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Topic: School
Posts: 2
on: Feb 19, 2012, 1:52pm

My son just started school and is having a very difficult time with the number of students in the classroom. His Kindergarten class has 26 students in it. His teacher told me he only speaks in a whisper. It's so overwhelming for him. He is an extremely bright and creative child, but he is showing none of that in the classroom. Any ideas or suggestions on how to make him feel more comfortable in a large group are appreciated. I hate the thought of home schooling him because he loves the idea of school and being around other kids, but the actual experience is jarring for him. So thankful for this forum!

Posts: 1
Re: School
on: Feb 20, 2012, 1:26am

Yes. This is hard. I think the best single thing to keep in mind is that quiet kids have long "runways." That is, the noise is surely a challenge, but quiet kids can accommodate over time, it just may take quite a while. The biggest thing in my opinion would be not to push the child to speak up in class beyond the whisper. If it's a whisper for now then it's a whisper. It's better than complete silence and probably bespeaks a capacity to speak up more loudly eventually, when he or she is more comfortable. It might be good to talk to the teacher about that too; to advocate patience and gentleness versus any kind of push, which often backfires with these kids. He'll speak up when he's ready and that might be a while - requiring patience from you and the teacher, but it will happen eventually.

Another thing to keep in mind is that just because quieter kids don't speak up doesn't necessarily mean they are not engaged, entertained, happy and learning at school. Often they are, they just don't want to speak up. So this whisper doesn't NECESSARILY mean that this school is actually problematic at all, that the kid is unhappy - as long as you can manage the teacher's reaction (maybe give the teacher a copy of Quiet!). The hard part of all this is that the school, the noise, the overstimulation might be a real problem and the child might be unhappy there and then you will have to think through your alternative options. You have to really observe that closely. My point is that the whisper at public speaking moments doesn't always or necessarily mean there's a big problem in general happiness at that school, and that the kid is just plain in the wrong environment. He may overcome it and any other small challenges eventually with gentle patience, and ultimately thrive there.

Finally, he may indeed be more comfortable in a school with smaller classes and more individualized learning; easier said then done of course, and often quite expensive sadly, but smaller classes can help these kids get more confident more quickly.

Any other readers have any thoughts? this goes right to the heart of the challenge of raising quieter kids today.

Posts: 1
Re: School
on: Mar 3, 2012, 10:09am

My daughter was the same way. But being an introvert myself I understood what was going on. But the teachers were hard. Some will understand but some wont and so just do what I do and tell them up front that she is an introvert and to give her time. She is fine. Your son will be great he is just being who he was made to be.

btw thank you for what your doing. Sometimes I want to stand up and yell there is nothing wrong with being an introvert. But I am too much of an introvert, so thank you for doing it for me.

husband and oldest (son) extraverts, daughter and self introverts

Janet Davies
Posts: 1
Re: School
on: May 6, 2013, 7:32am

What a great reply Shachar, you've helped clarify for me what has been going on for my daughter for a long time. My daughter is definitely an introvert but not at the extreme end of the spectrum. It's taken me a long time to understand her nature and it wasn't until I saw Susan TED talk that the penny dropped. I'm much more of an extrovert and I sadly, I just didn't get it. Now I do and I can see she is thriving even though she often responds to the world differently to the way I would. There in lies the beauty, she's showing me by her actions the way she experiences the world and just because it's not the way other more extroverted and assertive kids or I might do it, doesn't mean she doesn't enjoy life. thanks!

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