Friday, May 1, 2015

Matthew's Preschool Progress Report

Preschool graduation is looming on the horizon and I am happy to report that despite my fears about how this year was going to go, Matthew will be graduating to Kindergarten with flying colors. Academically, that is.

When we had our first conference with Matthew's teacher, she was quick to say that he is very, very bright and always a step ahead on the lesson. However, because of this, she thinks that he gets "bored" pretty easily and then feels the need to entertain himself in disruptive ways. He likes to tease the little girls in excess, rap out music on his desk, stomp his feet to make his tennis shoes light up (I never should have bought those things), request to play puzzles during song time and then pout when refused, and so on.

Every day, I dread opening his folder to read his behavior chart because I never know what I am going to find. Some days the comments might read like this:

"Matthew was so helpful today. An absolute joy to have in the class!!!"

Or, on less than stellar days, they might read like this:

"Your son told a girl he didn't like her repeatedly because she sat in his usual spot during circle time. Then, he shook the table while trying to be funny during snack and caused everyone to spill their drinks. He was chasing the kids around in the gym pretending to be a spider and scaring some of them."

Picking him up at the end of the day is always so stressful. Paul and I have been trying so hard to reiterate to Matthew that he is at school to learn and the best way to learn is to LISTEN and OBEY his teachers. Every day when I drop him off, I ask him: "What are you going to do at school today, Matthew?" And he'll reply: "Listen and Obey!"

Some days, that message gets through a little better than others.

His behavior drastically improved after Thanksgiving and we did not have any negative days until March. Then, his behavior began taking another dive. Mainly, Matthew was refusing to practice with the class for the preschool graduation program and his teacher was worried that he was going to ruin it. So, we had another meeting with the teacher who reiterated that he was probably bored and she noticed also that he really is very sensitive to noise (with group singing activities in particular) and that we might want to get that checked out. We already knew about that one since he always plugs his ears during the music at Mass, when a car drives by, while going through the car wash, etc. We have brought it up with his doctor before and he said that Matthew will probably grow out of it. Since the meeting, Matthew's behavior has been great for the last couple weeks - he has consistently received all greens on his behavior chart!

However, I had to laugh at and share the most recent comment from his teacher here with you all because it perfectly sums up our strange little child. He received a green on this day, with the following note:

"Good day today. He did growl at the principal though. I talked to him about using words not sounds to talk to people."

Oh, Matthew. What are we going to do with you?


  1. Would you really want a little boy who never acts up in school or elsewhere? That's not a typical little boy. Matthew is quite normal. My son, Chris, was an altar server throughout his high school years. At the one mass, he and his buddy who was serving with him started to giggle and did that the whole mass. They got a very light smack on their backsides from Sister Madonna after mass and a good scolding. Chris also needed extra work on how he was holding his hands during mass. Little boys and even bigger boys can be very entertaining for sure.

    1. Thank you for the anecdotes! I love my son and wouldn't change a thing about him, but I'm still in that phase where I don't want others thinking badly of him. He is so sweet, but definitely challenging - both at home and in school!

  2. Sounds like Paul when he was 4 or 5....
    I can still remember Paul scowling at an older gentleman after Mass (who was trying to exchange pleasantries) and Paul telling him to "go jump in a lake!"
    There is hope Monica! Love you!

    1. I love that story! It really is exactly what Matthew would do!!

  3. Hahahaha. I'm sure he'll grow out of it!

  4. Please read a little on sensory issues - a good book is The Out-of-Sync Child by Carol Stock Kranowitz. I have lived that fear of the note in the folder myself - and once I read this book - it made sense. The behavior issues could be based on how "organized" he is feeling based on what is going on. If he is very overwhelmed by lots of noise - he might try to organize himself by making sure he always has the same seat - because in his mind he can handle it if he has a wall behind him or something similar. Don't be so sure he is being willful - he might just be trying to cope with his environment. The wackiest thing is it sometimes comes across as not listening or being disobedient. Best of luck!

    1. I will definitely look into this. It would not actually surprised me - loud noises do overwhelm him to the point of tears at times. He's getting better, but it would be interesting to find that some of the behavior issues we have been having are a result of this. Thank you for the advice!