Conversations with my nephew

For the last couple of months, I have been having weekly conversations with my nephew. We started the conversations when his mother and I grew concern about his behavior in school. M is in third grade and he’d been making frequent trips to see the principal. Our first conversation went something like this:

K: How was your week?

M: Fine.

K: What did you learning?

M: School is boring. The teachers just yell at you.

K: School is boring? There must be something you like?

M: Yeah. I like writing.

K: What do you like to write?

M: About stuff.

K: Like reports and stories?

M: Yes.

K: That’s good. I like to write, too.

M: School is not fun. I don’t like school. You have to be quiet.

K: What do you mean you don’t like school?

K goes into a long sermon about the virtues of school, how M should sit in his seat, be quiet, listen to the teacher, and stay out of trouble. M’s verbal ability is probably as high as K’s. He speaks like an adult trapped in a four foot body. He raises issues about the educational system that she can’t answer. A busy boy who has to be forced inside when it gets dark, M is the type of child who is kinesthetic. How in the world can K help him?