Anonymous asks:

Help!  Son hates kindergarten, loved preschool.  How can I help?

Before kindergarten, my son LOVED school, and learning in general.  He was really excited to start Kindergarten.  

Unfortunately, he got off to a terrible start, and by week 3 told me he hated school, didn't see why he should even bother trying because he was going to get into trouble no matter what he did, and actually developed physical signs of stress.  His first teacher left due to a medical condition after only a couple of months, but he's continued to struggle in terms of engagement, following the rules, and doing what he's supposed to do with the new teacher.  The physical issues are better, and he doesn't talk about how much he hates school all the time anymore, but does tell his little brother how lucky he is to be in preschool instead of kindergarten, since you can have fun in preschool.  It just breaks my heart to hear how he perceives school.  

He's a pretty high energy kid and is also very verbal and extroverted.  Unfortunately, kids are expected to be quiet and sit still, and are considered disruptive (and reprimanded) if they don't.  
I think besides getting off to a very rocky start, he just struggles with this type of learning environment.  He would not ever choose to be quiet, still, or work independently if he could help it!  Fortunately, he's very bright and is doing well meeting the academic goals of kindergarten, but I'm worried that he's off to such a bad start in terms of how he feels about school.  Does anyone have suggestions?
In Topics: Working with my child's teacher(s), Kindergarten readiness, Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago



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Jun 20, 2013
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What the Expert Says:

The structure of kindergarten is difficult for many kids for a variety of reasons.  Along with a new more structured environment, some kids are high energy, some are less mature, and some take longer to adapt. It is a positive that is succeeding academically, so in the meantime be patient and don't feed into his negativity. You can either ignore his statements or point out the positives of school. At home, make sure he is getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, getting excersie and following instructions and rules. It is just the beginning of his education, he will eventually adjust to the structure of a classroom with your support and encouragement.  

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Additional Answers (1)

TeacherandP... writes:
A child like your son benefits from just the right kind of teacher - some teachers are heavier-handed than others. Some teachers want school to be fun as well as instructive. To have your son assigned to that kind of teacher you might need to make an appointment with the school guidance counselor and or the school psychologist and/or the principal. Do you have neighbors with older children in the school? Ask around to see if you can find out who the well-liked teachers are and request those teachers for your son.
> 60 days ago

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