DS being treated differently(18 Posts)
I am very new to this, and would really appreciate some advice from people who have g&t children.
I had a meeting with ds' school on Friday. He is 5 and 9 months. Before he started I talked to the head and his teacher and explained that he had had some difficult experiences, and that he was clever, but that he needed extra help staying calm at times, he needed extra help with social skills at times, and that at times he would resist doing repetitive tasks. I explained to the school that he had been extremely ill for a long time when he was younger and had likely suffered trauma, and that he was young for his age emotionally, but that things had improved so much over the last couple of years I really thought that within a short time he would be fine (I still think that). I chose the school in the end because of what they said at the time. I thought the meeting woudl be because of behaviour.
But what they said was (and I am still trying to process this) that he is very, very intelligent, and he pursues a wide range of interests himself, and so they are letting him do his own thing.
I am probably missing something but I am really confused about why the school thinks that what they are doing is so fabulous.
He does everything with the other children except when they are set specific tasks, and he goes off and looks at books. He is learning to read, but he can't read the sort of books he seeks out.
We pursue his interests at home. Together. I explain things, I don't just point him in the direction of the bookcase.
Sorry, bit of a rant there. I am feeling a bit desperate because he really needs to feel he fits in, and I have explained that but they seem to think this is the way to support him while not making him anxious.
Sounds like there are two issues at play here: his emotional/behavioural difficulties, and his intelligence. Have the school suggested getting the SENCO involve to help with the former?
As for the giftedness, I have no experience of this (DC1 has just started Reception) but do Infant schools generally have G&T registers? I know my DD's school does at Junior school but not so much at the Infants.
It seems like the class teacher feels like they're meeting your DS's by letting him wander off and do his own thing away from the class. I can see why you're dissatisfied with that, but what would you like them to do instead? Encourage him back to his seat to carry on with what the rest of the class are doing?
I don't really understand from your post that the issue is. Is it that they don't make him do what the rest of the class is doing? And what has it got to do with gifted & talented? Sounds more like an anxiety issue to me.
"he really needs to feel he fits in"
Is he unhappy? Does he have someone to play with at break time? Does he talk about the other children & what he and they did each day.
imho, speaking as someone who was tagged as gifted & DC sometimes get the same label... the social side is everything. The complete & total root of academic success at school. OP hasn't described a child who is emotionally unhappy, hates going to school, or struggling to connect to other people especially other children.
Thanks for the posts. Yes, basically I think it would be better if he were doing the same things as the rest of the class. I think learning to cope with what is expected of him is part and parcel of maturing and however intelligent he is, he is going to need emotional maturity to succeed. To me the fact that he is bright (or exceptionally bright, or whatever) is irrelevant here.
DS is very emotional and is learning to have some control, but he isn't out of control by any means. He is also very funny and the teachers were rhapsodising (spelt?) about how wonderful and creative and funny etc he is. I was sitting there thinking he needs boundaries and to fit in.
The explanation about what they were doing was to do with g&t, that he had made it clear he was bored doing mundane tasks.
DS has said he is lonely because of it - he likes the freedom, he likes people thinking he is brilliant. He has started to make friends but I think that this is making him feel different.
I don't think that a 5 year old is old enough to lead himself, unless in an enviroment set up for it, such as Montessori. I also don't think he is brilliant!! i think he is very interested in the world, and bright, and probably above average in terms of ability, but he will need structure and to be taught.
I just don't know. I don't get it! I thought someone might be able to shed some light on the school's approach. I am sorry if this is a bit garbled, I am probably a bit stressed out and not seeing the wood for the trees. I woke up this morning thinking I'd tell them it would be better for DS to join in, and then during the course of the day wondered if that was right or not. Sorry about the long posts.
That isn't very well written, sorry, missed words etc.
So the school let him do own thing because he hates doing easy work? Can school not be able to give him differentiated work at all?
It's confusing, is this a new school for him? Or he's been there since reception?
What happens in the future, is this going to be all the way to yr6?
Isn't that going to be the problem in the future if he doesn't learn to sit and get on with mundane work sometimes?
Is all his basic knowledge secure enough to miss all those class works?
Indeed, very confusing.
I think you need to explain a bit more about the school, what his progress was at the end of reception if he's in England and in YR1 now, and how he got on in reception when it's pretty much all free choice.
And where is he finding texts that he can't read in a Yr1 class room?
He likes people thinking he's brilliant. Who thinks he's brilliant? Other 5 year old's don't tend to gaze in awe at the brilliance of other 5 year old's who are still learning to read .
How does it manifest itself?
I also wondered how a 5 year old made it clear that "he was bored doing mundane tasks."
By having a tantrum/ meltdown? or explained logically he won't be engaging? If former, it sounds more like the school is trying to work out how they are going to help him.
Oh, Floggingmolly, I think it's not so uncommon that 5 year old think they are brilliant, imo. They all think they are brilliant footballer/ dancer/singer, etc, at that age? My ds's reception teacher used to write/say comment like my ds has a special brain so he needs to stretch it to make it even better. He used to say he has "a special brain", though he is now old enough to know he shouldn't.
irvineoneohone I think lots of kids thing of themselves as brilliant, but wasn't floggingmolly suggesting that most other kids don't think other five year olds as brilliant, particularly ones who aren't illustrating the sort of things they are often are compared over. (Like reading attainment, sitting and getting on quietly with tasks etc.)
Thanks, sirfred. I think I misunderstood!
Wow, lots of questions!!!! Irvine, sirfred, flogging do you have dc who have been identified as g&t and if so how did the schools manage it? I will try to answer some of your questions:
The books are reference books on a variety of subjects such as submarines, inventions, the human body, etc, with pictures, which I would read to him, too advanced for him to read himself.
he had made it clear he was bored doing mundane tasks means he said "this is really boring why can't i choose what to do".
In relation to brilliance he came home and said the teachers thought he was really clever, nothing about other children.
He started the school in Sept. He was in reception at another school and had no problems with the free choice at all, ie playing. The difference here is the separation, and how it is being done. Sorry if tha twasn't clear.
Lljkk I agree it is all about the social side, your post was really helpful, thanks.
At the meeting last week I gave them more info about the illness and about the various stages of recovery and the emotional issues, and they are re-thinking things, so the issue is over.
I agree with you, actually; the school isn't helping him by enabling him not to learn how to confirm socially or attend to activities not if his choosing. They are setting him up for a lifetime if difficulty if he can't do those things. It's no good bring brilliant if you can't cooperate, communicate, negotiate, compromise, listen, take account of others etc. I would tell them that you know he's clever but he really needs to know that it is not appropriate to be dismissive of others etc. I would be very firm on this indeed.
I think if he wants to read but cannot read books of his choice, maybe put most effort in that for now? It will open up so many doors if he can read what he wants to read. Electronic dictionary/thesaurus is great, it's easier for children to look up new words themselves.
What the school/ teacher do with able children really depend on each teacher/school. Unfortunately my ds's school isn't great.
Totally agree with oldbirdy as regards to school's approach.
Thanks, oldbirdy, yes those were exactly my thoughts. I think they are re-thinking it.
Irvine, yes that is a good idea about the reading.
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