Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A bit of a vent....

So, for some reason, I have always had the impression that as kids got older, things got easier. I am finding this not to be so true.

I have decided that 3 and 4 were the easy years. Miss P was potty-trained, verbal, and pretty cooperative. She is still all of these things. However, at age 5, this is not nearly enough!

With the advent of school, comes a whole new ball game, and list of expectations. Of course, being a K-teacher, I was quite aware of this, and did not quite have the rude awakening some have.

Overall, P is doing very well in school (Thank you, Lord!) We haven't had homework yet, and are doing fine turning in the various papers, Monday folder, library bag, etc., on the appointed days and wearing the appropriate color for color day. P is loving school and is so excited. She talks about it all the time, and even wants to play school at home. It's the social thing.

P tends to be rather shy around new kids. Most of her 3 year old preschool year consisted of playing with the adults instead of the kids. (Even though outside of school, she had plenty of friends from our playgroup that she regularly ran off with.) During her four year old pre-K year, she branched out, became quite friendly, and made some good little friends (most all went to different schools).

Now that she is in K, she is making a slow foray into friendships. She initially bonded with a bunch of girls in her class. Now I'm not quite sure what is happening with that. The big obstacle seems to be those darned monkey bars. When our backs were turned, every other kid in the universe and their 3 year old sibling learned how to swing across them. Now, at recess time, P's cronies zip to the bars, and she hangs solo. She has been playing with a very nice little girl from my class, who she has had a couple of playdates with. But that little girl has other friends and is also a monkey bar fan. Darn those bars! Who would've thought they'd be such an issue. Her teacher has suggested I do an incentive chart with her, where she can earn stickers for initiating play at recess, instead of sometimes just watching. (She is the only child on the yard of 100 kids, who seems to be hanging back.)

I, being biased of course, feel like P is such a smartie, but I'm feeling a lot of responsibility with this age 5. It seems like other kids somehow just learn things on their own (like at recess, most kids just run out to the playground and start loosely playing, they don't need an invitation.) Also, thank goodness, I worked with P so much on drawing, and on letters and sounds. Teaching her to write her name was laborious; now it is paying off. It is amazing what kids come in knowing these days. P's preschool did barely anything academic. It was all 'how to listen to a story,' 'how to take turns,' ' how to follow a teacher's rules,' etc. All very appropriate preschool stuff. But so many kids come into K knowing sooo much, that it brings up the overall level of the instruction. I realized last summer that in my efforts to teach P how to write all the letters, that I had overlooked numbers. Sure enough, she could not recognize any number past 10, and had no idea how to write the numbers. Oops. There goes the responsibility thing again. I know it sounds ridiculous coming from me, a K teacher, but it was a little stressful when I was the only one teaching her anything. Unlike kids who just seem to pick things up -- if I didn't teach it, it didn't happen!

It is painful for me to see P feeling a little left out at recess sometimes. Tonight she wanted to role play what happened, with her the other girls doing the monkey bars and her sitting alone. (Do you see where she my get her melodramatic sense from? But I can see what a big deal this would be for a five year old girl). Anyway, I know that a surefire way to get her over this. (Besides working on the monkey bars!) is to have some little classmates over for playdates. I know once she plays one-on-one with someone a couple of times she will be set.

So again - 3 years old. Easy. Simple life, not much complication. Five - and the school pressure and 'girl drama' kicks in. yikes!

I know I should be counting my blessings that everything overall is going sooo well. And I am. I just wanted to get that out of my system.

Any words of wisdom????

1 comment:

Hilary said...

Don't you think a lot of her holding back is the fact that you're there? I know Spencer does similar stuff when I'm there.
Frankly, you've got a tough situation.
And knowing stuff before K isn't that big of a deal, she'll catch right up.
AND we'd love to have her for a playdate, although I'm guessing she wants some friends of the girl variety, and probably only ones that can sit-up. And we have none of those at our house. :)
As far as what else to do, I agree -- positive reinforcement for the correct behavior of jumping in. If she doesn't like bars, do the slide. Just something.