:01:53

My ds was at preschool and didn't like joining in adult led activities and such like. And they didn't make him because that was their policy. However this caused a problem when he arrived at school because he saw the adult led activities as optional, and couldn't understand why he didn't have the option.
I wished the preschool had told him that some stuff was not optional, because I think he'd have been fine if that had been true from the start, but once he realised there was an option is was harder to accept when there wasn't.

mrsjay Fri 05-Jul-13 10:11:03

what would you do if he started school and say he needed extra support then ? nurseries and preschools are professional places not liking a child isn't an option they have a duty of care to all the children,

of course he doesn't need to be there as it is pre school but IME of working with preschoolers
if they say he needs a little extra support then he needs it,
it is up to the parents to take it on board,

you have put him in preschool to get him ready for school he is 3 he is not a baby yes he likes to run about what 3 yr old doesn't but I honestly think you maybe putting your head int he sand a wee bit, take the help or not but this may be a problem when he starts school,

MrsOakenshield Fri 05-Jul-13 10:14:16

but isn't that the point of Reception, that's the opportunity for children to learn about the structure of school? And I still don't know why the OP's son needs to worry about this now, so far in advance of actually starting school. Particularly when he's got the whole summer holidays to forget about it.

Children have their whole school lives to spend in structured activities. I find it so sad that a 3 year old has to be preparing for this now. God, in not so many years time he'll reach the age where parents and the rest of the world worry that children spend too much time indoors, engaged in sedentary activities - surely a love for the great outdoors and physical activity is something to beencouraged and nurtured?

MrsOakenshield Fri 05-Jul-13 10:15:05

be encouraged

SparkyTGD Fri 05-Jul-13 10:19:41

My DS wasn't ready for anything like 'school' at age 3. He was in a very 'play-focused' nursery from age 3-4 then pre-school for age 4-5, pre-school was good at getting him ready for 'real' school at age 5.

Although if your DS will be going to 'real' school next year, sep 2014, the 1 year of preparing for school will probably help him be more ready.

I'd go in for observation & chat.

BackforGood Fri 05-Jul-13 10:21:57

Thing is, none of us commenting know Elvisina's ds. She's told us he's lively and he loves to be outside and he loves to run about (which are all great and lovely). She's told us he's already seen the SaLT (who are as rare as hens' teeth in our area). She's told us that the Pre-school teacher has suggested trying to get him some extra support.
The teacher is trained to work with children this age, she works with them all day every day. Generally, it's not unreasonable to assume she has a good knowledge of what an "average" child can do at the age bands, and, if in any doubt there are plenty of resources available to help her. It is therefore pretty reasonable to assume that if she says he would benefit from some additional support, then he would (well, tbh, which child wouldn't?). If nothing else, maybe they could get someone doing some additional activities with him to develop his language skills. At no point has she said he can't run and play outside. At no point has she said he's doomed to some kind of 'failure', what she's saying is, there may be the possibility we can give him a little boost with a particular area that he finds harder than some other children. Additional support is so hard to get, that it is heavily moderated anyway - no-one is going to be able to say "I think Child A could do with some more support" and be given extra hours funding - it won't be available unless it is considered to be needed.

mrsjay Fri 05-Jul-13 10:22:56

mrsO if the op feels her son is not ready for anything structured she should no question take him out of the preschool but I do think that 3 yr olds can listen and do as asked of them this place is obviously too structured for the little boy preschool is optional but I honestly think he could do with listening and taking part in what others are doing,

noblegiraffe Fri 05-Jul-13 10:30:33

My DS is 3 but starting school in September (August baby). The info we got from the school which had things they would like the children be able to do before they started included 'sit with other children and listen to, e.g. a story for ten minutes'.

So if my DS couldn't do this, I would certainly be wanting him to have extra support in being able to do this before he started school.

As it is, he has been fine with that but needed extra support with personal space and sharing, so they have done some targeted sessions with him on that and he has improved a lot.

MrsOakenshield Fri 05-Jul-13 10:36:50

but the OP's child is not starting school until next September - 14 months away. Whose pre-schooler hasn't changed beyong belief in 14 months? Surely starting looking at this maybe next January might be more appropriate? He might have, of his own accord, started to get more into this kind of thing.

actually, I hate this phrase pre-schooler, as if that's all it's about. Am I a pre-pensioner? Is my mum a pre-corpse?

noblegiraffe Fri 05-Jul-13 10:40:12

But my DS started getting his extra help as soon as the issue was identified last September. Why would you want to leave it for a mad rush at the end?

mrsjay Fri 05-Jul-13 10:42:17

well the OP did say preschool didnt she which means pre school , maybe he is just to young and immature for preschool it isn't a huge deal but having children in preschool they are expected to follow some sort of structure even free play is structured I am sure the Op structures her sons free running even if she thinks she isn't , some people dont like to think of their children conforming to rules and want them to be a free spirit for as long as possible, which is fine they are their children but don't put them into a preschool and expect them to let the kids go free range,

MrsOakenshield Fri 05-Jul-13 10:42:30

is staring in january (so 9 months before school) a mad rush?

mrsjay Fri 05-Jul-13 10:44:14

well early intervention is much better than a few terms before actually starting school especially if there is speech and language issues,

ThreeMusketeers Fri 05-Jul-13 10:46:43

Take him out and if you have to, send him back to the nursery where they 'get him' as you said.
3 is so very young and boys and girls develop and learn differently.
Not that there's any need for him to be taught formally at this age anyway.
Let him be a child, run around and do things his little heart desires.
He'll be slotted into formal education soon too soon enough.

noblegiraffe Fri 05-Jul-13 10:48:03

Depends on how fast he gets it! A bit of extra support when he is only there two and a half days a week is hardly going to be breaking his spirit. Presumably the preschool does free play too.

If they start with plenty of time, they can take baby steps.

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