Child Hates School...at a loss. - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-01-2010, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Title about sums it up.  My daughter is 5 and in public kindergarten.  She hates it.  She progressed from throwing tantrums about going to physically making herself ill about going. One day she was really late because as we approached the school she got so upset about having to go in she threw up all over herself, and no, she was not actually sick with a bug or something.  We had to go all the way home, change her, clean the car, etc. 

She's the youngest in her class but academically she's at or above the other kids.  She's bored.  She's asking for a cell phone so she can call me at lunch time.  I go have lunch with her when I can but sometimes I can't get there because of work obligations.

 

I can't afford private school right now and I'm a full time professor mama.  I've told her teacher what's up and she's done what she can.  The school counselor is involved.  The assistant principal is involved.  The gifted coordinator is involved.  Regardless, my child hates school and is very sad and miserable.  I hate to see her this way.  And now I'm hearing that my sweet gentle child who got along with everyone for 2 years in her preschool can't get along with kids in her class. 

 

Suggestions, ideas, anything?  Thanks, mamas greensad.gif


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Old 12-01-2010, 01:27 PM
 
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Here is the short version:

 

I don't think any child should be in an ongoing state of misery due to any educational arrangement.

 

here are your options:

 

-work with your DD and the school to make it a better place for her - but put some serious timelines around improvement.  Misery is a hard thing to deal for very long. Be very upfront with the school about how serious this all is.  

 

-change schools

 

-if she is gifted and bored, would a grade skip help?

 

-HS.  People do work and Hs, so it might be possible.  Even HS for a year or two (grade 2 might work well - as the fairly easy work of K, and the learning to read of grade 1 (I assume she can read?) will be over).

 

 

Good luck - hugs to both of you.

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Old 12-01-2010, 01:40 PM
 
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What about it does she hate? I think that's key for problem-solving. What are the differences between kindergarten and her preschool? I wouldn't accept 'bored' as a final answer; it's too vague.

 

My son went through something similar and it turned out there was one thing he was being asked to do (write, actually) that was looming really large for him. When we sat down together with the school it turned out we were talking about ten minutes out of the day. We all worked together to be sure that although he completes his ten minutes, he understands that it's only a very small part of the whole picture, and his good cheer returned.

 

I was really surprised at how emotional he was over something that was only a small part of the day. It was a big lesson for us in details. Obviously that may be a very different experience from yours but I do wonder what components of the class are freaking her out.


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Old 12-01-2010, 01:47 PM
 
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My eldest hated kindie. She started 2 to 5 grade levels advanced and it just didn't work. She started getting tummy aches and stress headaches. She became depressed and disengaged. After we tried all the usual accomodations, the principal suggested a grade skip. We were nervous and only allowed subject acceleration to 1st in Language arts and Math. In a couple weeks, DD was begging to stay in 1st grade. She's always needed a lot of differentiation and additional subject accelerations but that initial skip really made a huge difference socially and in her overall outlook. She's in high school now and just doing great.

 

Have they considered a subject acceleration to start? Going to first grade for her highest subject might give her something to look forward too. Then, you could decide whether she fit better with the older kids than the younger.


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Old 12-01-2010, 01:47 PM
 
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What about it does she hate? I think that's key for problem-solving. What are the differences between kindergarten and her preschool? I wouldn't accept 'bored' as a final answer; it's too vague.

 

Yes

 

I do not think boring is fun, but IMHO it does not usually cause the sort of meltdowns the OP's daughter is having.

 

FWIW, When my children have refused to do something it has often been because one of the children, or, as often, one of the adults was "being mean" or perceived as being mean.

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Old 12-01-2010, 08:42 PM
 
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How soon does she know whether you'll be coming at lunch on a given day? Unless you can arrange things so that there's at least a plan for a given week, it may be making things worse.

Your line "sometimes I can't get there" makes me fear that she doesn't know if you're coming until you either show up or don't.

 

Ideally, you'd arrange things to always, without fail, no excuses, visit on the same days each week. Put it on your calendar, schedule it in like a doctor's appointment, most of my professors did stuff like that, especially at lunch time no one's going to be pissed that you aren't having office hours.

 

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Old 12-02-2010, 10:11 AM
 
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Could you switch schools to a charter or private school(Montessori) that can allow her to work ahead?Some schools are free and others offer scholarships. My ds has a classmate in his lower el class that is doing the work of older kids.Everyone has their own pace.I would try to find a school that can better meet her needs.

 

Maybe switch her K class.New kids and a new teacher *might* help. If there are no other options you just have to keep telling her she needs to make the best of this situation for now.Eventually she will stop with the meltdowns when it does not result in reaction/action from you.

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Old 12-02-2010, 10:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well the plot thickens.  Apparently added to the whole mix now is a child who behaves adversarially toward mine to the point of causing physical injury.  The school is now aware of this and are hopefully doing something about it.  I'm less concerned with the whole "bored" issue now in light of this.  I guess we'll have to take it one crisis at a time. 


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Old 12-02-2010, 12:40 PM
 
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Well the plot thickens.  Apparently added to the whole mix now is a child who behaves adversarially toward mine to the point of causing physical injury.  The school is now aware of this and are hopefully doing something about it.  I'm less concerned with the whole "bored" issue now in light of this.  I guess we'll have to take it one crisis at a time. 


That's hard - but it could be that as you get into that situation, it may be the root of the whole thing. Even verbally advanced kids can't always articulate what particular dynamic in a classroom is making them "hate school." Here's hoping it gets worked out so your daughter enjoys it soon. smile.gif


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Old 12-03-2010, 06:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That's hard - but it could be that as you get into that situation, it may be the root of the whole thing. Even verbally advanced kids can't always articulate what particular dynamic in a classroom is making them "hate school." Here's hoping it gets worked out so your daughter enjoys it soon. smile.gif


Well  that would certainly explain why she can't tell me what she did all day when I ask :) 

I suspect it is only part of the picture.  She's been struggling with other things with this school also. 

I do make it clear on the mornings when I'll be coming to lunch and make sure I show up when I've said I will.  But she's been extra clingy and not wanting to go back to class so I may have to hold off on the lunchtime visits. 

A while ago there was talk of having my daughter go to 1st for reading after the break.  I'm not sure what's come of this plan.

Part of the issue is NO communication from the school.  I found out one day that my child spend 2 hours asleep in the nurse's office and nobody thought to call me.  She's seen the school counselor a number of times and I've not received notice of what goes on in there either.  I stay pretty involved but it seems like there's one thing after another that I'm just clueless about and my daughter ends up melting down over after it's happened enough. 

She's also frustrated with the repetition.  She used to absolutely LOVE patterns until they started making her do them every single day.  Now she despises them. 

She's not happy at school.  I don't let her let on, but I'm not happy with the way things are going for her.  Part of me wants to pull her and homeschool her starting in January.  Another part of me worries that I'd be sending the wrong message to my child, that instead of working things out, you should run from your issues.  But we've been trying, trying, for a while now to work things out and it seems to be escalating.

Hence the frustration. 

I don't know if I have time to homeschool because I need to find a job and publish or at least submit some research papers that will make me job-marketable in the very near future.  But I don't have time for this drama either.  Not to mention it's breaking my heart to see my once happy child turn into something very different than who she was just 4 months ago. 

There's a Sudbury-type of school here but I can't afford the tuition.  Ditto Montessori. 

Ah well, thanks for listening :-) 
 


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Old 12-03-2010, 10:13 PM
 
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Your child is throwing up about going to school and the school is keeping secrets from you? FIREdevil.gif

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I do make it clear on the mornings when I'll be coming to lunch and make sure I show up when I've said I will. 

YAY!

 

Part of the issue is NO communication from the school.  I found out one day that my child spend 2 hours asleep in the nurse's office and nobody thought to call me.  She's seen the school counselor a number of times and I've not received notice of what goes on in there either. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!

Do you have any friends who could go in and represent you to the school? Even just to persist until the school mails YOU the information?
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Old 12-03-2010, 10:28 PM
 
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Honestly, I have been shocked over the behavior of many kids in school these days. My now 6 yr old was in kindergarten last year and it was a nightmare. It was not boredom. It was major behavior problems at school from other kids. The teachers and other parents even told me my child was so great.

 

A child does not get this upset just over being bored at school. I would be disturbed that the teacher did not even know that she was being hurt by another child. I would think this was the tip of the iceberg. Can you find a private kindergarten that does not cost much more than the preschool she was in?

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Old 12-03-2010, 10:44 PM
 
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yikes, throwing up because she doesn't want to go to school... something is def up with that picture. i'd also find a way to homeschool. i don't see how that is teaching her to quit. if i have a job i don't feel comfortable at, i am free to quit and find a new one. headscratch.gif


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Old 12-03-2010, 10:52 PM
 
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Honestly, I have been shocked over the behavior of many kids in school these days. My now 6 yr old was in kindergarten last year and it was a nightmare. It was not boredom. It was major behavior problems at school from other kids. The teachers and other parents even told me my child was so great.

 

A child does not get this upset just over being bored at school. I would be disturbed that the teacher did not even know that she was being hurt by another child. I would think this was the tip of the iceberg. Can you find a private kindergarten that does not cost much more than the preschool she was in?


I haven't seen a lot of behavior problems, but I agree about that boredom shouldn't be causing your dd to get so upset that she vomits on herself on a regular basis.  Even if she does use vomiting to get out of doing things she doesn't want to do (some kids are able to do that) the other things you describe are also disturbing and I think you should try homeschooling.  It doesn't take that much time out of your day, it took 2-3 hours tops and some of that time was the time my dd took to have a break from learning after a few activities.  My dd had a miserable time in first grade because she had an atrocious teacher, she spent a lot of time in the nurses office, and the principal supported the teacher 100%.  I pulled her out and homeschooled her and I am very glad I did.  We did a lot of activities at our community center and the Y so she could have fun socializing and I could get a break.  We also spent a lot of time together building our bond and loving learning.  She is now in a charter school and has a wonderful teacher who gets the kids excited about learning.  She is still sometimes bored with some subjects because they are too easy for her, but she is having fun and loves school. 

 

One thing to keep in mind : they may not be telling you about the counseling and nurses office stuff because they are building a case to use against you.  If your child is needing a couple hours of sleep a day that may be raising red flags.  If you haven't already started trying to get her to sleep more at home that may be something to explore until you move her somewhere else.  Some of the things you describe may also be things they see a different way in an equally troubling light.  If you haven't had a meeting with the teacher and principal about your concerns I suggest starting there, it isn't always effective but it can be. 

 

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Old 12-04-2010, 12:00 AM
 
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Our daughter is in Kindergarten this year as well and we were having some serious issues with her getting VERY upset everyday at the thought of going to school. It go so bad after the first week of school that I was threatening to pull her out and homeschool. We were working with the counselor and the teacher but it wasn't really helping a whole lot. I finally got to the point of not being able to take it anymore. I was in tears right along with my daughter every single day when dropping her off AND picking her up. I was doing some research on the internet and discovered that she had alot of childhood anxiety symptoms. I had just been treated for Social Anxiety Disorder myself and decided to do a bit more reading. I found this book on Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Anxiety-Cure-Kids-Guide-Parents/dp/0471263613/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1291445157&sr=8-2 

 

And it literally changed our daughters life. I kid you not. She was the shyest kid on the block before and now she will walk right up and say hi to strangers without batting an eye. I thought how in the world am I going to explain a dragon in your head  to my 5 year old but it worked. We were immediatly seeing results.

 

And this book

http://www.amazon.com/When-Worries-Relaxation-Children-Anxiety/dp/1931282927/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1291445157&sr=8-6 

helped her to visualize just how big dragon was so she could explain to me how bad a given situation might be for her. She liked that it was interactive and she could draw her own pictures and putting her feelings on paper really helped me understand her better.

 

Pretty soon she was telling me how dragon was helping her in school and in other situations. Rather than crying for my childs pain I was crying for joy at how happy and independent she has become.

 

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Old 12-04-2010, 12:34 AM
 
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She is under a lot of stress, poor girl. I don't know what I would do in your situation, but it bothers me that she was in the nurse's office for 2 hrs w/out a phone call.

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Old 12-04-2010, 11:35 AM
 
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She's not happy at school.  I don't let her let on, but I'm not happy with the way things are going for her.  Part of me wants to pull her and homeschool her starting in January.  Another part of me worries that I'd be sending the wrong message to my child, that instead of working things out, you should run from your issues.  But we've been trying, trying, for a while now to work things out and it seems to be escalating.

Hence the frustration. 

I don't know if I have time to homeschool because I need to find a job and publish or at least submit some research papers that will make me job-marketable in the very near future.  But I don't have time for this drama either.  Not to mention it's breaking my heart to see my once happy child turn into something very different than who she was just 4 months ago. 

There's a Sudbury-type of school here but I can't afford the tuition.  Ditto Montessori. 

Ah well, thanks for listening :-) 
 


It sounds like she is a very bright child, homeschooling her might not take much time. Finding care on when she is around and you need to work is another issue. Does your school district have a shared schooling program? Here they have an option to go two days a week, they are kept out of the general school population in their own little, group, and they only do "fun" things. PE, art, music, computers, library, recess. etc... If something like that exists in your area it might solve the need for you to be able to work some and her not to be bored. 

 

Pulling her out would not send the wrong message, she isn't old enough to work through this. She is just one miserable little girl who is trying to show you in every way possible that this environment is not the correct fit for her. And no judgement coming from me at all, I attempted to keep my DD2 in school this year far longer then I should have, I needed more time to work/study, in the end it was affecting every aspect of her life. I pulled her out, and 2 weeks later I had my child back, the one I hadn't seen a couple months. Sometimes no matter how hard we try, the school and child are just not a fit. hug2.gifHang in there, good luck, and yes I would also suggest pulling her out if at all possible, worst possible case maybe taking an "extended vacation", let her have several weeks off to decompress with no school (beyond X-Mas break,more like a month+) , and retry again if there is no other option for you. 


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Old 12-05-2010, 07:10 PM
 
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I agree with the op's. It seems like some kind of change needs to happen. My dd2 did this in preschool/childcare.  Every day as we got closer to the school her anxiety would build and her crying would escalate. By the time we were in her classroom she was throwing up. I would then have to take her home b/c of course they don't want a sick child there and I had to call in sick. We just knew we couldn't keep doing it and found a sahm who could care for her while I was at work.

 

We are currently in the process of moving dd1 to K at a new school. We are having HUGE communication issues! One day she told me she had been to the nurse because she got something in her eye....no one ever told me. She's also been wetting her pants at school, that is totally not normal for her. We are starting at our neighborhood school after xmas break. Hopefully it will be an improvement.

 

For us this meant a pretty big change in day to day life, but it's worth it. If I could I would homeschool, but it's not an option right now. I think it's going to be worth the changes we are making. Good Luck!


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Old 12-06-2010, 08:34 AM
 
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Cyberfish, 

Maybe consider getting more proactive with the teacher.  Visit after school when you are picking your dd up- find a day where the teacher can talk for 10 minutes or so on a weekly basis about your dd's progress academically as well as socially.  If not weekly, do this regularly, so she/he understands your concerns.  I would also put a request in with the school nurse that she notify you, if your dd shows up in her office (this is standard policy at my kids school- even for mundane stuff).  Tell the office secretary that you to be contacted, too, in case the nurse is busy.  

 

There is a huge range of skills and ability in kindergarten.  As they assess your dd, they may start doing more small group and individual instruction that better meets her needs.  It is hard at the beginning of the year when all the students are new and still learning the classroom dynamic.  

 

I know that at my dd's kindergarten, the requested parental help during the day because they had such a range of behaviors in addition to ability.  Having more adult supervision changes the classroom dynamic.  Maybe if you could visit during class time instead of lunch you could get a better idea of how your dd is doing.  Maybe see if you can go in and read; we had a parental sign up.   Help with the end of the day loading cubbies, backpacks, and putting on winter coats.  

 

Amyhulen, I am going to check out the books you recommended, thanks.  My dd has times where she is very shy and worries. 

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Old 12-06-2010, 08:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for your replies.  You've given me a lot to think about (and stuff to read).  I may pull her after the winter break.  I'm not sure yet. 

The nurse thing -- it was my daughter's first day back after being out sick.  She seemed fine to go that morning so I'm especially disturbed that if she was not okay at school they didn't call me to come get her.  The only thing I can think of with that...this school has a huge tardiness problem.  I suspect they have a big absenteeism issue as well, which causes them to lose money for every child absent.  Maybe they figured it was better to keep a child there rather than lose money by sending her home, or even to call a parent who they know would be concerned enough to come get her. 


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Old 12-06-2010, 02:40 PM
 
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I don't normally feel it's a great idea to spend the majority of the family income on private school...however in your case I might consider it.  You have a job that you need to do extra work for and homeschooling can be really hard when you're trying to divide yourself up so much.  It might end up a poor situation.  It also seems like you have a child that is not that well suited to public school and that only gets worse as time goes on.  In your case I might take everything else down to the bare bones...rented room/studio, sell blood, etc. in order to put my child in different school.  Sudbury/Free school sounds like a better fit than Montessori for y'all.  It may not be workable but it's something to consider.  A happy life is worth a lot.

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Old 12-06-2010, 08:41 PM
 
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My daughter has come to work with me several times a week at the state university since she was 5.5 and we started homeschooling.   I was able to cut down to part-time which helped.  However, I would have looked into hiring a college student for baby sitting and perhaps driving her to park days, etc. with the homeschool group, if I had stayed full-time.  You might also work out arrangements within the homeschool community.  Perhaps some driving and watching in exchange for tutoring?

 

She's 12 now and enjoys hanging out in the lab or the break room.  She's well liked by the grad students and they have some great conversations.  She may have also picked up her own first tutoring gig.  She's been asked to tutor a returning student in algebra starting in Jan.  Her 'student' will be 50 years older than her and is the grandmother of one of her friends. :-)

 

I'm sorry your little girl has had such a rough time.  I never thought I'd end up homeschooling either, but I'm really happy with how things have turned out.  I hope whatever you decide, she finds a place where she feels comfortable.  (((hugs)))

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Old 12-08-2010, 03:29 AM
 
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I think being a professor is a great career fora homeschooling mom.  She can be in your office doing her own work sometimes, and you can  hire a sitter somedays...heck..if she's only 5, chances are she doesnt evene have to be "in school" this year, right? Let her play.  even put her back in a preschool another year if you want. 

 

Remember..you can do whatever you want.  Whatever. 


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Old 12-10-2010, 02:27 AM
 
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instead of jumping into homeschooling when there are things YOU need to take care of life is NOT a good option.

 

i would change schools first. are you in your neighbourhood school? what about other public school? in the next neighbourhood? is that an option. 

 

that's what we have done.

 

dd is happy in her school - kind of, but one of her friends was having a really hard time. so the parents petitioned and now they go to a school in the next neighbourhood. there was an instant change in her dd's behav. it took them abuot a month to do the paperwork and make it happen. 

 

if all of this fails then hs of course is there. 

 

but from teh things you write i am not at all happy with how the school works in your case. 

 


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