My grandson is 5 years old and over 4 feet tall. He weighs 76 pounds and is not fat. He’s a big boy with a 5 year old rapidly developing brain. He’s as tall as most kids 2-3 years older than him and at first glance; everyone thinks he acts like a “5 year old” instead of his supposed age. Many of the children in his kindergarten class are a year older and at this stage of development, that is considerable. Recognizing his future starting school, I advised him to explain to his teacher on the first day, “I am easily distracted, so I would like to be placed on the front row.”
I also explained that school can be a lot of fun if a student zips their mouth, opens their eyes and ears, and does their homework. All the actions and philosophy I described are repeated on a regular basis. On his first day of school he got a yellow mark for disrupting the class by talking. Now months into the school year, he battles with this same problem of talking or standing up or some such problem due mostly to his age and the fact that – gasp! He’s a boy and a hands-on child to boot. He likes to handle everything and this is not uncommon..
When he came in with the yellow mark after day one, I asked if he had explained to his teacher his issue of being distracted and he said he had. I asked what their reply was and he told me, “She said I was too tall and moved me to the back of the room.” Now months later he is still anywhere but where he asked to be seated and it is a 50-50 chance he will score below the acceptable green mark on behavior.
Now I am the oldest of 4 boys and there is nothing in his behavior that is outside of normality for a kid his age. He is active yes and will never be the kid that sits quietly for hours and does nothing to be noticed. The teacher did my grandson, herself, and every kid in the class a disservice by not listening to him on day one.
Now some may point out that a kid’s behavior is directly proportional to the teaching they get at home and years ago before experience taught me otherwise, I would agree with them. Ask any cop of preacher if their daughter or son is a bastion of righteous decisions and they’ll spew coffee, soda, or water all over you when they explode in laughter.
I’m not a doctor or therapist, but I think many of our boys are over-medicated to keep them from being boys and we refuse to think this child of ours needs help from pills. He has more energy than many and taking recess away from him because he won’t sit down in class is the direct opposite of what he needs.
Back in the day if a kid couldn’t sit still they would send them to the football coach and he would run the kid inside the gym for 10 minutes. The same went if fisticuffs broke out. The coach would have the boys put on boxing gloves and after that; they would become best of friends. These days the parents are fined a chunk of money and nothing is resolved. Its called zero tolerance and keeps liabilities at a minimum since no one is to blame for correcting the child.
When graduation from kindergarten finally arrives, my grandson will still be just 5 years old. Of course he will be 8 inches taller than the other kids when he begins 1st grade and it is my prayer that this teacher will listen to his request.
In the past I have made it clear that I am for empowering our educators and bringing back a certain amount of curriculum control aside from State and Federal dictates. I have not changed this one bit, but like the football coach of old, I would rather see these high activity kids do exercise than be herded like cats or some pat formula cover all students alike.