Wednesday, September 15, 2010

School Begins. Boys Struggle. Parents Want Help.

Now that school has started, I'm getting a steady stream of letters from parents of boys. Here's an excerpt from one:
My son started Kindergarten three weeks ago and all I can say is that I am SO grateful I had your book under my belt. To date the experience has been just awful. My happy and enthusiastic little learner is already showing signs of school-avoidance and stress just three weeks into beginning Kindergarten. That is not acceptable to me.
The writer goes on to describe a sad but familiar scene.

I've volunteered in the room and am shocked to see nearly exclusive "seat time" for the entire morning through to lunch, most often without a break for recess. It seems that on most days the teacher opts for "quiet time" in lieu of recess, where the children finish their highly structured academic work (which follows a lengthy circle time), select and quietly play on the floor with an activity of their choosing. But this "quiet activity" time is short, quiet, and allows for little movement. I'm pretty horrified, frankly.

Not surprisingly, most (all?) of the "behavioral problems" are boys. It is the boys who are admonished to not move, speak out of turn, and are sent to timeout (and our teacher, who has taught for decades, will classify my son's behavior for the entire morning as "poor" if he fidgets, or calls out of turn, or touches others).
Is this happening in your son's classroom?


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