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How Do I Know If My Son's Preschool Isn't Working For Him Anymore?

preschool kids reading

How do you know what's normal and what's a problem?

We’ve had a lot of inconsistency in our house in the past two weeks. First Grandma and Papa were visiting, then Mommy went away for 3 days, and right after that, Daddy went away for 3 more days.

I’ve been focusing a lot on Fuzz and his weaning, but I’ve recently noticed some changes in my older son a.k.a The Shnook, who will be 4 in July. He’s been at the same preschool since September, and we’ve been pretty happy with it. Most recently, we’ve banded together to help a classmate and teacher cope with some horrible news.

As far as his progress at this school, I’ve noticed he’s definitely matured in the way he handles conflict resolution. My favorite is when he says to me:

“Mommy, everyone can have their own ideas.”

This is usually when I tell him “no.”

He has become quite the negotiator, and although this school doesn’t focus on academics, he can now write his name and other words pretty decently. He has a huge and growing interest in books and reading, which although we encourage this at home, is definitely being supported at school.

As far as the Reggio Emilia aspect and the group work that goes on, I will admit, much to Cassandra Barry’s delight, that it’s going a bit slower than I would have hoped, and in his airplane interest group, he knew more about airplanes than the teachers knew thanks to his obsession (fueled by my better half). He is now learning a lot about roly poly bugs, and has expressed a fascination with bugs in general, which will be great for the summer in Vermont where there are many. He also seems to love gardening and sewing.

However, despite the fact that overall, he seems happy and engaged when I go pick him up, the last week or so, he’s had several accidents. Every time I come to school to pick him up, he’s wearing new clothes. This comes from a kid who has been out of diapers since he was 2 years and 5 months old. He’s also started saying to me every morning that he doesn’t want to go to school.

I’ve tried to probe deeper to see if something specific is going on, but at this point, all I can get out of him is that he doesn’t like to take a nap at school.  But guess what? He doesn’t like to take a nap at home, either. In fact, he won’t nap at home. Meanwhile, every day when I check the nap board, he has indeed fallen asleep, so obviously he still needs to nap.

So, are these indications that he’s not happy at school, or is he just looking for excuses to stay home with me? Maybe it’s all because of the changes at home? If he is unhappy,  what should I do? Should I think about switching schools in the Fall or just wait it out?

More by Naomi
How The Time Cover Made Me Question My Weaning
8 Benefits To Taking A Parenting Break
Maurice Sendak:A Legend And Inspiration Gone

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