My five year old son was the sweetest, kindest, most observant child I had ever met. He could rattle off kindergaten information when he was in preschool. Sometime during his transition from preschool room to school age room (at daycare) he did a 180. One day he started flipping tables. He had never physically hurt anyone, or himself. He refused to listen to staff and even ran out the building one day. Then starts kindergarten - I thought those troubles were behind us. He has now been to the principals office four times. He does not finish his lunch in the cafeteria and tries to eat it in the classroom. Teacher says he does it to avoid doing work. My son is very bright and has a memory that puts me to shame! I asked them why he avoids work and they say they don't know - some help that is!! He ran out of the school building one time, into the woods, and has not done it since. My gut feeling is telling me that he is bored to death at school as he has been taught 90% of what he is re-learning. I know the decisions he makes are not safe ones. I tried talking to him last night and told him I wanted my old son back, the one that laughs and is happy and cares about himself and others. He very calmly replied that he would pack his bags and leave in the morning! I cry everyday for my son. I don't know what to do. I am wondering if maybe he his suffering from some hormonal/chemical inbalance. He definately does not fit the bill of ADD, ADHD, ODD, or any others exclusively. I need to get my son back.
I think you hit the nail on the head when you said he was bored to death at school. I am in my mid-20's now and was the exact same way growing up, so I can tell you from personal experience -- most likely he *is* bored.
When I was in 3rd grade, I was already doing middle school work. 5th grade, I was doing high school work. And in 6th grade, I was completeing college courses at my regular middle school. I, too, was bored to death. I knew most of everything they were teaching in the classes I attended. Instead of my normal, quiet, laid-back personality -- I began acting up in school, anything just to kill the time.
My parents, thankfully, saw this in me quickly and began home-schooling me instead. With home-school, I could choose (by my score on certain placement tests) which grade was best for me. Never again did I act up and disobey others, because they way I saw it; my parents obviously cared enough about me to do this for me. I felt important, heard and respected as an individual once they made this happen for me.
So, my suggestion is -- at least, look into and consider home-schooling. They have wonderful programs online now for kids grade K-12 and even college courses/studies. Its a very nice alternative and many home-schoolers are more intelligent than children who are forced to suffer the average school system for years.
I also suggest that you register him into some sort of fun activity he enjoys, if you do decide to home-school him. Home-school can be very lonely for children, and all children need interaction in order to grow and learn social skills for the real world.
Thank you very much for the encouragement. My husband and I have been very seriously debating on homeschooling. I very much want to do it. The more I research, the more I want to do it. Monday I will be keeping him from school. I figured I'd see how he reacts. I will definately get him involved in other activities though. There is a local homeschooling support group I am waiting to hear back from. I too was gifted, however, I got the proper guidance from school with accelerated courses, and eventually I graduated a whole year early (my decision). Matter of fact, my husband just came in and I read him what you said and I asked him if he knew what I was going to do and he said yes (homeschool of course). I will be starting Monday! The part that really got to my husband and I was when you said how much your parents cared for you and that you felt important, heard and respected. That is exactly how I want my son to feel. He is truly our gift from God and I want him to know how much we do care. Thank you so much for your reply. It hit home exactly where I needed it to. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
My son is ahead of his peers as well and I have also considered homeschooling however acting up in school is an ok or should be used as an excuse for being bored. I would monitor the situation.Perhaps its something else.
We home school, too...for similar reasons. I put my son in a preschool (for "socialization") and it was awful. After three school teacher friends all independently suggested that I home school him--I decided to do it--just for kindergarten. And here we are 7 years later still home schooling.
Our home school community here is HUGE and there is something to do with others every single day if you wanted to (three co-ops that offer everything from French to Chemistry, as well as classes like Fencing, Taekwondo, and Tennis). My son has been involved in AYSO, Boy Scouts, Little League, YMCA Basketball, etc. A local music store is owned by a home schooling family and my son is in the home school orchestra there. They also have a home school band as well as various classes for home schoolers in the daytime.
If there isn't a lot being offered by the home school community in your area, jump in and volunteer to arrange things. It will grow as more people volunteer. We go to the dress rehearsals of professional Operas, tour factories, go to museums, take archery lessons, etc. Our teen group has over 150 members and at least 70 attend each of the events and activities (like ice skating, movies, bowling, etc.). They have a prom every year and a huge graduation ceremony.
So don't let the "socialization" thing scare you. And you can teach your son at home. And when he gets older and ready to learn things you don't feel comfortable teaching him, get him a math tutor or dual enroll him into public school for chemistry and other upper level science classes (your home school organization should have information about dual enrollment if your school district offers that). Or send him to school if he wants to go at that point and if they will accommodate him. Most home schooling teens I know start to take classes at the community college at 14. The opportunities are endless.
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