View Full Version : Daughter losing enthusiasm for school
02-17-2009, 11:45 AM
My daughter is in third grade this year and suddenly seems to have lost her enthusiasm for school. In first grade she told me she didn't want to miss a day of school even if she was sick because there was so much to learn! Last year she seemed happy as well. This year it seems like some mornings she can barely drag herself out the door. I don't know if it's the teacher (she doesn't like her quite as well as previous teachers) or if maybe it's common for kids to go through a phase like this? She is in the gifted program and has gotten all A grades, but this interim she got two B grades. I don't think the curriculum is too hard for her, and I don't think she has been working any harder this year than previous years. I don't care that much about grades if she is working to her ability, but I'm afraid maybe it's a warning sign that something is wrong? I've asked my daughter and she says everything is fine.
I'm wondering if anyone else has experienced this, and should I be concerned?
03-26-2009, 11:53 AM
I suggest you contact the teacher for a conference. Maybe she/he has noticed changes in your daughter in class. It could be the work, the teacher, other kids..any number of things. I would go to the person who is with her all day at school to see if there is anything you can find out that way. Depending on your child (you know her best) you may or may not want to tell her you are speaking to the teacher. I was a teacher and I have young kids.....I think this would be a good next step.
04-07-2009, 07:13 PM
As a teacher of the gifted and a mom of two gifted kids, I can tell you that this is VERY common, but very upsetting as well. If you haven't been able to get anything specific, and the teacher doesn't have any ideas either, then go to the counselor as well. Is her program full time or part time? Kids in part time programs struggle in the general ed class because it's too easy, the other kids are too stupid (sorry, but it seems like that to them!) and they have to wait around a LOT for everyone else to catch on and catch up. It's maddening for them. If her program is full time, that doesn't mean that her teacher is a good match for her, since there was probably only ONE teacher at that grade level available for all the gifted kids. Perhaps there's a mean girl bothering her - this is the age for it. Perhaps the boys are annoying, perhaps she is highly perfectionistic and hates getting Bs.
My second grader absolutely hates school and begs me to homeschool her daily. Although she is well-liked and very social, she is annoyed by the immaturity of some of the boys, annoyed by the boy-crazy girls (there are more than a few) and completely bored by the curriculum. She finishes a novel each day while waiting for everyone else to finish their work. She adores her teacher but hates the work. Her guidance counselor has been wonderful this year. The gifted program doesn't begin until next year, and our state does not require 1st and 2nd graders to be serviced, even with a gifted EP in place from our previous state.
Keep talking to your daughter and hopefully things will come out. Also, volunteer in her classroom so you can see firsthand what is going on.
04-14-2009, 11:19 AM
I am homeschooling mine starting next school year. One will be in 5th and the other will be in 1st.
04-14-2009, 01:49 PM
Perhaps the school just isn't the right place for her. I home school my children and they have the freedom to progress at their own pace. The curriculum can be geared toward the particular interest of the child. Each of my kids works in a totally different manner; one boy often stands up at the table! They aren't required to work out of the same books either. If one type of reading book is totally mind numbing for one child, they can try different ones until they find one that "fits". I have several different math books for them to work out of so that they can experience different styles, eventually settling into the best one for them individually. They are involved in Scouts, 4-H, music lessons, swimming lessons, soccer, basketball, horse riding lessons, co-op classes & Church groups, etc... (not all at the same time!) Their activities are set for the individual personality of the child. It just isn't possible to plan a classroom that can cater to the individual child if there are twenty or thirty (or more) children in a classroom. Learning should be exciting; children should crave it as they did when they were toddlers learning the language. Now is the time to ensure that she keeps that enthusiasm! Good luck!
04-14-2009, 06:49 PM
04-14-2009, 07:58 PM
I homeschooled my daughters last year. It was the best option for my oldest, and my youngest was only 3 and didn't want to go to preschool. However, I do NOT believe that it is best for every child. It requires a lot of dedication and patience on the part of the parent who does the teaching, and there are things that kids miss out on when they are not in a traditional school setting. I have a teaching credential and am a very experienced teacher; I wrote all my own curriculum for my kids and taught thematically. It was a very natural thing for me to do. My older daughter finished Kindergarten and first grade by the end of March. She was still five.
Many kids will thrive in a homeschooling environment. But public schools DO offer things that a homeschooling parent, even an experienced teacher, cannot. It is important to find a balance and make sure that there are other adults in a position of authority. Some parents feel that homeschooled children are better behaved and more mature. In my experience, for every child who is, you'll find one with major social issues. Being in a setting where a child MUST follow the rules, MUST follow the schedule, MUST learn to adapt and to get along with many different types of people can teach important skills - getting along with one's boss, one's inlaws, one's coworkers. Schools teach more than academics.
Yes, if I want my daughters to progress at the best pace and always be challenged, I would need to homeschool them for the rest of their careers. But I also want them to learn other things that I cannot provide one-on-one. So for us, homeschooling was a response to a specific problem at our local school - no one knew what to do with a highly gifted five year old who was above their 2nd grade curriculum. Now, in a better district, they have programs and personnel who can help.
04-06-2010, 01:38 PM
We have four children, aged 5 through 11. All attended a Montessori school until this year.
We experienced the same thing that you did. Our kids were quite enthusiastic about school in the preschool years, but as elementary progressed, they began to develop an outright hatred for it.
At first my wife blew it off. "All kids hate school," she said. But I asked why this had to be so.
Our decision to pull them out and homeschool them (actually, we are unschooling, which is really a different approach to parenting) was based on a lot of factors.
First, we are transitioning from a traditional, fixed-home-based family, to a worldwide travel and adventure based family.
If you want to know what I mean, just visit my blog at The Way of the Passionate Warrior (http://thepassionatewarrior.com). I talk a lot there about the process that we have gone through.
We are a different family now than we were even a year ago. Our home is far more peaceful. Our kids fight way less. There is no arguing and complaining about getting the kids up in the morning. We talk about everything, and I don't think that there is any subject that I don't feel at least somewhat comfortable talking to my kids about.
I think what has changed for us, after taking this leap and rejecting traditional schooling, is that our kids trust us more. We listened to them. We acknowledged their concerns. And we acted on them. And we still listen.
It's not what I expected, but I think that their trust in us has been the key change in our lives.
They seem to have less subconscious fear that we love one more than the other, therefore there's less competition and jealousy going on.
They are more honest and open because we focus on solving problems and learning from those problems, rather than assigning blame. When something goes wrong, we all know who is to blame. And so do they. Unless it is intentional, "So what?"
There is less need on their part to "tell" on each other, in order to rack up proverbial "points" in the competition between the siblings. They are encouraged to find a way to work it out. If things turn physical, parents get involved. Otherwise, they learn how to resolve issues on their own, or at least to manage their more aggressive feelings.
We are taking this day by day, as all of us parents are. But so far, the calm presence that has descended over our family is delightful.
In the 21st century, as a parent, I do not believe that it is my role to prepare my kids to hate their mindless job but to do it anyway, lest they become a bum.
I am preparing my kids to be leaders and self-supporting entrepreneurs. Or at least to take care of themselves. And to love their lives, not merely endure them.
I suspect that the process that your child, and my children, went through, that of learning to not like school, but endure it anyway, is a built-in training exercise to prepare future workers for mindless jobs in the factories that no longer exist.
There is no need to endure this any longer.
Anyway, that's my rant.
Talk to her. She says she wants to homeschool. Don't let your fear of the process stop you. Keep her home a semester and see what happens. Take a short break from "schooling". Educate yourself about different approaches to education, and to child rearing. You know your child better than anyone. And please don't worry about her "falling behind". Is her a childhood some kind of race or something? I never understood that attitude among many parents.
Anyway, whatever happens, I wish you and your child the very best!
The Way of the Passionate Warrior
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