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My Kindergartner Son Is "Unfocused" and "Spaces Out" According to the Teacher

Hi All,
My son is a really smart 5 year old and can retain oodles of info when it is a subject he is interested in, like bugs or snakes. But when they are doing their regular classroom work he is "spacing out" and is losing recess sometimes because he does not finish his work. Teacher says he asks her lots of questions, even though it is obvious he does know how to do it. If she is right there he will do it, but as soon as she walks away, he stops. This is the same at home with homework. She also said when he first started school this year, he was much more excited and willing to work. She even said she had a child in another class who "spaced out" and was having little seizures. I really do not think it is that.
The other imprtant thing is that a couple months ago my son accepted Christ and was baptized. I know that I went through some real spiritual warfare and was under some major attack for awhile when I was baptized. So that could be part of this as well. My main concern is that my son's self esteem does not suffer because of this. Any advice or suggestions would be much appreciated. We have tried punishing him, taking away tv, etc. It isn't doing anything.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Hi All, I wanted to say thank you so much for all your responses. I realize now that my son is intelligent and just being a 5 yr old boy. I know he does not have some "problem". Thanks to everyones advice I am considering homeschooling him. Thanks to God as well, because he has been answering my prayers for discernment in what to do and how to raise my son. You have all been part of that answered prayer! Thanks again, and if anyone has any homeschooling advice, please let me know.

Featured Answers

K.,
I have a couple of questions for you...
Where does he go to school?

How is the teacher making things captivation?

Depending on the answers to those questions would help me with some insight....I have 3 boys and 1 girl....my boys do not sit still all! They learn more by movement and through story telling. Knowing that he is only 5.... it is priceless that he is daydreaming!! I wish I could do that !!!!!

My kids all go to a Montessori school in Phx called Villa Montessori. The classrooms do not have desks. The kids do have to move while doing work. That is part of the learning.

Along with what style of learning does he have? visual? auditory? or kinnetic?(sp?) when you find this out and the teacher taps into his gifts, he will do well. But remember he is young and sitting still and having to learn how to write could be boring to a 5 year old boy!

Just some things to think about and by no means am I an expert, but I do know that boys do not like to sit still and focus on fine motor skills until their bodies have had some movement! also look up Brain Gym....Google it and there are some exercizes that you and the teacher can do to promote focus! The work needs to be FUN and not just BUSY work to keep their attention!

Take care,
T.
www.tesabartell.myarbonne.com

My daughter is the same way, we though it was ADHD or something, she has been through therapy/"mental health" specialists/medication/etc. Nothing ever worked... Punishing isnt the answer either, you have to try to make school fun at home.... interact with the school work, do things at home that pertain to school- counting/ print out sheets offline that involve adding, spelling, etc. reward him when he does good with school. Just be patient.

My daughter's teacher told us she is a "bright and intelligent child" she is just distracted. And now she tells us that she needs summer school, not because she's failing just because she thinks it would help her next year when she starts 1st grade.

Hope it helps a little!

He is awfully young and it doesn't seem like a behavior problem to me. I've homeschooled my children but had them in school for 1 year. My daughter was in Kindergarten at the time and the teacher always said the same thing. She said she was spacey and uninterested and thought it was possible that she was learning disabled. I dismissed it because she was so young. I've homeschooled her since and although she struggled some academically (compared to her older brother), she has done perfectly fine. She has "out grown" some of that. Not all kids can just sit and listen for long periods of time at that age. It doesn't always mean there is a problem. It may mean that he is a kid and is bored to death and ready to play... :) That is fantastic that he accepted Christ! My first gut reaction is that he is fine and is bored or uninterested. That will change as he grows up. Blessings!

More Answers

K.,
Your post made me smile - because, um... he's five. Five. I have a five-year-old boy who. is. VERY. five. Y'know? Don't let the school system scare you into thinking there's anything wrong with him. He's five, and would rather be hanging out with my son hunting for snakes, searching for gecko eggs, and catching bugs in the bug sucker, and then - perhaps - squashing them.
Set boundaries for him? Sure - homework time or the like. But don't get sucked in to the 'he has behavioral issues' game. It is an ugly and potentially destructive game to play at his age. He's five. Sending you a hug!

1 mom found this helpful

It sounds like he is being a little boy and having to overcome some habits. With time and patience and providing some extra methods of structure, I think he will level out in time. The timer idea that the other mom suggested is a good idea. Maybe the teacher can help incorporate that. Since he isn't really disruptive I don't think it's add or adhd. Also, I'm beyond elated to hear of his salvation. Awesome!

ps..if you don't mind my asking...what kind of warfare going on? Just private message me if you want to talk.

Hi K.,
I'm an occupational therapist who works in the school system with pre-K through 6th grade.

I think you are on the right track, really. You are trying to teach him the discipline it takes to do work, even if he doesn't "want" to do it. That's a "skill" that will be valuable to him when he's older.

He's just in Kinder, though, so I think you can see he doesn't have to master this skill tomorrow.

My only recommendation is to make sure his homework gets done in a set amount of time (some Moms use timers). No reward for getting it done, just an expectation. The fact that the teacher is already doing this at school will re-inforce that parents and teachers are on the same team.

I would also recommend giving him "work time" over the summer a few days a week, too. Nothing heavy-duty, but something to keep him in the rhythm for next year, so he knows expectations will be the same.

This is all very hard, bacause things like "homework" were unheard of for such young children when I was growing up: the kids are the same, but their expectations are much higher.

Yeah, a very few number of kids suffer from, "absence" seizures; a few more suffer from "attention deficit," but a majority just lack the skills. Your kid's teacher sounds great, just in that she is so, "on the ball" about the issue now, so he can be successful later.

Stick with it, you're doing great!
T

Well, I wouldn't punish him. I'd homeschool him. Or, at least I'd supplement what's happening in school with reinforcement at home. Make it fun. Some children at that age don't respond well to society's idea of socialization and conditioning -- they want to be free to explore and learn in creative ways, and many public schools don't allow for much individualization. Take up the slack at home, and keep learning fun.

I agree it could be spiritual warfare, but some of it is age-appropriate wanting attention and needing stimulation. You might want to pray with your son and help him to understand, in little boy terms, that the Enemy wants him to fail at school -- but he's a son of the King, which makes him a prince, and princes always try their best. Stuff like that.

Blessings,
S.

Hello, My five year old was the same way, I had him tested by the school to learn that he has a reading disability and adhd, you can look on line for more info on this or try phx childrens hospital or the melmed center for evals to make sure we are not dealing with a learning disorder. By the way my son is now 10 and a great student getting A's and B's in school with extra help in reading. Good luck
P. s

Have you ever considered home schooling him? It is wonderful!!

K.,
I understand. I have two boys an my oldest never really had much interest in school. Everyone is different. Please stop punishing him. Find something he is doing well and reward that. Isn't that the example that Jesus set for us? Except for the time at the temple, Jesus never never "punished" anyone. He only chose to praise and love and appreciate everyone, including prostitutes and lepers. Utilize what you know to be true from your Christian teachings and look upon your son with wonder and praise for everything he does good. He is a gift to be appreciated. He is in your care. Perhaps, he would be better homeschooled for a while. My son needed that one on one attention in order to keep him on track too and he just didn't get much out of school. I had to take the bull by the horns. I even hired a mothers helper to make dinner and watch over my younger child so I could better focus on helping him. I am a single mother and it was very difficult to work with my child while the little one caused a raucous and dinner needed to be made. You know what I'm talking about! I made sacrifices in order to afford her. I gave up cable, the internet, drove an old car that I didn't have to make payments on, shopped Goodwill for clothing. My sacrifices paid off. He is doing so well now that he is in 7th grade. As a stay at home Mom, you may be able to make arrangements to set aside a good 3 hours a day, if you really think home schooling is the way to go, and you could accomplish so much more with your child in that 3 hours of one on one attention, than 7 hours at a public school can accomplish. Public schools, with their large classes, work best for children who have a tendency to conform and not all children are able to do that. His inability to focus now, is actually a sign that he has great potential for great success! He needs to be engaged and encouraged to ask questions and express himself. If you research some influential great people throughout history, you will find that they too, were much like our sons! Plus there are so many extracurricular activities out there for homeschooled children to get socialization. The internet is full of teaching tools as well.

Another, probably more realistic way to deal with this situation, is to just tell your sons teacher to allow him to do what he wants as long as he's at his desk and is NOT causing a disturbance. Then, make arrangements to go to the school everyday at recess time(s) and have him do the work with you. It sounds like he's the kind of kid who probably loves recess, so my guess is, in less than a week, he'll start thinking it's time to do the work during class time! (This sort of think works wonders with my "problem" child!)Treat recess as though it were a reward to enjoy after he completes his assignment. Do not tell him he is losing recess as a form of punishment. Simply taking recess away and still not doing the work doesn't accomplish anything. Isn't that what real life is about? Get your priorities done, and then comes play? Plus, he may enjoy the one on one attention at school with Mom for a while. It'll make him feel loved and cared for in the long run. There doesnt have to be any yelling or made to feel bad or guilty. use quiet consistent, insistence. Just simply say to your son, "Your schoolwork is very important. And if you don't get it done during classtime, I will help you with it at recess time. If you finish your work before the end of recess, you may go. If it takes all of recess, then you may have play time after school at home." Repeat this over 10 times if you have to, no matter what he says. If you are concerned about his need for physical activity, then play follow the leader or some physical game to get the blood flowing for 5 minutes before you begin the catch up session. I've done tons of research on this subject. There is a balance between true learning and discipline. The goal here, seems to be to get him to want to follow along with what is expected of him at school. If he is constantly being punished for his nature, at his current school, it may be wise to consider another school or the homeschooling. I'm not an expert, but I'm a serious, experienced Mom and I mean business. And I truly understand. You and your son will be in my prayers.

Not to get your hopes up but he sounds gifted to me. He already knows the information and is getting bored with the repetition. Try asking the teacher to give him something more challenging to do and see if that helps. Retaining "oodles" of information on a specific subject is a sign of a gifted kiddo. Just a suggestion. I don't know if they can be tested to find out for certain at 5 or not but he sounds bored to me.

My daughter is the same way, we though it was ADHD or something, she has been through therapy/"mental health" specialists/medication/etc. Nothing ever worked... Punishing isnt the answer either, you have to try to make school fun at home.... interact with the school work, do things at home that pertain to school- counting/ print out sheets offline that involve adding, spelling, etc. reward him when he does good with school. Just be patient.

My daughter's teacher told us she is a "bright and intelligent child" she is just distracted. And now she tells us that she needs summer school, not because she's failing just because she thinks it would help her next year when she starts 1st grade.

Hope it helps a little!

You will probably have a lot of people telling you to have your son tested for ADD or ADHD, and while I'm not saying these conditions aren't real, I do believe that they are over-diagnosed. When I taught school, I saw a lot of boys who to me seemed like perfectly normal kids diagnosed and medicated. There were a few boys who were so out of control that I'm sure the diagnosis was appropriate, but in many cases what the specialists called ADD I simply called BOY.

Boys are more rambunctious than girls. Most of them do not sit and concentrate for as long as the average girl of the same age, and female teachers all too often compare them to girls and say, what's the matter with him? There's a great deal of difference in concentration levels among children of the same sex too. My 4-yr-old daughter has a longer attention span than my 6-yr-old daughter. They're just different people.

What your son's teacher calls "spacing out" may simply be daydreaming. My 6-yr-old does this when she's supposed to be concentrating on schoolwork. But she's a little child; what else can one expect? How many times have YOU been reading something dull and found yourself staring off into space and thinking about something else and had to force your attention back to the matter at hand? We all do it, and little children do it more than adults. And little BOYS do it more than anyone! Little boys need lots of physical activity to break up the monotony of schoolwork, and I don't think they should be kept sitting at their desks at recess when they don't finish their work. This will only make the problem worse.

Hey there,
I just wanted to give you some advice on this subjuct, as I went through it last year when my son was in k. He was pretty much a strait A student all year and loved going to school. I worked at the school as well. Anyway I stongly incurage you to keep in mind that there is somehing like 3 weeks of school left. All kids go through this at the end of the year. I frequently notive it in all grades in both genders. Are you planning a vaction over the summer he knows about? Are you expecting visitors he may or may not know? He may be thinking about this sort of thing. Or it may be a little bit of fear of first grade. Have you sat down and talked to him about what first grade may be like, this could be a large part of where his mind is going. Like will we do this kind of paper in first grade, I wonder if my first grade teacher will help me next year. That kind of thing. It may help him, if this is it, for you to pull him out of class for a little bit and go on a small "adventure" throught the first grade class at his school, meet the teachers and see the class rooms, that kind of thing.
Hope this helps
R.

As the school/psychologist to do some testing. And talk with your pediatrician. This could be ADHD and/or Aspergers. There's no shame at all if this is the case, but rather an area where the little guy needs some help and understanding. If this is organic, like it sounds, there is absolutely no reason for him to be punished by losing recess for something that isn't in his control. Don't wait. It does surprise me that the teacher would be this harsh, but also that she hasn't suggested some testing. Is she not seasoned? A seasoned teacher would be able to recognize these common signs and adapt her teaching style for the way your son learns best, such as saying his name or touching his shoulder when he spaces out.

He is awfully young and it doesn't seem like a behavior problem to me. I've homeschooled my children but had them in school for 1 year. My daughter was in Kindergarten at the time and the teacher always said the same thing. She said she was spacey and uninterested and thought it was possible that she was learning disabled. I dismissed it because she was so young. I've homeschooled her since and although she struggled some academically (compared to her older brother), she has done perfectly fine. She has "out grown" some of that. Not all kids can just sit and listen for long periods of time at that age. It doesn't always mean there is a problem. It may mean that he is a kid and is bored to death and ready to play... :) That is fantastic that he accepted Christ! My first gut reaction is that he is fine and is bored or uninterested. That will change as he grows up. Blessings!

The same thing happened with my son in kindergarten. There was just too much stimulation in the classroom. He was always a very active boy and then having to be in a classroom all day (except for the short recess times totaling 30min. a day) was very hard for him. The teacher would often keep him in at recess too, and I disagreed that this was the solution to the problem of a very active boy who could not focus in KINDERGARTEN. By 1st grade, he was coming home saying "I'm dumb, I'm the stupidest kid in the whole class, I can't do anything right." Well, at the age of 7, no child should feel that way. It was definately affecting his self esteem. This is when I pulled him out of school and began homeschooling. We now do times tables and division problems while he's on his skateboard at home. He's in 4th grade now and succeeding with pride! We can take breaks as often as needed and I can tailor our schoolwork specifically for him. He has a little desk in the storage closet under our stairs and he loves it. Nobody distracts him and he can focus. I put a little light in there with all the essentials ie; pencil sharpener, erasers, crayons, etc. so he doesn't have to come out and get distracted. He just calls me in if he has a question. Also, during our storytime or our school lessons, I let him doodle on paper or play with playdough (yes, at almost 11, he still enjoys this!) this keeps his hands busy and his brain can focus on what I'm teaching him. There is a fabulous book called "How to get your child off the refridgerator and onto learning" by Carol Barnier. It is an advice book about homeschooling, but it still could give you some insight on how to help your active little boy be successful. If you are ever interested in homeschooling, I have some great contacts to help with getting involved with the homeschooling community. There are many families who even just homeschool for the first couple of years and decide to do school later when they become more mature, enough to sit still for 5 hours out of the day! Teaching my kids how to read has been such a joy for me! Well, good luck with things, hope this helps. A.

I agree with Tanya J. He's five! This is why I think homeschooling is a good idea for many in the early years. I don't think many kids are meant to sit for hours and be punished by missing recess, which is what would actually help them focus! Physical activity is what would help most kids in the classroom.

I also agree that high vitamin Cod Liver Oil might help him focus, but he has no problem focusing on items of interest. There's no one answer here. Hopefully the variety of advice here might spark something that speaks to you.

I have a few suggestions for you, so bear with me. It could be that he is highly intelligent and is bored. the only motivation he has for doing work that isn't challenging is the attention he gets when the teacher is there. it actually could be seizures, but if you aren't noticing it at home, i wouldn't worry. (he will "space out"- staring into space and not respond). my son is simillar to this, he loves school and doing work, but only if it's interesting or challenging. of course, school isn't always interesting or challenging. when my son's teacher was having a hard time getting him to do work, we had to retrain her on how to react. the biggest thing to remember is that him doing HIS work is just that- his problem, not the teacher's problem. we implemented the ideas from "love and logic", which is that natural consequences happen when you make you choices. for my son, when it was work time, he was simply allowed to choose, to sit there and not work, but when recess time came around the response was "oh, that's too bad, you didn't finish your work, you'll have to stay in until it's finished." or wahtever the next activity is. unless your son is super stubborn, this should work if it's done consistently over a few days. at home, we would do the same. he would sit at the table til bed time and not do his homework, missing dinner, etc. but after a few days he was staying on task and getting his work done. the key is absolutely no reaction from you, and making sure it is a consequence, not a punishment (i.e. you aren't taking away dinner because he didn't do his homework, it's simply that certain things must be done before we eat dinner. one of them is homework) good luck!

Hi K., I understand exactly what you're going through. My son's preschool teacher told me I'd have problems with his "spaciness" throughout school. He is now in 3rd grade and like your son, he is very intelligent. He mostly spaces out when they're doing classwork. But he does very well in tests and somehow retains all the info she is teaching. He's advanced in all the subjects, so much so that he got into the excellerated program at school! This 3rd grade teacher said he has his own special way of understanding problems (math) and learning the lessons. She even tries to keep him more alert by helping her teach his methods of figure out answers to math problems. I can't help but wonder if his spaciness was just boredom at first because he has improved quite a bit but I also think it has a lot to do with having a teacher that is extremely patient and understanding. On a different note, my hubby's twin sister has a daughter that is a year older than our son and her daughter also spaces out a whole bunch in school. Difference is, she wasn't learning anything and was falling behind. They found that Riddlin (not sure of sp) did wonders for her! She's advanced a lot more in school since she's able to be more focused. I guess it all depends on how much he's learning or if he's falling behind. Good luck!

K.,
I have a couple of questions for you...
Where does he go to school?

How is the teacher making things captivation?

Depending on the answers to those questions would help me with some insight....I have 3 boys and 1 girl....my boys do not sit still all! They learn more by movement and through story telling. Knowing that he is only 5.... it is priceless that he is daydreaming!! I wish I could do that !!!!!

My kids all go to a Montessori school in Phx called Villa Montessori. The classrooms do not have desks. The kids do have to move while doing work. That is part of the learning.

Along with what style of learning does he have? visual? auditory? or kinnetic?(sp?) when you find this out and the teacher taps into his gifts, he will do well. But remember he is young and sitting still and having to learn how to write could be boring to a 5 year old boy!

Just some things to think about and by no means am I an expert, but I do know that boys do not like to sit still and focus on fine motor skills until their bodies have had some movement! also look up Brain Gym....Google it and there are some exercizes that you and the teacher can do to promote focus! The work needs to be FUN and not just BUSY work to keep their attention!

Take care,
T.
www.tesabartell.myarbonne.com

You can get him psycologically tested for your own piece of mind and future reference point. A psycologist that specializes in school counseling can help you decide what type of program is best for the type of child he is. He might be bored and need to be in an accelerated program. He might not be in the right school for him also. I've had all mine tested and she was right on the money. She projects what would help them inprove in the future. (Examples: my daughter needed to keep a diary; all needed to switch to different schools, one more discipline, one less liberal; nonreader was to get a junior sports magazine subscription...)

if the school he is at is your church school then i would suggest you volunteer in the classroom 1 afternoon a week (same time each week) get a baby sitter for the other two, and your presence will change things for him in class. who knows he might be having playgroup issues during recess that he holds in all day.. weirdest reasons. Many years ago my son near that age had a stomache ache every day for a month, it turned out it was because everyone had pokemon cards but him. you never know what goes thru their mind at that age.

K.,

There is some really great advice here. One thing I would add is something we had to do with my son who would lose focus at school as well. The teacher gave him a 'checklist' for the day. He would work on the items in order and if he completed it all, at the end of the day he got an award. My son first wanted pokemon cards, then yu-gi-oh. I'm not into either one, but it worked. He is also very much into animals and there is a card game called Xeko. It has bunches of animals in it. That could be his reward, 1 card each day when he has finished all his work at school and also his homework.

As it has been said - he is 5! Clearly he is one of the younger ones in K - and that 6 months can make a difference. I have a 5 year old girl in K who is just now 'getting' things - she is smart, but young and has the biggest imagination I have ever seen.

I've also used Brain Gym with my kids and that has helped them too.

Another thing to try might be to let him do 'lapbooks' - they are a homeschooling tool. You can look them up on google. Simply they are manilla folders that are folded and attached together. The child looks up something of interest and combines the information in the lapbook. My son who loves animals will look up snakes and such and list questions about the animal that he wants to learn. What does it eat?, where does it live? - etc. He folds paper in half, asks the question on the cover of the folded paper and then writes the answer on the inside. It is also something that he references often and as he learns more can ad too it.

Lastly, you will need to be an advocate for your child. Go by your gut - what does it tell you - does your gut say, he's just being a 5 year old - or do you feel (not think but feel) there is something else going on. If so, check into it. I have 5 children, my younger 4 (ages 8, 7, 5, and 4) all have had speech delays and sensory issues. IQ wise - they are at 130s and 140s and that is with the testing stopping due to time limits - not due to them not knowing the answers. You son could be highly intellegent and very bored - that is were you'll need to really step in and advocate for him.

My sister has a 14 year old whom at this age she still needs to sit next to for hours an evening to get his homework done - his IQ is 193 - very high! He is far to intelligent for what the school provides him. That's just something to be aware of. If this school isn't challenging enough - maybe a charter school would be better..

Best to you!

Hi K.,
I just got good web sight that I saw for the first time yesterday. It was www.raisingsmallsouls.com You will be amazed at the great info there.
Also way back when my first child was in K, 1st grade,-high school she had peti-mal seziures, the little ones. It was difficult for her and us but she made it through school. She is now 31 years old, seziure free, no meds., and works full time in a Library in Houstan TX. She lives alone and drives a better car than we do. Feel free to contact me if you would like to talk. I live in Richfield, UT. My phone # is ###-###-####.
Good luck, Marlene

I would say that there would be four possibilities that come to mind. One, he is bored. He is smart and asks lots of questions, but probably thinks that the homework doesn't help him learn because he already understands it. Two, he is having minor seizures, in which they just space out. I have a granddaughter who has them, but the medication has taken care of all that and she is now doing great. Three, he is smart and asks lots of questions and does hands on work, but the paperwork is hard for him because of a learning disability. Usually, the school system can test him for a learning disability, free of charge, if you ask them. Four, he is a daydreamer. I have a son who, though smart, was unfocused and spaced out in school (daydreamer). As an a adult, he tells me of the many things that he was inventing and figuring out while doing that. He never did really like most of school, but he is an amazing provider and Dad. He can fix anything, he can figure out a way to change something to make it work, he can grow anything, and he can raise anything. If you are ever in trouble, he can help you with it. He thinks outside the box to come up with amazing solutions. He could live off the land if he wanted to. It's too bad that it isn't taught in schools much, because you need it so much in real life. Anyway, just something to think about. Good luck!

You received wonderful advice and I had to say "thank you" for the lovely testimony! I am so pleased to see someone who loves our God and will proclaim it without hesitation! I'll will indeed pray for you that the Lord will provide insight on how to proceed with your son. May God bless and keep you and yours! Take care!

Where do i begin?! Your childs teacher hello she should not be comparing your child to another childs needs or having seizures! kids space out sometimes maybey hes deep in his thoughts. hes only 5 come on. You need to talk to her agian .. dont punish him hes just a kid. Just tell him you need to do your work in class and no messing around . That if he does is work in class that hell get a special treat at the end of the week . He a boy and no thats not an excuse but i have two boys and i know all about that. ha ha i said i would never say that but i have eaten my words .. ha ha i have one son thats 9 and another thats 6 . I hope this has helped Also thats really great that you and your son have accepted that God is your savoir!! L. a stay at home mom also..

I am a former teacher - BTW. Given the information you provided, it sounds like he is bored. Not uncommon in classrooms today. Too much focus on tests and more tests.
Far be it from most teachers to consider such a possibility.
IF that is the case, the only thing that will damage his self esteem is trying to force him to "not be bored".
There are many wonderful schooling choices these days!! You might want to look into what your options are. We did, and we are very happy with our choice. Something to consider.

it sounds to me like he is bored - punishing him for not paying attention to the teacher is wrong - the teacher should be paying attention to him and helping him if he isn't doing his "work" - and lots of kindergarteners are "unfocused" - they are five - if you have him in a Christian school you may be doing more harm than good since the focus isn't always on learning things interesting to a little kid - his self esteem will only suffer if you refuse to be understanding - God will love him no matter where he goes to school

I know it may sound "too simple", but have you tried dietary changes? I have heard of several children lately whose attention symptoms decreased dramatically when their parents did a trial run of food changes. The most common "offenders" are caffeine, food coloring, high fructose corn syrup, preservatives and sometimes just sugar. It's worth a shot . . . God has made our bodies to be truly amazing, and yet there are alot of artificial things in the foods we eat today that affect our bodies more than we realize. Just a thought . . . I know of several children whose teachers suggested medication and when the parents refused, they tried looking at food sensitivity and there were definite improvements. God's blessings.

I know 2 people who do have seizures like that. They would be fine then all of a sudden just space out for a couple minutes, then not remember doing it. I would keep an eye on him at home and see if you notice it any other time other then doing homework.

I would HIGHLY recommend any of the books written by Raymond and Dorothy Moore on childhood development. It amazes me how the school system pushs our young children at such an early age and makes them feel "stupid". Anyway, enough of my rant. Raymond Moore was an educator and researcher, as well as his wife, and they found that boys in particular "learn" differently than girls. I think you will find it very thought provoking to read their research. Any good library should have their books, and I have seen them in the Homeschooling section of the bookstores.

I not sure what grade your son in in and if he is in Kindergarten is this his first experience? I was a teacher for 11 years and I am also a parent. I think it is important to respect a teacher's viewpoint. There could be several reasons for his behavior. He could be distracted because of something new going on in his life, such as your new religious life. It will be important to pay attention and give it some time. If he continues this behaviour into the next grade,he could have ADD or ADHD. Most people think that kids with add or ADHD exhibit hyperactivity,but ADHD does not - the child with be quiet and "space out". Children can be very intelligent and have this and be successful in school. I do think it is wrong to take away recess, especially since he is a boy. I suggest working with the teacher to come up with a positive reward system or have him take home his work that he did not finish. Try to keep things positive and keep the communication lines open so he does not think of school as a "bad thing".

As a parent of a child that has Psycho Motor seizures, what you are describing is quite possibly a seizure. At the very least have him tested. It could also be what I experianced as a child. I was so bored with the stuff going on at school that I just quit caring and that caused problems because I was sitting there not doing anything because I already knew the work. Good Luck.

Hello there
My son had a similar problem but at home not at school. he seemed to be uninterested doing his homework. i happened to read a neat idea in a book that i had bought at my sons karate school. its called black belt parenting. in it was a good idea, sometimes kids dont see the reward for doing the work they are supposed to so we should give them something to look forward to instead of punishing them for bad behavior, you could reward him for his good behavior! we had been wanting to get a wii for him so last year we made a deal with him that if he could come home and do his homework without whining or crying by the end of the school year, then we would get him the wii. of course kids cant be perfect all the time so i printed a picture of the wii and left space under it to mark good and bad behavior! we gave him 3 strikes before we wouldnt get him one! this idea worked well for us! maybe you could find something he would like to work towards.
Good luck

You've received a lot of advice, but I thought I'd speak from experience. First, kinder boys are not designed to sit through "boring" and "rigid" classrooms. I have a MD/ friend that doesn't believe boys should try school at all until 6.

If you are staying at home, maybe consider home schooling. I wish I had done that sooner with my eldest. Which brings up another possibility... Asperger's or a smidgeon of autism. If he's not displaying any symptoms at home I wouldn't worry, but some of your words really brought back memories.

I agree with the moms who say he may need a different type of school. In fact, I'm not thrilled with the idea of a kindgergarten program that makes kids skip recess to finish academic work. Recess is very important to young kids.

About the way he asks the teacher lots of questions, even though he knows how to do the work: he may have a fear of doing things wrong. My daughter is like this. Even if it's something that can't be messed up, and no one would be mad in the least if she didn't do it perfectly, she wants detailed instructions and she is afraid of making a mistake. She's not like this with schoolwork, but with things like adding fabric softener to the laundry or cleaning the toilet. She always asks me to describe toilet-cleaning, step by step, so she won't do it "wrong." And I promise you, I don't go around inspecting her housecleaning! I'm just happy that someone else is making things cleaner.

If this is your son's problem, I wish I had a good suggestion for you, but unfortunately I don't know how to rewire his brain. You just have to give him "just do it!" and "it's okay to make mistakes -- that's how you learn" messages.

I used to do that as a child too and even though my teachers recommended it, my parents never followed up on it until I was a teenager. When it was time to take Drivers Ed, they were concerned that I would do this while driving. The pediatrician at that time said that it was most likely the type of seizures that you mentioned in your post and that I had, "Probably outgrown them." 15 years later I found out that I was still 'spacing out' but I had learned to cover it and that it was most likely caused by emotional trauma.

It doesn't sound like that's (emotional trauma) the case with your son, but if it is the seizures it really is worth checking in to. If he is having some spiritual and/or emotional issues maybe talking to your pastor (or youth pastor if you have one) or a child therapist who understands spiritual issues would help him work through whatever it is so he is able to focus on the things that aren't as naturally engaging.

Hi K., I am homeschooling my son for just that reason. I understand that many teachers are wonderful at their job, but as for my family I believe that homeschooling offers the best environment for my children to get a firm foundation in what we believe before we let them "battle" the world. We are also Christians. I think boys get a bad wrap at school, I can't imagine my son (who is also brite) sitting still while 20 something other students try to learn what he already knows. Take care, explore your options.
A little about me, I have three boys 6, 4 and 6 months I am just finishing our first year (kindergarden) of homeschool with my eldest.
Sincerely,
S.

It's great to hear you share your faith. Continue to pray for direction as you face the different challenges of parenting. Instead of punishing, reward your son for good behavior. Keep a chart that he can add marks or stickers, etc. when he has a good report or does his work without having to have someone sit next to him. Then when he finishes a row, let him pick what he wants to do the next day or next weekend(go to the park, have a friend over, play games with you when the other kids take their nap, etc.) Let the teacher know what you are doing so she can catch him being good and be positive and encouraging. It's hard when you have a bright child who gets bored easily. Ask the teacher what privilege the kids get when they finish their work. Maybe your son just needs something to look forward to if he finishes his work early. Reading Dr. James Dobson's books are very worthwhile. I used to listen to "Focus on the Family" daily when my kids were home. Dr. Dobson was my cheerleader as I faced the challenges of a very stong-willed child. Blessings to you as you teach your children about Jesus! What a great privilege!

I would recommend adding Omega 3's to his vitamin regiment. Omega 3's are great brain food and you can buy Nordic Naturals Children's DHA 100% Arctic Liver Oil at any Whole Foods, or Sprouts store in your area. I tell my boys that they are gushers. They come in small capsules that gush out a strawberry flavored oil. This is great for helping little guys focus. And both of my boys ages 3 & 4 love them!

You also may want to have him tested at school. He may have ADD or ADHD and getting help now will really increase his chances for success throughout his schooling. Is he getting enough sleep at night? This could also be a cause. Good luck and keep your eye on things. You are the mom and you know him the best. Go with you gut!

Gee sounds like my 5 year old. She has the exact same problem. We are hoping that maybe its a maturity thing and that she will "grow out of it". We think that she is mentally ready for school but focus and attention wise isnt. She didnt go to preschool and so hasnt learned the "rules" that she needs for school. we talked to the counselor at school and she gave some hints about what to do at home (she does the same thing at school with her homework) we havent quite worked out all the kinks yet but are working on it.

We have tried rewards but some work at one time and not at another. its a hit or miss kinda thing. Her older sisters live with thier dad and so when she gets done with her work and is good at school (getting work done and behaving) then she can call them and talk to them. She also gets to feed the cat (really big deal to her. Why? I havent figured that out yet hahaha) maybe there is someone he really likes that he can talk to. We also got stickers and when she gets each page done then she gets a sticker on it but she has to "behave" when she does it. The counselor suggested breaking up work with play. alternate work 10 min. play 10 till its done. this was a good thought in theory but doesnt work for my daughter but may for your son.

hang in there sweety your kid is not the only one and im glad to find that mine isnt either. :)

have you considered he might be a type 4 learner? Very hands on, very active, very bright. Parents are often mystified when their smart children don't excel in the classroom. I am a type 4 learner as is my husband. At his college they tested him and found that to be true. The instructor keeps a box of what he calls 'toys' related to the material he is teaching in a corner. The type four learners are allowed to go over and grab one take it back to their seats while they listen. This helps with fidgeting and doodling and distraction, because type 4's tend to get distracted easily. They prefer to be doing something if they have to sit listening for a period of time and they can usually retain the material better. They are usually exceptionally bright in some areas, and struggle in other basic ones. Example- When I was in grade school I could read and write with vocabulary above college level. But I stank at math. Still do. My husband has a grasp of physics and how things work and puzzle type things that keep up with engineers and etc- but he struggles with math, and reading. He does brainwork for them which they take and make and turn into great things. It does take a lot of 'show and tell' and illustrating, with words and otherwise to teach these types of learners. Which means coming right to the person's side and walking them through the steps they really struggle with, over and over, and over... but once the concept is learned it is not easily forgotten. I hope this helps- if I had known this earlier in my life and my parents understood the different learning styles so much would have been different. Because my husband has an instructor who was also type 4, he understands him and has taught him from that viewpoint and has his classroon is set up to acommodate all learning styles. He also is careful to combine the different styles in his teaching so everyone benefits. The group is now ALL in the advanced classes, and my husband was recently elected president of his class and has maintained a 4.0 average. This from a guy they once labelled 'idiot sevant' and sent to the mentally handicapped class. He flew through the math courses and mastered everything for the first time in his life. It does make a HUGE difference. The Center For Accelerated Learning is the distributor of the particular test that his school used. I hope this helps!!!

Hi Kirsten,

The first things I look for in cases like this are diet and environment (toxic overload), which are common culprits for cognitive interruption or dysfunction. I am happy to sit down with your and review what's going on and see if we can identify any gaps. You may reach me at ###-###-####.

Warm Regards,
G. Van Luven
Healthy Habits Wellness Center, LLC
###-###-####

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