Last Wednesday was parent teacher conference with Caleb's kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Coburn, who I think is fantastic. She has over 30 years experience as a teacher and I feel like she knows classroom management and how to teach children as well as any other teacher he could have ever had. Anyway, she was very direct at the beginning of the conference that she is having trouble with Caleb. I went hoping she would have some solutions for me as he has become extremely non-compliant at home. Apparently she is having similar problems. He loves to wrestle, talk out of turn, and sometimes just refuses to participate. She is putting him on a behavior plan where she ranks him 1-5 after every activity and I am supposed to come up with rewards and consequences for when he brings his report home each day. (Problem number one, it is so hard to know what rewards and what consequences are best, and of course the big problem of consistency.)
Mrs. Coburn followed the extremely disturbing discussion on his behavior with a discussion on his academic progress. On his last DIBBELS test in two of the four categories, Letter Naming Fluency and Nonsense Word Fluency (which is a comprehensive skill of sounding out words that aren't words) he is above benchmark. On Initial Sounds Fluency he is somewhat behind, but nothing to worry about. The problem comes with the Phonemic Segmentation Fluency. He scored a 0. Which is a huge read flag, and indicates that he can't do it, but he must have refused to do it because when his teacher and I quizzed him on it he had no problem. When I ask him about school his response is, "I DON'T LIKE TO DO HARD THINGS." So how do I teach this stubborn five year old that we all HAVE TO do hard things. There is no choice.
Mrs. Coburn is suggesting that he should possibly start in a reading intervention group and then it will become easier for him. The thing that gives me heartburn (well everything gives me heartburn right now), but the thing that I am stressed about is that he is "proficient" on every single Language Arts skill required for kindergarten and he still has half of a school year left. Do I allow this behavior problem to be treated with an extra 30 minutes of school each day instead of going to lunch? (He would eat lunch at 12:30 when he gets home from school.) I have been sick about how to parent this child. He is so strong willed and stubborn. I just thought I would share some of my parenting dilemmas and see if you have any ideas.