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Subject:Need parenting/preschool teacher advice
Time:03:15 pm
Current Mood:sadsad
Does anyone have suggestions? The kid hates coloring, drawing and writing, now its becoming A Thing, I remember hating this part of school too, I sucked at it and it was made worse because I then never practiced it.


On Mon, Aug 30, 2010 at 2:54 PM, <amy.teacher@"preschool".com> wrote:

Hello!

I wanted to let you know that Basil is struggling with his coloring. He does not want to do it and throws a crying fit. I'm trying to take the positive side with him to encourage his coloring but it has failed. To finish his one paper, he had to complete it before he could play at recess. It then only took him minutes to complete. He struggled with the art teacher (Mrs. K) the same way not wanting to paint and did not to get to paint bumble bees. This is not his first day to do this as there were a couple times last week. I will continue to encourage him here at school and if you could do the same on your end at home. Other than the coloring, he is doing great and I love to hear his thoughts!

Thank You,

Bas' teacher

---
MY REPLY:

Yes, I am sad but not surprised to hear this problem with Basil and coloring. He seems to have inherited my artistic abilities sadly, I have a Ph.D. now but I always failed art when I was in school!

This is his first time coloring, or painting, in any kind of organized or structured classroom setting. His previous school in California was very laissez-faire / "hippie" about it in that if a child did not want to participate in a structured classroom activity then they were allowed to go play with toys. On the one hand, this is a nice theory, but as you can see, it is a philosophy which has left Bas unprepared for full participation in a classroom setting. I am so sorry you are now bearing the brunt of this problem.

We can try to work on this with him at home too, he does do some drawing and letters with his Dad sometimes. We are open to suggestion on how to fix the problem and we really appreciate your patience with him as he learns that he has to do his work before he can play. We are also really glad for the communication so we can know what he needs help with.

Yours prayerfully, *(ETA its a christian church school)*

Telemicus

ETA: I realized I should be clearer about the problem on here, since I am soft-footing it with his new teacher, but Bas is REALLY strong-willed, and if he doesn't walk to do something he is immovable, and I'm exhausted by his sheer force of will. How do I help him without it turning into a rage battle? I swear this stage is like the terrible twos all over again.
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rhiannonhero
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Time:2010-08-30 08:19 pm (UTC)
I gotta admit I'm flabbergasted by the apparent importance of coloring!!!!! LOL! I mean, it's...COLORING! Who cares if he dosen't want to do it? It's not the end of the world. Why make him? I mean, he doesn't have to be allowed to go play with toys, but if he doesn't want to color, I really don't see the big deal with it. I mean it is PRE-SCHOOL.

Baby, I think this is insane. It's not boot camp. I mean, surely there are other things he could do if he doesn't want to participate in coloring! What other things might he be able to do taht doesn't disturb the other kids? Look at books? Practice letters? Or...I just don't understand why coloring is something he must be made to do. Ever. If he doesn't want to.
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rhiannonhero
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Time:2010-08-30 08:35 pm (UTC)
Okay, I'm back. I will try to curb my WTF, though, and go with the idea that I think that punishing him, i.e. can't play unless he colors (WTFF????) is probably backfiring here. Maybe a reward system? He brings home a colored page from preschool and you give him...some extra computer time, or something that he likes, or something?
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bangaboomerang
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Time:2010-08-30 08:40 pm (UTC)
i wish i had some words of wisdom, but lucas doesn't have any problems with participation, particularly in drawing and coloring, because he loves it. i understand why it's impt to get Bas to the participation stage, because when he starts elementary/grade school he can't "opt out" of learning activities. you said bas is strong-willed, so it might take a lot to get him to participate when he is supposed to.

and while the person posting above me thinks the situation is ridiculous, it's NOT about coloring. coloring is just the subject. i hated science in school. but i couldn't just go learn something else. it's about the structure of it all ... doing what you're told, when you're told ... not coloring.
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rhiannonhero
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Time:2010-08-30 08:48 pm (UTC)
The issue to me is his age. He's not even 5 years old. I think that making him color against his will at this age is not productive. If he were 6? I'd have a different opinion. Just jumping in to say that while I get what you're saying, I think that a 4yo is not emotionally/mentally equipped to be forced into something like coloring because the logic for it is beyond him. It's not about his health or his safety. It's not even about learning something important. It's about bending his will to the teacher's will. And that's not necessarily something that he's in a position to truly understand right now. It's a "Because I said so..." thing.

I might have a very different perspective on kids and what we can expect from them at various ages, though. And that's fair enough.

Edited at 2010-08-30 08:48 pm (UTC)
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rhiannonhero
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Time:2010-08-30 08:50 pm (UTC)
As my brother says, our schools aren't interested in educating our kids, they're interested in producing automatons, and "good little workers", and frankly I think that's what this is all about. It's a situation of making the kid do something stupid and unnecessary just to break their will. Were it an actual vital issue, centered around actual learning or his safety, then that's another thing all together. Coloring? Not a vital important life skill.
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therealocelot
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Time:2010-08-30 10:44 pm (UTC)
I agree with everything rhiannonhero has written so far.

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telemicus
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Time:2010-08-30 11:37 pm (UTC)
First of all THANK YOU for these replies, all of you, we are all 4 of us on the same wavelength. My gut reaction is also WTF, it's COLORING, get over yourself teacher, and yes, it is VERY much about bending Basil's will to that of his teacher. BUT that is the world we now live in. In Southern California we had to work hard to find a granola/hippy school that was also affordable, here however, for love nor money they ARE NO granola schools, or nannies, or anything, not so much as a Trader Joes!

(I saw someone with a sling wrap the other day and I all but stalked them home because I was hoping they were granola/progressive!)

So until we can get outta banjo country Basil needs to survive here, and as Destany points out, he can no longer opt out. He is never going to be the kind of person who colors in the lines, literally or metaphorically, and I love that about him, but I need to find a way for him to nonetheless navigate the school system, get what he needs (and he does love the social aspect etc) and survive with his spirit intact.

I know people will shake their head at me for not homeschooling him but recent job interviews etc out here are helping me rebuild some self-esteem and see myself as a capable professional, and that allows me to be straight up that I cannot homeschool, I can't, I SUCK at it, I would be doing my children a terrible disservice and I would have a nervous breakdown within a week! They need formal schooling, and right now they need to survive in a conservative town with a poorly educated traditional population, and no granola in sight :(
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therealocelot
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Time:2010-08-31 03:25 am (UTC)
I did the same thing the other day when I saw a mom with a moby wrap at the hardware store. I plan to babywear as a compatible mom attractor. Not that I wouldn't anyways.

I don't shake my head at you for not homeschooling. It works for us, but just barely, and I don't expect I'll stick with it if I end up commuting to Reno or something unless koyote takes over a lot of it. I feel bad for kids stuck in a system that doesn't work well for them, but wouldn't judge their parents for not homeschooling.
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telemicus
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Time:2010-08-31 01:47 pm (UTC)
No, I know you wouldn't judge me for not homeschooling, but I am more thinking of the Waldorf uber-granola moms in SoCal, and a few online, but they aren't going to say anything really, it's more a silent judging. It was just that when I, ages ago, posted on here with my concerns that Basil's mostly-excellent Long Beach preschool was neglecting the structured-academic side of things the overwhelming response was "well, duh, just you do that with him at home, where's the problem here?" and I felt bad because I don't do that with him at home, I just don't have time, or that kind of energy and patience, and I feel guilty about that but I am also stretched to my limit these days.
(edited for icon fail!)

Edited at 2010-08-31 01:49 pm (UTC)
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jamesofengland
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Time:2010-08-31 08:04 am (UTC)
This. Being comfortable engaging in work not of his choosing is amongst the most important life skills that Basil can develop. It's important that he has free time and space to be creative and such, too, but I don't get the impression that there's any danger of his not getting enough of that. Being strong willed can be a real asset if it's combined with discipline, but you need the discipline, too.
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telemicus
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Time:2010-08-31 01:50 pm (UTC)
Thanks hon *hug*
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sorryno
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Time:2010-08-31 05:07 am (UTC)
i'm sorry i have no helpful advice, but i wish you and basil well in figuring this out.
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telemicus
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Time:2010-08-31 01:50 pm (UTC)
I appreciate it sweetie

Edited at 2010-08-31 01:51 pm (UTC)
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sorryno
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Time:2010-08-31 05:19 am (UTC)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! :)
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prof_yaffle
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Time:2010-08-31 12:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the update :) sorry it's all sucky for you, but I'm glad the DC stuff is cool.

What about getting him to do colouring of stuff he likes - if he still likes dinos, get dino pictures then he can work down to less fun stuff! But I assume you've already thought of that.

Also a mum here suggested a shopping trip to let him pick out his own crayons and pencil case so he has ownership of cool stuff.
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telemicus
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Time:2010-08-31 01:56 pm (UTC)
DC is persistently pervasively enduringly cool :D

Actually those are two great ideas! He has only ever colored pics of dinos etc at home, and at school they do fairly girly stuff, hmmm, I shall bring in his dino drawing books and see if that helps. It was a bit... like when we went in for orientation all the kids were supposed to sit at their desks and color a picture so the teacher could talk, and I was kinda amazed that they all just sat there and did so. Bas was like, uh yeah right, whole new room of new TOYS, and he was off playing. I guess now the teacher must have frowned on that.
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hannawy
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Time:2010-09-02 11:42 am (UTC)
I am with Pofessor Yaffle on this one. While I think that 5 is too early for structured learning, at some point he'll need to learn to do these things, and I think letting him feel that he has a degree of control over what he colours/draws would be a good way of doing that. I mean, I've always been fairly good at doing what I'm told, but not when it comes to drawing, because if I'm going to do it it had better be something I enjoy. Also, an ex of mine was told by his reception teacher that he couldn't paint black butterflies, at which point he chucked the black paint all over her.
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ourgosling
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Time:2010-09-03 05:55 am (UTC)
so why couldn't he paint black butterflies? There are certainly tons of examples of them IRL...
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hannawy
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Time:2010-09-03 09:49 am (UTC)
I don't think his reception teacher knew about black butterflies, her idea of butterflies was all about colour and happiness. Or so Alex says, anyway. He may be a bit biased. :)
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