Tag Archives: school

Feedback.

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We had the feedback meeting with the educational psychologist and I am a little confused.  Everything that she said is nothing new to Hubby and I.  We know the child we have. So why did we have to do all this?

He gets easily frustrated, but it is possibly a temperament thing and not a problem.  It is also something he will grow out of and is not a problem. If he is still having the same issue at Grade 5, then we need to worry.
She has not noticed any ADHD markers  etc.
She noticed he mispronounces some things (which I already chatted to the speech therapist about at the beginning of the year and she said it is age appropriate mispronunciation, nothing wrong).
She said he is highly creative and imaginative. Which possibly means he daydreams and does not always listen, but again she says it is not a problem, just the person he is.
She says he does not always follow all instructions, because he is young and young children tend to selective hear.
Mama shouts…which I already know.  And Mama has rules…which I already know.  But HB also mentioned that Mama gives many hugs and kisses and also allows breaking of rules.
The cats bother HB when they fight (they bother me too, and the one is a kitten so it needs time to be broken in and I cannot see how this is affecting HB’s performance in class).
She mentioned that he mixes up sadness and anger.  OK, but it is something he will work out, and we should increase his vocabulary so he has the words to express in between feelings. Like irritation, frustration.
He is a child who feels intensely.  Again, not a problem, but the person he is.
He needs to learn to share better.  Yes we have only one child so he is not used to sharing, but she suggested more playdates…which is something we can do. Again this is not an earth shattering revelation or problem.
The only thing she mentioned was that maybe he could have an auditory processing problem…but she is not really sure that he has this problem.  She will talk to the speech therapist (who I have already spoken to) and we can do some tests at the hearing centre.  We know he can hear perfectly well, perhaps he is not processing it very well.  But this is conjecture, nothing we really know.
Also, she has does not really know why he had the meltdowns he has had at school. The teacher told her about it, but it is so completely out of character that she cannot comment on that.  She will observe him further in class and she will get the teacher to fill out a questionnaire.
She says HB is aware of the fact that he does not always finish his work and feels like he is not intelligent enough in some areas, but that he also feels he is good at some things.  It breaks my heart.
At  the end of all this:
We are going to get him tested for some kind of auditory/sensory processing disorder.
Get him tested for allergies.
Help him expand his vocabulary so he can express the subtle feelings.
Mama will be conscious about shouting and try her very best to do it less.
Model behaviour to deal with feelings.
I almost feel like we are going on a witch hunt to find something wrong with this child.  He likes the time with the psychologist and since we are not paying for it at this stage, we are happy to let him continue with her.  She is not hurting him and she seems like a genuinely nice person.
I am not a perfect parent and I welcome any constructive comment on being better.

And again we see the teacher.

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This morning we had another meeting with the class teacher to discuss HB.  This time it seems he had an episode of note, that I even had a call from the school principal about it.  I am not sure what else we are supposed to do.  He is seeing a speech therapist, he is seeing the psychologist, and we never have these incidents at home.

I was frank with the teacher, that we do not experience these things at home, so I am not sure what to do.   We cannot punish or guide behavior we are not experiencing ourselves.  The same of the classwork…at home he can read and write and count, but apparently he does not do it in class.  In class he does not want to do the work and sometimes out right refuses to do anything.
I am not making it up.  We have all the workbooks  and worksheets and counting tiles and flashcards…we sit every evening after dinner and go through the things they need to know.  I make up word problems, write up the maths problems and he does it all, without resistance, and he knows what he is doing, so why is this not working in class?  I feel like it is almost futile.  This is not a naughty child.  He is not worse than any other child I know.  I just don’t know what to do anymore.
I do not want him to come home and have to face punishment because he did not do his work at school. I do not want him to feel that all we do is punish.  I wish there was some way to find out what is going on in his head. There must be some reason that he is doing the things that he is doing.  What is going on in class that he refuses to co-operate, when I know he knows the work.  I  know he can count because I have sat and listened to him count to 120, without any problems…and the teacher tells me he cannot count.  He can count backwards from 10, he can count in twos up to 20.  He can recognise all the phonics and he can read three and four letter words.  He can read a three word sentence.  I can tell him a word problems and he can give me the correct answer. He can do a 100 piece puzzle and he has done five different puzzles in the last two months, but at school he cannot do a 48 piece puzzle.
I can tell him a word or show him a picture and he can spell it out for me.  He writes and cuts and colours and sticks and all this means ZILCH….because for whatever reason he cannot do it in class.  Cannot, will not, I don’t know.
I want to beat me chest and stamp my feet and pull out my hair and cry.  He is not yet six years old and will only be six half way through September.  He is my baby and will someone just give him a chance, PLEASE.

The weekend.

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This weekend was lovely.  It was busy busy busy on Saturday morning….getting cars serviced, library stops, shopping and all the admin of our lives. But it was fine.  We were together.

Also on the cards was getting a new set of worksheets done for HB.  Lol, the guy at the printing store even asked if I was a teacher.  I am determined to help my child if I can.
I have been working on being gentle with my baby, because he is my baby. The worksheets are great, because for the days I do not have the patience to be nice, he can quietly do a worksheet. The nice thing is that they are like games, not worksheets.
Sunday we enjoyed a lazy lunch/afternoon at one of local dams.  The picnic was lovely, and we really had to drag HB home. He is such a nature child.  He loves being outside and it is a pity we do not do it more often.
Honeybear loves the library and I still need to get him to understand that there is a limit on the number of books we are allowed to take out.  I am so happy he loves the library as much as I do.  I have, unfortunately, finished my two library books over the weekend.
Honeybear needs more confidence.  I am trying to help him.  He often will not try something because he is too afraid to get it wrong.  Telling him is OK to make mistakes does not work.  I try to push him a little so he can see that he can do it too.
I get him to read words after we have a read a book.  This way he can see that he can do it too.  I have also taken to leaving him alone with his work, so that he has to try it alone. It feels like that whole “let your child cry it out” sleep training. I tried the cry it out once, Hubby and I were so traumatised, we never tried it again. We try to let HB lead the way.  I tell myself it is a development thing, just like learning to walk.  You can help and guide, but you cannot force.
He is back in his own room again.  For how long, I do not know.  He keeps ending up back in our bed, and to be honest, I prefer him in our bed.  I worry less.  Hubby has accepted that I will walk between our rooms during the night, because I am nuts like that.
Honeybear is getting better with the reading thing…whether this is translating to the classroom, I try not to worry about.  We have already made that decision to let the process of the psychologist take its course and time. I am concerned with keeping my child nurtured.
Telkom is driving me nuts, but they it periodically, so nothing new there. Overcharges on our account, I am not prepared to pay.  Apparently I signed up for a new contract…they must produce this contract, because I certainly have not.
Back to work.

The hope springs again.

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Hi Ladies, thank you for all the comments on my previous post. I appreciate the support I receive here, and it gives me hope I am not alone in this parenting jungle.
I have been so mixed up about this whole thing with Honeybear and school.  And then you have a moment when everything settles itself and you worry no more.
I was chatting to my Mom and telling her about it all, when it came to me.  There are only 120 days of the school year left.  That is not a long time in the larger scheme of things.  Honeybear will move to a different class.
So we have decided let him go to the psychologist and if she suggests he needs further sessions, we will be happy to agree.  She is a professional after all. The psychologist, as part of her assessment, will observe Honeybear in the classroom environment too. After the whole thing, the psychologist will also speak to the teacher about the ways in which she needs to interact with my child.  I am fully confident there is nothing for us to worry about.  Also, we then have two independent professionals who are able to also help the teacher, not just Honeybear, and when it comes to school readiness for Grade 1, the teacher is not the only one who will make the decision about Honeybear.
Hubby and I are meeting the psychologist later this week ( I mailed her myself, as I do not want the referral to come from the teacher only, with her  view only). Also, I think meeting her, will help us understand her methods and how impartial she is likely to be, and if the best interests of Honeybear remain at the forefront.
Further, I was chatting to one of the Moms and she let me know that the other parents in the class have been complaining about the teacher and all the therapies she keeps recommending our children need.
I have also told the teacher that after the assessment with the psychologist, we all need a meeting, and I will ask the prep head of school to be a part of that meeting too. This way there are no misunderstandings or thoughts that Hubby and I are ignoring a problem with our son, because we are too whatever.
A plan of action makes us all feel so much better.
I want Honeybear to love learning and going to school.  He loves it now,and I do not want him to lose it because a young teacher does  not yet have the experience ti deal with different personalities.
His previous teacher was older and the nicest lady ever.  Even when she told you that there was something going with your child, she did it in a way that was hopeful, not in a manner that made you think that there was no way out of this thing.

And it just gets worse…

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Yesterday was the first day back at school and already I have a complaint from Honeybear’s teacher about him. She told me he was kicking another child and refused to apologise.  Then he further refused to participate in the morning activities and birthday party.

Honeybear had already told me he was naughty and that he was so hungry but the teacher would not let him eat because he was naughty.  I was a little upset about the withholding of food but I figured he would be OK.  I left it that until the teacher messaged about the kicking and non participation.
So I asked him and he said he did not kick anyone, which is why he did not apologise.  I think I know what happened.  The teacher accused him of kicking, and told him to apologise, without listening to him try to explain his side of the story.  I was surprised when she said he was kicking someone, because he is not that kind of child.  He is non-confrontational and is more likely to complain and cry.
I messaged the mother of the boy involved and I asked her if she could ask her child what happened. (she is totally unaware anything happened)  Apparently he was not kicked, but smacked and it was not a fight.  The mother explained that her child is overly sensitive and normally exaggerates things, so I should not take it seriously, as she did not believe him herself.  I left it that and did not say anything to her, just apologised.
I asked the teacher if she had seen the incident and she said no, it was not even in her class, the other teacher apparently saw it.  Honeybear said they were walking in a line and the other child was kicking as he walked and he asked him to stop and then I assume they must have started getting upset with each other. No one was kicking anyone else. However, the teacher did not even bother to find out what is going on, because she was not even there.  She just insists Honeybear must tender an apology which he felt was unjustified.  So he starts crying to end in sulks. Added to that, he was hungry and less likely to get out the funk. And he is five years old!!!
Then she messages me about it as if it is a huge deal (the boys were over it by then). She tells me I should really get him to the psychologist because he is not coping and that sessions with the psychologist will help him as he needs.  It was the first day back, you did not listen to him and he is hungry. How do you expect the child to behave?
I told her I agreed to an evaluation, and when that was done, we could all have a meeting about the best way to help my child.
Just writing this I want to cry tears of frustration.  My child is not bad, he does not have behaviour problems.  Strangers stop me and tell me what a well mannered perfectly behaved child he is.  He has spent two weeks in a different school for the holidays and I have had not a single complaint about behaviour.
I also find it nuts that we have moved from him needing help because he cannot cope with the schoolwork to him now having behaviour problems and needs help.  I feel that the teacher has decided he is a bad child and that she is not going to see anything different.  She is just seeing problems when she looks at him, not normal five year behaviour.  I am afraid of what she is going to say to the psychologist at this stage when she does the referral.  He is not a bad child and her experience with him, is completely different from mine or anyone elses.
I am almost upset enough that I am considering moving him to another school, because he is not a bad child, he is just a child and children tend to not listen and do things we consider naughty, because that is what they do.