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Unreasonable pressure? Or over protective parent?

By maecuff ·
I need some unbiased opinions as I am too close to this to see it clearly.

My seven year old son is in the 2nd and 3rd grade this year. His aptitude tests scored him over a 10th grade level for vocabulary, 9th grade for reading comprehension and 7th grade math. However, socially, he is like any other 7 year old. He has a problem with fine motor skills (which is a nice way of saying that his hand writing sucks).

After the first grading period, the principal and his teacher approached us with moving him up to third grade for math, grammar and reading and we agreed. He's struggling a bit because being in two different grades, he seems to have an over abundance of homework (at least 1 1/2 hours each night). That doesn't stress him out too much, although he doesn't like it.

This is the problem we are having now. His dad picked him up from school today and the poor kid lost it. He was sobbing and saying that his third grade teacher is putting him under a lot of pressure. They have been taking timed math tests. Joey KNOWS the problems, but when he tries to do the work within the set amount of time, his hand writing is so bad that it is barely legible. So he gets yelled at. He slowed down, took his time and made sure his work was neat and didn't finish the tests in the right amount of time. So he gets yelled at.

He's never been the kind of kid who liked to color or draw, but I'm thinking if I encouraged him to do more of that, it may help his fine motor skills. I am also going to talk to his teacher and ask what he suggests as it seems now, the kid is damned if he does or damned if he doesn't. As far as getting so stressed, does he need to just suck it up? (Remember, he is only 7) Or do I just go a head and slash his teachers tires?

How detrimental is this kind of stress on a kid? I don't want him to start hating school, especially since he has such a terrific mind.

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This will only be bad

by jdclyde In reply to Unreasonable pressure? O ...

if continued.

A kid that HATES what he is doing will rarely do well.

I think it is time to find out if he is actually getting "yelled at" or just marked down. If he DOES get yelled at, they that teacher needs to step out back for a few minutes to discuss this with your husband while you keep watch.

Many bright kids do GREAT, but don't test well or handle the time limits. I would TELL them to back off because he doesn't have the EMOTIONAL maturity to handle this, even if he does have the intellegence to do the work.

Needs to be led by the teacher, not pushed. If this teacher can't handle this, then a different teacher is called for. If he can handle the work, I wouldn't back him up.

At the same time, they DO have to remember his age and treat him accordingly.

Have you talked to the principle? They came to you to make this change, now they should respond to the situation that THEY created.

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Sounds familiar

by JamesRL In reply to Unreasonable pressure? O ...

I had those same problems. My handwriting still sucks. The advantage I had was being in a split class of 2/3 where I could just switch activities without moving.

And I had a minor speech impediment. If it is any comfort, I took a year of speech therapy (paid for by the school board) and I speak just fine now -if not just a bit too long, and too precisely.

I would be very suprised if the teacher is actually yelling. I would think he is more sensitive to the pressure, and is being told to hurry up, or write neater.

There must be hadnwriting exercises you can do with him - I would think the teacher can investigate or recommend some resources. My grade 2 teacher worked with me during recess.

Put yourself in your kids shoes - you may have swelled his head, or maybe he did it himself, by getting put in the new class, and now work is much harder and he is expected to perform. I remember, its hard to go from a point where the work is just too easy to work, to a point where you have to actually concentrate.

Don't slash the tires.

James

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oops

by faradhi In reply to Sounds familiar

posted in the wrong location.

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No doubt

by maecuff In reply to Sounds familiar

the kid has a swelled head, but it's not his fault, and really, his dad and I have tried not to point out his gifts too often. Try telling a grandparent that! Joey said his first words at 7 months, he was reading by age 3. EVERY time we go to a family anything, this is the topic of conversation. And no matter how many times we tell our mothers to tone it down, they don't. He's been hearing he's exceptional for a long time.

We've had many conversations on what makes him so great, and while we're proud of his accomplishments, it's him as a person that matters, and what he chooses to do that matters. Still, it's hard for a kid to NOT let these things go to his head.

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Been there

by MirrorMirror In reply to Unreasonable pressure? O ...

My oldest child was first diagnosed as ADHD and put into remedial classes. After I pitched a stink, the school tested him for gifted and talented and they found that he was really smart! His hand writing stinks too. Anyway, when he found out that they wanted to move him into the "smart" classes, my kid lost it too. He actually tried to fail class so that we would not move him. Kids that young don't have the self esteem to stand up to everything that will be thrown at them when they move up. I made the decision to leave my child in the regular classes where he was comfortble and could shine. We still had lots of bunps in the road because he was definitely ADHD.

Do what is comfortable for your child. Maybe you can find some programs at a college or university where there are programs designed to stimulate your child's fantastic intellect. You are very fortunate to have such a gifted child.

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check all angles

by Tink! In reply to Unreasonable pressure? O ...

There are so many different things that can be approached here. JD and James already gave good answers. I'd try to find out HOW exactly the teacher is reacting and pressuring your son. And discuss with the teacher, principal and your son's other teachers about how your son can be led through his struggles. Spec Ed does sometimes help with handwriting. Both my girls received help for it (they were in for reading mainly, but they had underdeveloped muscles too)

If it does turn out to be too much of a workload/pressure on your son, then you may need to explore other options other than having him in actual 3rd grade classes.

To touch on experience, my brother was tested with a genius IQ. At age 10 he entered high school, graduating at age 14. He graduated college at age 17. He's incredibly intelligent, but lacks greatly in the emotional aspects and in dealing with other people.
Myself, I was moved up to first grade early. But at 5th grade my mother decided to hold me back, due to my lack of emotional/social maturity. It was probably best for me. Even though I could handle the academics, the other aspects of life are important in creating a healthy being too.

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I went through

by Jaqui In reply to Unreasonable pressure? O ...

similar myself in grade three, and my younger sister got bumped an entire year at the same time.

I was put into advanced grade 3 class, because of differences in school systems, so I was thrown into sections of learning that I didn't have the foundation for.
I would recommend that you look at pulling him back to be with his age-mates instead, as the lesson speed is better suited to his physical skills.
or, look at using something like sylvan learning centers, where they give one on one tutoring for students, be it because they are advanced or inhibited.

The school system itself is at fault, it's not designed for exceptional students. the pushing your son that happens in the school setting is more detrimental to him than beneficial.

I was burnt out in school, from being pushed to perform better than any other student in the class. I dropped out of school, because of burning out.

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Jaqui

by maecuff In reply to I went through

My older son did the same. He just got his GED. It kills me, he's so talented, perhaps he didn't show his talents at the same age as his younger brother, but he is smart. In fact, I've never met another human with a quicker wit. He's only 18. I'm really hoping he finds his way.

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I'm sure he will Mae,

by Jaqui In reply to Jaqui

It will just have to be in his own time.
I went and got my GED, in 1988, 6 years after leaving school.
Then I went and got myself a worthless diploma in computers [ business school, 3 month program ]

Even before going to the business school I was told by a regular customer at one restaurant I was working at that my speaking pattern indicated to him that I am a very learned person. This customer, worked in the education system, and was shocked to find out I had never finished school :)

In almost everything, I have taught myself.
I was able to solve complex quadratic equations in my head when I first saw one. [ before dropping out of school ]

So, to re-iterate, I'm sure he will find his way.

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Talk ...

by KaceyR In reply to Unreasonable pressure? O ...

... to the teacher and to the principal. See what's going on in the classroom, and if he's actually getting yelled at, become the schools worst nightmare, even to the point of legal action.

However, if he's *not* being yelled at (which is probably the case), find out what they're trying to do, if anything, to assist him in being able to write both faster and better. If they're not doing anything specifically about his writing, ask them what they recommend. You may be surprised at the resources that most schools actually have to help students.

Also make sure that you speak to the school counselor (I'm assuming they have one, even part time) and let the counselor know what's going on. They can usually find a way to help and they're very good at getting the teachers to assist as well.

In the first grade my son had difficulty because he was ahead on math and reading. It took a teacher who actually cared to see that he needed to be moved up, but ONLY in those subjects. She kept him for everything else! It worked wonders. He's now a junior in high school pulling a 4.0 GPA and even though his writing isn't all that great, it's legible (and he's learned to type like a demon!).

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