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Should I pull my son out of preschool? Very upset.

(58 Posts)
sh77 Wed 10-Dec-14 14:47:34

Hi. I would be very grateful for some advice as none is forthcoming in RL.

Ds is 3.9 and has just finished his fourth term at preschool. He has real difficulties settling in during the first half term in September. He attended mornings only and for 3 hours was expected to sit at a desk and do worksheets, art, writing name. There was no scope for proper play and interaction.

At the start of term, I told his teacher he has problems interacting - doesn't seem interested in making friends and could she pay attention to that. Throughout term she mentioned he doesn't sit still for story time, doesn't know his colours, doesn't know how to write his name (he is very articulate and I have no concerns about his learning ability). Anyway, last week she told me he has been aggressive towards other kids all term and that his behaviour is worse than theirs. I was very upset she left it a whole term. His behaviour is pretty normal at home - no rudeness, aggression, tantrums. My guess is that he is frustrated at having to sit for 3 hours and maybe feels bored with the activities (or lack of). He is always occupied at home.

I put ds in a second nursery in the afternoon because I am so concerned about his social skills. ( I am a SAHM and so maybe it is my fault he isn't well socialised.) It is an excellent play based one with access to outdoors. He did push there also but his teacher was v sympathetic and said he just hasnt learned to play in all the time he was at the other nursery. He is improving though.

My ds has an assessment at a selective school in Spring. They will need a nursery report. My concern is if I pull him out of the first nursery, will the school request a report from the first morning preschool? My only reason to keep him there is because it prepares kids for assessment. My instinct is to pull him out.

God I feel like a shit mum.

bonzo77 Wed 10-Dec-14 14:52:34

The first nursery sounds really odd. I'd pull him out. My ds1 went to a place far more like your afternoon one, and plenty of his friends got into selective primaries without extra help. Oh and btw they did all know their colours, shapes and how to write their names by the end of the last term. And how to dress them selves, eat nicely at a table and wait in a queue. Far more useful IMO.

Floggingmolly Wed 10-Dec-14 14:53:13

What criteria does the school select on? confused

Middleagedmotheroftwo Wed 10-Dec-14 14:54:47

Some kids don't even go to pre-school, so you could always say DS hasn't. Then you wouldn't need a report from either of them.

Hakluyt Wed 10-Dec-14 14:57:18

Sorry- pull him out and send him to a normal school.

momb Wed 10-Dec-14 14:59:49

You are clearly saying that your son isn't thriving at the morning preschool with the more formal learning style.

You aren't a shit Mum but you aren't listening to your instincts on this and you should be.

sh77 Wed 10-Dec-14 15:01:49

Thank you all.
Bonzo - you are right. I think him being there will probably knock his confidence.
Floggingmolly - i think they are looking at personality and teachability but will get the kids to do puzzles, numbers, shapes.
Middleaged - school already has the first nursery details. I will get in touch and give the second nursery's.

MerryMarigold Wed 10-Dec-14 15:08:48

Bizarre pre-school. I can't imagine anywhere that expects children of that age to sit for 3 hours. Even Reception Year (4-5) is mostly playing.

I am not sure, if you are a SAHM, why he is spending so much time in nurseries when you would have a lot more input and control over his socialising if you did it yourself. By that, I mean taking him to groups, having friends over, even sitting in a cafe is a teaching opportunity. You can teach him colours, shapes etc. and not expect him to do it an environment which he clearly hates (as shown by his behaviour). I think you need to get more involved, observe him with other children. Does he misbehave much with them? Do you deal with it in a way which is helping him? Etc. Personally, if I were running a selective school, I would be choosing kids partly on their parents and how involved they are with their kids as it makes a massive difference once school starts and they are out of childcare.

Hakluyt Wed 10-Dec-14 15:13:36

OP- you do know that the selective primary will be the same? If he doesn't like sitting and learning for 3 hours now, how is he going to manage a whole day in reception?

sh77 Wed 10-Dec-14 15:25:20

Thanks merry - very interesting points. I am a SAHM. He only started going to two nurseries since Nov and that was because I wanted him to play.

When he was only attending one, he had a lot of attention from me in the afternoon - lots of trips, reading, talking, playgroup. He is a very engaged and stimulated child. He is also very good playing on his own. My problem is that I am not very social (i sort of shut down socially after my dd passed away and havent got my confidence back) and I do not have a social network to tap into, which is why I sent him to the second place. So, ds has largely been in an adult environment. I will pull him out of the morning one and take him to local classes but keep him at the second.
He has plenty of cousins and interacts very well with the older and younger ones but not as well with those he perceives as being the same age.

horsemadmom Wed 10-Dec-14 15:27:04

My DCs went to a nursery that sounds similar to your first one and thrived. They absolutely loved learning .
I'm worried that you are sitting your DS for a selective when all indications point to a lack of readiness. If he can't sit still for story time or socialise in a friendly way, he won't get a place at a selective. Why not do state until 7 (with tutoring before the exams)? I'm guessing that you are in London....lots do this when their DS needs a bit of time to mature.
It sounds like nursery number 1 doesn't suit DS's developmental level. That is a perfectly ok thing! There are plenty of advantages to having a SAHM and any socialising your DS is doing in the afternoon might be time better spent napping or hanging out with you. They can get easily overloaded. Why not go for a lower pressure environment where DS can feel good about himself.
The nursery will have to be honest. If DS isn't sociable, doesn't know his colours, sit still etc. the nursery needs to maintain the integrity of their relationship with the pre-prep and will report this info. The assessing school can only get a brief snapshot of your DS and they are reliant on that recommendation for a fuller picture.

sh77 Wed 10-Dec-14 15:31:40

Hakluyt - he would start from Y1 and not reception. Even though he has struggled at the first place, he has learned a lot and is in the cusp of blending letters. Whenever I ask him informally about colours, he knows them (gets blue and green confused), he is forming most of the letters in his name. So, he has picked up a lot. I do think in time, he will be fine.

horsemadmom Wed 10-Dec-14 15:32:47

X-post!
I am so sorry for your loss. How horrendous!
DS has got to be feeling your pain.
Keep it low key, please. Don't push him or yourself . Maybe a group for parents who have suffered loss might help you both to socialise somewhere that feels safe.
I wish you healing.

sh77 Wed 10-Dec-14 15:36:46

Horsemad - you are right and this is the conclusion I am coming to. I am not going to worry about the assessment or put him in an environment he isn't ready for. He can sit for it as his name is on the list. I think 7+ will be better for him for sure.

3littlefrogs Wed 10-Dec-14 15:39:11

TBH I think a state funded primary school would be a lot more relaxed and suitable for your DS. They will be much more tolerant of a little boy who finds it hard to sit still for hours. (I know, I had 2).

sh77 Wed 10-Dec-14 15:39:22

Thanks horsemad - I have found a lot of your education posts really useful and informative.

nilbyname Wed 10-Dec-14 15:39:51

If you want him to go to a super selective primary then I think you have to stick it out.

Or you can get him into a much more suitable nursery and got doe a good local primary.

Reasontobelieve Wed 10-Dec-14 16:06:16

I was wondering whether you have any children's centres near where you live. I work in one and we put on a range for activities for the under 5s and their parents/carers. If you do have one nearby, I would recommend giving them a call and explaining about your your circumstances (including the loss of your dd), as I am sure that they would offer support and would have activities that you could do together.

nilbyname Wed 10-Dec-14 16:10:03

I missed the bit where you mentioned the death of your dd, I'm
so sorry for your loss. flowers

Camolips Wed 10-Dec-14 16:16:04

Are you in England? All schools have to follow the EYFS don't they? I'm horrified that a 3 year old sits and does worksheets and is completely wrong!

MerryMarigold Wed 10-Dec-14 16:22:35

I'm so sorry your dd passed away. You sound like a humble, great parent. It sounds like your mind is made up (in the right way). More time with you in playgroups/ activities sounds good for him.

I have 2 sons who are very different. Ds1 and ds2 are extremes. Ds1 was never a 'routine' or straightforward child. He is very creative, but has always struggled to sit still and was described as a 'bouncy puppy' in YR. He got very stressed when he went to YR, even though much of it was play and his behaviour/ eating/ sleeping got bad and he actually got quite depressed. He is in Y4 now, and has just been diagnosed with attention deficit/ adhd. My other ds was always the 'Gina Ford baby' (!). He loves an academic environment, the structure, what he learns at school fits well with the way his brain works. He was built for school! I seriously think ds1 would be a fantastic architect, or poet, or composer...who knows? I want him to be happy and to minimise the negative effect school has on him. I don't need to worry so much about ds2.

Perhaps your ds is more like my ds1. I think he will be far happier in an environment which suits him better and as he gets older you can see where he'd best be placed to go to school.

Littlefish Wed 10-Dec-14 17:58:01

I agree with camolips. His nursery sounds awful. Please bear in mind that a selective school is likely to be more formal, and this style of learning may not be right for your ds.

Ferguson Wed 10-Dec-14 20:17:52

Yes - I am very surprised that any nursery setting is as bad as that.

Twenty-five years ago I saw a local playgroup that made 'rising fives' sit tracing over dotted letter shapes, the staff considering that was how you prepared children for school! A four year old boy told me he was bored, and turned the letter shapes into novelty pictures to amuse himself. I thought things had moved on, but not everywhere it seems.

Find a happy, friendly play-based setting instead.

Starlightbright1 Wed 10-Dec-14 20:36:01

You know if your Ds needs to learn to interact with other children prioritise that.. My Personal belief is that if a happy child learns far more than one who is pushed.

My Ds was put off writing at school by been pushed when he wasn't ready in reception to the point he refused to write. He is still in catch up in Juniors. I am sure had they not tried to get him to write for another year he would of enjoyed it far more and probably progressed far quicker.

He is far too young to be stuck in somewhere he isn't happy.

On colours has he been tested for colour blindness? blue green is a common colour blindness.It sounds random if he has got all the other colours and is developing well in all other aspects.

debbriana Wed 10-Dec-14 20:56:57

You cannot expect a less than five year old to sit and learn for three hours. Even in secondary school kids move every hour to stretch or go to the next class. What you have said here does not sound right. It has to include play with other activities.

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