Last year, I touched on a problem we are having with Conner (“soon to be 5”), who is a Summer birthday and, obviously, male. When you combine those two things, being young and being a boy, you tend to fall into the Not Catching On As Quickly As The Older Children Or The Girls category.
Sunday, April 11, 2010 at 1:23PM
I feel like a horrible mom for even saying that, but it’s the truth. That does not mean Conner is “slow” or less intelligent, but rather, he’s at a dual disadvantage. Not only does being younger mean less advanced and mature, but it also means, for a boy, he’s the smallest boy in his class. Where we live, being on the smaller side in itself is a reason to hold back a boy in school. In a state where football reigns supreme, and sports are a right of passage, boys need all the height and weight advantage they can muster.
I don’t necessarily agree with holding back a boy just because he’s smaller, seeing as Conner doesn’t exactly exude sports, but I don’t want him to be so much smaller that he’s picked on. As we all know, kids can be mean, and as his mother I owe him a chance to even out the playing field.
Along with teacher recommendations, we’ve registered Conner for another round of 4-year-old preschool next year. The good news is that it won’t be a complete stagnant or lateral move. Conner will go from 3 days a week (what he does now) to a 5 day program. With daily school, he will also take on a few days of an extra hour or so, staying for lunch with his friends, and the curriculum includes more arts and extracurriculars (such as “theater”).
Conner is also seeing a speech therapist, which he will see weekly during the summer. I really feel that this will help him achieve some of the things he gets frustrated with. Commonly, he becomes frustrated and, consequently “bored”, because he can’t express himself verbally as well as others.
For the most part, I am excited about him getting caught up and giving him more time to master some skills he hasn’t yet (in many areas, Conner is on track, while in others… he lacks the “maturity” to handle certain tasks). He made such progress between last year and this year with his behavior, so I only expect the same thing will happen academically between this year and next.
I do have some hesitation about this. The phrase “holding him back” bounces between my ears, sending a little tinge of guilt through my body. The guilt compounds when I know, as his mother, how incredibly bright Conner is. He picks things up so quickly, is so incredibly imaginative, loves reading and is one of those people that HAS to know how something works.
This move is good for him though, and I can’t wait to see what he can accomplish next year!