UCB Parents Advice about School

Kids Who Hate School

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Feb 1999

I'm looking for advice re: my 7 1/2 yr old son and his school experience. He's in 1st grade, and has begun saying "do I have to go to school?" His teacher says that he daydreams and doesn't engage in discussions. He says the days are too long, and he doesn't have enough play time. He can read very well (started reading in Jan. of last year - reads chapter books to himself nightly, etc), and is fascinated by history, geography, astronomy, etc... He is in a class of 34, so I looked into a smaller school, with smaller class size...I just don't want to go through a big school change (we have another child at his school who is doing fine) if it is unnecessary. We chose this school for specific reasons, and it is hard to imagine pulling him if really its just that he wants to play all day - any school is going to have a set 8-3ish day, after all. Anyone with experience with a bright, happy, child who failed to thrive at school? I'd love any comments, suggestions, etc... Thanks.


from: Kay (3/99)

My biggest fear has been having my son be bored or not want to go to school. I spent my youth not liking school because of the method of instruction (rote memorization) and I didn't want Sterling to experience that mind numbing method. I also spent a lot of time day dreaming in school so I can empathize with your son. My 8 yr old son is in 3rd grade at Berkwood Hedge here in Berkeley. It's a private school and classes are 20 kids in size. The teacher also has an assistant so it lowers the teacher/child ratio even more. They teach similar to the Montessori methos--the class learns about a particular subject but they learn from all the disciplines (math, writing, reading, speaking, etc.) This year they have studied whales and heroes. Sterling wrote a paper on Ghandi. It wasn't a huge paper, only about a paragraph but he researched it himself and then wrote it. I was so proud of him. Boy, I would have loved to have gone to such a school as a kid--learning whole topics instead of having "subjects" to learn sterile facts about. Maybe your son is bright and finds school boring so needs more of a challenge--or a different style of teaching.


From: Suz (3/99)

It might be worth ruling out a mild hearing loss. A lot of kids with mild- moderate hearing losses go undiagnosed, and it can definitely affect school performance.


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