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Help! 4 year old hates school

(20 Posts)
MatchboxTwenty Thu 19-Jan-17 12:51:51

My DS started school in September and initially seemed happy but from October onwards it has steadily gone down hill.

I'm at home during the day (working 3 of those) so he only went to nursery 2 sessions a week from Jan-July last year in a small Montesorri which he loved. From that to 6 1/2 hours a day x5 from the first day has knocked him for six.

He's tired and grumpy and I feel he behaves so well at school that by the time he gets home he has nothing left. We have frequent melt downs about everything and this morning I had to carry him to the car and from the car to the play ground, but he's happy enough to go in once there.

He is sensitive and says it's too noisy and busy and he wants to be with me. Academically he's doing well with reading, phonics etc but he's not happy and I just don't know what the hell I'm supposed to do!?

Any advice from mums of summer babies, mums of children who hated school and what you did or teachers who can reassure me? thinking of asking the teacher for a meeting to get some insight.


catkind Thu 19-Jan-17 13:57:08

Aw, poor mite, do have a chat with his teacher and find out more.
Perhaps you could consider part time for a bit. I don't know about your school, DD's class mostly do free play in the afternoons, so a) that's the noisiest bit, and b) he wouldn't miss out on much in the way of learning if he just did mornings.
On the plus side, year 1 is quieter!

ThatsPlenty Thu 19-Jan-17 14:04:16

My DD5 was a bit like this last year when she started school at age 4. I never knew what mood she was going to be in when she finished a school day. This year is totally different so hopefully your little one will be the same. I know that's not much help, just wanted you to know that it does pass.

AndNowItsSeven Thu 19-Jan-17 14:06:20

Send him part time or not at all until September. We deferred reception for our summer born ds until he is five.

Autumnsky Thu 19-Jan-17 14:25:51

I guess he is tired, try to let him relax after school. And do talk to the teacher to see what he is like at the school. Sometimes, DC are reluctant to go into the school, but then they are fine once they are in the school.

TeenAndTween Thu 19-Jan-17 15:01:49

Obvious question, but what time does he go to bed, and when does he need to wake up? Are you sure he is getting enough sleep. When DD2 started school she needed more sleep than when she had just been doing nursery mornings.

luciole15 Thu 19-Jan-17 15:14:27

Same problem here. Working with school to sort. They are not keen to allow going part time though.

MatchboxTwenty Thu 19-Jan-17 19:58:10

He's a poor sleeper and always has been. Asleep at 7:30 and will sleep till alarm goes at 6:45 but super restless/light sleeper/fidget.

Thanks ladies, I will request a meeting. Don't think the school would be keen on part time either!

TeenAndTween Thu 19-Jan-17 20:51:30

When DD started school everyone started full time straight away.
But they said if needed you could take them out for the odd afternoon.

Your best bet may be to ask to take out a couple of afternoons a week after afternoon register . Phonics etc will be being done in the morning.

I'd also try to bring bedtime forward by 30mins.

AndNowItsSeven Thu 19-Jan-17 20:53:54

School cannot refuse part time.

Earslaps Thu 19-Jan-17 21:30:47

Does he need to be up so early? I make DS2 (April born 4yo in reception) a peanut butter sandwich each morning so he can eat it in the car on the way to school if he sleeps in a bit. I also take a massive snack to school at pick up as he is absolutely starving and can be very grumpy if I don't feed him as soon as I see him grin.

MatchboxTwenty Fri 20-Jan-17 07:31:18

That's the latest he's ever slept!

luciole15 Fri 20-Jan-17 08:33:49

@AndNowItsSeven I had heard that before. Do you have any links please?

My little one's sleep has been significantly disturbed since starting school. I guess he's churning stuff over in his sleep. The schools argument for not doing part time is that he will still have to go through a period of adjustment when he does go full time.

Does anyone know about lunchtimes? Can children take their lunchbreak off the premises? Ours has a 1.15 hour lunch break and, apart from the odd bit of whole class activity from about 1200 onwards, they have three hours just milling about with either breaks or free flow fighting 'learning'.

When he gets home he chills and lolls on the floor. Very close to napping. But gets lively again around 6pm and then won't sleep till 9pm which is a total PITA.

Crumbs1 Fri 20-Jan-17 08:38:49

They do,get over it if you don't fret too much. It's a strange environment and they do get tired. I wouldn't overreact to be honest. It's harder for you than for him.

luciole15 Fri 20-Jan-17 09:10:35

It's not really overreacting though when fights are breaking out because kids aren't managing at school because they are tired. Not saying that is the experience of the OP, but my son is certainly not happy at the moment and full time seems a real strain.

I know some schools are more flexible about stuff like this and others take a very hard line, which seems unnecessary when kids don't have to be in full time ed.

APlaceOnTheCouch Fri 20-Jan-17 09:21:52

School is a big adjustment so it's only natural that he's tired and grumpy. Have a chat with the teacher. They might be able to give him a 'special job' that will make him excited to go in, or move him to a slightly quieter group,etc.
With the meltdowns, I had to take a snack or even a sandwich when I collected DS from school as he was always hungry, grumpy and tired. Counter-intuitively, taking him to the park after school or making him run about in the garden helped to burn up his grumpiness.

bojorojo Fri 20-Jan-17 10:23:15

He did not really have a gradual introduction to the hours of school due to very part time nursery attendance. Yes, this will pass and the school do not seem unduly worried. It is just a phase. However I found food immediately they leave school helps and a calm atmosphere at home.

bojorojo Fri 20-Jan-17 10:28:13

I meant to add that this change is big for him. He cannot just have what he wants though. Perhaps when he makes friends he wil fare better and sometimes you only hear the worst of it - never the best bits that he has enjoyed earlier in the day. I guess the YR class is noisier after lunch so this is the challenge. Try and encourage him that it is fun in the afternoons. It may be art, play etc. Is there a quiet area?

Naty1 Fri 20-Jan-17 11:01:03

Dd is a june birthday and is struggling i think.
Very few party invites (even from the say 6 she plays with).
She is getting known as a naughty one.
Its hard as she does get worse when tired. And she is still younger now than some were starting school.
All resulting in her needing to be carried in 2/5 mornings, but then she is fine.
She struggled with doing only 2 days nursery so up to 5 now is a jump and shes done better than i expected. I just didnt expect her to be left out as she has always got on with kids 1-2-1. I think the free play doesnt suit her as she gets up to stuff.
Hope your dc teachers can shed some light.
I think overall its better for them to go and build up the stamina, though not strangely better for friendships. I honestly feel SB children cant win either way. Ie part-time or deferring a term or 2 arent good but neither is being so much younger as their behaviour can be worse, affecting friendships. She has only been playing with one oct born the rest are jan/feb onwards. Despite her not struggling academically.
She is too immature to see her behaviour may have lasting consequences.

MatchboxTwenty Fri 20-Jan-17 16:53:11

Thanks for all the advice and opinions. Spoke to the teacher after school. Going to try something down the positive reinforcement route. Yes, it is worse for me!

We already do snacks and when the weather is dry we do the park but not really possible at the moment. I try and walk it, but I cannot carry him/bags the distance so end up taking the car more than I want to.

Going to name change now as this was quite identifying.

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