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my bright complicated 5.5ur old with social issues- now he's bored at school- what am I to do??

(63 Posts)
oopsagain Sun 14-Jun-09 20:55:40

He's in yr1
he's been able to read all of the keywords from reception, yr1 and yr2

he's working at least to a level of 2a or b inmaths and english apprently (whatever that means)

he was doing well academicaly and less well socially.

School has helped with the social very very well.

But toay he ahs refused to do the homework and said he doesn't want to go to school.
He says he doesn't want to go to yr2 as he already knows the stuff they will need to learn.

I think he does.

he reads very well and not really stories- so the other day he described to me exactly how the lens worked in the eye- he'd read it.
He is thinking about numbers squared and is getting intereted in cubed numbers. and can divide and pretty much knows the times table.

What sorts of things do schools do to help.
He's jsut so lack lustre about it- I really don't want him to get bored at this early age.

mrsmaidamess Sun 14-Jun-09 20:58:56

Does your school have a gifted and talented register?

I think schools often do brighter children a great disservice.

They concentrate so hard on closing the gap between the lowest ability children and the rest they forget about the top ones.

Your child has as much right to a level of work suited to his abilities as a lower ability child does.

I wouls suggest a meeting with either the Head, or Year 2 leader or Inclusion manager if you have one.

oopsagain Sun 14-Jun-09 21:03:10

i've not heard of a gifted and talented register at school.

I will have a meeting- I knew it would happen in the end, but i was hoping for some more settling in time before it did tbh.

He is soooo bright and sooooo strange grin

Yurtgirl Sun 14-Jun-09 21:04:51

Oops again I could have written your post myself!

My ds is in year 2 and also working way above all the other kids in his class (level 4 in several subjects I think)
He too dislikes school with a great passion
He has a formal diagnoses of aspergers syndrome but no extra support at school

It is very hard to know what to do I agree.
Many people insist to me that the only solution is for him to be statemented and then for him to work with an LSA - he is less convinced by this

Working out how to keep him happy and academically satisfied in school is something I havent figured out for my ds - perhaps you will have more joy

We are going to give Home Education a go from July, for a year and see how it goes
Its an option worth considering - check out the Home Ed section on mumsnet

annoyedmum Sun 14-Jun-09 21:05:43

when is his birthday?
i do think the level of work does increase a fair bit in yr2,there are lots of bright children in every year group.

mrz Sun 14-Jun-09 21:35:15

All schools have to identify gifted and talented pupils in their census returns which form the National Register.

Yurtgirl your son sounds like mine (diagnosis but no statement) and I'm afraid for some children the education system just doesn't work.

mimsum Sun 14-Jun-09 21:39:01

He must be nearly 6 surely if he's in y1 ..

dd's in y1 and working at level 2a in English and 2b in maths - there are 3 other children at around the same level as her and they have differentiated work

they also have extra extension stuff to do if they've finished their work

I'd be asking his teacher for more differentiated work and not really bother with the homework especially at this stage of the academic year and if he feels it's "beneath him"

oopsagain Sun 14-Jun-09 22:38:22

yes, his birthday is 28/8 so he is nearly 6

i can't imagine how it would be if he was 4 days younger and in reception... he'd be better off socaiily but acadenically he'd be well off the radar of reception.

he doesn't have a diagnosis- i did have him referred a yr or so ago
He had been doing some OCD type stuff. he does have senory issues but i think in general he's proabably almost on the spectrum but not quite IYSWIM.

I'm just dreading the conversation with teachers etc. It amkes me feel pushy.

He does have the top level of work in the class- there's a couple fo other kids he works with.
But i don't think any of them are at the same level as he is.

The school is a lovely community type school.
Alot of kids have issues- but most of them are english as a second language/ SEN type issues. it has a very very good SENCO- but with no diagnosis i don't think i can tap into that really.

annoyedmum Sun 14-Jun-09 22:43:14

I wonder whether he will enjoy school more socially when the other children mature a little and are a bit more on his level?

Does your school join years together at all so he could work at a table with the year above?

ParisHiltonSequins Sun 14-Jun-09 22:44:55

i said to my kids teacher he found some stuff oto easy

he said " well that is a problem but tbh he will have to learn that some things in life are dull"

a dn I agree

LupusinaLlamasuit Sun 14-Jun-09 22:45:57

You could encourage him to think of school as a place to learn lots of different things, not just the numeracy and literacy targets?

For example... making friends? Learning how to balance standing out with fitting in? And back again? Learning how to do things he doesn't yet know how to do? (climb a rope? hit a cricket ball? grow a plant?) Practising skills he is going to need to get the best from his intellect: application? Discipline? Patience? Kindness with others less intelligent or quick? Working out ways of entertaining and challenging himself when he's bored?

Could the teacher help challenge his other needs - get him to help out, take more responsibility, find things out for himself?

I also have G&T kids. But I have learnt the hard way over time that what is best for them is not always just intellectual challenges. It is no good being really clever if you can't do anything with it.

trickerg Sun 14-Jun-09 22:51:20

Why is he thinking that he will already know Y2 work?

Just knowing a few keywords and being assessed at L2 doesn't mean that he'll learn nothing in Y2 - children assessed at L2 at the end of Y1 are generally expected to reach L3 by the end of Y2. Learning is still going on......

oopsagain Sun 14-Jun-09 22:55:48

ohh lupus, you are so right.
And i have tried to tell hik that.

but he doesn't relly mind about the other kids.

Some days he avoids them in the playground just to see how high he can count.

he picks and chooses.
With everrything angry

and it's bloody hard to manage him tbh.
he can be quite determined and violent too sad

he wears me out tbh.

And the thought of home schooling at this point makes me shudder.

i've always thought of it- but just now I hvae a fantastic job opportunity and dh works full time.

I've bene home alot over the last few yrs and we need more money and I need this new job tbh <feels selfish- but also a bit determined too>

thanls for the replies. smile

annoyedmum Sun 14-Jun-09 23:00:26

It sounds like he's not really "fitted in"yet ~ I'm sure this will happen in time and he will probably be a lot happier in the long term learning to make friends than being at home alone[unless he is terribly unhappy at school but he doesn't sound it]

Bink Sun 14-Jun-09 23:03:49

I have a strange bright one too (yr5 now, he's 10).

One thing I'd say very strongly is how brilliantly well I've got on with his teachers, all along - loads of discussions, loads of idea-sharing, commiserating too when we want to pull our hair out - if you ask for a meeting and say you want to support him in school, and can they let you know how to help, I am quite sure you will bond on the spot - which is such a help, for both sides. I've never had so much as a hint of pushiness suggested - instead completely the opposite.

The thing about the strange bright ones is that their learning is on their own terms - ie they learn, but it is incredibly difficult to figure out how to teach them, because their own agenda is so strong and so uninfluenced by others (hence the social problems, of course).

The line into my ds is jokes - a funny teacher gets his respect - he ADORES his Latin teacher (eg) and will do anything (including his homework) for her. I didn't realise this about him when he was your ds's age ... can you identify anything that inspires him? That's what I should have done.

oopsagain Sun 14-Jun-09 23:18:47

he just came out with it today.
Up until today I never discussed it with him.
i expalined that school was for all the things we tlaked about below-
He has a coupld of girls who seem to be friends, but he doesn't hang out wth any of the boys.

He's really not that interested in frinedsios other than 2 girls at school.
I'm not sure how much they see him as a big part of thier friendship circle.

Today he jsut said he wasn;t going to do his homeworka nd wrote a note on it to tell his teacher. he said it was a waste of time him going to school again becuase he knew everything they would teach him in yr 2 and said he was bored.

I never ever discuss stuff like that in front of him so i've no idea where he has got all that from tbh.

e is quite funny, bink, and up to now has been a model pupil

but he refuses to to the homework and now doesn't want to go to school tomorrow

Bink Sun 14-Jun-09 23:21:34

Oh, there's another thing - it's getting near end of term - don't overlook tiredness! He might just (and perfectly reasonably) be near his limit school-wise. I'd still have the meeting with his teacher, but not take homework too seriously these last few weeks.

Yurtgirl Sun 14-Jun-09 23:25:08

My ds is the same oops - essentially a model pupil
But because he doesnt feel his needs are being met at school he has taken to being rude, silly etc deliberately so he can be taken to the head - "because I want to kick her!" and burn the school down
When I ask I get told "Yes of course we differentiate work for him MrsX" - given what he talks about at home etc I find that difficult to believe

But hey ho the senco doesnt seem to find his thoughts of suicide a worry at all............ shock
The mind boggles really

DadAtLarge Mon 15-Jun-09 13:56:04

"but he refuses to to the homework and now doesn't want to go to school tomorrow "
I'd advise you to encourage him to not do his homework, to keep him back at home (if you can) and go talk to the Head.

A lot of schools just don't know how to cope with very bright pupils. My gifted Yr2 DS started off a very well behaved, obedient boy and sheer boredom in school has, over three years, made him cocky, bored, uninterested in homework and starting to get into trouble at school. Read about it here if you want.

It sounds like your school has screwed up so far. We worried about seeming pushy and really regret it now, don't do what we did.

"He does have the top level of work in the class- there's a couple fo other kids he works with. But i don't think any of them are at the same level as he is."
Then they've got to find him children of his ability to work with (at least some of the time). Read up about the G&T, read your local LS's take on G&T, ask for the school's policy on dealing iwth gifted children and keep pushing till he gets what the school is being paid to give him. Don't accept any rubbish about limited resources and SENs needing more of the personalisation budget.

stealthsquiggle Mon 15-Jun-09 14:07:25

I would go and have a meeting ASAP but as a first meeting let them talk - 6yos (or almost 6yos) have a very skewed view on the world.

I went into bat for DS (6.5, in Y2 but should be Y1 based on age) based on him declaring himself to be "bored" in English lessons because it was "too easy". His teacher produced examples of his (and other) work, and pointed out that whilst he was extremely able, there were other children in the class writing more than he was, so there were ways he could choose to stretch himself within the task they had been given.

I have been taking his complaints with a pinch of salt since then hmm. I am not saying your DS is wrong in any way, but if you have not met with his teacher/the head before, then listen to their view of him first - if nothing else, it will tell you to what extent they do/don't understand him. They have to come up with strategies to meet his needs, just as they do with other varieties of special needs.

One thought - Is he very goal-orientated (my DS is)? Could they set him goals based around the (social) stuff he does find hard?

nickschick Mon 15-Jun-09 14:20:23

I too have had dc who seemingly were 'bored' at school and I too had a similar experience to stealthsquiggle,I know its not ideal but school isnt an individual learning experience for all children - most children at some point do find school extremely easy and basically just have to go along with it-even children with statements dont get work just for them.

I think (please dont think im being arsey) that when your ds becomes more able socially school will become more of a pull for him - there is competition as to who works best whose the best writer etc etc all amongst the children - some of the best group activities are ones that are intended for individual learning they bounce ideas around each other and bring a wealth of experiences and playtime too becomes much more fun when you are 'social'- so yes I can understand your worry but socialising imo is the way to stretch him.

singersgirl Mon 15-Jun-09 14:30:11

I think that there are some subjects at primary level which are more likely to cause boredom - maths is the most likely, as if a child is very far ahead they won't be learning anything during the numeracy sessions.

But in most other subjects, there is plenty of learning they can do. In Y2 he'll probably learn about the Egyptians and Florence Nightingale; topic work is very open-ended so he can just read more, write more and analyse it all at a higher level. As Stealthsquiggle said, most literacy exercises are completely open-ended; he can write more, write more interestingly, write two poems for everyone else's one, read more complex books during reading time etc.

DS2 has frequently said that he knows everything that they're teaching him at school already, but on closer interrogation it turns out that he doesn't (for example, he didn't know anything about the Aztecs and, though he did know a lot of Greek myths, he now knows a lot more in a lot more versions!).

stealthsquiggle Mon 15-Jun-09 14:39:33

Even in numeracy maths there are ways a good teacher can stretch a child within a given subject - DS's teacher does with him - whatever they are doing she challenges him, once he has completed the 'standard' work, to come up with a more complicated example to prove the concept they are working on - she has managed to make it into a game whereby he tries to outwit her by working out a problem which he can solve faster than her wink. Admittedly she is a fantastic teacher with a small class and is a maths specialist, but it can be done.

FranSanDisco Mon 15-Jun-09 14:40:05

Yr 2 does appear to bring new challenges - much more computer work for topic research for instance. Ds is also a high achiever in Yr 1 with moans of boredom. He often completes dd's maths homework before her (Yr 3). However, I am confident Yr 2 will be a challenge and I know when he says he's bored he means he wants to stay at home and do what interests him. Unfortunately Mario Karts isn't on the curriculum wink.

DadAtLarge Mon 15-Jun-09 14:57:51

"if a child is very far ahead they won't be learning anything during the numeracy sessions. "
But they should be. That's the school's job, that's in the National Strategies, that's in the school's Operations Manual, that's one of the things the school is inspected on.

Your DS has to be learning. If he isn't the school is failing him.

Some parents may choose not to push the school on this and that's fine. But it's 100% per cent okay to expect the school to do the job they are being paid to do.

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