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School Refusal in a Kindergartener!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

My middle daughter just turned 5 this summer and has never been very good at new situations or separating from me.  She really loved preschool, but it was half day and only 3 times a week.  Today is only the fourth day she will have gone to school (between staggered kindy entrance and a hurricane irene) and she wept this morning like we were trying to take her to the guillotine.

 

After school she is in okay spirits, but very frenetic, and she has told us how often she cries during the day (a lot, but getting less).  She is excited about some of the things they do and learn, but really dislikes some things, too.

 

Short of physically wrestling her into her clothes and bodily carrying her into the building, what the heck do I do????

 

post #2 of 13

Have you talked to her teacher about what is going on? I would want to find out if there is a problem that is causing this stress, or if the stress is coming from inside her.

 

post #3 of 13

I agree with Linda, it makes sense to work with her teacher on this. Also inquire about whether she is crying during the day. Most kindergarten teachers are pretty good at helping with separation problems at this age. I hope things improve soon!

post #4 of 13

I could have written the same post about my oldest...I am at a loss.  She loved the first day, cried getting on the bus the second, was ok getting on today but came home and said she cried 5 times.  She hasn't been eating her lunch and when I asked her why she said that it is hard to eat when you are sad...she says she likes playing there, talks about some friends, is generally happy when she gets off the bus...but also told me at rest time she made tear puddles on her desk.

 

I don't know if I should just homeschool...if this is what is pushing me to that?  If I should just stick with it and hope it gets better?  Ugh.  It's so hard.

 

Katie

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

I have spoken to her teacher and my dd cries a LOT during the day.  The teacher has no suggestions, but I am meeting with the principal on Friday.  We are prepared to homeschool kindergarten if we don't get some support from the school.  (By the way, very excited and VERY scared about that!)

I am so surprised that they have so little to offer my child!  Their curriculum is paltry-- I was shocked.  I don't know how I can get her to school for the next two days until my meeting.  She is so very upset!  She is getting stomach aches.  It is heartbreaking!

post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by brennatsi View Post

I have spoken to her teacher and my dd cries a LOT during the day.  The teacher has no suggestions, but I am meeting with the principal on Friday.  We are prepared to homeschool kindergarten if we don't get some support from the school.  (By the way, very excited and VERY scared about that!)

I am so surprised that they have so little to offer my child!  Their curriculum is paltry-- I was shocked.  I don't know how I can get her to school for the next two days until my meeting.  She is so very upset!  She is getting stomach aches.  It is heartbreaking!


Take her out for the rest of the week! It is just kindergarten and she is still so little! You can always try again for grade 1. I intend to do this with my ds5 who has some social anxiety. He is getting a lot braver as he matures but I don't want his first year of school to be a negative experience for him. 

 

post #7 of 13
We had a kid in DD1's kinder who was the same way. The kinder teacher suggested that the mother stay a little longer during the morning and came at lunch time. As well as came early to the school before pickup. It really seemed to help him. It took a long time for him to be okay with it all, but I think he seemed happier during the school year. It could be separation anxiety and the fact that school is a long time to be away from your comfort zone at that age. We dealt with this in 2nd grade but there were so many other things involved and my kids were out of school in February. They went back this year and you can see a huge difference in how they are able to cope with school.

Good luck
post #8 of 13

Is she a young five?  I might just try again next year and spend this year working on building her confidence and easing her into activities to expose her to more people and situations. 

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by NiteNicole View Post

Is she a young five?  I might just try again next year and spend this year working on building her confidence and easing her into activities to expose her to more people and situations. 


 

It looks like she is 5, turning 6 in Nov.

 

Because nothing bad is happening at school and she isn't calming down, I think it is an anxiety problem. There are numerous books on working with kids to better deal with anxiety.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_4_7?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=anxiety+in+children&sprefix=anxiety

 

 

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

She turned 5 this summer, so yes, she's a little young.  She loved playgroups and preschool, too.  I came to visit (and help in)  her classroom today for 1.5 hours and that REALLY helped.  However, while I was there, I saw worksheet after worksheet about shapes (really?  shapes?) and lots of downtime sitting in chairs with nothing to do.  The teacher did a lot of talking from the front of the room.  Wow, kindergarten is not what it used to be!!

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by brennatsi View Post

She turned 5 this summer, so yes, she's a little young.  She loved playgroups and preschool, too.  I came to visit (and help in)  her classroom today for 1.5 hours and that REALLY helped.  However, while I was there, I saw worksheet after worksheet about shapes (really?  shapes?) and lots of downtime sitting in chairs with nothing to do.  The teacher did a lot of talking from the front of the room.  Wow, kindergarten is not what it used to be!!


My best guess is that the shapes thing has to do with assessment. I'm pretty sure dd1's Kindergarten teacher spent a good part of the first week or two of school figuring out just where the kids were. But what you describe is also very different from the kindergarten I observed last year--in dd's class there were lots of manipulatives, instruction in small group rotations, choice time (always dd's favorite!) where the choices were anything from reading or journaling (it was and is a K-1 class) to spending time in the playhouse corner of the room, art projects...
post #12 of 13
OP, I just reread your original post...is it possible that some of the separation anxiety has to do with just having gone through a hurricane?
post #13 of 13

For some kids, a gradual transition into a school or care situation is much more difficult then just starting the full routine.  And if the hurricane was really scary where you are, that could be intensifying her reaction.  I'm not surprised to hear that the material covered in the first weeks is pretty basic.  I am surprised to hear that the teacher is talking from the front of the room a lot, and that the teacher has no suggestions.  Is she really new to teaching?  Because we dealt with approaches to school anxiety in the ed. psych class that was a pre-requisite for teacher training.  This doesn't happen to a ton of kids, but it happens to a few kids in practically every school every year, and it pops up at all grade levels.  

 

As a high school teacher, my instinct is to keep the kid in school and provide supports - check-ins with guidance, teacher support for positive social interaction, accommodations for homework and testing, scheduling classes so they are with safe peers and friends.  I don't necessarily think that approach is either appropriate or inappropriate for a kindergarten student - anxiety in hs students is usually about peer interactions and performance issues, and that's a whole different picture in early elementary.  Can your dd's ped recommend a counselor with experience in this issue?

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