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Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Thing About Bear

Sooo, I've been struggling about what to do about Bear and his preschool. I've heard from his teacher and from other parents that he is a runner. He will leave the classroom and go explore down the hall or get up from the table and wonder around the classroom. They worry that he'll get hurt and that he could be a distraction for the other three year-olds.

The very first thing that anyone has to say about him is that he is a very sweet little boy. So, he's not like some of the other boys in his class who hit other kids or screams at the teacher or throws fits.

But yet, he has a hard time with doing what he should be doing.

It's a cooperative preschool, so all the parents take their turns helping, so everyone sees everyone else's kids and how they act in school.

It PISSES ME OFF that I have heard talk from other parents about how they don't think Adam should be there. I want to yell at them and say "Really? He shouldn't be there, but your brat who kicked the teacher 5 times today is okay?"

Today was my turn to volunteer in the classroom. And, while most kids would act differently when their parent is in the classroom, Bear is in his own little bubble and stuff like that does not phase him.

And what did I see? That he's a sweet little guy who offers to share toys and gives the girls hugs and kisses. That when they are doing an activity, he is fine. He will participate and do it. But, that he does not do well when one group is finished with an activity and has to wait at the table for the other group to get done. He gets up and finds a toy to play with and quietly plays with it. Or, if they are all told to go sit on the carpet and wait for the teacher to start circle time, he continues to play until she actually starts circle time.

I know that these are things that could distract the other kids who could easily wonder why they have to do what the teacher says while Bear does his own thing.

But, do I think that he is going to magically be able to learn to do these things if I pull him out of preschool? No.

And, while he is not the most vocal child in the world, he has made great strides. He's probably not going to volunteer an answer, but if you directly ask him a question and not the class at large, he will do his best to answer you.

Bear did leave the classroom 3 different times(where is the childproof doorknob cover????) and that worries me more than anything else. Of course I was paying special attention to where he was, so I retrieved him quickly, but when I'm not there, what if he manages to leave school? Supposedly, the outside door is locked where they can't get out, but I think if there is a way to get out, he would figure it out. And, he's fast.

That makes all the other issues pale in comparison.

So, what I decided to do is to contact his preschool teacher from last year and ask her if I can put Bear back in the 2 year-old class and have her evaluate how he is doing and if he should stay there or if he could handle the 3 year-old program at her school. That program is an academic-based program, so it has a shorter day with one activity after another, no real play time built in. I think he would do better there. And I'm fine with it if she suggests the 2 year-old program.

Why didn't I continue to send him there this year? Because the school where Bear and Monkey go now is in walking distance and is cheaper than that one. I had heard great things about it, so I thought I would try what was most convenient. And, for Monkey, it's great. He loves it and is doing a good job in school.

All of this stuff has given me a headache and a sick feeling in my stomach. I know, I know, it's only preschool. But, he's my Little Bear and I feel like I have to protect him.

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Blogger Chief said...

Pull him. It isn't supposed to be like this. It is supposed to be positive for everyone. This preschool is not good enough for you. I am being totally serious.

September 24, 2009 at 11:29 PM  
Blogger Poolside with the Girls said...

What bothers me is that they allow him to leave the classroom. They are supposed to be protecting him. He's 3. 3 year olds are escape artists. Why is this news to them?

I don't buy the whole, "he's might distract others"...let's just say that 3 year olds as a rule are easily distracted. Par for the course. This is how they prepare for REAL school. This is teaching them socialization skills and to follow rules. It takes time. They aren't preparing for SAT's for heaven's sake they are supposed to teach him how to stay put. Seems like they are falling down on the job.

So back to the teachers...why aren't they on him when he leaves the room? What's going on with that?

September 25, 2009 at 9:20 AM  
Blogger Shell said...

Thanks. You ladies made me feel better about this. I assume they eventually go after him, but I know they don't immediately go get him. And he's FAST. He could be down the hall, down the stairs, and out the door before they could get him unless they ran.

I'm trying to figure out what is "normal" for a preschooler, since my oldest has always acted at least 5 years older than he actually is. So, trying to use him as a benchmark for Bear isn't fair.

I'm pulling him. I need him to be safe.

September 25, 2009 at 3:45 PM  
Blogger Miche said...

Dang, I am really surprised your preschool teacher is already saying he isn't ready for the class; he sounds like a great kid to have in class, esp if she is putting up with tantrums and kicking from the other kids. It is only the begining of the school year, too, so he really should be given more time to get used to the rules and how things go. I'm so sorry you are having a hard time with the school :( Good luck!

September 25, 2009 at 4:43 PM  
Blogger Princess of Sarcasm said...

It may "only be preschool".....but it is "your BEAR!" Which makes it super important! Do you have a center that evaluates for developmental delays in your area? He might benefit from some simply occupational therapy. If he's not a behavior problem, the preschool should be happy to work with any issues he may have with the setting. Otherwise, they are not the right "setting" for him!! If he was successful in the other school...perhaps the new school is the problem!! The least you should be able to expect from a preschool is SAFETY! Sheesh people....seriously. Always go with your gut!!

September 29, 2009 at 11:14 AM  
Blogger Shell said...

He is starting back at the school he went to last year on Thursday. I feel so relieved. I know he will be safe and I know he will get attention. The boys in his class who are cRaZy get all the attention now. Who notices the sweet and quiet little boy playing with a toy on the floor when there are a pile of boys beating each other over the head?

I have had him evaluated, twice actually, but he does not have any significant delays...a big problem is that he has to follow in his big brother's footsteps and big bro started acting like he was 15 when he was 1.5, so it's not a fair comparison.

September 29, 2009 at 12:41 PM  

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