In our family...

In our family....we do second chances...we do grace...we do real...we do mistakes...we do I'm sorry (and I forgive you)...we do loud really well...we do hugs...we do family...we do love.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Writing his name

First of all, thank you for your kind supportive words to my last post. It’s an uncomfortable subject that I try to hide from but am learning that breaking the silence takes away it’s power. Both my daughter and I appreciate every kind word you sent us.

The most recent topic at our house is school…whether to send or not send to school. 

 Little man turned 5 this past May, which means he can start Kindergarten when school starts here, September 7th. We were not sure about sending him. Last year he had some struggles with small motor abilities such as holding a pencil correctly and having control over a scissors. His lack of interest combined with wanting to just play made us wonder if he is ready.

The other playing factor is that his sister is right behind him and holding him back would mean holding her back. She is not struggling with any of the issues her brother has and add to that her interest in these things and you have a whole different child. Because her birthday is in August, it could be that she may have the other issue of being emotionally immature to start a month later. I am not going to count on that though as she may very well be ready.

The last thing we want to do is push him to do something he is not ready for, just so his sister can start school next year.  I want him to like learning and not be turned off by it because his first experiences with structured learning are negative. Just as I don’t want to not send her if she is ready to go.

So we gave it the summer and decided we would visit this issue come mid-August. Or is this called procrastination?

Up until he went to preschool last year, he had no interest whatsoever in things to do with writing, coloring, cutting…ect. If I tried to make him, we would have a battle of wills. One or both of us would end up crying. So I stopped pushing it. And I just let him play.

When we went to his screening last September they told me that he did very poorly and would likely end up in special education. Now I have nothing against special education but I doubted that this is what he would need. I explained his lack of interest but also told them I wasn’t concerned because after all he was just 4 and given the opportunity to learn it, this little boy was smart and would learn it when he was ready. I don’t think they were very happy with me.

We came back home and I let him just play and I had a good cry. I was not going to fight with a 4 year old over something I know he will eventually learn.

I have provided endless amounts of blank paper, crayons, markers, pencils, paints, play dough, scissors, and the likes for the little’s to create with. I have printed out many a worksheets that encourage writing and all kinds of learning for all the little ones in this house. He being the oldest has little interest while the other 2 enjoy it and do rather well with it all.

I imagine how this must make him feel.

Last fall when he started attending Kindergarten readiness he began to show some interest but he still struggled. The poor little guy has worked very hard and experienced much frustration in attempting to use a pencil to write his name. His most favorite part of going was riding the bus and talking to everyone.

Of course it was, three of his favorite things are vehicles, talking and people. :)

The thing is, he is smart. He knows how to spell his name. He knows how to count, the abc’s, colors and shapes. He is very smart about many things because he is a great observer and has learned a lot by doing things hands on. Most important,(to me)is his kindness, politeness, sweetness, being very helpful, respectful and loving.

I have yet to meet a child that is his age that can carry on a conversation in person or on the phone as well as he does. Ask him to do a list of 5 chores and with a smile on his face he will do every single one, come back and ask if he can do something more for you.

Yet, he struggles to hold a pencil and write his name.

Since mid-August has come and after consulting with both my sister & daughter who are teachers and talking to 3 different people at the school, we have decided to send him.

He was very excited about going until he learned that I will not be going with him. My boy is so sweet to love me so.

I will have the next couple of weeks to prepare him and myself.

Am I still concerned? Yes, but I realize it might be because I am so protective of him and just want to make the right decision.

Is he truly ready? I hope so. We will soon see.

I know that if he’s really not ready it will show and we can always hold him back.

I know I keep saying this  but never in a thousand years did I think I would be preparing another child for school. Ever.

I’ve just realized that by the time little man & little lady graduate I will be in my early 60’s. Why do I feel like panicking right now?

Have you ever held back one of your children? To those of you in the field of education, do you have any advice for us? Have any of you ever struggled over the decision of whether to send or not send?

I know many of your schools are already started or starting this week. I hope your kids/grandkids have a wonderful year of learning.

Until next time, love & hugs, Lori



Buckeroomama said...

Here in HK, there is (great) pressure to send the kids in early. At 2 years and 8 months, you could already start kindergarten! That said, it's not compulsory (not until 1st grade - at 5yo).

There'a very good book called Raising Boys (by Stephen Biddulph) where he says that with boys, it's okay to hold them back a year (and let them be one of the older kids in the class), because they don't mature as fast as girls and it's good for their self-esteem. Something like that. I'm probably not saying it well enough...but that's the gist of it.

I hope your little man will have a great teacher. A good teacher makes all the difference. :)

SciFi Dad said...

You already know this, but you're always going to be concerned about your kids, it's only natural.

I think you did the right thing by sending him. It will send the signal that you believe in him, that he CAN do this. It may be a challenge at first, but he will figure it out, if for no other reason than the support he has at home.

mommytoalot said...

Those are a lot of concerns you have ,however i feel school will help him.
My little guy also has many many issues and just finished a year in a special school where he received OT, PT and speech. Now sending him off to mainstream has me worried.
I think your little man will love school...
I agree with Buckeroomama when she says " a good teacher will make all the difference"
good luck little guy.

Jeannie said...

My brother had little interest in academics until my father chose a college course for him and made him go. My father chose wisely - my brother is quite successful in his career and remains there still, has taught college courses and turned down promotions to remain in a place he enjoys.

My oldest struggled mightily with writing skills. To be blunt - at 28, his writing still looks like that of a 6 year old. BUT he's a genius on the computer and can type at about 90 wpm. He had also shown little interest in academics. But he has audited university courses and run circles around professors.

To many, "smart" means "academically smart". There are other kinds of smart - they aren't usually measured in school which I think is a shame. There are people smarts. There are street smarts. There are mechanical smarts. There are physical smarts. There are animal smarts. There are business smarts. It goes on and on. Don't let the teachers see only one. And certainly don't let your son think for a second that it is the only one that counts.

Anonymous said...

In hindsight, there's SO much I'd have done differently in regards to the education of my kids - well, at least my boys.

I'd have homeschooled Oldest Son, who loathed every minute of every day of school; he had a doubly hard time of it because he was so very, very smart and easily bored, on top of being painfully shy and just not they type of person who is comfortable in large groups of people. He eventually dropped out, and I firmly believe being homeschooled would have prevented that (he eventually got his GED and has now started college classes at the local community college).

The Young One had all sorts of developmental issues at a toddler and small child, but we didn't hold him back - looking back on it, we think we should have. He needed a great deal of intervention between the first and third grades and we were very fortunate to have him in a public school that was prepared and willing to provide that intervention. Now, as a sophomore in high school, you'd never know he ever had a problem at all.

I really agree with what SciFi Dad said - sending him is a sign that you have confidence in his ability to handle it. And he may very well surprise you.


Busy Bee Suz said...

I wish I had some advice, but I don't have any for you.
I think you have researched and got advice from did the right thing. If it does not work out, then there is always next least you tried.

I hope he does well and learns to love school. He is such a sweet boy, I have a feeling his teachers will LOVE him!

Together We Save said...

I held my daughter with an August birthday out (she was very ready but I just figured later it would help) and my youngest daughter July birthday. When my oldest started school I feared she would be older than most kids, not at all many of them had been 6 for some time.

Now she is 18 and a senior, I am so glad I have this last year with her home and not in college. I think it was the best decision.

Brian Miller said...

my boys did well concerned as i was for my little getting on that bus and finding his way, he did well...and school i think will be a great way to get him out his social shell a bit...they will be alright...smiles.

The Incredible Woody said...

Those types of decisions are ones I'm glad to not have to make. But you will be in my prayers and I'm sure whatever your decision it will be the right one:)

Louise said...

I have 3 children, first 2 are girls, and after a 10 year span, a boy. I struggled with the same feelings you have. I decided to go ahead and send him. I have wished a thousand times that I had waited another year. In the 6th grade we found out that he had ADHD. I didn't think we would ever get him out of high school, yet he has an IQ over 130. If see the slightest response, hold him back in the first year or two. I'll be thinking of you.

blueviolet said...

I very much struggled with whether or not to send my son to K. He was only about a week into age 5 when school started.The preschool teacher told me that from an educational standpoint he would be fine, but from a socialization perspective, he was not ready.

That was such a hard decision to make. Ultimately, we decided to send him because we thought the socialization would develop from being in a situation requiring it all day.

Now, I'll be honest. I don't think he really evened out with his peers until high school. He did just fine with grades and such, but he was such a shy guy. Although one year probably wouldn't have made much of a difference.

Colleen: said...

Praying for you as you make your decision Lori! It sounds like there is so much to factor in and I'm afraid I have no advice. He sounds like a loving, happy, and healthy child though and that is hugely important.
Good luck in this!