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i have decided that i really hate nurseries/preschools and I don't know what to do

(108 Posts)
turquoiseseasandgoldensands Wed 03-Dec-14 22:32:48

So, at 3.5 I finally send my son to a nursery/preschool, because he said he wanted to go, and he said he wanted to play with lots of children and because he was getting bored of me and I thought he needed more. I had been a SAHM and he hadn't been to nurseries or child care - and of course I had been told that I was being unfair not sending him to nursery since he was about 18 months and I had completely ignored that but at 3.5 he was definitely ready, intellectually and emotionally, to spend time away from me and he skipped into nursery the first day barely able to contain his excitement.

However. Since starting nursery (and we are on the second already, the first having been a nightmare, and both have "outstanding" rankings) the following has happened:
- he is frequently stressed around the days he goes in
- his behaviour has completely deteriorated
- his verbal skills are worse - his speech isn't as clear or confident and he gets verb endings wrong whereas he didn't before
- he appears to be learning very little
- he used to be able to play really well, for long periods of time, but because of the usual approach of nurseries to time use of toys so that the children learn to "share" and the constant movement from one activity to another, he isn't able to get into the groove (so to speak) at nursery, and at home he hasn't been able to settle into the groove either and no longer seems to be able to concentrate on his activities for very long unless I am with him.

The nursery he is at thinks he is doing very well and that there are no problems whatsoever and that he is thriving. What???!!!

I have looked round a lot of nurseries and have asked and continue to ask a lot of indepth questions and I have a pretty clear idea about what goes on in the nurseries, most of them (all of them so far) and I am truly p*ed off. He wants to spend time with other children and is ready to learn in a structured environment to the extent it is age appropriate and he was so keen to be independent etc. This is what I want to. But there is nothing available that I can find and I feel he is being damaged where he is, which to be fair is a much better nursery than most.

makapakasdirtysponge Wed 03-Dec-14 22:36:28

Why was the first one a nightmare out of interest?

Can you go to playgroups or structured stay and play / learn and play sessions instead? Then maybe in 6 months try a different nursery?

SolomanDaisy Wed 03-Dec-14 22:37:11

The main thing he's learning is to play with other children and be part of a group. What else would you want him to learn at this age? Does he enjoy going?

Whatsthewhatsthebody Wed 03-Dec-14 22:38:21

Will he go to school or are you going to home school?

Is the nursery too large for him? Would a small child minder setting with a few children, be a smaller step to independence from you but not do much throwing him into a really busy environment.

RedSoloCup Wed 03-Dec-14 22:40:00

I've never had any problems like this and mine have all gone for age 2. My youngest literally plays alone all day if it's a non nursery day if I let her, I think it's a novelty not having to share that day!

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 03-Dec-14 22:40:45

But when he goes to school, he can't just do his own thing for hours on end. He will have to work with and alongside other children, and this is what preschool teaches them.

It sounds like you had a very calm, quiet, but isolated little boy - which I'm sure suited you, but isn't so great for him.

When you say 'stressed', what exactly do you mean?

WooWooOwl Wed 03-Dec-14 22:41:29

How long has he been in this nursery and how long was he at the last one for?

Cherriesandapples Wed 03-Dec-14 22:42:55

I think a Playgroup or child minder with a few children the same age or a Playgroup may be a better option for you.

aquashiv Wed 03-Dec-14 22:43:46

He is learning social skills. Be proud that he has integrated so well.
He sounds a lovely little boy.

fleecyjumper Wed 03-Dec-14 22:43:50

The verb ending thing is developmental. At about that age children realise that there are grammar rules so when they were quite happily saying 'went', they can suddenly start saying 'goed' for example.

MuscatBouschet Wed 03-Dec-14 22:48:17

I agree that the verb ending thing is a developmental coincidence. My DD is currently adding a sounded out -ed to every past tense action. It's a phase that needs gently ironing out!

NoSquirrels Wed 03-Dec-14 22:49:07

Most 3 year olds don't play on their own for extended periods, so that's unusual that your DS did and now won't. But perhaps it's just that he's discovered playing with other people is more fun at the moment?

I don't know quite what sort of nursery or preschool your DS is at, but the EYFS (which all good nurseries and preschools follow) encourages child-led activities and learning alongside getting used to more formal education activities such as sitting and listening. My DC have never been subject to "timed" activities or asked to "move on" from a toy or activity if they're enjoying it, but they will have been encouraged to give turns to others. Which is good, imo. (Unless you mean by "timed" the structure of free choice play for 1 hour, 15 minutes of structured activity, more free choice play, carpet time which is typical of all childcare settings such as playgroups.)

What behaviour etc. are you experiencing at home now that you didn't in the past - how does his "stressed"manifest on nursery days? Can you give examples?

zeeboo Wed 03-Dec-14 22:52:14

I found exactly the same thing with my older children and so didn't send my youngest at all. She went straight to reception class and is thriving and in many ways her teacher says she is more mature than her peers which for a June birthday is pretty good and I think its down to being allowed to stay in her comfort zone and not be thrust into a situation with arbitrary rules and the potential to be told she was 'naughty' for behaving like a 3/4 year old which is what happened to my sons when they went to pre-school.

ReallyBadParty Wed 03-Dec-14 22:59:58

I hate most of them too, not my cup of tea.

But then I found a brilliant Playgroup for ds; small, informal, fun; I loved it, he loved it. It had no protocols or strategies and was the essence of learning through play.

Don't keep him somewhere that you are not happy with, life's too short. Have a look for somewhere more suitable, or just quit, go yo groups, outings and have fun.

Permanentlyexhausted Wed 03-Dec-14 23:05:31

- he is frequently stressed around the days he goes in
- his behaviour has completely deteriorated
- his verbal skills are worse - his speech isn't as clear or confident and he gets verb endings wrong whereas he didn't before
- he appears to be learning very little
- he used to be able to play really well, for long periods of time

duplodon Wed 03-Dec-14 23:06:52

It's called overregularisation and is a language milestone, it's progression not regression and will disappear in time with no further input other than simply hearing more language in the environment.

I'm not a fan of these types of environments for kids but I don't think it's likely to be causing a developmental regression, in all honesty.

Permanentlyexhausted Wed 03-Dec-14 23:14:32

Let's try again!!

- he is frequently stressed around the days he goes in
In what way does he seem to be stressed?

- his behaviour has completely deteriorated
He's discovered that the rules and routines aren't the same in other places as they are at home and he's testing the boundaries.

- his verbal skills are worse - his speech isn't as clear or confident and he gets verb endings wrong whereas he didn't before
As other have said, this is a developmental coincidence.

- he appears to be learning very little
He may not be learning many 'facts' but he'll be learning lots about how other children behave and interact with him and also how other adults respond to him.

- he used to be able to play really well, for long periods of time
Not being able to suit himself all day will prove to be a valuable lesson if and when he goes to school.

Unless he is really very stressed about going, I wouldn't have thought there is anything in his behavior to concern you. But if you're really not happy, take him out.

zzzzz Wed 03-Dec-14 23:15:01

Look for a real Montessori nursery.

elephantspoo Wed 03-Dec-14 23:19:29

Or teach him yourself?

pinkdelight Wed 03-Dec-14 23:23:00

How many days does he go? Are they consecutive? It can be less stressful if they go more often than not, perhaps counter-intuitively.

needtomanup Wed 03-Dec-14 23:26:23

The oldest child I nanny for began preschool at 4. We did a lot of learning at home and he had friends we mixed with but I was always there to help and support him.

Well we did find it very difficult at first. His behaviour was appalling for around 2 1/2 weeks as it was a huge adjustment for him and he was angry at me leaving him there while his sister was not. He suffers from anxiety so was stressed each day however his teachers were wonderful. They supported him and phoned me to reassure me too.

I wouldn't worry yet about what he is learning as he is still adjusting and each child learns at their own pace.

Regarding your point re being able to play really well, I found the little boy I look after missed his time with me therefore was much needier than usual. I ate my lunch with him on my knee for weeks. Not normal for a 4 year old but he obviously missed our time together.

Now he's doing great, loves going in, loves the teacher and the other kids

turquoiseseasandgoldensands Wed 03-Dec-14 23:30:35

Thanks for all the responses although it is difficult to respond as they are so many and varied. I think I can relate to zeeboo's most, and I think that in six months or so he will be in a different developmental phase and will cope with school fine. I think imho that most of the nurseries have got it wrong in terms of their expectations and management, and most are not aware of best practice, do not understand EY requirements or child development or the child-led play approach etc well enough to actually apply it. I know that sounds harsh but having found out why many of the staff went into working in nurseries I think it is sadly quite fair.

It is normal and desirable for 3 year olds to focus on activities in depth according to the experts as it is how they learn. I don't agree he is currently learning social skills which will help him in the real world.

I really like the idea that a smaller environment to help with independence it is a really good idea to try and find that, thanks.

I might be wrong about the grammar thing, I don't know - I hadn't heard that it was normal to move from correct usage to incorrect usage as a couple of you have said but I might be wrong? My son could talk in sentences using correct grammatical endings and had a large vocab and he has just started using wrong verb endings - I asked him why and he didn't answer and I asked if he was copying the other children and he said yes and grinned!! So I thought it might be that!

I am probably being a bit harsh and unreasonable but I am genuinely hugely disappointed with the whole thing and completely fed up.

duplodon Wed 03-Dec-14 23:39:50

You are wrong about the verbs, honestly. Look it up, overregularisation. It isn't incorrect, it's a process whereby a child moves to more generative use of linguistic rules, building greater knowledge of language patterns as opposed to relying on memorized verb forms. It applies to irregular verbs in this age range. I'm not really sure your understanding of child development is as developed as you may think. The average three year old doesn't understand why questions, for example (though may ask why).

HopeNope Wed 03-Dec-14 23:44:37

Yanbu. I've seen quite a few recently, and disliked most of them. I can't understand how parents can leave them there all week.

turquoiseseasandgoldensands Wed 03-Dec-14 23:49:20

Thanks I will look up the overregularisation!

Re your example, I asked my little one "why" and he didn't answer (you are right!) I then second guessed and asked if he was copying the other children and he understood that and said yes, but I have no idea if he meant yes - sometimes he does sometimes he doesn't.

Anyway, thanks very much to everyone- most of the replies are really helpful.

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