‘Angst’ in transition to school

Last night my four, going on five, year old daughter, Sophie told me, in her own words, ‘I feel too much pain going to Kindi as I am so sad to be saying goodbye.  I don’t want to have the goodbye as it will just make me sadder.  I have never felt like this.  It hurts.’

She was in floods of tears.

Sophie at the woodwork bench in Kindi

She has really loved her teachers at Kindi and they have touched her heart deeply. She is absolutely gutted to be saying goodbye and she can’t get her head around the intense feelings she is experiencing.

She would like us to just pop in with a gift and cards for the Kindi, but doesn’t want to attend for the rest of the term.  That is fine with me and I totally understand.  I don’t see the point in pushing her for 7 days. They do a little ‘graduation ceremony’ on a child’s last day of Kindi, but she says it will just make her very sad.

It’s akin to an adult being made redundant from a job they love. Most wouldn’t want a big fuss to be made on their leaving.

Her Kindi teachers each have unique strengths that they’ve shared with her. She has benefited from their humour, wisdom, creativity and guidance. At times she has felt lost and struggled to find ‘her place’. She is a very bright young girl who finds older children much more socially at her level than her own peers. She questions everything and is disappointed when people don’t have the time to answer her: But her Kindi teachers have worked so hard, as they do with all the children in their care, to do their very best in the circumstances.

I know she will find the school system difficult in this respect. I read here that pre-school children ask as many as 100 questions a day. It asserts that by the time they reach middle school they stop asking questions and this coincides with the time their motivation and interest plummet.

She is very confused about school.  Her teacher doesn’t start till Term 1 (so she won’t meet her till she starts and she knows that her teacher is only staying for one term before going overseas).  Though she has an older sister at the same school she just hasn’t got her heart there – yet, and I’m sad at the thought of the ‘light’ and ‘passion’ dipping from her eyes. The same thing happened with Charlotte and over the school holidays, weekends and in the evenings we see the ‘light’ return. Sometimes Charlotte needs ‘mental health’ days to give her breathing space for creative thought. She is such a driven, natural self-learner with a passion to discover the world. She is frequently frustrated at the pace of learning in school and the amount of time she has to spend ‘sitting well’.

Oh the angst! I read on-line all the time that I am not alone in feeling the ‘system’ is not working. There are brilliant teachers, working hard to make great schools, but they are confined within a system. One that I cannot fathom how will work heading into the future, with increasingly bright and inquisitive minds growing faster than ever before.

I am going to cease rambling now. I have a sore throat and am catching the colds that the girls have been sharing around this week. I am going to look forward to celebrating Sophie’s 5th Birthday with a wonderful party in little over a week and make sure I am a strong advocate for her future. If she isn’t happy, we shall fix the problem – which might mean a huge change for all of us and shifting to a newer way of learning.

Links:
Children in Crisis; Drill & Kill by Sandra Gunn
The Public School Nightmare – Why fix a system designed to destroy individual thought? by John Taylor Gatto;
and a post by Sandra Gunn on ‘The Public School Nightmare’

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This post was inspired by the word ‘Angsty’ – a writing prompt in Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop.