Wednesday, August 29, 2007

pink floyd the wall 1982 - Another Brick in The Wall -

J.T. is home today, recovering from the earache. And I am at work feeling blue. I just hate it when one of the kids is sick... they seem so fragile and I just wish I could wave a wand and make them feel better.

My son is in first grade this year and will be seven in January. His teacher says he is very, very well-behaved (He is always so eager to please), but he has trouble staying on task, struggles some with reading and has horrible hand-writing. I feel overwhelmed. Rob and I have read to our children since before they were born. We spend lots of time with them, playing inside and out, teaching them the basics and asking them questions to encourage them to think. But I feel like J.T.'s problems at school must be my fault.... even though I hate the way they structure school now (worksheets, worksheets, worksheets) and I feel that is part of the reason he has trouble staying focused. Who wants to spend all day doing worksheets?!

J.T. is a daydreamer. He can spend hours imagining stories and events and creating whole new worlds for himself. He thinks about things, asks good questions and is very, very bright... yet the simple task of completing a worksheet from start to finish is nearly impossible for him. I don't know what to do! I don't want to quash his creativity, but I don't want his self-esteem to falter because the other kids get it and he doesn't. ARGGGGHHHHHH! Right now, I just want to curl up in a ball and let the world scream on by without me for a few hours. Or maybe I should have Rob go get that wine?


bluemountainsmary said...

No one can understand your son like you do. I remember when Joe (now 8) was 6 or so and the school asked me to take him to an occupational therapist because they felt he was really behind in his motor skills. Of course he flew through all the tests and this was all because he had done a drawing of his soft toy's bedroom and because it was from his imagination it did not make sense to the teachers. When I got the results I went to his teacher and just said please let him have his imagination - it will be dulled soon enough. Oh I feel so strongly about this. It may be that he is plain bored with the tasks he is being set. Anyway you sound like wonderful parents and i am glad you stopped by.

Aunty Evil said...

Well, I was going to try to make some comment of reassurance and support. But I didn't know what to say. I have no experience to draw on when it comes to raising kids.

But then I read Blue Mountains Mary's comment, and realised she said it all for me, based on her experience.

My brother was hopeless at school. Where his sisters always got As & Bs, he got Ds & Fs. He just didn't "get" the studying part.

But boy oh boy, was he good with mechanical things! He could pull a car engine down and rebuild it in no time. And that's where he has always excelled, to this day, mechanically. He is now top of his trade and earning very good money.

School is very structured. It has to be, and is designed for the "average" kid. But what happens when there is a kid that has some quirk or talent that prevents them from being average?

I don't have the answer to that. And for someone who had nothing to say, this reply has gone on a long time. :)

Good luck with your boy Melinda.

crafty said...

I understand what you mean about the worksheet thing. They just don't suit some kids. We seem to get an awful lot of worksheets too, and they always come home unfinished.

The handwriting? You should see my brother-in-law's writing, and he can't spell to save himself, yet I think he was dux of his school, and went through university with flying colours and a scholarship.

Fairlie said...

I've been doing the rounds of various girls' schools with a view to my oldest daughter's high school education (I'm getting organised early!)and one comment which several of the schools have made, is that the school system in general is set up to suit girls and their learning style, rather than boys. Which I think is spot on. Most girls like to sit quietly and do ordered worksheets...for many boys this is their idea of hell.

It sounds like you are doing an amazing job of educating your son and encouraging his interests and creativity. Sometimes it takes a while for kids to find their niche in the school system and flourish. Don't be discouraged!

Sussanah said...

Imagination and self esteem will get you far in life. Just because he doesn't fit into the neat box does not diminish his potential. Give him some time and if in doubt I heartily recommend having him checked out by professionals. The best thing I ever did was have an Occupational Therapist check Declan.

tracey petersen said...

school is one small part of a person's life. It does not sum you up as a person, you cannot be described by your achievements at school. School is a narrow band of experience. Life happens outside of school hours.

We send our children to school after the world has been around the sun six times since their birth - why is that the best time to learn? Who said that is the day to begin? He'll be ready when it is right for him. The best you can do is make him feel so good about it that he doesn't even notice what other kids are doing. (generally only the parents notice this in the first two years of school)

caramaena said...

Heh, what they said!

Stomper Girl said...

My Climber is a bit the same. When I help out in class I feel the same frustration because he vagues out or starts embellishing his writing instead of completing the activity. But I just let him be. He's doing fine, JT will do fine. He needs to do it his way and you just gotta hope for teachers who can draw out the best in their little people.

Melinda said...

Thank you for the encouragement. I know he is bright.... sometimes he says and does things that amaze me.... and I guess that is what frustrates me most.... that school systems impose their definition of intelligent (a very narrow definition) on the kids so early. My brother struggled (his birth mother had a drug problem and he had learning disabilities), but my mother hung in there and supported him. He is now a superviser at the telephone company and is very talented with mechanics. He is also very artistic. I think he's brilliant.... even though the school's wanted to label him as not even average. I want my children to be able to do things, think outside the box, not regurgitate facts on a test. Thanks again everyone.

precious pink pumps said...

Your son sounds so much like mine! Even similar ages...Lucio turns 7 in October. Lucio is a great kid, intent on doing the right thing, pleasing others, worrying if they are ok etc...his fav things to do are create his own imaginary worlds through his writing. He loves to create his own stories with elaborate illustrations. How precious is that? How creative is the average adult? Love all the great things about him, encourage the parts that aren't perfect and you wait, I bet he grows up to be a sensational man. x

M said...

My 7yo boy sounds a little like yours. He does well in most aspects of school but he has terrible trouble with handwriting. It hurts him. He hates worksheets or anything which requires him to write.

He's been to OT. Thing is he can't write but he's a gun at lego which is also fine-motor. He writes with his left hand (because he had to choose one) but is otherwise ambi-dextrous. I wonder whether he just hasn't developed a true "handedness" yet.

One teacher told me to teach him to type because it will give him an outlet to express himself in writing.

Best wishes, M

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