I hope he passes first grade!

G goes to the school where I work.  Last year he was in a different school, closer to where we live.  When he was in Pre-K, his teacher (who had been teaching for long enough that she was close to retirement) said that she didn’t see minds like his much, but she predicted that he’d have a hard time in public school.  

The next year, as she predicted, he had a rough time.  He frequently brought home red letters (we called them howlers) saying that he’d gotten in trouble for something.  Usually it was for moving too much, not listening, and occasionally getting into altercations with other students.  (He has a VERY strong sense of justice, but he also wants to do what HE wants to do, even if it’s not what he’s *supposed to* be doing.)

But this year, even in a small, close-knit, privileged, Mayberry-like community, he’s not doing well.  He’s in trouble more often than not (mainly for doing what *he* wants to do and not what he’s told), and even his school work is mediocre at best.  This past week he got in trouble for flicking peas off a spoon.  Oh, wait, I’m sorry, “launching” peas off a spoon.  He made sure to correct me as I was reprimanding him.  It’s not that launching peas is bad, it’s just that launching them in the school cafeteria is most definitely NOT ok.  So I gave him some spoons at home and told him to go to town, launching whatever he wanted to launch outside.

But how do I get him to recognize that boundary?  He needs to know that it’s not a bad behavior…it’s actually *good* in so many ways (he’s learning physics, y’all!), but in school, it *is* a bad behavior.

I’ve had NUMEROUS people tell me that he’d be the perfect candidate for a Montessori or Waldorf school , or for home schooling, but I don’t see any of those as possibilities, as much as I’d like for them to be.  The first two aren’t feasible because we don’t live anywhere near such schools.  The last option has many flaws (like the fact that I work full-time), but mostly because he Does.Not.Listen to me.  He’s the most incredible, compassionate, insightful kid at times, but at other times he’s the most inconsiderate asshole you’ve ever seen.  We had an event at school on Friday and he made an absolute fool out of himself in front of a lot of people.  If he’d been genuinely curious and paying attention, it might have been endearing, but it was not endearing, his rudeness was mortifying .  And the problem is that I don’t have any idea how to fix this.  Can he learn appropriate behavior in social situations, or is this just the way he is?  Because I’m going to have a really hard time dealing with a self centered, entitled child.

I hope he passes first grade!

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