Learning through Teacher-Parent Meetings

The last week The Husband and I were privileged to be at our very first Teacher-Parent Meeting.  Fun stuff that.

My son is bright, smart, and funny.  Tornado E, like his mama, loves to talk and tell stories, which now the teachers ask if he’s telling a story or something that actually happened.  I can only imagine what he tells them.  He does well with counting, colors, but he’s still struggling with writing, which is why we’ve been practicing at home for the last several months.  He’s ready for kindergarten . . . academically.

Socially, it’s another story. Tornado E can’t figure out personal space.  He gets fidgety and then starts to poke, touch, lean on, mess with the person next to him.  He gets a tad too aggressive at play time.  He hasn’t hurt anyone, just annoys the heck out of the kids.  Except one.  A little girl with an older brother who won’t let Tornado E push her buttons.  Got to love that spirit.  Even Tornado E’s friends get a little annoyed with him.  I can’t say I blame them because I watch Tornado E snatch a toy from one of the kids after school to get him or her to chase him.  I have to intervene when the child gets upset when Tornado E can’t be caught.

The funny thing is when I’m there, Tornado E doesn’t act up.  He sits quietly during the circle time, keeping his hands to himself.  He doesn’t bother the other kids.  It’s another reason his teachers love me there to help.

At the meeting, the suggestion of keeping Tornado E out of kindergarten for a year was thrown around the table.  The teachers think he needs more social practice.  The Husband doesn’t want to push Tornado E.  He is a summer birthday after all.  But I think he would grow incredibly bored next year, since he’s ready academically, and become more of a problem.  Not only that, I can’t imagine dealing with an 18 year old senior in high school for the entire school year.

Our plan is to get more play dates for Tornado E.  The Husband took him to visit a friend who has a friend with kids the same age as Tornado E and Tornado S.  The men watched football, and the boys played together.  I’m trying to close the deal with several moms at school that I’ve been trying to be friends with outside the school yard.  We’re planning on getting Tornado E into some sport or class as soon as the next city programs are out, which means this time I can’t forget the dates . . . . um, again.  (Of course, the book is out the day after my due date, and the class sign up starts the week after.  It’s a cruel joke.)

Soooo, you think we’ve covered it?

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7 Responses to “Learning through Teacher-Parent Meetings”

  1. Lisa Says:

    My $.02….my oldest (22 now) is a summer birthday, and was more than ready academically. I felt he was so brilliant! I was so proud! Off he went to kindergarten, just a few days after turning 5. I didn’t regret it until about 5th grade, when the differences in his maturity level began to grow MUCH more apparent. Since most parents choose to hold their summer babies back a year, my son (who was a little guy to begin with) was a FULL YEAR YOUNGER than many of his classmates. And if you’re thinking Evan may want to play sports, this could also be a huge disadvantage in jr. high and high school, especially for boys.

  2. suzicate Says:

    My youngest had a late birthday. Starting school later was the best thing ever for us. He was a gifted student but socially immature. Having an 18 year old senior was no problem at all.

  3. Jane Says:

    Another $.02 – I struggled with a similar problem with my daughter when she was “graduating” from the Pre-K program at our school (It was a Pre-K – 12th college prep school). Without going into all the details (unless you want them – then just email me!) our school education psychologist gave me the best advice. She told me that she’s often had parents say to her “I wish I would have held my child back” but she’s NEVER had a parent say to her “I’m so glad I pushed my kid ahead.” And then I started noticing the difference in my students (I taught high school). The younger ones in the class? They were usually less eager, less ready, immaturity in all areas (especially the boys). The same psychologist told me that if, academically, my daughter was bored, that just opened up more time to explore sports or the arts or extra activities. Now – she’s 17. And next year, her senior year, she turns 18 after her first month of school. But she qualifies for dual enrollment at the local college – the best of both worlds, as far as I’m concerned. It’ll be a great transition year for her – a little bit of college, a little bit of high school – still having the benefit of school counselors who know her and still living at home before going out into the big wide world.

  4. Steel Magnolia Says:

    Perhaps you all have answered our questions about our children. Thanks!

  5. itneverrainsinseattle Says:


    I was a spring birthday, so I didn’t have quite the same issues you describe, but it turned out that I was more academically advanced than my peers. You know what? No matter what age your children are compared to their classroom (or team) peers, they are going to be in for some ribbing. There are going to be socially awkward situations no matter what you choose. And they will face bullies who are bigger than they are, whether in their classroom or at the lunch room or in the school gym.

    I was one of those kids you sometimes read about in the newspaper. I was twelve years old when I started taking college classes (higher level math). By the time I was fourteen, I applied to go to the University full time. The one man who had the choice as to whether my age should be a factor decided that it should. (He was also the father of a friend of mine in school, which may have complicated things.)

    He was wrong to block my application, I remain convinced to this day. I started doing other things on the university campus anyway — participating in the college newspaper, etc. I was fully four years younger than my peers, and none of them knew (until I told them) and none of them were bothered by this. Was I socially awkward? YES! Both at the University and at the high school. Such is life.

    Kids will be mean (or, nice, for that matter), and will pick on other kids (or be nice to them) for any reason they can find. Sports, likewise, should not (in my opinion) be a factor. I swam varsity. Age and size were never a factor.

    I strongly encourage you to allow your children to live up to their academic potential. They’ll catch up with their social potential as with all things — according to their abilities and their stages of development.

    Sorry if I sound a little more forceful on this than I might prefer; other things are on my mind right now, so my tact seems to be taking a hit. This is just one person’s opinion. It seems to me you’re doing the right thing by your boys. I hope my perspective can help you to know that some of us think you’re doing the right thing to allow Evan to move forward.

    Oh, and my boys are all summer birthdays. And we are not holding any of them back. Our oldest is the youngest on his competitive gymnastics team. He’s the smallest, and tends to not score as well as the others. But he’s doing great, and has a lot of promise ahead of him in gymnastics, if he decides to pursue that, as well. Not every kid needs to be a linebacker in order to be an athlete.

  6. wild4words Says:

    I’ve got to chime in too – but, as with all things, take this one as just one limited perspective. My oldest was academically ready for kindergarten at age 4, but of course the school district doesn’t allow for that. By the time he went at 5 (and he’s a November baby, so he was almost 6), it was very rough and he ended up being miserable.

    Socially, it was probably the best choice but he advanced socially quickly too and by Christmas he was miserable.

    I really think you are incredibly wise to do the play dates and help him find his footing socially. A thought too, is that you can take the time to get him used to being around other kids then do your own self-check before school goes into session. If your heart and intuition tell you it’s not the right time, then don’t. But if you think he can handle it socially, go for it. He’ll find his footing and he’ll learn a lot about how to deal with the other kids when he’s in class. You’ll be amazed.

    One final thought on the academic boredom – it is absolutely horrible. Kindergarten should have been fun for my son – it wasn’t. He was bored out of his skull. If your sweet boy is ready and gung ho for some learning, go for it.

    In the end, you have to go with those finely tuned “mom instincts” – if you and your husband have an idea about what is best, you go for it!

    Cheers and best to you!

  7. Gibby Says:

    Poonch has a summer birthday, too, and she definitely had social issues. She had a hard time with transitions and wasn’t too sure how to interact with a lot of kids. Her preschool teacher also hinted at ADHD (although she is in the 3rd grade now and since then every single teacher has said they have never seen that in her, so screw that preschool teacher). I decided not to keep her back because I felt that socially she could catch up to everyone else. She did, but there are times when I can tell that she is almost a year younger than some of her peers, but that is just something we deal with. I truly feel that if I had kept her behind, the boredom she would have felt would have torn her apart and could have perhaps caused even worse social problems. But, that’s just my unsolicited opinion.

    As for more social situations, does your local library have story time? They are usually free and it is a great opportunity for kids to practice social skills. Just a thought…

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