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To have a faint objection to school aged children regularly attending a playgroup for preschoolers

(13 Posts)
delphinedownunder Mon 29-Jun-09 05:06:15

My almost three years old dts attend a small playgroup - the only preschool experience available for 60 miles as we live in a very isolated community. We have been going along since they were newborns and now my child carer usually takes them as I am usually at work. A new family has moved into the area with a 5 year old and a 3 year old - the 5 year old boy doesn't go to school - he is homeschooled, but his mum takes him to playgroup with his little brother. He likes lots of rough and tumble and is far too much for my twins, as well as being very rough with the playgroup equipment - his behaviour is that of a lively school aged child and I think that he is a bit much with his yelling and boisterous behaviour. I have spoken to our playgroup president who is a bit wishy washy and says that she doesn't want to isolate any families and basically doesn't want to say or do anything. I am starting to get a bit het up about this - the mother is using playgroup to try and give her child a social life to the detriment of my kids when , in my view, he should be at school (which happens to be next door to the playgroup - school gives playgroup a building to use for free and is a nice little school with very small numbers and a need for extra kids).

Pennies Mon 29-Jun-09 05:14:28

YANBU about wanting him to calm down - what do other mothers think?

delphinedownunder Mon 29-Jun-09 05:32:48

Well there are not many of us at the moment. Two agree with me, but their kids are both five next month and so will be starting school - hence they're out of it. The other is the president and just wants to be nice to everyone, with no boat rocking and the last one has a baby in arms. I feel very much on my own with this issue.

Bathsheba Mon 29-Jun-09 06:06:47

How about instead of approaching it in a "can you calm him down" type of way, can you approach it with the other Mum as a "Is there anything specific Stanley would like to do"...maybe set up a few age appropriate activities for him, like a drawing corner, painting, some puzzles or books appropriate for the older ones (obviously thre are ones of a similar age to him if they are leaving to go to school so they would use it too).

Can you then make obvious areas for the little ones will be a lot easier and a lot less confrontational to say "Now Stanley, you are in the little ones area, you have to be gentle or you'll need to go back to the tweenies area" than it is to say "Look Julie, you just need to calm Stanley down all the time he is in this place".

Does that make any sense..?

Tambajam Mon 29-Jun-09 06:10:29

I don't think it's fair to say, 'he should be in school'. That isn't your call. He has every right to be homeschooled.

However YANBU. I don't have an issue with an older child attended on occasion e.g. when they have a school inset day but I do think it's not on for him to be there every day. It sounds like you have an isolated community so while I can feel for a homeschooled child in that environment it doesn't sound like your playgroup is designed for him. I think you need to press it further with the leader. There may be another alternative where other non-physical activities are provided and some ground rules laid down.

mychildrenarebarmy Mon 29-Jun-09 08:35:21

YANBU unreasonable to want him to calm down. I think if his Mum is going to bring him along so his younger sibling can get some playgroup time then she should explain to him that he has to be careful because of the little ones. But if they have only just moved to the area though she probably hasn't had chance to find out about other home educators and groups. Maybe try speaking to her about home education and asking her if they have found anything going on in the area for that. When you are home educating it can get a bit tricky tomake sure the younger ones get to do things for them that you can also take the older one along to.

shootfromthehip Mon 29-Jun-09 09:08:41

I take my DD (5) to our local playgroup. She is well behaved and enjoys the interaction with the LO's. They also enjoy playing with her. If I did not take her then my DS (2 1/2) would have virtually NO contact with other children.

It is not BU to expect better behaviour but it is BU not to want the 5 yrs old not to be there at all unless is contravenes your insurance as a playgroup.

Tanith Mon 29-Jun-09 09:19:33

I've had a home-schooled child at my playgroup before and it worked out well, even though he was pretty boisterous.

I agree with Bathsheba. I see the problem being, not so much that this child shouldn't be there, or that he should calm down, but that the playgroup isn't geared up to cope with him. If he's to stay, he needs activities that will interest him and stop him frightening the little ones.

Your president doesn't want to isolate this family. That's fair enough. Then she needs to ensure that he has plenty to occupy him and keep him out of trouble. Perhaps that might be your best line to take.

bumpybecky Mon 29-Jun-09 10:00:28

does the group insurance cover you for school aged children?

I don't think ours does.....

delphinedownunder Mon 29-Jun-09 23:54:53

I don't know about the insurance issue - I guess that would be down to our president, although i suspect that there is no insurance. Certainly, i have no issues with other schoolaged children attending from time to time such as in the school holidays (our school has no INSET days) as generally, older kids are gentle and appropriate with the little ones.I think it's the regular boisterous behaviour that gets to me - very appropriate for a five year old, too much for a pre-schooler. As for providing activities that suit his developmental stage, there are plenty of those at school next door (ducks for cover!)

Fimbo Tue 30-Jun-09 00:01:50

Is it a playgroup or a mother and toddler group?

delphinedownunder Tue 30-Jun-09 01:30:18

Well, it's called a playgroup, but in reality I don't know the difference between this and a toddler group. I know that we receive a very small amount of funding from the Ministry of Education, which pays the heating bill. Toys and equipment are paid for by fundraising. The building is a freebie from the school.

1dilemma Tue 30-Jun-09 01:47:07

It's difficult for us all to do things when our children cross natural age boundaries sometimes that means that you just don't get to do what you or your dcs want to.

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