View Full Version : Back to square one- please share your stories

02-08-2012, 06:30 PM
So the one extracurric I had my dd in has been a failure.

Without.. assigning blame here, I'll just say that I have a marshmellow daughter and the instructor was.. harsh and abrasive. My dd wouldn't talk on the way home from her last lesson, not AT ALL. And she refused to talk about it when we got here, too, just was very teary eyed and asked for her big brother (who sillies her out of sadness very effectively). It was, frankly, very concerning since she's a kid who doesn't stop talking long enough to take a breath. We had a family meeting about it tonight and even though dd has WANTED these lessons since she was 2.5, she isn't upset that we'll be looking elsewhere- even talking about how it was going at this place made her cry. Dh and I had both spent time there, and compared notes. It wasn't that this place was abusive in an obvious fashion.. I just happen to believe that pushing kids past their comfort zone is great- pushing them until they break is not. Both of my children are sensitive souls, but my dd in particular has had more than her fair share of being a 'failure' in the last few years. She certainly doesn't need to feel like one with an activity she begged to do. Why do some adults assume all kids are manipulative or lazy? Why does a child saying they can't do something make adults hear "I won't" instead of hearing "I need help"?

Can someone share their own horror story?

*sigh* I probably want too much in a teacher for my children.. LOL, we are homeschoolers after all, and I was dissatisfied with ps teachers and methods. Ah well. Whatever, these are my kids to raise. We'll keep looking for our Mr. Miyagi (karate kid :p)

(ftr- even my dh is pretty angry at how this went. And he's much more mellow and inclined to give attitude leeway to professionals than I am. He'll also be happy to assign blame in this case)

Accidental Homeschooler
02-08-2012, 06:42 PM
My dd had a Russian ice skating coach when she was five or six and came off the ice in tears. He did not understand what happened, why she was upset. My dd was extremely shy/sensitive at that age. I kind of figured it was just not a good match. There was a Russian woman watching him teach (a different lesson, not my dd's) and said approvingly, "He teaches in the Russian way." Other kids did very well with him. Dd just had him for a make-up class because she had missed her regular one. We just didn't go back to him. I think that happens sometimes, just not a good match. Good luck finding a better one!

02-08-2012, 07:13 PM
Its kinda a funny story - when Orion was 6, in aftercare run by the Y at the school, one guy who was working there was a basketball player, and Orion was very small. He picked up Orion and pretended he was going to throw him through the hoop . . . Orion was HYSTERICAL! He wouldn't go near that counselor again - the poor guy felt so bad about it!

The martial arts place we go to, this is one of the amazing things about them. The master instructor and many of the other instructors seem to know exactly when to push, when to encourage, when to give one-on-one attention, when to distract, and when to remind us all that OUR best is not anyone elses best, and he expects us to do OUR best. The first time Orion was belt testing (he was 6 or 7), the master stopped in the middle of testing to say that Orion and (another fidgety little boy) were working REALLY hard just trying to stay still, and he understands because he was the same way. This school has been mentioned as a great place for kids on the spectrum because the teachers are just so understanding and the school's approach is so supportive.

Definitely dont accept a class that makes your child cry!! What kind of class was it?

02-08-2012, 07:31 PM
It's not a horror story necessarily, but when we first enrolled Zack in piano lessons he had a clash with his instructor. She was a sweet girl but a tad obsessed with proper posture and proper hand position. I tried to explain to her that with sensory processing disorder he would tend to slump a little bit and it would be difficult for him to hold his fingers curled without fatigue. She smiled and shook her head and said she understood and we discussed modifications and yet during every lesson she wouldn't even let him finish a bar without saying "Sit up! Curl your fingers! No, not like that! Curl them like this! Sit up!" He would invariably be frustrated and teary after every lesson and he was starting to dread playing the piano.

When we found his new instructor, I had the same conversation with her. She has never once nagged at him about his posture or hand position and he plays passably. She is tough on him about note recognition but he likes a challenge so he doesn't mind it. He's never going to be a concert pianist but he looks forward to his lessons, doesn't balk at practicing and enjoys himself.

Sorry your daughter had such a difficult time and I hope you find a good fit for her.

02-09-2012, 07:34 PM
It has to be the right fit. We, as homeschoolers, have kids that are better at expressing what feels right and what doesn't because they know we are going to listen and make adjustments. You have to feel like it's a good environment, especially if it involves $$$. Even the extracurriculars are not a one size fits all.

I took my youngest to a gymnastics place (that she had also begged and begged to do) where the owner was Bulgarian. It was HORRIBLE. We were attempting to join a class in May that had been meeting since September so the group was unified and knew the drills. My daughter is very shy in new situations. The owner was asking her her name and she wouldn't respond. It just went downhill from there. The teenage instructors had zero skills in helping my daughter warm up to the situation. Once the owner found out my daughter was homeschooled, she wanted us to come back for a class with kids younger. The owner was yelling at both of us "she can not do it." The skills were easy like walking backwards so I was offended that the owner just assumed she couldn't do it because she wouldn't do it. But it was just her shyness. It was just horrible. And, all of this took place in 10 minutes. I know when I take her to a new class that it might take 2 or 3 classes for her to warm up and really start to participate. I KNOW that and I'm prepared to pay for the classes, sit back, relax and wait for my daughter to warm up. But this woman was just outrageous. We left quickly and when we got to the car, I said to my daughter "Do you understand what just happened?" and my daughter said "No." I felt so horrible, insulted, humiliated.

Try to find someone else that is a better fit for your daughter.

02-12-2012, 01:10 AM
We enrolled our 12 year old daughter in dance class this September. She was less than enthusiastic and we talked about it, asking her to give it a try for 4-6 weeks then re-evaluate. She tried, then really decided it wasn't for her. Class had 8 kids plus her, and all 8 had been in the class for 3 or 4 years and were excluding her, not on purpose but it just happens. We are still looking for something that is a good fit for our kids, that doesn't eat up all our time together but still has them doing somethign engaging outside the home aside from TaeKwonDo. It's hard sometimes!


02-12-2012, 01:20 AM
It's so hard to find the right things!!

When my DS was 4, we enrolled him in a *very* beginning Tae Kwon Do class. Well, the instructor had a loud booming voice and spoke in a sharp tone... not unusual for martial arts, but not something my son was used to. And my kid is as sensitive as the day is long. You do the math. He wouldn't go back, and he still hasn't wanted to try TKD again. I think he'd actually enjoy it if he gave it a chance, but it's not happening. Sigh.

DS has decided he really likes basketball, and he's young enough to do the park and rec leagues still. So we're in that right now. He's going to do golf or tennis lessons this summer, and he lives for just about any library program. I'm still trying to find something arts-related that he's passionate about. This is one of those times I'm thankful that we live in a city and there are a lot of options... doesn't mean we like them all or that they all work, LOL, but there are different things to try!

02-12-2012, 04:52 PM
B1 had a substitute violin teacher one winter. She had been training classical violinists for 70 years, had her method and wasn't going to change. I don't know who was happier when the six weeks was up - the teacher or the student.

No need for a kid to cry, especially at the beginner level or a purely recreational activity (and really I know my kids aren't going to the olympics or the super bowl so I'm happy to have them doing things they enjoy and acan keep doing throughout their lives).