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Support thread for parents of boys who are finding reception hard

57 replies

GooseyLoosey · 11/03/2008 16:39

I am thinking about the boys (like my ds) who are labelled as naughty or something similar by the school and who just do not seem to behave in accordance with the perceived norm. I have noticed that there are a few of us on the board.

How do you get the school to accept them for who they are without demonising them? How do you make sure that they are not unduly "squashed" by school? Above all, how do you ensure that they are happy and nurtured at school?

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fedupwasherwoman · 11/03/2008 16:53

Oooh , that's a really tricky question.

I'd also be interested to know if you had any suspicions that your ds might not conform before they started reception. Did their behaviour at pre-school or playgroup act as any indicator of the future way they would be perceived by the reception class teacher ?

The reason I ask is that ds1 is apparently a model/boring* (delete as appropriate) pupil, never in trouble.

ds2 is coming up for 2 and is a whole different kettle of fish. I am sensing trouble ahead when he reaches school age.

GooseyLoosey · 11/03/2008 16:58

Yes, I had every inkling before ds started, although his pre-school said everything was fine. He is exceptionally single minded and expects others to go along with his way of thinking all of the time and has a very rigidly defined sense of right and wrong. I could see problems coming and sadly have not been disappointed.

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Jazzicatz · 11/03/2008 17:01

This is something I am very interested in as a mother to two ds's. There is no doubt that the education system has become feminised - much to the detriment of boys. This is highlighted by how well girls are doing compared to boys. Boys require a diffent system of learning - one which includes exercise and shorter lessons and more variation. This is just not happening within the school system.

colditz · 11/03/2008 17:01

Ds1 has ants in his pants, and is as easily distracted as a 4 month old kitten.

he is bright (his saving grace, cos with his attention span if he wasn't bright he'd learn NOTHING)

The SENCO has described him as 'quirky'. I do like his school - reception is a nice place for them to be - I don't know how he is going to cope with year one yet

3littlefrogs · 11/03/2008 17:04

It is madness IMO, for those who decide these things, to expect perfectly normal little boys to sit quietly and pay attention in a tiny classroom, for long periods of time, when they are only 4 or 5 years old. They are not ready or able to do this until they are about 6 years old and it makes me very

I think the way boys are let down by the education system in this country has a lot to answer for - but I have to go and make tea now.

TheHonEnid · 11/03/2008 17:10

are boys REALLY that different [dim mother of girls emoticon]? Aren't some boys just a bit naughty? Boys seem to sit and concentrate very well in dd2s reception class.

sorkycake · 11/03/2008 17:11

Our offer of a school place has just come through for ds (4).

He has so far refused to go to nursery so I don't have high hopes for school tbh.

I think we will probably HE him instead because although he is rather bright he has the attention span of 4yo boy and he will undoubtedly refuse to sit still, pay attention or indeed do as he is told

It will be like a lamb to the slaughter for the teacher if he lets rip with an uber-tantrum and I refuse to have my child labelled as anything other than what he is, 'a normal 4 yo'.

TheHonEnid · 11/03/2008 17:12

Normal 4 year olds do do as they are told most of the time though

CrackerOfNuts · 11/03/2008 17:13

My ds hasn't been labelled as naughty, infact his one teacher described him as 'a little ray of sunshine', however he is struggling to keep up with the others wrt writing and reading, and like you Colditz, I worry how he will cope in Yr1, where it is not as laidback and relaxed.

OverMyDeadBody · 11/03/2008 17:19

Really Enid? That's news to me

GooseyLoosey · 11/03/2008 17:20

From what I have observed, it does primarily (although not exclusively) seem to be boys who have problems.

Ds will do what he is told most of the time, but sitting still listening to other people talk about things he already knows is boring for him and frustrating and when he is bored and frustrated he cannot keep his mouth shut.

He is enthusiastic about learning but does not want to do it at a group pace.

If you explain rules to him, he will abide by them in the most literal way imagineable and expect others to do so.

Many of the boys is this type of category seem to be being told that they have an autistic spectrum disorder. To me, much of what is happening is simply an example of very make behaviour as opposed to female behaviour and requires a practical solution. However, I am at my wits end as to what kind of solutions there might be.

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GooseyLoosey · 11/03/2008 17:21

oops - make that "very male" behaviour

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Reallytired · 11/03/2008 17:27

My little boy was pretty wild at nursery. In fact he almost got permamently excluded at two years and eight months! He climbed everywhere and would not follow any isntructions. Everyone thought he was naughty when he was actually deaf

Infact in reception he was angelic, but found learning to write really hard, although reading was not a problem.

I suggest you get your sons things like the jolly jingles CD so that they can learn their letter sounds to music. The Jolly phonics DVD with the characters of inky the mouse will help to engage them.

Schools vary a lot in how boy friendly they are. My son's reception teacher was particularly good with little boys.

marmon · 11/03/2008 17:31

This is a subject so close to my heart at the moment. I have another thread on here called "my head is fried".. so i am not going to repeat myself but i definately think the education system is biased and boys like my ds who by my own admission is very hyper and noisy are singled as "naughty" or they must have some condition. My dd has sailed through without any problems granted she is a different personality but i feel my ds is just a healthy, normal, little boy but i do not know about anyone else but since he started reception i feel i am having to justify his behaviour to his teachers more. When he was at Nursey they encouraged him to be active and loved his enthusiasim but since being at school they seem to find children like my boy a liability. I think everything is to PC now and what was once considered typical boy behaviour now has to have a label e.g ADHD, Autism etc.

GooseyLoosey · 11/03/2008 17:35

Marmon - that is exactly the position I am in. There must be practical steps that we as parents can take to help our sons. Have you found any?

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marmon · 11/03/2008 17:46

No i have not im afraid. At parents evening the teacher told me my ds was socially immature, he is 4. When she said that i must admit i burst out laughing i have never heard anything so stupid in all my life. The only option i am looking at, at the moment is private school. I have looked at two so far and the class sizes are obviously smaller and they seem to encourage children to be themselves. I know this option is not for everyone and i am fortunate that i do have this choice, unfortunately its money that came from a death but the way things are going i have this gut feeling that state school is going to fail him. My dd is 10 and boys who were like my ds when she was in reception seem to be forgotten. Sorry to sound so negative but i believe in the education system it is a girls world.

GooseyLoosey · 11/03/2008 17:51

Marmon, I fear we may well end up having to look at private education, but whwilst we could afford it for ds, not sure we could for his younger sister. It is the social side that is ds's biggest problem to, he just seems to have failed to pick up the skills of interacting with others in a group situation - he always expects it to be on his terms. I try and teach him these but then school undermine me by attaching a label to him which other children can use and which effectively ostracises him. I was not prepared at all for all of this!

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goblinvalley · 11/03/2008 18:00

Only idea that i can think might be helpful is a class dominated by boys.

My ds is a really sensitive soul and the nursery mentioned that he might have a hard time at school socially. But luckily the school is fab (state) and the class is 2/3 boys . The teacher has mentioned that they are teaching differently this year to make sure that the boys are stimulated properly.

It is a real shame that a lot of children (boys) are labelled at such a young age - which unfortunately tends to follow them up the school.

GooseyLoosey · 11/03/2008 18:02

I have wondered GV if an all boys school would help as they must surely be more geared to boyish tempraments, but this would mean a private school where we are and I was trying hard to avoid that.

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Reallytired · 11/03/2008 18:04

I am not sure that private schools are better since they are often more pressurised and expect more than the national curriculum, unless you pick something really alternative.

As far as labels go, it is not that easy to be diagnosed as ASD. Certainly I would accept a diagnosis of autism without extensive assement involving community paediatrians, SLT and other health professionals.

If your child does need extra help then I would embrace it. My son has an IEP and he doen't even know yet alone other children in his class. Contrary to popular belief teachers are usually professional and respect confidentally.

PaulaYatesBiggestFan · 11/03/2008 18:06

my ds has been 'criticised' by his teacher by

  1. not engaging in ball- play at break

2 playing in the dressing up area
3 seeming to prefer the company of girls (all the time!)

and after she repeated it again to me last week at parent consult
GooseyLoosey · 11/03/2008 18:07

He does need help, but it is in learning social skills not accademic ones and there seems to be no help at all on offer for that. If a child is struggling to read the school can help and there is no question of that child being in any trouble, however, if a child is struggling to work out how to interact with others, he is naughty and told to stop behaving in a particular way, but he is not taught how to behave.

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GooseyLoosey · 11/03/2008 18:09

Wow, PaulaYates, talk about stereotyping! That's awful. What on earth could be wrong with a boy wanting to dress up or play with girls.

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MaloryTowers · 11/03/2008 18:12

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

marmon · 11/03/2008 18:13

Sorry gooseyloosey just eaten my dinner. My ds is also very excitable around other children, apparantly he finds it hard to sit still and the head teacher said to me that when left to his own devices all he wants to do is construction tasks. Dont all little boys like building things and knocking them down! I find it very sad that his personality may be undermined in some way and i just have to hope private school has a better way of channeling his energy.

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