Five-year-old children are typically full of imagination and creativity. While some kids love the interaction a school setting offers, others might not respond well to rules and restrictions. If your little one is a free-as-a-bird type who simply loves to play, the structure of a school might cramp his spirit. Of course, even if you understand this, it doesn’t make it less frustrating when she resists going to school. But there are ways to make the whole school experience seem like less work and more fun.
Make the Mornings Fun
A mad morning rush can set the mood for the day. It’s often frantic and tense with a push to get out the door. This can overwhelm a small child – so it’s no surprise that a 5 year old might want to retreat to his room and play with his toys rather than go along with the morning schedule. If this is the case, it’s time to stop yourself in your tracks. Try changing up your morning routine to make it more playful and fun for your little one. Put on fun kid music, like silly songs or nursery rhymes, while he eats his breakfast. When he’s done, do a little happy dance together around the kitchen table. You can also play fun games in the car as you drive to the school like trying to find a car for every color in the rainbow, or trying to find each letter in the alphabet on the license plates of the other cars. This removes the stress from getting to school.
Create a Motivational Chart and Reward System
Sometimes 5-year-old children just need a little motivation to adapt to school. Encourage your child by creating a motivational chart with a reward system. This way, it becomes a game. Write positive behaviors on the chart that you want your child to carry out at school — like listening to the teacher when she speaks to the class, taking part in activities with enthusiasm or staying in her place in line when the kids walk down the hall. Communicate with the teacher to see how your little one is doing. If she’s hitting the mark, put a sticker on the chart – and when she gets a certain amount of stickers, come up with an appropriate reward.
Maybe your child’s resistance to school indicates that he needs a different school setting. Not all schools teach the same way. Some schools allow kids more play and creative time throughout the day. Look into other schools in your area, including schools that use different teaching methods, as well as private and charter schools. Ask if you can bring your child in for a visit to see how she responds.
You might begin to feel that your child would do better without a structured school setting. This is one of the reasons some parents decide to homeschool their kids. When you homeschool, you can teach your children through playing, crafts, interactive activities and field trips, which can give a playful child an opportunity to learn in a way that better suits her needs. If you’ve got the time, it might be the way to go.