Red Card

We’ve always known Kyle was smart.  Real smart.  Not in the way all parents think their kids are special, but in a “my child is 18 months old and knows all the planets by sight” smart.  He could draw, count, identify letters and their sounds, and tell you which planets are rocky and which are gas seemingly since he was born.

But you all knew that, too.

So here he is in Kindergarten, chugging along, getting used to things like personal space, sitting still, waiting his turn, and following directions-all things that were introduced in preschool but that he never quite…mastered.  The academics are fine for him.  The homework isn’t very taxing, and we enjoy doing it together.

And then.

First, I got a mid-day call from The Principal, who had Kyle in her office because he hit another student.  “I was just fooling around,” he said.  But with hitting, you can’t fool around.  He immediately got a red card – the ultimate sign of misbehavior in the school’s color-coded discipline system – and was sent to the principal.  That afternoon when I picked him up, his teacher let me know that there have been other incidents in which he’s gotten frustrated with the other kids for not following his directions at playtime.  Also, he’s been reluctant to complete his work during class.  Disrespectful.  Disruptive.

Despite the talking-to that Stewart and I gave him, and the “no video games until next week after you show us some improvement,” Kyle had a run-in with a different teacher the next day.  During the breakout workshop, when he was grouped with other children of similar ability, he didn’t want to complete his writing exercise.  He crawled under the table.  He messed up the glue sticks.  He sulked.  The teacher said she spent a half hour cajoling one sentence out of him, shortchanging the other students in their small group.

Both teachers acknowledge Kyle’s capability.  They say they know he needs to be challenged.  They plan to create a special science center in the corner for him, and to focus reading exercises on space – a topic that interests him.  While I appreciate their intentions, I know what really has to happen.

Kyle is in public school.  He has to learn to play the game.  Science camp and math puzzles will be great, but if he turns into a discipline case because he’s bored, well, aren’t we screwed?  Today I drilled it into him that he must Listen, Show Respect, and Do the Best He Can.  I made him repeat it to me.

And today he got a sticker.

But what about tomorrow?

8 Responses to “Red Card”

  1. ilinap says:

    We had our share of red cards (for hitting too) when Bird was in kindergarten. He is in second grade now and thriving. He gets special math and writing time, and his report card today was worthy of a celebration (that we had, replete with dripping chocolate sauce and churros). My sons are in public school, one that we LOVE. I went to private school and saw lots of bored, RICH kids. Now that can be a lethal combination.

  2. ilinap says:

    We had our share of red cards (for hitting too) when Bird was in kindergarten. He is in second grade now and thriving. He gets special math and writing time, and his report card today was worthy of a celebration (that we had, replete with dripping chocolate sauce and churros). My sons are in public school, one that we LOVE. I went to private school and saw lots of bored, RICH kids. Now that can be a lethal combination. Now I’m not saying that all private schools are like this, just like I don’t think all private schools are great or public schools are bad. Kids are five years old in all kinds of schools and will have adjustment/boredom/behavior issues. We are lucky to have found an amazing school where our sons feel happy, comfortable, and confident, and I’m certain in time you’ll see little Kyle as a superstar in his own right too.

  3. ilinap says:

    Dude, I don’t know why my comment is in there (semi)twice. A lapse in basic tech things like this remind me why I don’t/can’t homeschool.

  4. Callie Feyen says:

    Oh boy, this soooo sounds like my oldest daughter. I’ll just follow your posts and see how you work it out and then do what you did. :) But seriously, it sounds as though your son is gifted and I hope that he finds himself in an environment where he can find and use his gifts without too much frustration.

  5. Katie says:

    Kim, Luke is going through the same thing – only at CHURCH, of all places. He is totally bored because the curriculum (which is a catechism he’s known since he was 2) is the same every week he so gets an attitude. We’ve decided for now to make him sit with us since it isn’t really fair to expect his behavior to change in a less than ideal situation (there are about 30 kids & 2 teachers) that doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon. Also, I had to realize that I need to let go of my pride. I’ve raised him the best I can and, although his behavior might be some kind of reflection on my parenting, he’s 6 now and capable of making his own choices to come extent. I hope Kyle can learn how to tow the line without becoming angry or losing his desire to learn. Hang in there!

  6. Suz says:

    Yikes, Kimmy. I guess I should be happy that we are still struggling to tell the difference between lower case b’s and d’s. Love you!
    Suz

  7. MomHOP says:

    Was it a good sticker???

  8. Yes! Hooray – he got two stickers in a row, which means he gets his first 30 minutes of video game time tonight.

Leave a Response

CommentLuv badge