People are social animals, meaning we need to mix with others, and children are no different, but what is going on when a child who was excited about attending school is suddenly resisting?
The school year is about to start and there will be mixed emotions from the new attendees. Most of the time going to school for the first time will be met with excitement generated from buying books, a school bag, trying on uniforms and covering school books. The first day or three will be an absolute dream, unless it is your first child going off to school and the tears come from you. But there may come a time shortly after when the novelty has worn off and your eager young prodigy has dug their heels in explaining they have finished with school.
Sometimes a simple explanation that this is their lot for the next twelve plus years (an explanation better than that I hope) will have them merrily kitting up for the next day, but sometimes there may be a deeper problem. School refusal is an emotional problem experienced by some parents with their children. Some signs of school refusal are when your child:
- Throws tantrums about going to school
- Hides when it is time to leave for school
- Begs or pleads not to be taken to school
- Complains about being ill when it is time to leave for school
There are other indicators for school refusal you may read about on the Raising Children website. Addressing the cause is the key to handling the problem. There are many causes but tuition can help when the cause is “school refusal because of academic problems”.
It is sad to think a Year One student is experiencing academic problems but it does occur with no fault of any person. A new school student may be having difficulties because:
- The assumed knowledge of Year One (e.g. spatial skills, order and counting, grouping, singing the alphabet) has not been learned in Prep.
- The student is not quite ready to learn. Sometimes students struggle with learning something they see others around them learn easily. They become frustrated to tears, at which point we praise them for giving it a go. (We also have a system for learning that creates fun and this distracts them from any inadequacies they may feel.) One day their eyes light up as they have answered a question correctly, but more importantly they understood the question they answered. Their brain is now ready to learn and they take off catching the class (with the help of our tuition system) and at times moving to the head of the class with their results. Every child is ready to learn at a different time so you never give up on them. Sometimes they are seven years of age before they are ready academically for school. This is a problem when school commences at five years of age.
- The student has a learning disability and this may be something as simple to correct as a tracking issue (read the article “When 5 + 1 = 5” on our Students’ Problem page).
Sometimes you may need the assistance of your G.P. or a child psychologist to help overcome your student’s school anxiety or low academic results, but never give up on them and consider an after-school tuition program to help subdue their anxieties and achieve academically.