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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So....how tough is kindergarten on kids???<br>
My dd is in half day kinder and it seems that she is so very often stressed when she comes home. Like wound up emotionally. She cannot articulate the problem, says there isn't one...her teacher says she does fine. Academically I know she is far ahead of her peers. Socially I think she may struggle but not in any obvious way...nobody bullies her, she often has other kids to play with. I may be making the social stuff up , tho, since that was MY struggle and I worry a lot about it for her...So I don't really know why after spending 3 hours there she is as emotionally fragile as she is. Anyone have any thoughts??? Is this common?<br>
Thanks!<br>
Patti
 

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Could she be just plain old tired and hungry? I know that my kids are much more emotionally fragile when they're tired and hungry. And if she's not used to being in school, it's a lot of commotion and things to pay attention to /deal with. If she's an introvert, she may also just need some down time to relax and regain her equilibrium.
 

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I think a lot of it is temperment. Being in school drains my ds - he's more of an introvert - plus I think it takes him more energy to "walk the line" (listening, concentrating, staying on task, not talking to neighbors...)<br><br>
When he comes home from school, he needs time to decompress and recharge. This looks like him playing in his room with his legos or playing on the playground.<br><br>
Now, my dd is the opposite. She could go to school all day everyday (she's in preschool). She loves it! When she gets in the car, she's energized and excited. School recharges her. She's more of an extrovert.<br><br>
It makes for an interesting car ride home. She's all over her brother - and he just wants peace and quiet.
 

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Moving to Learning at School <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, ladies.<br>
Yes, I believe she is an introvert and so that certainly could be a part of it or maybe even all of it. I doubt she is either tired or hungry since she doesn't start till noon, eats lunch beforehand and snack during school. It does seem to work really well if she has a bath or a snuggle or a read with me afterwards. I have a 1,5 y.o. who is often waking up from him nap at that time so that's not really ideal. I'll try to be mindful of her neeed to decompress and help her the best I can and see if that improves things for her. SIGH.....I think mom may be having some trouble with kindergarten, too. I do just worry about my baby out there in the big world, fitting in with the social scene (both her and me!!), and having less control on the influences on her life. Sorry...off on a tangent! Thanks again for the help<br>
Patti.
 

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Kindergarten *is* different these days. When I went to K in 1972, I went for a half day to a Baptist church school. It was not mandatory back then. I had been to what they then called "nursery" school when I was 3 and 4. That was also half a day, and maybe 3 times a week.<br><br>
Anyway, there was NO learning to read or do math worksheets or anything like that. It was all about singing, playing, painting, working with clay, etc. I loved it. It also exhausted me, and I still took naps in the afternoon.<br><br>
I learned to read on my own, basically. I adored books. My mom read to me every day, and I spent lots of time just looking at books. One day I realized I knew the words, and there was no stopping me after that!<br><br>
My eldest ds was very much like me. But when he got to K in 1998, he became a a miserable little boy. He was your wiggly type, loved learning but not sitting still being force-fed endless phonics, counting to 300, chanting in unison, and handwriting. His coloring and drawings were criticized, both by the teacher and by his more "studious" classmates.<br><br>
Despite nightly phonics worksheets, math, and handwriting, he did not learn to read, and his writing was messy. He found inventive spelling stressful, and hated the daily journal time. He dreaded coloring. He hated the loud atmosphere of a classroom. Many of the kids were punished regularly, which gave him stress also. (actually, he was one of them--not "bad", per se, but "talked too much", etc.)<br><br>
He hated school, and was a bear at home.<br><br>
My dd did very well in K, but it turns out that she felt very stressed, too, despite perfect grades and being the teacher's pet. She was scared of the work, and scared of the teacher yelling at everyone else except her and 1 or 2 other girls. There was also this clique thing going on with the girls. Most were prissy, all took dance and did modeling, and their mothers were the types always going shopping and making sure their little darlings wore the 'right" brands. (the girls are the stuck up ones now in middle school!)<br><br><br>
I think that the work in K these days is not developmentally appropriate, but educators love to talk about how "we now know how much MORE these kids are capable of." I just don't agree. My philosophy is totally different. Maybe some kids thrive with that kind of learning, but mine did not, even the one who seemed to be doing so well.
 

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My ds is crabby after he gets home from school. He goes to half-day K as well. We play outside if the weather is nice, and have a snack and that does help some. He has had a really hard time making the transistion even though he went to two years of preschool, so I worry about how he will do next year when he has to go all day. His teachers all say that he does really well at school, tries hard, etc. but is shy and reserved. He is the exact opposite at home. He says he likes his teachers and classmates, but that he doesn't like school and that its too hard. He's not struggling with anything at all so I'm not sure what I can do, or how I can help him.
 

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<div style="font-style:italic;">My ds is crabby after he gets home from school. He goes to half-day K as well. We play outside if the weather is nice, and have a snack and that does help some. He has had a really hard time making the transistion even though he went to two years of preschool, so I worry about how he will do next year when he has to go all day. His teachers all say that he does really well at school, tries hard, etc. but is shy and reserved. He is the exact opposite at home. He says he likes his teachers and classmates, but that he doesn't like school and that its too hard. He's not struggling with anything at all so I'm not sure what I can do, or how I can help him.</div>
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This could have been written by me about ds. My ds had a hard time transitioning to first grade. He didn't like going all day. It took him the first nine weeks to make the transition. He also has this "self imposed perfectionism" (his teacher calls it this). Not uncommon with a first child. He expects himself to be perfect. This does not come from his father and I. We talk a lot about it - and he's starting to loosen up.<br><br>
He still has a hard time after winter break, spring break... getting back in the swing of things. Most of the time he imagines that it's worse than it is. If he can talk about it, and come up with strategies to make things easier - this helps him.<br><br>
He likes to be at school at a certain time - not too early and not too late - this helps him. He likes me to come up for lunch once a week. We pack his backpack and lay his clothes out the night before - so that the morning goes more smoothly for him. He likes to go to bed early - so that he'll wake up earlier, so that he'll have time to play before school. All these strategies - he's come up with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sarah, i feel the same as you. I don't know how to help my dd. Well, I can help he "decompress" after school but I don't know what to do to help her deal with stress at school. To make it easier so she isn't so stressed. I guess it is out of my control. We talk about social issues and role play situations like what to do when someone doesn't want to play with you...ect. I also am distressed by the cliques and cattiness that happens at this age. Up till this year, my dd has played with her "gold" friends (her term for her old friends)....the kids of my friends who have played together since toddlerhood. She does best in her comfort zone b/c she is very bright but slow to jump in. Among those peers she was always a leader but I think that was b/c she had a long time to know and get comfortable with those kids. This year she had 20 new kids....some of whom already had their clique formed, to get to know. And next year....she will likely face a bunch of new kids with maybe SOME familiar faces. I have been looking at homeschooling posts lately b/c I am wondering if I really even want to help her "survive" public school. I'll keep watching to see what you all ahve to teach me!<br>
patti
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>cyberpriya</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7957369"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I have been looking at homeschooling posts lately b/c I am wondering if I really even want to help her "survive" public school.</div>
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I think about this, too.
 

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It sounds like she just needs her afterschool down time, to decompress and relax.<br><br>
Even though she starts at noon, that is still a very long day for them. Their brains are working alot during that time and it is phsyically draining.<br><br>
When did she start K, if it was recently it could be part of the adjustment period the kids go through until their bodies adjust.<br><br>
If it was recent, she very well could be hungry even though she is eating dinner & getting a snack. Until their bodies adjust to working more and in different ways than before they need more calories. When my oldest went into Grade 2 I packed her lunch & snack as usual. She came home telling me she didn't have enough to eat. I ended up giving her twice as much food as she was eating in grade 1 and what she'd eaten over the summer. I was scared at what it was going to do to the food budget.lol It lasted a month and then food started coming home.
 

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It's good to get perspective from all of you. I am going to talk to my DS to see if he can come up with ideas as well. I've also considered homeschooling him... but I'm not sure if that would be the right thing for him either. I guess we'll just see how it goes. I'm looking forward to summer vacation right now!
 
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