Getting a 4 Year Old to Look Forward to School

How do I help my 4 year old to want to go to school? My daughter doesn't want to go to school next year and tells me she's not and I don't like it. Just wondered if anyone else has encountered this?

Trish from KY

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June 17, 20070 found this helpful

maybe taking her to the park and meeting kids her age (that might be in her class) would help her feel more comfortable.

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June 17, 20070 found this helpful

Hi,

Last week's New York Times magazine had an excellent article on kids' readiness for school. Look it up online at nytimes.com.

Good luck!

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June 18, 20070 found this helpful

You can call the school and they will probably let her come in early to familiarize herself with the school and even meet her teacher. She will probably feel more comfortable then. Usually schools have a day when parents can take the children to meet the teachers and see their classrooms and other children.

Some schools will let parents come the first day or so with their children.

Discussing things ahead of time with her - counting her numbers, spelling her name, learning her phone number, etc. also helps. She may already know how to do those things, but maybe she doesn't. Learning these things ahead of time will give her a head start.

You can also go to the store that the teachers go to and buy educational items, toys, etc. I don't know what the store is called in your area, but if you call the school, they can tell you.

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June 18, 20070 found this helpful

Sounds like she's spent a lot of time with you and doesn't want things to change. Set her up in daycare over the summer, and get her used to the idea of being away from you. She will be unhappy, and probably will make this abundantly clear. Let her know that school is her job, just like whatever you do is yours, and whether or not she likes it, she's got to go. You don't have to be that blunt with her, but let her know that this isn't negotiable. My son was one of the youngest in his class, and had trouble adjusting to school versus daycare, and there was a discussion about whether he should wait another year to complete kindergarden. I let him make the decision, but made sure to emphasize that day care was for little kids that weren't ready to go to school like big kids. (Little kids do X at day care; big kids do Y at school. Big kids get to do A, little kids can't.)

Worked like a charm.

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June 18, 20070 found this helpful

When my twins were starting school, they were a little worried too! I found first day of school books at the local library, and I believe Barney, or Franklin has a starting school or first day of school video, Good luck!!

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June 18, 20070 found this helpful

Hello. All of the posts are great ideas. I have four children my 5 yr. old said she didn't want to go to school in the mornings of preschool. We talked about what she did in school and why she likes to go back. She loves her teachers and as soon as she got to school the I don't want to go to school went away. Make sure you find the right school and make sure she likes the teachers also. Let her choose the big girl backpack, school supplies she needs. Let choose out her own clothes and etc. This should get her excited about going. And have the teacher write a note she would like to have her in class and her friends a waiting for her there. Small steps, hope this helps. Good Luck. My 5 yr. old Gabbi asked me to write this to your little girl "Hi. School is very fun and all your friends are waiting. I hope you like your new friends and new teacher."

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June 18, 20070 found this helpful

No, can't say I've encountered this. Both of my children were very excited about starting school and both did at age 3 (preschool). They also both rode a bus and were very excited about that as well.

One thing tho, is with both, the teachers came to the house to meet the kids and tell them about school and such. I do think that's a good idea.

Perhaps your child does not want to leave you. Some children have a problem with that.

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June 18, 20070 found this helpful

HOMESCHOOL

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June 18, 20070 found this helpful

I hope this is a preschool like 3 days a week. Whether it is this or a regular kinder, whether she goes is not up to her. This is an adult choice. Enroll her in a 2 or 3 day program (like 3 hrs a day) for the summer. Calmly tell her a day or 2 ahead that she is going to "play camp" or the like. Let her pick out her clothes, take a fav possession in her backpack and maybe even a picture of you and her together. Be sure to label everything with her name!

Before school starts in September tell her again that "play camp" or kinder starts next week, don't call it school yet since she seems to have an aversion to this idea. Take her shopping for new things, a few clothes or a supply list that the school will provide. Some schools have a "meet the teacher" day just before school starts. Start getting her into the BTS routine about 2 weeks before-set bedtime routine, lay out clothes (let her choose from a set selection of your choices, i.e. skirt or shorts, red or blue top, etc). Let her choose what will be in her lunch or snack, etc. Make it as routine as possible and never ask "Do you want... because she may answer no! Ask questions and give choices like "are you wearing the red or blue shirt" or "Peanut butter or chicken nuggets". If she cries on the first day, she won't be the only one. Give her a big hug and kiss, tell her you love her and will be back for her soon. At the end of the school day-be on time. She will want to see your face as son as the doors open! Always be enthusiastic and positive, although acknowledge her feelings as needed. Ask her questions about her day like "Did you swing or slide" or Who did you play with" or Tell me something nice someone said to you" so she can focus on positives.

I know this is a long-winded answer but as a 30 year veteran of teaching, I can speak to this subject with some experience! Let's see-30 kids per class X 30 years of first days-Yikes!!!

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June 18, 20070 found this helpful

I think you have had some excellent answers here, so I won't add more.. but just to tell you of my own funny experience with my first two children.

My 5 year old daughter started school, and 4 year old son and I walked her there on first day. She was fine, HE bawled and cried all the way home because he couldn't stay at school too!

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June 18, 20070 found this helpful

My neighbor's kid didn't want to go and gave her mother a hard time. By Day 3, the mom was at her wit's end. So I volunteered to take the child to school, and when she did the fussy bit, I looked at her like "so what?" - it helped. Took her the next day and there wasn't much fuss at the school, but she wasn't very willing to go with me out the door of her home. I picked her up and carried her to the car.

Hope you don't get to this point.

Our school district has "Roundup Day" during the late spring in which the kids get to go to school for a story in the library and a small tour of the school and playground. It helps. My kids liked it and couldn't wait to go to school.

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June 18, 20070 found this helpful

My four year old Ethan wants to go to school so bad that he often cries when his big brother is getting on the bus. Sadly, he has an October birthday so he has to wait another year at home with me before kindergarten. We might do some sort of preschool but I like having him at home with me and it is nice to not have that daycare/preschool bill for once.

Once she gets there and makes some friends, she will have a blast. The girls are all very chummy in kindergarten and there are all these new toys and stories and games. She will love it!

Jess

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June 18, 20070 found this helpful

I had this trouble too with my daughter. When she starts saying negative things about school, turn it in to something positive.. say something like "Do you like to color?", or sing songs, or play games etc. If shes still negative, just ignore the comments everytime she brings it up. Believe me, she will put up a BIG STINK for the first few days, but eventually when she sees its not working, and school is actually fun, she will be happy to go! My daughter got to the point that she dreaded weekends because there was no school!

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June 19, 20070 found this helpful

Thanks for all your advice, I had thought of the playgroup idea but she has no problem with that. I even told her that 2 of her friend would be in the same room with her and that didn't really make a difference either. I figure that by the time she is 5 she will change her mind. I am going to take her a few times to visit the school this coming school year and let her meet her teacher, most likely her teacher will be the same one that me and my husband had in Kindergarten so I know that will make a difference. As for preschool, they have a program here that only the ones who need it can get it and she doesn't need it. Or you can pay to send them so to speak but that isn't an option now.

I never wanted to go to school at her age either but got over it maybe it's genetic.

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June 19, 20070 found this helpful

the kissing hand. it is a book that also has lesson plans you can do at home. that is if she is afraid of not being with you. you can type in kissing hand and all kinds of plans come up. i did the same thing. you can also suggest to the teacher that she can read the book in school and you have read it at home. it is very comforting to the child

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June 19, 20070 found this helpful

Years ago I cried my first day of school, and then I met my teacher who was superb, and I learned to read, and brought my book home to do "homework" at my very own desk. It was great! And I loved school ever after.

I do wish someone had told me at the time that Nancy Drew loved school. It would've helped.

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June 19, 20070 found this helpful

I worked at the school and was the one to register my granddaughter for kindergarten. She was 4. During the registration process when the teacher asked her to name the color of the crayon, she said I don't know and I don't care. But she loved to color. When asked if she could spell her name, she said "Nope" with her hands on her hips. Her parents decided to keep her at home for the year. When she entered the next year she was ready but still didn't learn to read until she was in the 1st grade, half way through the year. She loved to read books to me but doing it by rote. She was just not ready to learn but when she did learn, you couldn't hold her back. I'll never forget the day she came over and asked to read the book, just as she had done for the past year. Instead of reading by memory, she was reading each word and sounding them out. She was so proud of herself as was her grandpa and I. The week before it was by memory. Some kids just aren't biologically ready to begin school at the age of four.

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July 22, 20090 found this helpful

I had a chat with the principal of the school my girls would be going to. One of my children for reasons of her own, was highly skittish. Knowing tha she needed a familiarity to identify with, I wanted to help ease her into a school setting. I made arrangements with the school to visit one kindergarten classroom each week for the entire school before Cindy would be attending. They agreed to let us visit on a different day each week and at a different time so she could see different things.

I was in class with her and we only stayed an hour. Because our school had 6 kindergarten teachers, She got to see each class room and each teacher multiple times. They were always doing different things though, because again, we came on different days and at various times.

When the year was closing into summer vacation, she was getting a great feel for what was coming. She had made some friends and knew many of the teacher by name and face. Some of the kids lived in our area. Duringthat year, they began to come over to play, making her transition that much easier.

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