Parents evening - teacher very negative about my 5 yo... Isn't he just like all 5yo boys? Advice pls on how to turn this around. Quite long sorry...

(86 Posts)
leoleosuperstar Mon 22-Mar-10 11:46:55

DS is 5 in April and in Reception.

Our first parents evening on Thursday. Teachers comments were:

DS has settled in very well. He seems to enjoy coming to school. Does he?
(We respond that he doesn't want to go to school in the morning but is fine once we get going, think he wants to stay home not a problem with school as such..)

She then continues: DS has made very little progress he doesn't sit still, always figgiting (sp?), biting his clothes, playing with his shoes, putting them in his mouth, distracting the other children... Does he has a problem with his hearing? (no). Sorry I have to be honest but I could stand over him telling him over and over what to do and he still doesn't get it done...(us open mouthed). Well at least he has progressed from Nursery where his report says he would just get up and walk off.

I was so surprised as DS is generally a well behaved child and can be a bit of a day dreamer.

When we asked some questions and said he shows very little interest in picking up a pen or reading at home she said that we need to get him doing painting etc to work on his motor skills and not worry about his fine motor skills...

The only positive thing the teacher said was that DS has made a beautiful valentine heart and it was so good she took a photo for his file (it was lovely - hole punched holes threaded with gold ribbon)

The teacher has said we will have to review in May half term and he will struggle next year.

I don't know what to do now - I feel like I have failed him. We had a chat Friday morning before school asked what good sitting on the mat looked like and he showed us and he then showed us what he does (explaining that his brain makes him move about). We practised what is needed - DS said that the teacher makes him sit on the cold floor and not the mat because he moves about and he doesn't like sitting on the floor because it's too cold.

Spoke to teacher on Friday after school and she said that he was worse than ever!

Any advice?

Thank you

leoleosuperstar Mon 22-Mar-10 11:50:49

The heart wasn't written in her comment box..

The teacher also told a story of how in the day he had put his shoes on the wrong feet and she had said to him 'DS look at your shoes' DS looked... Nothing... So she left him. He came back from assembly and they were still on the wrong feet so she again said 'DS look at your shoes... Is there anything wrong?' DS just looks blank.. The teacher then said they're on the wrong feet! she then said to us then you get the classic response for DS 'O'. She then said that you'd think they would have felt uncomfortable..

posieparker Mon 22-Mar-10 11:54:39

So he's five, he's a boy and school is no inspiration.....I can tick, tick, tick except my ds1's teacher didn't have the heart to tell us...actually she didn't notice he did fuck all in his whole first year. He listened and was very well behaved but he could have done the next 2/3 years at home. Now in juniors and has progessed three years in three months.

I would develop learning strategies that inspire him, no pens and paper...building, pouring, touching type learning.....

jamaisjedors Mon 22-Mar-10 11:54:41

Sorry you are upset and worried.

I don't know what to say to you but I have to say that my five year old is not like that, he can be a bit wriggly when we read a story and has on occasion put his shoes on the wrong feet.

Why do you feel you have failed him?

I think it's good that if the teacher is concerned she is doing something about it NOW and not just leaving it.

bumpybecky Mon 22-Mar-10 11:58:15

I've not got a 5 year old boy (ds just 2) but have got three girls, 11,9 and 5 (in reception). TBH the boys do seem to take a bit long to settle down to school. Sitting still and listening is a hard skill to learn whne you're in a classroom full of exciting stuff to play with.

None of what you've said sounds terrible though. You haven't said that he's hitting / kicking / biting / fighting with the other children, so it's not as bad as it could be! It just sounds to me like he's a normal 5 year old boy

It doesn't sound very positive from the teacher though, did she have any suggestions on how to help him?

lazymumofteenagesons Mon 22-Mar-10 11:59:36

Have you adopted my 15 year old and put him back to being 5? He sounds identical. Mine had to be moved so he didn't sit near any shelves because he would fiddle with things on them. Also all the fidgetting resulted in him falling off the chair a few times.

It boils down to a complete lack of concentration and inability to stay on task for more than 5 secs. A lack of interest in reading/writing etc etc.

However, in my sons case what looked to be just immaturity turned out to be ADD, dyspraxia and dyslexia. But this does not mean yours is not just immature and he will change given time.

BTW at 15 after alot of help in the early years he is doing fine.

bumpybecky Mon 22-Mar-10 11:59:39

oh and FWIW all three of my girls regulalrly put their shoes in the wrong feet in reception, espcially after PE when chatting too much with friends to concentrate!

the 11 and 9 year olds have got the hang of it now though grin

Sorry but I have a 5 year old and I would say that doesn't sound normal at all.

Have you noticed any signs at home of him having problems with things?

MmeLindt Mon 22-Mar-10 12:08:20

He will be 5 in April, so he was only 4.5 when he started school.

I don't think that he sounds so very unusual, my DS is a bit of a fidget too, and is easily distracted. He has improved a lot since starting school (he will be 6yo this summer).

The not being interested in drawing etc is a bit more worrying. What is he really interested in?

If he is interested in cars then draw cars with him, or model them out of clay.

jelliebelly Mon 22-Mar-10 12:11:54

Of course you haven't failed him - he is only 5 and at least his teacher is telling you this stuff rather than it going unnoticed. Have to say that I have a ds (4.5) and he is able to sit still, write letters, do colouring etc despite being active, easily excitable, boisterous and loud like most boys of this age. You need to work with his teacher to think up some strategies to help him and consider whether he might need further help. The comment "his brain makes him move about" doesn't sound like a typical 5 year old comment tbh.

Litchick Mon 22-Mar-10 12:13:19

Can I just ask how experienced the teacher is?

If she has many years with reception children then she should be able to spot a child who has a problem. If not many years experience she may be finding a problem which will disipate in time quite naturally.

Shaz10 Mon 22-Mar-10 12:20:51

I have taught daydreamers, fidgeters, children who need far more explicit words than "look at your feet". Some have been diagnosed with ADHD, some with dyspraxia. But most nothing at all because they are totally normal.

It's perfectly possible that your son is not yet 'ready' for school. Children do not progress all at the same rate in a smooth line, like the Government and OFSTED would like them to.

It's also possible that he's just a fidget and a daydreamer. Is he learning? Is he progressing, even a little? I remember a 6 year old boy who was perpetual motion. But he could answer every question and recite back to me what I said. (That was really irritating but he taught me not to assume that he wasn't listening just because he was busy with his hands.)

I remember a little girl who sat in a dream world, took an age to answer a question, and would stare at you blankly during the silence. But my goodness she could read better than most of the others and was great at her numbers.

Pencils and pens might feel awkward till those muscles have developed. Use clay, play dough and paint. Play a game with pegs on a paper plate - who can take them off/put them on the fastest?

If he doesn't like books, what about comics? Or train timetables? Or going round the supermarket? It's not all Biff and Chip!

Sorry, went on a bit there! Just to reassure you it's far too early to panic. And you HAVEN'T FAILED HIM! Is he well and happy? Then you've succeeded.

LovingMyMoped Mon 22-Mar-10 12:23:12

That sounds like my 5 year old - in fact I had a an awful parent's consultantion too. Teacher was useless but then that fact was widely known among parents and the wider coummunity - good at finding fault, not so good at doing anything about it.

Sadly Year 1 was even worse, the introduction of a less play based curriculum made ds's problems seem even greater.

However in Year 2 we have seen a different little boy emerging, things are falling into place - if you ask him he'll tell you school work gets easier every year. He now tells me all about his school day, he has fantastic recall of history and RE, and he loves reading. I've supplemented his learning at home because he was picking up next to nothing in school and it's like someone has flicked a switch in his brain, he's even started enjoying writing.

I do agree with the poster below, my child would have been better to skip Reception & Year 1 - the experience did little to help him develop and the failure to keep up with others was quite damaging to his self- esteem.

My opinion is that my ds was not ready to start school, unfortunately like everyone else in England, we had no control over this.

leoleosuperstar Mon 22-Mar-10 12:23:15

Hi - thanks everyone.

DS has been very clumsy and has seen a paediatrician and had a brain scan and the paediatrician said that he was just delayed in learning how to not be so clumsy. I had previously thought possibly dispraxic (sp?)..

DS's teacher is very experienced I would guess her age as about 50 ish.

I'm concerned that if he is constantly being told off or something his confidence will be knocked.

DS is very good with construction activities and the teacher has said she may do a theme of Scooby Doo for a week to engage his interest.

DS understands quite complex things IMO such as meteorites hit Earth and that's why there are no dinosaurs any more etc. I think the brain comment is just that he knows his brain controls his body and he is looking for an excuse?

I have booked to see Dr for a hearing test and am waiting for the school nurse to call me back so I can discuss if she thinks it's anything else.

leoleosuperstar Mon 22-Mar-10 12:30:47

Thank you Shaz. He is happy and mostly a pleasure to be around and people enjoy his company. And it's as you've said I don't want him to start to give up/withdraw.

The books he gets from school are not in any order so he went from a little boy who liked books to not being interested. I asked if he could follow the same characters so he could build an interest in them - this didn't happen so I bought the Biff and Chip books which he seems to enjoy more and are easier to follow for him as he likes the characters.

I have said that I will bring his scooter to school when his teacher says he has sat on the mat properly.

MmeLindt Mon 22-Mar-10 12:46:18

The brain thing made me smile as DS told me recently that he "was talking in my head" to mean he was thinking.

Some great posts on this thread, I agree that he is still very young for full time schooling. Children cope differently with that.

Do you do any sport with him? If he is quite fidgety then it may be that he would benefit from football training.

Does he cycle? I find that is good as they are concentrating on doing lots of things at the same time. Especially when learning to cycle without stabilisers.

Have you ever seen the speech by Sir Ken Robinson on creativity?

leoleosuperstar Mon 22-Mar-10 12:53:08

We have been doing swimming for a few weeks - teacher said this weeks he progressed very quickly in one lesson.

DS was like this as a baby - he seemed to watch, watch, watch and then would attempt something once or twice and get it done.

We also started karate last week which nhe is really enjoying. DP said that during the class he didn't pay attention but the instructor uses the saying - 'look and listen' when he is talking which we have mentioned a few times at home. We are hoping these activities will teach him to concentrate and also use up some energy that he has.

I would stress if DS didn't want to go to these activities we would stop.

ahundredtimes Mon 22-Mar-10 12:57:37

Hmm. He sounds deliciously familiar to me, particularly the clothes chewing, and the wrong feet with the shoes, and the interest in quite sophisticated things, whilst being incapable of holding a pencil. He sounds like my ds2, who is a dream and also mildly dyspraxic. Don't panic, maybe your ds is just taking time to mature and develop, both physically and wrt concentration.

If there are some 'issues' it's actually really useful to have them flagged up early. It's not a criticism, it's not personal.

The most useful phrase, it took me a while to learn this, for such parents evenings is this:

'I see, yes, I understand. So, what should we all do about it do you think?'

coppertop Mon 22-Mar-10 13:00:53

The shoes incident doesn't sound that unusual for a Reception child. My first thought on reading your post about it was 'Why on earth didn't the teacher just come right out with it and tell your ds that he had his shoes on the wrong feet, instead of just dropping hints??'

If he enjoys threading (as with the Valentines card) then that's a good activity to encourage fine motor skills. It doesn't have to be painting or drawing.

Has the teacher considered giving your ds his own cushion or carpet tile to sit on for carpet time? It sets out where his 'boundary' is on the carpet and can reduce moving around and distracting other children.

Does the teacher make sure that ds has actually noticed her before she tells him what to do? If he has a tendency to daydream or even potentially a hearing problem, it helps to get the child's attention first and then tell them what they need to do. Otherwise it can be a frustrating waste of time and breath.

Hullygully Mon 22-Mar-10 13:03:50

He sounds completely normal. I had to explain kinesthetic learning to my son's teachers years ago and persuade them to allow him to "fiddle," I got him some worry beads, as it allowed him to concentrate. He could barely write until he was seven (completely normal), and now has an academic scholarship. The teacher sounds singularly unhelpful and uniformed to me.

ahundredtimes Mon 22-Mar-10 13:04:52

Oh, I see yours is good at construction and threading! I'm sure he is fine, you know. smile

Maybe it would be worth asking to see teacher again, and then say to her 'what should we all do?' Then you can say about the cold floor, and listen to her thoughts too in a helpful way. You might have been too shocked at the initial meeting to come up some constructive mutual strategies?

Agree with coppertop about high maintenance approach of 'look at your shoes'

Hullygully Mon 22-Mar-10 13:05:34

And we arrived at the airport for a flight a couple of years ago, ds was 11, and he was wearing one school shoe and one trainer. We bought him some shoes on arrival at our destination which he left in the desert. So he flew home in socks.

MmeLindt Mon 22-Mar-10 13:08:03

Sir Ken Robinson on creativity which you might find helpful, particularly when he talks about the dancer and choreographer Gillian Lynne.

It is long but worth watching.

I would go back to the teacher and see what she suggests - it does sound as though she is trying to address it rather than just getting cross, though.

DS's year had a fair proportion of small boys like this - his reception teacher would take random breaks, herd them out into the playground and order them to run around like lunatics for 10 mins to get it out of their systems - and then to go inside and sit still for a while. They are Y3 now and you really wouldn't be able to pick out the (ex-)fidgets.

DTD1 put her shoes on the wrong feet regularly at 5. That wouldn't worry me.

One of my friends' DSs is prone to fidgeting. His reading tutor suggested he sit on an excercise ball when he is reading so he can use his fidgeting to keep his balance. Is there anything like worry beads or a squeezy ball you could give your DS to fidget with his hands during carpet time?

Would lego help with building his concentration time for tasks? The small pieces would help with fine motor skills.

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