Misbehaving Y1 5yr old.. what to do?(22 Posts)
Just days after having a great report (cue Smug Parent Face!), where my 5yr old is now recognised as being 2 years ahead academically in reading, writing and maths, his behaviour has suddenly deteriorated at school.
The school has finally listened to me when I said he was bored (18months later!) and picked up the level of work to where they feel he can 'hack it'. That has gone on quite well until the last couple of weeks where he is just being DAFT.
I did have to remind his teachers that he is - at times - behaving quite normally for a 5 year old boy (he is an August birthday so youngest in the year, too), and that their expectations are that for a 7-8 year old ref. his academic age!!
But even then, he is being quite daft, and due to its suddenness (he was always immaculately behaved at school before this), I wonder if they think they are extending him as he's 2 years ahead, but in fact he is capable of more; he does say that it is 'boring' quite a bit, and some of the times he is being daft is when they are doing stuff he can do without blinking.
I know they feel he has to learn it, but a lot of it he seems to know 'instinctively'. (how to spell tricky words with complex phonics, and multiplying 3 digit numbers in his head - which I can't do!).
Problem is that his behaviour is starting to p*ss off his friends too - he's not being malicious, just daft, and it is disruptive.
Anyone else who has a smart cookie who suddenly started acting up? Any advice (including how to handle the teacher, and what to say to the kid!) welcome.
I'll bump this again for you because we are in a similar situation. My 5 year old is in primary 1 (we're in Scotland) and is "exceptionally bright" (teacher's words). He was identified within just a few weeks of starting as being way ahead of the rest of the year group, but since then they have done very little.
He had a very disruptive start to his school life as I gave birth to twins 5 weeks early on his 2nd day of school! Despite everything that went on around that time (me being in hospital for a week and the twins staying in neo-natal for a further 10 days) his behaviour was no bother at all. By Christmas however his behaviour was starting to deteriorate. He is not being nasty or anything - just a bit disruptive - not listening, messing around with his friends etc...
The work he is being given is no where near the level he is capable of and he often says he is bored. He has also said that he has never learned anything at school. Yesterday I went in to speak to the teacher and she showed me his work - it's not good. He is not engaging in anything that is happening in school and as a result he is not producing good work and is mucking about.
The teacher has blamed it on our parenting (apparently he doesn't get enough time to play with friends and he only gets our attention when he works out difficult sums in his head!) and is refusing to accept that he's bored and needs stretching to get him interested and engaged. She won't give him harder work until he proves he can do the easy stuff.
We want to make sure we validate how he feels, but still back up the school (even if we disagree with what they are doing). We've reassured him that he's not in trouble, we are really proud of him and that he doesn't have to prove anything to us. He does need to work hard at school and behave though, even if he's bored. He needs to show the teachers he can do it because we know he can.
He's a good kid - typical 5 year old boy who gets hyper at times, but still a good child who certainly has boundaries and is disciplined for bad behaviour. (not that I think what he's doing in school is actually that bad!) SO HARD!
I have a DS who is clever. Not sure I would label him as G&T but he is ahead of what he should be for his age. I have had this crop up occasionally over his time in the infants. He is now in Year 2.
TBH I give him short shrift if he is being rude or lazy at school and make him apologise. Being clever is not an excuse for not doing as he is told imo. That is just an excuse. He knows now that he will be in big trouble at home if the teacher has to talk to me about his poor behaviour.
As for handling the teacher. I am not sure what you mean. I am happy to let them get on with their job and trust their judgement on what my son can achieve. They seem to have a good handle on him now and TBH he now only seems to behave badly whenever it isn't his classteacher in the room!
I think half of the problem is that he is trying to tackle this work in a Recepti0n/Y1 classroom (mixed class), which is pretty noisy tbh! (I volunteer in the class and I have to move to the library if I want to hear anyone read). It can't be helping.
He consistently says he is bored, he and I had a long conversation about it today when he brought it up. He said that the really easy stuff makes his head hurt as he really doesn't want to do it again and again! Bless.
@Squidgy, she shows me examples of his work which are clearly of an exceptionally high standard, such as that done by an able 7-8yr old (and some literacy work above that).
I am pretty strict and tell him he cannot be mucking around in school even if he IS bored, because he will miss out on what the teacher is TRYING to teach him, and even if it is something he knows, it is worth listening to and remembering anyway.
Although I am happy for the teacher to tackle it, due to an incident with a lunchtime supervisor, I brought his behaviour up with the head and she said she'd noticed he had lost focus recently, she teaches the class one afternoon a week and had seen that he wasn't as engaged as previously. I am glad I am not 'imagining' it, and that not just the class teacher has noticed it. Hopefully I can now get the ball rolling on what to do next. Hopefully!
The class is R/Y1, sometimes they do whole-class work for literacy, but often not, and it is pretty noisy when they don't. My son gets distracted and so although the quality is there, he loses the will to keep going and increase the 'volume' of writing, partly because of the distraction and partly because they usually work in 15 minute 'bursts' which IMO are not long enough for him. Plus no one else writes more than 2 sentences so it's not really 'modelled' for him to write more.
I have discussed moving him into higher year groups but unfortunately the class above has 3 year groups (2-4) with 28 kids (a big class for our school!), so they are reluctant to a) add any more kids or b) are worried it will be overwhelming for him to be in such a huge age range when he is so young for his year (Aug).
Am hoping you are right Squidgy, as he really isn't a happy bunny right now and something has to change.
Have you considered approaching a local independent school? Many offer bursaries. Of course there are pros and cons (many threads on mn!). But it may be worth consideration. Alternatively, as pps have suggested, a larger primary school without mixed year groups might suit your DS better
I have thought of the local independents, and have been offered a substantial discount - but unless it is free we just can't do it.
School has stepped up the help and support, with an understanding that it will be revisited in 3 weeks to see how it is helping. Thank you for all your suggestions
Added for AceBaby - local larger primary just got OFSTED'd and fell from 'good' to 'satisfactory' - oops!!! Seems daft to move from current 'Outstanding', the problems would just be exacerbated. Next year will be interesting..
Hi there, giving my experience with with daughter, N: I was I suppose in what would have been the G&T bracket when I was young, but got bored, stared out of the window then actively started to not bother, potentially because I wanted to fit in more (etc... when I think about it it's awful). So, basically I've always had that experience in my mind and I have made sure that I have explained that process to teachers that have had an impact on N.
This is the real advice though - cece earlier on suggested a quite innocent response to the suggestion that teachers might not be that good at finding a solution to our problem little brainboxes. cece: they're looking after classes of 28 and they will not give your child special attention that they do need, unless you more or less stand on their head until they do, then you come back, and you stand some more! It's not a reflection on them, it's a reflection on the job, the class size and the mixed abilities of such a diverse group.
The best thing we've done by a country mile is both get really involved with the school. My husband is on the board of governors and I'm in there all the time. Make friends with the teachers, and make it clear that you're willing to put the time in to help around the place. There definitely is a quid pro quo and your child will get more attention. It's just one of those things. Breathe down their necks, but be prepared to muck in too.
abeltasman - just read your initial post and OMG!you are talking about my 5year old. In reception/foundation class he was great, but when he moved into y1 things changed and as yr1 & yr2 are mixed (rural village school) I thought it was because he was in a bigger class.
They have a diary at his school and everyday there is something written in his school diary about his behaviour. The kids in his class were always coming out the school gates with stickers and certificates and awards of recognition except my son as his bad behaviour was getting his stickers taken away!
Now we know he's bright, he was reading before he started the school and by the end of reception class he had read all the books assigned to him by the school. Finally at parents day at the end of March when we asked the teachers if his behaviour is related to the fact that he is bored and unchallenged. They said that he was exceptionally bright and they will be assigning him yr3 work.
He brings home one piece of homework a week and does it in 5 minutes, and still his behaviour is the same. In trouble at school for mucking around.
I am interested to find out whether he should be sitting with yr3 to do yr3 work or whether they should continue to keep him in yr1. As the school is so small he would actually be with yr3 and yr4.
I'm so glad I found this thread! Our stories are so similar! We're going through something like you OP and Scarlet - DD (just 7 now) is very bright, in Y2 and has been in constant trouble through Y2. Reception and Y1 were ok - the higher up KS1 she moved, the more challenging her behaviour got at school - but not at home
where she has always been a pain in the bum
We moved at the start of Y2 and I had a new baby after Xmas, so we thought the difficulties were to do with the move and hopes she would settle down with time.... but the mess she ended up in had the word "expulsion" being mentioned to us, plus the school have actually referred DD for an assessment for High Functioning Autism! I do not believe she is autistic for one minute and hope assessment will prove this too - but something is making her rather unhappy and anxious at school. Currently the situation is improving with lots and lots of intervention and special strategies at school, although I have realised that some staff at school treat DD in a "special way" (as if she was autistic basically ). The assessment is ongoing (for ASD plus her intelligence) - so far the only definite conclusions assessment has brought up is that yeap, she is very very bright. As I say, at home we do not see the signs of autism and see lots of behaviour that contraindicates autism - but it's a heck of a rollercoaster of a journey to have your child labelled with something like that because of their bad behaviour!
The school's theory is that as the work gets harder and more demands are placed on the [autistic] child they can't cope with the situation and start acting up. And I agree that bad behaviour is a sign of something - but what?
I don't really have any magic solution to the situation, but just wanted to say you're not alone!
Thank you for your support. Still no progress with the school, they haven't done what we asked (and they agreed) to do. Hoping to goodness DS will have a different teacher next year !
abeltasman - I know the feeling, I am feeling disheartened right now as DS1 teacher has told me she would prefer if he was not in the school because of his behaviour!!
Oh dear Scarlet - that is not helpful is it! Have you spoken to the Head? That is a horrid thing to say!
It is probably the only threat left to the teacher - if he acts up again then he won't be in the play.
I can't see how misbehaving in a school play can be explained by your child being 2 years ahead in reading, writing and maths. That just sounds like he's being disruptive for the sake of it.
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