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another thread on young boys in reception....please tell me I am not the only one!

42 replies

typicalornot · 08/02/2008 16:40

or otherwise I will go totally mental!

ds, 4.5 in reception, came back with a note from teacher saying what he needs to do to improve.
She is really pushing to have him write and dress on his own, plus she suggests he has poor concentration and social skills.

We believe he's already been making progress this last week, but really struggling as he's so young.

Said teacher hasn't been in school for the last week and she feels the need to send a note to remind what he's weak at(everything apparently) which we have never requested her.

Funnily enough he has been very happy this week, and he even got sticker for how good he was at different tasks.

I feel like I need to do something as teacher has been very negative with him since November and I believe his socializing in school is suffering as a result as he's confidence is being dented big time.

When we meet with his friends at the week end he's soooo different!

What do you think I should do? Write a note back or make an appointment?

is my ds the only one in this situation????

OP posts:
typicalornot · 08/02/2008 16:56


OP posts:
Lauriefairycake · 08/02/2008 17:02

You don't fancy pulling him out til September?

Lots of praise outside school to bolster his self esteem definitely

Really sorry - poor wee lad

Someone will be along with better advice

BoysAreLikeDogs · 08/02/2008 17:02

Perhaps she is flagging up areas of concern sooner rather than later?

I do sympathise, 4.5 is very young to be grappling with clothes/concentrating/making friends/being independent.

Making an appointment to see the teacher sounds like a good idea, you cannot discern nuances or tone from written correspondence (just like MN then lol)

Good luck

Twiglett · 08/02/2008 17:04

if he can't dress on his own you really need to work on that .. that is a crucial skill for children in school

I wouldn't worry about the writing

typicalornot · 08/02/2008 17:15

We've been working on it and he can dress himself.

He even got a sticker for being one of the fastest yesterday.

But teacher wasn't in school..... so she might not know

OP posts:
edam · 08/02/2008 17:25

I think you should definitely make an appointment and find out exactly what her problem is. What does she mean about poor concentration and social skills? Are her expectations of a 4.5 yr old boy unrealistic or are there genuine difficulties here?

Agree being able to dress themselves is a key skill for reception, but not being able to write at 4.5 is hardly the end of the world - it's bloody normal.

pointydog · 08/02/2008 17:36

I think youi shoud meet with the teacher. Is she really concerned about your son re concentration skills (in which case you need to talk)? Or is she a fairly negative person who focuses too much on what the children need to achieve and not enough time on what they have learned and what they can do well.

I agree that to be on the receiving end of constant negatviity is not good at all and unless there are real worries, the teacher should brighten up a bit and spread confidence.

typicalornot · 08/02/2008 21:41

Last time I spoke to the teacher at parents evening she said she had some concerns about his concentration and social skills. She had only known him for a couple of months and on top of that he was part time.

I then duly took DS to GP so that I could have a second opinion and even have him referred if necessary (teacher didn't ask me to, but I am paranoid mum....)

GP refused to refer him as ds behaved lovely with her, they had a nice conversation about how much he loved nursery and how much he hates school.
He added to GP that writing and reading are too difficult for him so what is the point - but nearly burst into tears at this point

GP said to get something in writing from school as she saw nothing abnormal about him, but only a very upset 4 years old.

I repeated conversation to teacher to get some simpathy and understanding, but a few weeks later I get the note...which is not directed to gp but to myself and which says-

These are the area you need to work on with him - no reference to concerns, but since I had that conversation with her I know exactly what she means

Sorry about the rant - but I thought the note was a bit insensitive and not based on the progress he's been making in the last few weeks iyswim.....also, I don't know how to take it....

OP posts:
mud · 08/02/2008 21:45

concerns about concentration and social skils in a 4 year old are common. I cannot believe you took him to the doctor about that - are you barking?

mud · 08/02/2008 21:47

go into school and talk to the teacher about this and listen to her, the important thing is you listen to her as well as talk to her - stop getting yuour knickers in a twist - if the teacher had wanted a medical referral it would heave been made clear.

policywonk · 08/02/2008 21:54

That's a rather harsh way to address a worried mother, mud.

Agree that you need to speak to the teacher face-to-face - try to get down on paper what you want to say, questions you want to ask - do this in advance so that your emotions can't get the better of you when you see her.

If it's any consolation, my elder DS is in reception and his teacher reckons that only about half of them are getting themselves dressed reliably at the moment. And very few of them are doing anything that you or I would recognise as 'writing'.

mud · 08/02/2008 22:00

oh come on it's not rational to take a 4 year odl to a doctor because the teacher says they need to work on concentration and social sills - it's an over-reaction and someone should have talked her down before she did that?

wannaBe · 08/02/2008 22:04

so the teacher put something in writing based on the fact you went to the gp who told you to get the teacher to put something in writing, so she's not actually just sending home notes telling you to work on things she's carrying out a request made by you on behalf of the gp.

Why on earth did you take your ds to the doctors purely because the teacher sai d she had concerns re social skills/concentration? Does everything have to have a diagnosis?

Dressing is a crucial skill that is needed in reception, and while not being able to write isn't the end of the world, if he is able to do it it will make his transition into year 1 easier.

I help out in a reception class once a week, and there are a few children who have issues with socialization/concentration, and as far as I know, these concenrs have been raised by the teacher. And she's not doing it because she doesn't like the children/wants to pick on them, she's doing it because she wouldn't be doing her job as a teacher properly if she turned around to every parent and told them what a delight their child was if that clearly wasn't the case.

The teacher telling you means you can hopefully work on these things together, you don't have to be going against each other.

mud · 08/02/2008 22:08

good point you asked her to put it in writing and she did - this sounds like a huge misunderstanding

typicalornot · 08/02/2008 22:11

thanks all- mud, thank you for your sympathy- if I ever was looking for some

It still hurts, but teacher made clear that her concerns were not of the normal type.

She was VERY concerned - she even implied he might have speach/hearing problems because ds had not uttered a word in her presence since started.

Friend said you never know, that's when they spot these kind of things, when they start I thought why not, I can have him thoroughly checked to take a weight off my mind...

OP posts:
FairyMum · 08/02/2008 22:13

I think it was very sensible to take him to the GP actually. I would have done the same. She was trying to get a referral to rule out any problems. I think now its alot easier for her to tell the teacher to back off. I am always suprised how many primary school teachers who sadly have no concept about the age group they are teaching. Its very strange. I am sure your DS is normal. He is probably got other things on his 4 year old mind than maths and writing at the number and good for him! My advice is really to work on him dressing himself, but ignore teacher and her silly notes!

mud · 08/02/2008 22:16

sorry i have 3 kids who have all gone through reception at diferent times and you didn't say she said there was a serious problem that needed investigating in your first post did you?

i think you are probbaly seeing your first child through recepiotn and getting concerned at every single thing. I think there are some things that are normal - lack of social skills and concentration - and some things that may need lokign at - selective mutism is one -

it sounds like you need to clear the air with the teacher to me

PaulaYatesbiggestFan · 08/02/2008 22:18

typicalornot ds teacher used the phrases 'away with the fairies' 'future cross dresser' and 'its all up there we just ned to get it onto paper' at his parent teacher consult in november

i was a bit hurt but since then - repeat he mantra 'he is happy that's all that counts'

some relationships maybe just are not meant to be and it could be this with your ds and teacher...

you did not need to see gp but i can empathise with you needing some reassurances

i keep thinking about how well loved my ds is with my friends and at hi montessori school and just think 'bollocks to this - we will ride the storm and get a new teacher next year'

Heathcliffscathy · 08/02/2008 22:20

mud how on earth are you helping the OP????

really, what is constructive about your posts on this thread?

Heathcliffscathy · 08/02/2008 22:22

expecting a four year old to concentrate, esp boys imo is a bit much tbh.

it's why really civilised countries don't start them at school until six isn't it?

typicalornot · 08/02/2008 22:22

I know, my nickname should be paranoid mum as ds is my first child and have been very anxious in the past and more now as I don't know what is normal behaviour for his age and what could be seen as problem behaviour.

DS has started talking a lot in the last few weeks in class- ds has said that and teacher confirmed last time I commented this to her on the door at pick up time.

I was very pleased because he can also now change himself and he seems happier as he feels he's making progress and got a star the other day.

The note has just brought me down again....

OP posts:
mud · 08/02/2008 22:22

realism sophable, realism helps most peole put things in perspective - i've told her to talk to the teacher, to clear the air and to get things in perspecitve.

how is yuour post helping?

DualCylinderCod · 08/02/2008 22:24

taek him out fgs he si so sweet soudning

Heathcliffscathy · 08/02/2008 22:27

offering reassurance that perhaps it isn't that her ds has a 'problem' but that the school/system does.

hi cod

Bubble99 · 08/02/2008 22:28

I think we are the only country in Europe that tries to teach four year olds to write, soph.

typicalornot. I have four children and wish I knew now what I did when DS1 and 2 were in Reception.

Of course you feel concerned. If his confidence is being knocked at this age the knock-on effects can be huge.

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