Help Kindergartener hates school - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 01-26-2011, 09:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you in advance for reading this. It is Very Long sorry!

First a little back story. My DH is a public school teacher, I am an ex hairstylist who is now a stay at home mom. We have 3 daughters 11/24/05, 8/2/07 and 10/23/08. Last summer we moved from Las Vegas to Monterey Bay, Ca. In Nevada the Kindergarten cut-off date was Sept. 1st. Here in Ca it is Dec 1st (yes they just changed for the future). Personally I had reservations about starting our oldest at all. She had never been to day care, preschool or even a babysitter, only gramma on the rare occasion.

 

The first few days were tough. She would cry when we left but then was fine. After the first week things were great. We had to do quick good byes and everything was great. She was and still is doing amazingly well as far as academics go. Everything was great until October (started school on Aug 11th), when I went to school for a PTA meeting and popped in to say hi at lunch and she melted into a blubbering mess. I took her home early and the next week was fall break so no school. After the break similar things would happen. I had started helping in the class room in the mornings (bringing my other kids with me) but soon had to stop this because when I would leave it was an issue for her. Her behavior and academics are still great and the teacher says she is fine during school, but things are not fine.

 

We had 2 long weekends in Nov and she was sick of a whole week, so she missed a lot of school that month, then winter break in Dec, then we went on vacation last week to visit family in Vegas.

Starting in December she began really making mornings impossible. Refusing to get dressed, then choosing inappropriate school close/shoes, not helping decide on what to have for lunch/snack, basically making mornings as difficult as possible. I talked to her teacher and we did a star chart for the last 2 weeks before break and were fine. Now we are back to her hating school. She is not happy when she comes home, she is never excited to go to school, fights when it is homework time (then flies through it) and says I don't want to go to school. Kindergarten here is a REALLY long day of school. They go from 8am until 2:20 everyday except Wed when they get out at 12:45.

 

We also co-sleep and she decided the night before she started kindergarten that she was a big girl and wanted to sleep in her own bed in her own room. I of course would not have chosen this since starting school was such a big deal, but hey who am I to hold her back. She did great in her own room until around Oct as well, when she began needing flashlights and a brighter nightlight. We offered her to come back to the family bed, but she wanted nothing to do it. As time has gone on she has regressed to waking up 2 to 3 times per night and requiring assistance each time or begging us to sleep with her. We need sleep so we have decided today to just move her back into our room so the entire family can sleep again.

 

If it were up to me I would just pull her out and start her again next year. HOWEVER my husband has VERY different views. He feel that she is not being taught (“enriched”) enough at home, he thinks having all three at home is stressful for me (which it is, but oh well) and he thinks she needs to be learning more and creating a good work ethic. I have a crappy work ethic in part due to my mom letting me stay home whenever I wanted (she believe that even emotional reasons were reasons, but there was no fun if we stayed home). DH mom made him go to school even if he was sick, and he never misses work even if he is sick. He believe now that she is just being lazy and doesn't feel like working. I believe she is too young and not ready. When we ask her why she doesn't like school she doesn't have a reason. For a while it was ELD where they mix up the K classes based on academic level. At first they kept her with her teacher, no help, then put her with her best friend, no help with that either. After the break they put her in the upper class and she has been okay as far as ELD is concerned, but is still unhappy and doesn't want to go to school. She says she wants to learn at home.

 

The days that she is home it is more difficult she adds a different dynamic to the other two kids relationship. There is much more fighting and stress when she is home. She tries to be the boss and tell them what to do as well as tries to discipline them. We have many days with no fighting when she is at school. So do I force her to stay in school for my sanity or so I suck it up and let her stay home. Please help. I am also open to any thought about how to homeschool when you are unorganized, impatient and have a 2 and 3 yr old at home who want to do everything their big sister wants to do?

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#2 of 12 Old 01-28-2011, 08:38 PM
 
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Wish I had wise words for you, but I really don't :(   

 

My kids have just started school after 2/3 years of home education (which we loved) because I needed to get a job.  They are both having issues now...

 

Grade 4 boy has auditory processing problems ( which the school is going to assess) and the amount of noise is overwhelming him and he says he can't concentrate (there is a lot of construction on the school grounds going on still, and the amount of kids talking he says)  Mr

 

Grade 2 is having a lot of separation anxiety because he misses us guys so much (his words *sniffle*) If I had known then what I do now, I'd have not started him in prep/k till the following year, because he is just emotionally not ready for all of this. 

 

I do have to say that as a public school teacher your dh seems to be looking at it from *that* angle instead of the angle that his little girl is clearly just not emotionally ready for full day school yet.   Does he really think that the crying and unhappiness is 'enriching' her more than reading books, investigating bugs, growing flowers & veggies, writing silly stories with mom?  All of that is beautiful learning :)

 

I have 3 little ones as well (boys, 9, 6.5 and 4.5) so I know the stress & chaos of having 3 at home ;)  But I have since gotten my permanent schedule at work... I am working only nights on the weekends thumb.gif  And I talked with dh about this yesterday, and we are giving them 3months to 'settle in' .. if the issues still continue at that time, we will be withdrawing them  and returning to home education through a distance ed school here in town (where they have social and other activities on site weekly).  My dh had a horrible time in school, he was bullied, excluded, and not even treated nicely by some teachers... he refuses to force our children to endure years of misery if we have another option.  But they have to really try to settle in over the next few months because we aren't 'copping out' on a whim.

 

I hope you & your dh can come to some compromise that will make your family life more harmonious.  Would be possibly be open to home education for a year or two, if you went thru a charter or a distance education school & found a good, active homeschool group to get involved with? 


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#3 of 12 Old 01-30-2011, 07:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for responding. I have been looking around and am not finding any active homeschool groups, except one that is very religious, and we are not.  We had that exact conversation yesterday about his "view". It also comes from a very strict mother who is far from nurturing.   She has told me stories of locking him in his room at night so he wouldn't come in their room. She was better that her mother, but never showed him how to be empathetic or caring. I asked him what good came of her treating him as though he had no feelings, he had no answer, I did, it made him calloused and insensitive. “Suck it up and deal” is his motto. I try to explain that yes “dealing” is one way to get through life, but I prefer the “this isn't working, I'm not happy, lets try to make this work for me or change the situation.”

We are still working through it. I think she just needs to be a bit older and needs to be eased into it. Start with a class once or twice a week then move up to longer hours away. I figured 5 mo was enough to know it's not just “coping out”, now I just need to make DH see that. Thanks again for taking the time to respond.

Keslie

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#4 of 12 Old 02-02-2011, 07:05 PM
 
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K is long here too.  My days are different when my son is home.  Fortunately, he loves school and is sad when he is sick and has to stay home!  (I say that because my DH thinks like yours  ;) )  I have a mom who never let me stay home even when I was sick.  I remember one day in middle school, I had a fever and everything and she complained about having to come get me and having me home while new furniture was being delivered!  I have vowed never to be that hard on my kids.  For me, I spent the first few years of work rebelling against that somewhat....I stayed home for "mental health days"  ;)

 

only you are going to know what to do.....but I can totally see where taking her out might make her more afraid to go back next year.  I think I'd support her through it and look at other options for next year, other schools, if your DH is totally opposed to homeschool.


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#5 of 12 Old 02-02-2011, 07:13 PM
 
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Is it full day kindergarten? If so, I wonder how the school would feel if you requested that she do half days for a while until she gets over this hump.


 
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#6 of 12 Old 02-07-2011, 09:22 AM
 
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My DS hates kindergarten, too :(  He goes to full day Catholic school right now and we are considering switching him to the half day program at the local public school because he is so miserable.  I hope we both can find schools that work for our kindergarteners!  Kindergarten should be FUN!

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#7 of 12 Old 02-07-2011, 07:03 PM
 
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I would think about things that you can do to get her excited about going every day.  Special snacks, letting her pack her lunch or buy every once in a while, finding out about projects from her teacher and letting her know what's coming up.  Also, initiate some playdates with other kids so that she makes friends--sometimes all it takes is one fantastic new friend to makes school fun.  Spend time reading with her and working on telling time or whatever they are doing now, and let her know how excited YOU are about everything she is learning.  DD has a special "hello, kitty" toy that hangs off her backpack that was from me, and I tell her that it watches over her for me.  (Kind of creepy, but she liked it!)

 

DD is 5, also in full day kindy.  Loves it, but also went through a rough patch between Thanksgiving and January.  Disruptions in her routine and schedule are really tough to get over.  We are just hitting our stride again and I've got my fingers crossed that she doesn't get any of the bugs that seem to be going around.  She definitely had a lot of adjusting to do in the beginning of the year.  It wasn't easy, at all! 

 

Gently--it sounds like you hate it more than she does?  I think a certain amount of whining and adjustment on the childs part is natural, whether it's this year or next.  If she had a mean teacher, was being bullied, or you thought the academics were rote and boring I'd say address all of those things--but to me, it just sounds like she needs encouragement to fly.

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#8 of 12 Old 02-08-2011, 04:31 AM
 
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dd hated, HATED, absolutely hated K. because it wasnt fun. she loved the half day - but she expected it to be like her ps/dc that she loved. even now in 3rd grade she tells me sometimes to send her back to ps/dc (she is projects oriented girl and it was a non academic ps. she loved all the hands on work).

 

you and your dh have to forget your own personal hangups and look at your dd for who she is. and do what's best for her.

 

for us that meant staying home from school once a week for as long as dd wanted. that's what makes school tolerable for dd. even today. 

 

i have also worked on ... i know you dont like it, but this is the way things are. how are we going to make it more tolerable.

 

since i had an only i made sure we had more fun time. which meant going to school earlier than her afternoon K so she could play with teh older kids who had recess right before her K began. we also stopped at the park on the way home. 

 

we chose not to have a place for hw. i discovered it overwhelmed dd. she is the kind who played, did hw, played, did hw so doing her hw at the park was the best. 

 

it seems like you know exactly how to handle this. it isnt school or your dd who is an issue here.

 

its your dh. 


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#9 of 12 Old 02-08-2011, 08:55 AM
 
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I would do what you can to make it tolerable. There are many options for schooling these days,so consider looking into other ways to teach-private,charters,onlinehomeschool. I am also one of those parents who will keep the kids home if needed.My dh will crab if I keep the kids home for illness! I do what is best for the kids and let dh complain if he wants.

 

I love the pic of you and the girls!

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#10 of 12 Old 02-08-2011, 10:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you to all who responded. We tried all the suggestions. First just pumping her up being positive, etc. She's been choosing her own lunches for months, get hot lunch once a week, has a best friend and many others. She loves the work and the teacher and the students. We tried half days, sitting in her desk at carpet time (she felt learning was at her desk, didn't like carpet time). We tried getting to school early, waking earlier so we weren't rushed, sticking to the routine she liked. WE TRIED EVERYTHING she was still miserable and cried everyday, her at home behavior was getting worse, she was mean to her sisters and starting to fake being sick.

 

We decided to pull her out, daddy didn't like it but supported it. It has taken a few days but her behavior is improving and so is her sleep. (Oh the first night we tried to put her back in our bed, she woke up and wanted the light on. We explained that the light in our room was staying off, that we would keep her safe. She asked to go back to her room and has been there since, sleeping with the light on, but now only waking once then falling easily back to sleep.) She is overall in better spirits and the whole family is benefiting from it. Oh and all of the sudden she is wiping her own butt without any encouragement (we had been pushing this for the last 8 mos) and helping more around the house.

 

Kindergarten is not mandatory in CA, so pulling her didn't even require paperwork. I asked the principle about homeschooling and she said that since K isn't required there was really no point.  We are trying to find an affordable preschool to start her in for the rest of this year. And next year I am going to try to get her into a Waldorf inspired charter school, which has shorter days.


I honestly believe the big problem was separation, she just wasn't ready to be away from me and her sisters for so long each day. I tried to remind DH that if we hadn't moved this wouldn't have been an issue. In NV she had to be 5 by Sept 1st. She only made the cut-off in CA by 1 week. In fact there were a couple kids who were more than a year older than her, because their parents decided to wait.  I am not stressing too much. I know in my heart that she will be fine next year, being a year older is gonna make a big difference in her emotional state.

 

Thanks again for responding,

Keslie

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#11 of 12 Old 02-08-2011, 11:09 AM
 
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oh mama that is GREAT news. wonderful. so glad your dh agreed. that is HUGE.

 

on the butt thing sheesh my dd didnt start till she was 8. and its coz i pushed the issue finally.

 

and realised my icky feeling perfectionist dd...

 

... didnt know quite how. she duh.gif was using only 3 pieces of TP so as to not clog up the toilet (no idea where she got that from) and so getting stuff on her fingers. eeew. no wonder she wouldnt do it.

 

so i had to just tell her hey its ok to use more TP. 

 

i am saving money to get her a portable bidet. she has one at her dads and really likes it. 


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#12 of 12 Old 02-08-2011, 04:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kesliemack View Post

I honestly believe the big problem was separation, she just wasn't ready to be away from me and her sisters for so long each day. I tried to remind DH that if we hadn't moved this wouldn't have been an issue. In NV she had to be 5 by Sept 1st. She only made the cut-off in CA by 1 week. In fact there were a couple kids who were more than a year older than her, because their parents decided to wait.  I am not stressing too much. I know in my heart that she will be fine next year, being a year older is gonna make a big difference in her emotional state.

 

This really is a significant issue. In TX it is 5 by Sept 1 as well-- ds was 5.5 when he started K, and out of a class of 20 ds was one of the last 3 to turn 6yo.


"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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