5 year old bored at school(8 Posts)
My daughter is in reception and was 5 back in October. She's doing very well, teacher has said she is happy and has lots of friends and I know she's in the top groups for maths and literacy and is reading at a level expected at the end of year one start of year two and a she really loves maths and number work at home.
However, she has started complaining that the work she's doing is boring (she loves the play side of reception which is great) she says she finds it too easy and that it's babyish (the example she gave today was having to do some work in her literacy group which was writing sentences on white boards that contained lots of digraphs- the moneky put on his coat, to go to the shop).
She's a real pleaser and won't tell the teacher she is bored or that it's too easy. At what point do you think I should say something? Part of me wants to trust that the school know what they are doing, her teacher is lovely and has years and years of experience but I don't want my daughter to loose her passion for learning.
Do I maybe explain to my daughter that these are things we have to do even if we don't always find them interesting and encourage her to enjoy all the amazing play opportunities she has?
Any advice gratefully received.
I am going through exactly the same thing with my DS, who is very vocal about that he finds the school boring (because he is quite ahead of the rest of the class). I know that he has a lovely teacher who has already told me that she is pushing him and challenge him (e.g. when other children write "My dinosaur is big", she asks him to add adjectives to his sentence).
To top it all up, he is so fidgety and refuses to do "babyish" class work in the class room, when all the other children are working. This turns into a disruptive behaviour in the class. And then, he has also started saying that he doesn't like reading (although he has the ability of reading year 2 books, but lacking willingness!).
We did ask him to just get on with it and the benefit I am seeing is that it is making him independent in doing his worksheets. The fidgety part is still an issue but hopefully we will see some positive results of this independence in short to medium term, as nothing changes overnight with these kids!
If she's saying she's bored, and you think she has good reason to be under-challenged (rather than just contrary), then I'd talk to the teacher, especially if she's unlikely to say anything herself. The teacher can't do anything unless she knows, and the sooner the better. Be prepared to keep going back to the teacher until she listens, a good one will act straight away, some are less interested.
Rinse and repeat every year....
In the first place, I'd jump on the word "babyish" and squash it quickly. If she ever uses language like that in front of her friends about perfectly age-appropriate work (indeed I think DS still has to do that sort of thing at times, he's in year 3) then she's likely to make herself unpopular.
How to talk about it to DD? Well, yes, sometimes you have to do things that are easy. She needs to show the teacher what she can do. My DD seems to understand that some tasks are for things the other children are still learning and not to be phased by that. And is there really nothing for your DD to improve on in that sort of task? Surely handwriting at least can always get better?
I think some easy work is inevitable. (For almost all children, not just able ones.) All easy work is not good and would need looking into. Have you seen any targets, workbooks, progress tracking or similar to give you an idea which of those it is?
Definitely talk to the teacher. It's not a lack of trust. They can't know what they don't see, you can't know what you don't see. In a reception classroom they may not be getting to see the extent of what your DD is doing at home, and as you say your DD may be saving the complaining for home. I'd suggest taking in some writing/sums she's done at home to show them what sort of ballpark they should be looking at. Or perhaps they have got her pegged and will be able to reassure you.
We've been round the cycle with DD who's also reception. First parents' evening they were talking about 40-60 goals, things DD was doing at 2-3. We talked, they asked me to bring in some stuff she was doing at home, they seem to have gone away and done a very thorough assessment at the right level this time. They asked me to go in again a couple of weeks later to see DD's revised targets and this time they were telling me things I didn't realise DD could do rather than vice versa.
Since then she's been challenged very well indeed. The phrase "I need to do xyz because it's my Next Steps" has become well used. I love that, because it's not "I'm ahead" or "the others are doing easy things", it's just her job so that's what she's doing.
I do agree with cat. Saying age appropriate work for children "childish" isn't very nice. Better to keep it in your house, imo.
The school should really giving her differentiated work, and you should demand it, but it will not always happen. We had great year/teacher and not so great ones.
My ds' recepton teacher asked us to bring in the things he did at home before, in the beginning of school. It included books he read, diary he has written, and puzzle books he has done.
I think my ds is/has been advanced but never complained of boredom tbh. He was able to read(decode) any book, write his name, address, phone number, day of the week, month of the year, do all four operations(+, -, x, /) in maths, before entering school.
He always found the way to entertain/extend himself some how, especially in maths.
Literacy work was easier to extend, like pp said, if your dd find it too easy, she can add extra things herself, like adding more advanced adjectives or adverbs, etc. Or write with beautiful cursive, or perfect spelling.
My ds always made challenge for himself. I think that's what truly able children do naturally anyway.
If they need to do number bonds to 10, think of other way to make 10, rather then doing it normally, using all the knowledge she has. It's fun.
Thank you for all your replies. The babyish comment is something I will address with her again, it's something we are having to deal with at home too towards her little sister (too much time with her older cousins at Christmas is making her want to be all grown up ).
The points about extending it herself are all so very good, her handwriting is by no means perfect so she could definitely be trying to focus on that during literacy activities she finds easy.
We are due a parents evening soon where I will hopefully be able to see targets etc. I am so so conscious of being that parent, I don't want to seem pushy or my daughter to appear precocious, I might just need to get over myself a bit. I do have examples of work from home that I could take in but I'm worried it will just be dismissed.
I agree that some teacher dismiss parents' suggestion. But sometimes you need to be that parent for your child.
I had a chat with ds' teacher before he started yr2, since yr1 teacher was not good at all. (She was really great with less able children.)
Ds' yr2 teacher seemed like she dismissed what I said about what he can do this and that. That all changed in class when he showed his true potential. It was simple work from nrich, "make 8". Children needed to come up with number sentence which the answer was 8. She told me she was blown away by his work and became really passionate to extend him, and yr2 teacher became best teacher ever for him. .
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