Friday, November 12, 2010

My Son Likes Fart Noises

The other day I had a parent/teacher meeting at my son's nursery school- let me pretense this with the fact that my son is three. Now, I wasn't sure if I was going to send him to school this year because I felt like his place was home with me but I thought about it and decided that going two half days a week would be good for him. I wasn't sending him to learn academics, just to get to be around other kids and learn some social skills that can only be learned when with kids his age.

My son's teacher is very nice and does focus more on social skills in the kids then academic things but the school has mandatory assessments that they do. That seems a bit weird to me. I mean, these are three year olds. To me, they should be learning how to share and be kind to others. The teacher pulled out a bunch of papers of different assessments that my son did (writing his name- seriously?) and showed me how he did- basically, like many young children, my son has a short attention span and when he is put on the spot to do things he does the complete opposite. The teacher even said that the assessments can be off because the younger kids get distracted by the other kids playing around them or they are just not interested in what she wants them to do.

I really am somewhat regretting sending him to nursery school this year. Things have changed so much from when I was a kid. We just played in nursery school and if we learned while doing it then great. Now there is such a push for our children to learn that they miss out on just being a kid. What is is that kids are expected to do in Kindergarten? Basically the system is set up now so that is you just send your kid to Kindergarten with no pre-school then they will be far behind the other kids. This is really messed up to me. My three year old son "needs" to start to learn how to properly hold a pencil- what? What the heck do the Kindergarten teachers do now- teach algebra?

It was also brought up that my son has issues with personal space, he likes to sit very close to other kids. I have been working on this with him at home but it is a habit that he has and cannot be changed overnight. He knows that he shouldn't do it because I tell him that kids don't like it but then he doesn't understand why they don't like it because he likes to be near people. He loves to cuddle with my husband, daughter and I and is always sitting on my lap and giving hugs to us. His teacher said that he may have sensory issues and gave me a sheet with different exercises to do with him (like walking like a bear) and a sheet about sensory issues. I read through the sheets and they really make no sense to me. The only issue he has (though it is something that he needs to change) is that he stands too close to other kids- he doesn't have issues focusing or sitting still. It just seems like a far jump from not understanding personal space (again, he is normal in all other aspects of his behavior) to he has sensory issues (all of the teachers recently had a work shop on sensory issues so fill in the blank there). I feel like as a mom I would know if he had an issue because I have no pretenses about my kids. I know that they are not perfect and that they will have faults (but I will always love them unconditionally no matter what). If they have an issue I will do everything in my power to help them with it. To me, at this moment of my son being three, it just seems like a label is being thrown out there for some annoying behavior of his.

My choice to send my son to nursery school and then pre-school means that he is going to be assessed up to wazoo and that I am going to be that mom- the one who nods my head at the teacher but takes it all with a (huge) grain of salt and disregards much of what is said. Everyday I work with my son to teach him what behaviors are acceptable and I throw in some learning stuff too but I don't assess him. He is going to be assessed his whole life and right now he is still just a three year old who only recently learned how to poop and pee on the potty and thinks fart noises are just about the funniest thing on the planet (thank his dad for that). When he gets in real school I'll start listening more but right now he just needs to be a kid.


  1. I teach 2nd grade and I totally think this preschool is a bit crazy! I will send my son to preschool next year but I plan on observing a bunch of preschools and asking a ton of questions. He'll also be 3 when we put him in preschool (and currently does a preschool program at daycare) but formal assessments of a 3 year old are just ridiculous. Maybe you need to look at some other preschools available in the area.

  2. Yes, I really do think this school may have not been the best fit but my husband attended it when he was a child so I thought it would be fine. My mother in law said it was a gteat school but I guess a lot changes in 24 years! It is also one of the better schools in our area and is pretty expensive ($183 a month for two half days a week).

    I can't place all of the blame on the school though- I am sure there are many parents that like assessments because they want their kids to be super smart at the age of three. I on the other hand want my son to just be a little kid right now because that is what he is.

  3. I teach a 2 year old class and by Christmas half of my kids will have turned 3. We are what I called semi structured. I have a schedule of the things we do in a day. Do we always follow it-- nope-- they are toddlers. So some days we do what toddlers do. We watch bugs crawl on the playground, we sing, we dance and we play. Yes I teach them colors, shapes, numbers and social skills. But my main goal is to develop a love for school and let them act their age. In the long run most of my kids cry to come to school on there off days and some have even asked to come play at my house. Structure is great but can be extreme and to be honest kids will learn when they are ready and we all know you can't force a toddler to do anything they don't want to learn. I am not saying anything bad about the school it just may not fit his needs.