How much does a five year old need?


We had our parents meeting and I left feeling like there is no hope.  Last year this time we signed up Honeybear for Speech Therapy.  While I did not feel like the therapy was fully warranted, but I did not want to be one of those parents who ignore problems.  My feelings were right, when the assessment at the end of the year (after months of speech therapy and a new therapist), it was found he has no problems outside what are normal for his age.

I decided, with the therapist’s advice, that he continue for one term into this year, to ensure that he got a hang on the phonics, as this is the first time they are learning phonics, and grounding etc….is important.
This meeting this week, the teacher says he has no speech issues, but she thinks we must keep him in therapy because there he gets one on one help with the therapist. So now the therapy is for phonics tuition?  When we sit at home, there is only two that he mixes up, the b and d.  And the teacher says that is common to all the children.
The teacher suggests that there must be a confidence issue int he class environment which is why he cannot say what he knows in the class.  She also says he starts to cry and stops responding and she has had to take him to lie in the sick room a few times, until he clams down.  The one time, I knew about it, and she also admitted it was an understandable situation of why he was so worked up.  The principal who oversees all the sick room kids, tells me he has only been there once (the one incident I know about).  So is the teacher lying to me?  Why did she not tell me about any of the other incidents like she told me about the one?
She also says he needs to go see the school psychologist. Why?  Because he tends to get shy and sometimes very stubborn.  I agreed, because her reasons were so weak and I wanted to laugh.  I am wondering if she thinks there is something wrong in our home environment and she is looking for a way to send him to the psychologist?
I am at the end of it all.
Every day, I sit with that child of mine and I go through all the phonics, counting, vocabulary…everything.  Everything! If you read his report, he has achieved everything he needs to achieve for his age group.  He is on par with the class, and he also performed better in some areas, like any other child.  He is no Einstein, but he is keeping up…so I cannot see where this comes from.  I was taken aback by the whole thing about the psychologist and speech therapy I never asked her why the report says one thing and she (who made the report) is saying something else. She says he cannot keep up in the class, but then she assessed him, in the report as having achieved all that needs to be achieved this year.
She says he just needs to know the sounds, not be able to actually read words this year, but then she also says that he cannot read the words.  So which is it?  I know he cannot read words, he does not understand that the sounds make up words.  But it is not a thing he needs to know in Grade 0.  Even the speech therapist says that while some kids, the girls especially, are able to read words, it is a stretch to expect him to be able to read in the first term.
I just cannot understand where this all comes from.  I am a good mother, hubby is a good father.  We actually spend time with Honeybear, going through his school work.
I do everything I possibly can to make sure my child is healthy and happy, but it does not seem to work.
I have an appointment with the speech therapist for sometime next week, to understand what the speech issue is.  If it is just phonics tuition, then I am going to stop this.
The psychologist will only happen next term when the kids are back at school.  I feel like we can do nothing right.  My child is fine, but he is not fine. I have even let him come back and sleep in our bed, because maybe he he is not ready to sleep in his own room, and we must be emotionally destroying him because we insist he must sleep in his own room.
When I speak to other parents, of kids in his class and in other schools, Honeybear seems like he is doing everything that they are doing.  He cries the same amount, he is sensitive like they are, he cannot read like they don’t read.  In fact, the reading at the private school down the road only teach reading from Grade 1.  It is not an issue in Grade 0, like my child has in the very first term of Grade 0.
I do understand I am currently being one of those parents I do not want to be.  I refuse to accept that there is something wrong with my child.

14 responses »

  1. Oh boy – this is so difficult – this whole parenting thing is! The teacher sounds quite undecided from what you say. Perhaps she needs to give a clear list of “issues” and possible solutions. I’ve also heard of a lot of kids being referred to specialists for what sounds like unnecessary reasons. I’d say trust your gut. Shame man. It’s really unnecessary to stress parent out so much!!

  2. Ai mamacat, this is such a difficult situation for you, but I say trust your mamma instinct, you know your baby. There is so much pressure put on kids these days to behave and do, to adult standards that childhood is lost way too early!

  3. I have to say that the teacher surely does not sound as if she is clear on him at all. And according to me no kid has to read in grade 0? If you are really unsure take him to an educational psychologist (not the school one) privately and have him assessed

    • I also feel that he just needs a chance to get going. He turns six at the end of the year, while some kids are already six in the same class. I like the suggestion of a private educational psychologist. Thank you.

  4. Ah it is so tough when it is your own child being judged.
    I had to deal with all of this when MK was little….all kinds of issues the one teacher identified……mean time she just didn’t have the patience with my super left handed child.
    Go with your gut at the end of the day we know our children don’t we ?
    Maybe ask a close friend or family member if they honestly notice any problems.

      • Good idea to compare your child with another the same age.Also remember small kids differ so much, a few months makes a huge difference with with their age.

  5. I also think he is probably just a normal boy and they are over doing it on the therapies. I agree about trusting your instincts. Kids just need love and attention. He does not need to read yet. Maybe get a second opinion if the teacher is giving you hassles.

  6. I feel your confusion in this post and my suggestion is to challenge the teacher. I know you’re very logical and reasonable so make that work for you – tell her it seems like you are being presented with two different sets of data and…. you need to understand everything properly before you agree to all these therapists. Like you, I feel they are overdoing it all.

    They only start reading in grade 1 and then they work on it the whole year!

  7. Liam is nearly 8 and still mixes the b and d. It’s a common thing. It seems that there is so much pressure on the kids these days to get everything right, first time. They aren’t being given time to actually develop at their own speed.
    HB is fine. He will be okay, and it sounds like you are putting all the energy into making sure he gets there.

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