My son started K on Aug. 10th., he cried and we literally had to drag him off our legs to give to the teacher, which she held him in her lap. I picked him up and he said he had a great day. I thought great! So the next day, same scenario, and the next. Only this time he was now saying he hated school and we would literally have to drag him out of the car and give him to the teacher. This a child that is very happy and secure, a joy to be around! He refuses to eat lunch the whole day, not even drinking anything saying he is too sad. The teacher said he is fine after the initial calming down in the morning. What upsets me greatly is how he is now acting at home too, just at the word school, he bursts out into tears and shakes saying how he doesn't want to go back, he is very depressed. I didn't even know a 5 yr old could get depressed, it's so heartbreaking! He just turned 5, 6 weeks ago, by law he doesn't have to start K until 6, (I didn't know this until the other day). So I'm thinking of taking him out and starting him a year later. I expected him to have some separation anxiety, even 10 days later, but the part that concerns me is it's affecting his home life, very negatively. I don't want to make the wrong decision, but I must think of his emotional needs and security first. Has anyone done this before?
I would have to agree with you. Everyone that you talk to that waits to send their child to school until they are more mature, is very happy that they did it. I have 3 children and I waited until they were all 6 before they started kinder. It is the best thing I could have done. Our oldest is 14 and is an 8th grader. He is very mature for his age and is in all Honor classes. There is not a rush to finish school. I know that when he goes off to college, he will be a mature young man. I am a huge supporter of waiting until children are 6.
I think maybe you should wait until next year. You don't want him to suffer emotionally all year when it isn't a necessity that he goes this year. Then perhaps later during the year, you can find a program/ activity to put him in for a couple of hours a day (maybe once or twice a week) just so you can ease him into the separation while still allowing him social time with his peers. I think waiting until he is 6 is a very good idea. I sent my son to school for K last year days after he turned 5 and he had many struggles all year. In the end, there were attributed to the fact that he was the youngest in his class and just not mature enough. You have to do what is best for him and at this time, that may be to let him wait until he is 6. Good luck.
You are right to be concerned about your son's reactions, especially since they have persisted for several days despite what seems like a good school environment. Reality is, many five year olds are not ready for the structured school experience that kindergarten has become, especially if they have not had prior preschool exposure. It sounds like it would be best to take your son out of kindergarten, wait a few weeks, then find a low-keyed preschool experience for a few hours a day, a few days a week. That will give him the exposure to a semi-structured group setting that will help him make a successful transition to kindergarten next year. If for some reason his behavior does not return to what you usually see within a few days after stopping kindergarten, then consult his pediatrician or family doctor for additional advice.
Jeanne H. Brockmyer, Ph. D.
education.com expert clinical child psychologist
No you should not. My brother does the same thing. Once he gets used to the schedule,he will love school. My brother does it every year and he is in 1st grade. So if I were you I would keep him in school.