Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sid the Science Kid Continues School Experiment

In an earlier post, I had mentioned that Mr. Prince works at a summer Clubhouse program that runs for 4 weeks and we had decided to put Sid the Science Kid in the 1st grade class this year. We had some struggles last week, but after many long discussions last week and this weekend, we have decided to let Sid continue to attend Clubhouse on a day-by-day basis.

Our concerns were he had had a card pulled, or an official warning, for his behavior 3 of 4 days last week, his behavior wasn't great at home in the evenings (although he did do better this weekend), he is getting significantly less sleep because Mr. Prince and him leave the house at 6:45am, he has broken down in tears for things like not being called on to answer a question and losing a game, and some of his negative behaviors were likely attributed to his friendship with a child who had behavior issues in Clubhouse last year due to ADHD.

We have talked to the staff and they have all been very encouraging that he is doing well and is a joy in the classroom. Much of his behaviors are due to the fact he has not been "trained" for the last two years, like the other children, to sit in a classroom for 6+ hours a day. He doesn't know the drill of raising your hand before you speak, staying in your seat at all times, listening for long periods of time to instruction, or rules to games and activities the other children do. Everything has been a learning process for him. I just wanted to make sure it wasn't too overwhelming and it didn't affect his behavior training at home these last few years. They do have minimal peer interaction that is not structured, which I like. I don't feel it is necessary to have him be with a classroom of children his age at all. We mostly agreed to send him because he will learn a ton, enjoy new activities like art, music and chess class and thought the Relationships class would complement our own character training. I'm please with everything he is learning so far. And I would never do this if Mr. Prince were not constantly right across the hall from him.

We did ask the entire staff that they keep him and the little ADHD boy apart for the remainder of Clubhouse and explained to Sid that we are going to help him choose good friends and that we have decided that this little boy would not make the best friend. We talked at length why and I'm sure it won't be our last friend conversation. I also didn't allow him to attend the field trip to IPFW last Thursday, mostly because I find it highly unnecessary to send a 6-year-old to visit a college, and also an entire waist of a morning traveling on a silly field trip didn't seem near as fun as having him home with his siblings. I think it was a good break for him and the girls have missed him. He didn't ask for Clubhouse the whole day, but Mr. Prince did say at 6:45am when he was leaving Sid came downstairs in tears that dad had not woken him up. He had to be reminded that he wasn't going to Clubhouse that day and cried, but by the time he got up for the morning at 8am, he seemed happy to be home.

So, this has been a learning experience for all of us. Although I think the program is a great one, I'm not sure that I'll be as excited to send Princess Pea there next year, because she's already asking! I do think she will do better due to her personality, but we'll see. The girls have missed Sid, and I can't imagine just having Angelica Pickles, Boo Boo and BKM next summer for a whole month. I think Angelica Pickles will not do well. I know, I know...a long time away!

On an encouraging note, Sid the Science Kid didn't get his card pulled on Monday AND he earned a character sticker! Stickers are earned by a staff member noticing that a students went out of their way to help another students, or showed a specific character trait that day. If students earn three stickers during the four weeks of Clubhouse, they get some neat prize....but not sure what it is. So, I was proud!

1 comment:

Janna said...

Thank you so much for your sweet comments/encouragement you left on my blog. I think you are right--four children still seems like an accepted amount for society, big but acceptable--but five, my oh my . . . The crazy scale begins to tip in a negative direction. ;o)

Your son's class sounds like fun--I've thought of that often, how homeschool kids don't exactly learn the correct protocol in classroom situations, and bad habits (like nose-picking for instance!) are harder to break because there is no peer group to make fun of them . . . ;o) Hope the rest of the session goes well for him!

Oh, and I saw your tummy shot below, and you have a pretty cute belly going on yourself. ;o) Hope the summer heat treats you well!