Hi everyone, I am new to the Mothering.com forums.
I have been searching for answers on what to do for my daughter because I feel like I have exhausted all that I know how to do. She is 5 years old and started Kindergarten in September of '08. Her birthday is October 4th, so I thought she would be ready for Kindergarten, and she was doing very well for about 2 1/2 months.
She has gone to half day day care and half day pre school before starting Kindergarten full day. She was doing absolutely great until December, always getting green notes, then suddenly started bringing home yellow notes. She was getting about 2 per week, then they suddenly started increasing. I was constantly having conferences with the teacher, even staying in class with her (those days, she got green notes if I got there early), and then started to get worse again (some red notes, poking classmates with pencils, hitting children, but that all stopped within a week and a half). She does great academically, and is ready for school, very smart, reading books already and knows her numbers to 100.
Well, she won't get another green note to save her life. I've tried rewards, timers, restriction from toys and play time etc. as punishment, spankings for red notes (hitting, pocking a child in the neck with a pencil) and severe yellow (they have 3 levels), she's rarely getting recess at school now and is simply not enjoying school anymore.
She told me today "Mommy, I don't want to go to school anymore. I am bad because I don't want to go anymore. I can't get green notes because I am bad, so I don't want to go to school." She is not bad at all. Her teacher even says how sweet she is. So I think she is deliberately not listening and doing what she isn't supposed to do because she doesn't like being there.
Her teacher tells me that she won't listen to her in class. She often has to tell Olivia to do things three times and she gets yellow notes for not being obedient and not respecting her teacher. There was even an occasion where all the children had their heads down in class and Olivia jumps up... and starts doing cheers. The teacher couldn't believe her eyes. Needless-to-say, she sat down after being told three times to do so and got her clip moved to 10 minutes. I think she just doesn't like being told what to do. And this started all of a sudden!
She has been moving around badly during circle time (carpet time), and now has an X with her name on it on the carpet - no freedom to sit where she wants. Her teacher seems nice enough, but Olivia seems to have a problem with her, but won't tell me that she has any problems with her. "I like Mrs. James." she tells me.
She obviously is disliking school really bad. It's almost the end of April now, and school will be out in June. It seems so late in the year to try to switch her to another class, and I can't home school her because I am enlisting in the National Guard and my sister (who will be watching my kids) will not be able to do that while going to school and working herself (she also has her own daughter who is 1).
I have scheduled a doctors appointment to check her vision and hearing, and there is a hearing test at school on Thursday. I really don't think either of those things are the problem as she does not show any signs of hearing loss or vision impairment at home or in school.
She's not hyperactive although she does vie for my attention often (she is the middle child, I have a 1 year old son and a 10 year old son and I work from home so although I am home, I'm not REALLY home, you know what I mean?
So... please advise. I don't know what else to do about her not wanting to go to school, but I don't want to torture her by forcing her to go.