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7 y.o. says he is bored at school


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#1 glowlight

Posted 15 March 2019 - 03:12 PM

I asked my son the usual "how was your day" and he told me finds school boring and that he knows all the answers. He said he wants to learn new things. I found that intersting because recently I had a chat with one of the parents and she felt the school/teacher were doing nothing for the more advaned group that my son is also in. He is always the type of kid to fly under the radar and was never sent to extension classes like the other kids in that group. Some went to gateways and advanced reading groups last uear. He got Bs and Cs (reaching standard) in his report last year which surprised me a bit. A few of his friends left or a leaving to go to private schools for the exact same reasons. What are my options? How do I promote his learning? I have a parent teacher interview in 2 weeks so I will ask about it but just wondering if this will be the general school culture and we need to rethink school choice. He had the same teacher for K and 1 and now has a new teacher in Y2. Thankn you for your advice.

#2 Octopodes

Posted 15 March 2019 - 03:38 PM

I would make an appointment to see a psychologist. We had similar issues with DS last year. A cognitive assessment was performed and a formal diagnosis of giftedness was given. The formal recognition and recommendations kicked the school into gear to make sure DS's giftedness is being appropriately targetted. Things are much better this year, so far.

The other bonus of seeing a psychologist is that they can rule out if it is something else which may be causing the boredom, concentration issues etc

#3 eachschoolholidays

Posted 15 March 2019 - 03:47 PM

View PostOctopodes, on 15 March 2019 - 03:38 PM, said:

I would make an appointment to see a psychologist. We had similar issues with DS last year. A cognitive assessment was performed and a formal diagnosis of giftedness was given. The formal recognition and recommendations kicked the school into gear to make sure DS's giftedness is being appropriately targetted. Things are much better this year, so far.

The other bonus of seeing a psychologist is that they can rule out if it is something else which may be causing the boredom, concentration issues etc

This is exactly what happened with us. The diagnosis requires teachers to adjust, extent etc

He also has a teacher who is working with him eg getting him to help other kids, giving him a different task to work on, sending him to extension maths lessons etc

While all teachers have to make adjustments for students who have been formally identified as gifted, some are better at it than others.

#4 glowlight

Posted 15 March 2019 - 05:08 PM

I should add, he was assessed by a psychologist last year becasue he wasn't paying attention in class. He's not gifted but bright (didn't do an IQ test as such but did a lot if aspects of it, my bestie is an educationa psychologist). DS's friend left our school in kindy because he is actually gisted and school refused to do anything abbout it even when his mum said she will pay for his extension so I doubt we'd get anywhere.

#5 RuntotheRiver

Posted 16 March 2019 - 01:10 PM

Teachers at our school create ILP’s for children who need extension. My DD got one in reading /writing, was measuring 1.5 years ahead in reports.

It wasn’t a difficult thing to organise, just a form laying out her goals and a 10 minute conversation. Teacher approached me first, halfway through term 1.

I’d ask for one and mention he seems like needing more of a challenge with his learning.

#6 Threelittleducks

Posted 16 March 2019 - 01:24 PM

I'm surprised the classroom teacher doesn't accommodate this. I would have a chat, perhaps as your son got B and Cs last year he has been flagged as meeting expectations and not one who needs extending.

At our school, the kids that need extending in Year 2 are done very subtly. E.g. my DS is one of four children who get advanced spelling words, advanced home readers for homework, extra maths worksheets in class. I don't even know who the other children are and the teacher makes a point of extending children very tactfully. I actually didn't realise he was being extended until the teacher told me at PT meetings, as DS hadn't realised himself.

It goes the other way too, there are a small number of children who are doing easier spelling words etc as they are still consolidating their learning.

I don't think you should have to go to the expense and trouble of being labelled as gifted to be extended in the classroom. We certainly haven't had to do that.

Hopefully a parent teacher meeting can sort this out for you. Good Luck.

#7 lulu85

Posted 16 March 2019 - 02:09 PM

DD was like this in year 2. She had great teachers in kindy and year 1 who extended well within the class. She had all A’s and B’s in her year 1 report. Her year 2 teacher was a dud and she started expressing her boredom. I raised it with her teacher more than once and he gave lots of promises about extension that never really evehtuated.At the sane time, the school had significant upheaval at leadership level (principal ousted amid bullying allegations) so I figured we weren’t going to get anywhere escalating as they had bigger issues to deal with. The general reputation of the school is that it is a happy, child focussed, artsy environment that doesn’t cater well for advanced students. We loved the school community but it was a lottery whether you got a teacher who was good at in class extension and there was no out of class extension.  

We waited out the year and have now moved her to another school. I wish I had done it sooner. She now comes home and is excited to talk about what she has learned. I can see she is being challenged and is loving it. We went from public to private but I firmly believe it is the individual school ethos that is most important.

#8 Bearynice

Posted 16 March 2019 - 02:27 PM

We have two very bright boys. They mentioned to me that some things were boring.
I put the question to them about it, what did they think we should do?
They had the idea of them chatting to the teacher. So they both did and have been giving some more challenging stuff to do
I said I was happy to chat to the teacher if they wanted but the year both seemed ok about asking teacher directly

I must add that both teachers were aware of mum boys capabilities, so it wasn’t like they were flying under the radar

Last year the school just sent them to higher grades for extension and created a couple of learning groups to extend the kids doing well in areas

#9 RuntotheRiver

Posted 16 March 2019 - 03:03 PM

I agree with Three Little Ducks, they don’t need to be assessed as soon as they are bored.



#10 Kreme

Posted 16 March 2019 - 05:02 PM

Yes, speak to the teacher. But it’s possible you will find that the school isn’t particularly interested in extending kids, especially those who are hiding their light under a bushel. If that’s the case, look elsewhere. It doesn’t have to be a private school. We moved our kids to a different public school and the difference has been phenomenal. Another friend went private and her DD is still having the same problems, only now she is paying for the privilege.

#11 Charli73

Posted 16 March 2019 - 05:32 PM

My son has ASD and got thrown out of school because one of his triggers was being bored. Turns out my DS was gifted and his school wasn’t giving him any extension hence the meltdowns..

We’ve now changed schools and DS is in grade 2 but doing grade 5 maths after a cognitive assessment the school did including an IQ score which they needed before they understood the level of work he required.

I would get a test done otherwise they may not take action..

#12 Prancer is coming

Posted 16 March 2019 - 05:55 PM

I think teachers deal with a lot of parents who think their kids are smart, but I figure they need evidence to extend.  So if your kid is not excelling in assessmentsor general work, they may keep things as is.  Unless the school just can’t be bothered.  But I figure they want to cater for advanced students as it helps to lift their NAPLAN results which are publicly available, as well as wanting to keep these kids in the school.

I have a kid thst meets the school’s definition of gifted ness, but also has a learning disability, ADHD and low working memory.  So often his performance on assessment is hit and miss and it still can be hard getting him in extension programs.  Without the psych assessment and support teacher in the background, I would have no chance!  He was starting to get Ds before the assessment, now is back to Bs.  And not sure if you are aware of how the school grades now, but As are pretty hard to get.

I have another child who has not been tested.  She performs really well on asesessments and all in all, extension opportunities have been pretty good, so no need to test.

Edited by Prancer is coming, 16 March 2019 - 05:56 PM.


#13 Crazyone26989

Posted 16 March 2019 - 06:35 PM

Speak with the teacher. It might be as simple as they have the intention but have been busy; it’s not ideal but it happens.

I know it’s really hard for me to cater to high achieving and gifted kids when the school is (rightly so) insisting on learning plans for the low students too. Out of 22 students I’d have around I’d have 3-4 students that are critically low (well over a year behind) and another 3-4 that are less behind. Then 3-4 students who should be extended. The teacher definitely needs to cater for your son but it is a juggling act!

#14 Charli73

Posted 16 March 2019 - 06:43 PM

View PostPrancer is coming, on 16 March 2019 - 05:55 PM, said:

I think teachers deal with a lot of parents who think their kids are smart, but I figure they need evidence to extend.  So if your kid is not excelling in assessmentsor general work, they may keep things as is.  Unless the school just can’t be bothered.  But I figure they want to cater for advanced students as it helps to lift their NAPLAN results which are publicly available, as well as wanting to keep these kids in the school.

I have a kid thst meets the school’s definition of gifted ness, but also has a learning disability, ADHD and low working memory.  So often his performance on assessment is hit and miss and it still can be hard getting him in extension programs.  Without the psych assessment and support teacher in the background, I would have no chance!  He was starting to get Ds before the assessment, now is back to Bs.  And not sure if you are aware of how the school grades now, but As are pretty hard to get.

I have another child who has not been tested.  She performs really well on asesessments and all in all, extension opportunities have been pretty good, so no need to test.

My DS has ADHD/ASD/ODD also but his old school chose to see him as a child with learning disabilities and never saw or catered for the child who needed to be extended, he was merely the kid that required too much effort.. it’s their loss!

His new school sees all of him, but he needed that assessment first. SO glad...

Edited by Charli73, 16 March 2019 - 06:45 PM.


#15 Sincerely

Posted 16 March 2019 - 07:15 PM

View Postglowlight, on 15 March 2019 - 05:08 PM, said:

I should add, he was assessed by a psychologist last year becasue he wasn't paying attention in class. He's not gifted but bright (didn't do an IQ test as such but did a lot if aspects of it, my bestie is an educationa psychologist). DS's friend left our school in kindy because he is actually gisted and school refused to do anything abbout it even when his mum said she will pay for his extension so I doubt we'd get anywhere.

I'm not sure how anyone can conclude that a child is bright but not gifted without an IQ test. I'd agree with the 'bright' conclusion, but not with the 'not gifted'.

In our experience, extension was often not provided in primary and seldom provided appropriately. I think the most significant aspect of having my DS recognised as gifted was that very few of his teachers forced him to do work on anything which he had already mastered, so he could come up with his own ideas to extend himself (eg. multiplication exercises using binary, research & a Powerpoint presentation on a topic of his choice). He rarely complained that he was bored as he always found things to amuse & challenge himself.

#16 Chaotic Pogo

Posted 16 March 2019 - 08:29 PM

View Postglowlight, on 15 March 2019 - 05:08 PM, said:

). DS's friend left our school in kindy because he is actually gisted and school refused to do anything abbout it even when his mum said she will pay for his extension so I doubt we'd get anywhere.

There is your answer. You’ve nothing to lose by speaking with the teacher though.

#17 RuntotheRiver

Posted 16 March 2019 - 09:07 PM

Does Op’s Child have ADHD, ASD or any issues though? They weren’t mentioned in her post.

Teachers absolutely can extend students without them having done an IQ test!  

Having a conversation with the teacher would give you the opportunity to see what they have noticed in class and go from there.

If they are anti- extension an IQ test result won’t necessarily change that anyway.

Schools in our area are moving toward students having independent goals because many students are at different places with their learning.

#18 Future-self

Posted 16 March 2019 - 10:16 PM

I think you’re getting ahead of yourself and worrying about a problem you don’t even know that you have.

Why wouldn’t your first port of call to be ti talk to his teacher? Worrying because of an anecdotes about people leaving 3 years ago in kindy because the school could t meet a child’s needs is meaningless. As is an assessment by a psychologist that wasn’t a complete or formal assessment. That isn’t really a benchmark or useful information for you or the teacher.

Kids disengage for all sorts of reasons. Some temporary.
Talk to the person actually teaching him first to see if this is even a thing

#19 Orangecake

Posted 17 March 2019 - 11:44 AM

Agree with everyone else about talking to the teacher and getting their observations. At this time of the school year with a new teacher they are still getting to know each other.

I would avoid focussing on boredom or gifted for now and focus on your DS's engagement and your concern that he is not as engaged as he should be.  

As for cognitive testing for bright kids, its going to depend on your child. If they are a good student and happy with additional worksheets and have peers within the same class/grade, then this will be easier to accomodate than a child that needs a completely different approach or work that is many years ahead in order to be engaged in learning.

Our DS is also 7 and we completed testing last year including a class observation from educational psych. This identified him as in gifted range but more importantly gave us some great information about learning styles, approaches etc. He presented as a kid that has lots of interests and hobbies, but zero interest in schoolwork, though gets solid grades. Like PP, his engagement has improved a lot with additional projects that he can work on when his school work is completed, and also changed teacher perception that he needs to learn work over and over to become proficient.




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