My oldest son, Matthew (we call him Chu at home), just started kindergarten last week. This is his second week of school. I've never been relieved my whole life that its FINALLY FRIDAY!! He was so excited to go to school last week he woke up at 5:30AM just to remind me to wake him up at 6:00AM. It's a big CHANGE for him. Waking up early, eating a very early breakfast and a different schedule than summer. A few days ago though I have noticed he's been having some meltdowns after school. I figured he's just tired and not wanting to do anything after school. But he has homework 4 times a week - Monday till Thursday. Right now they're having to do 15 minutes of reading everyday and writing. Matthew is not fond of writing at all. He's doing great in reading but when it comes to writing he's really dreading it. He says it's boring. I don't really want to push him but he needs to get his homework done. So doing homework with him is like pulling teeth everyday!! He doesn't want to take a nap after lunch anymore so he gets really cranky.
Today, I talked to some of the parents having the same problems with their children. They have to deal with their kids crying coming out of class because they said they got to orange that day. They have a discipline system where when they do something "bad"or not paying attention in class they get to flip a card and it goes from green, to yellow, to orange and to red. Matthew's gotten to orange once and yellow twice I think. At first, Ryan and I would talk to him about it...asking him what he did to get that and he can't even remember. We gave him incentives and positive reinforcements if he stays in green.
Then, when I talked to the other parents they said their kids feel the same way that the teacher is very strict...for a kindergarten teacher she's really not the huggable type...and not the kind who gives high fives to kids....uh oh...so for me this is a red flag and as a mother I feel so bad now...that I've taken a step back and really think about this. Maybe I've pushed Matthew too hard..this is just the second week of school for Pete's sake and he's already feeling so pressured to do all kinds of things. Not to mention, 3 &1/2 of school and no recess! Yes! the teacher said it's not even enough for them to get their academics done. These are 5 year old kiddos....and couple of weeks ago they've just been hanging around the house doing nothing but playing and goofing around.
Now I really feel like I have to volunteer as much as I can just to be able to sit in the class and try to see what's really going on. If it's too much pressure for my son, then we'll have to move him to a regular school. I liked that he's in the advanced class right now because in preschool he seemed to be bored but now I don't know anymore....
I have to see to it that from here on out...when he gets out of school everyday, we do something fun...just to have him loosen up a little...and to remind him that he's still just a kid. For the mean time, I'll keep a close eye, as much as I can, with what's going on in his class. I'm sure it's very overwhelming for the teacher to to be by herself with 25 kids (5 year olds) in her class. I'm sure she needs a lot of parent volunteers and maybe by then we can all loosen up a little!