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7 yr old - may need extension at school? Not sure how to approach.


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#1 Pebbles2424

Posted 20 August 2019 - 08:12 PM

Looking for some thoughts and advice for those wiser and more experienced than me!

I have a 7 yr old son in Year 1 (QLD, local catholic school). He is a very very bright kid - always has been - super curious, intelligent, perceptive and has been this way from a young age. He is a July born baby so at the older end of his year in QLD. His reading is (from what i can tell) very advanced and he is now bringing home rchapter book type readers marked as year 3 level in the cover of the book which he is finishing easily in one sitting. His teacher has recognised this in report cards/parent teacher meetings earlier in the year.

Recently he has seemed to become disengaged with school. He complains that he finds the work easy and boring, and tonight said he often doesnt bother putting his hand up in class anymore to answer questions because he "already knows the answer so doesnt bother". I encourage him every day to engage anyway, be involved, that he needs to show effort etc even if he does know the answer. But im not sure this is enough.

I dont want to be the parent who bugs the teacher - i try my best to trust the teacher is doing her job, so i rarely get involved or question things and just try to do what i can to extend him at home. I also know teachers are very under the pump and under alot of pressure to balance the needs of all the kids in the class.But i am starting to see he is disengaging and bored and unhappy at the end of each day, so im wondering what to do. Im thinking of approaching the teacher for a chat about it all but im wondering how to approach it with her ie what to say without sounding like i think my son is superior to everyone else (because thats certainly not the case!)?

Would love any advice - thanks.

#2 flowermama

Posted 20 August 2019 - 08:28 PM

DD2 is also at a Catholic primary school in Queensland. We had similar issues last year when she was in Year 1 which luckily her teacher was aware of. The teacher organised off-level PAT testing, which placed her reading and comprehension ability at that of a Year 4 student. Based on this, the school organised for the Catholic Education inclusion person to review her work. We were then given the options of Year level acceleration or in-class extension (which is what we chose). She’s much happier now, although really it’s still not as much extension as she needs. I’d suggest talking to the teacher about your concerns - you’re not being ‘that’ parent, you’re advocating for your child when they’re not getting what they need. You could also consider testing for giftedness and then taking the results to the school, it is expensive though. Feel free to PM me if you want any more information or need names for testing/advocacy.

#3 Fossy

Posted 20 August 2019 - 08:48 PM

We had similar issues with our 5yo (foundation) And 9yo (year3) kids, their work was also received by someone from the catholic education department.  Both kids were very advanced in numeracy so are doing extension with the numeracy coordinator 4 times a week.  The 5yo was also enrolled in gateways program for some extra stimulation, which she is loving.

Perhaps ask the teacher for extra programs they could participate in such a gateways, maths challenge or they also suggested music lessons which will start next term.

Don’t be afraid to talk to the teacher. I was very reluctant but the teacher assured me they were already aware of their strengths and weaknesses and were putting plans into place.

#4 tenar

Posted 20 August 2019 - 09:08 PM

Talk to the teacher.

Tell the teachers he is complaining of boredom and seems unhappy at school.

It's really important for bright kids (like all kids) to be challenged appropriately at school.  If they don't have the experience of learning how to surmount a challenge, they will have loads of trouble later on, when they reach their "level" and things actually get hard for them, but they don't have the coping skills to work out what do you do when things are hard.  They need the experience of trying something, failing, trying again, etc.

I have asked, nicely and repeatedly for my DD1s teachers to challenge her with work at school, explaining her need for something that will stretch her.  They certainly try, and succeed to varying degrees.  For example, it's easy for a primary school to source books written for older readers in more difficult language.

Ask for your child to be put in a class, in future years, with other children who are bright and who can challenge him.  This will help him and make life easier for the teacher as well.

Look into sideways extension for him, maybe done at home.  That's why we started DD on piano aged 4: it's intellectually challenging and she can do it at her own pace, so the challenge can be suited to where she's at.  Also she loves it.  Maybe you can find something that your DS will love.

Good luck.

Edited by tenar, 20 August 2019 - 10:02 PM.


#5 Pebbles2424

Posted 20 August 2019 - 09:55 PM

Thanks all for your replies, its reassured me and i will email his teacher tomorrow to arrange a meeting. Hopefully she is receptive!

#6 Sincerely

Posted 20 August 2019 - 10:18 PM

View PostPebbles2424, on 20 August 2019 - 08:12 PM, said:

Looking for some thoughts and advice for those wiser and more experienced than me!

I have a 7 yr old son in Year 1 (QLD, local catholic school). He is a very very bright kid - always has been - super curious, intelligent, perceptive and has been this way from a young age. He is a July born baby so at the older end of his year in QLD. His reading is (from what i can tell) very advanced and he is now bringing home rchapter book type readers marked as year 3 level in the cover of the book which he is finishing easily in one sitting. His teacher has recognised this in report cards/parent teacher meetings earlier in the year.
-------
I also know teachers are very under the pump and under alot of pressure to balance the needs of all the kids in the class.But i am starting to see he is disengaging and bored and unhappy at the end of each day.

IME, it's rare for a primary school teacher to cater beyond two years ahead. Many of DS's teachers just gave him time on the classroom computers for self directed learning. Some of them kept him task focused by setting him the task of presenting a PowerPoint to the rest of the class. This seemed a good approach. He's never complained of boredom & has become a consummate self directed learner.

#7 niban

Posted 21 August 2019 - 06:14 AM

As others said, talk to the teacher.

We have a middle of the year baby too who was amongst the oldest in his year and was very advanced especially in maths in FYOS.  We happened to move countries and pushed to move him into the year ahead - but that was because socially (he has a far older brother and is 'mature' for his age), physically and emotionally as well as academically we'd feel he'd fit in with that year.  It's worked out really well - though he's the youngest in the year we've been 'lucky' too in that all his classes there's been multiple March-born boys (normal here, in Sydney where we were before there's a tendency to hold back boys born in the early months of the year so he would have been the youngest by miles) so there's no huge age gap. When we moved some of the kids had been at school 2 1/2 years instead of his 1 year and with things like writing he has worked really hard to 'catch up', he has been engaged and challenged (now in year 4 he is in a combined class with year 5 and doing maths at that level/beyond) which is great - I do think he'd be bored in the year below.

Because he's middle of the year, in out of school sports and activities he is often in groups with the year below - one of his soccer friends is a June baby, who is about to move school - he had got disengaged and socially was finding it hard with the younger kids and the school was sadly unresponsive and helpful.   Other middle of the year kids are thriving in the year below - it so depends on the kid, and academics is only one part of it.

Edited by niban, 21 August 2019 - 06:25 AM.





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