Some children fit into the traditional school mould with no problems. They can’t wait to get to school and meet with their friends and they enjoy the work. Others find it more difficult. They may be extremely shy, feel that they are picked on or find it difficult to concentrate on work in a group environment.
For those parents whose children hate school for whatever reason, life becomes an absolute hassle. Their child may throw tantrums about going to school, or they may ‘feel sick’ – an emotional response to the stress of going to school. Very young children are sometimes too immature to leave the shelter of their home and caregiver to attend school in an environment where they really have to look after themselves to a great extent.
Children can even have problems eating and sleeping when they are desperately unhappy about their school situation.
No teacher can watch every child all the time and sometimes, little children pinch or bite others, and even if the teachers sees and stops them, the deed is usually already done. Shy children can be easily intimidated by bolder children who push and shove to get in first. They can sometimes be pushed over in the scramble, especially if they are an only child and not prepared for a group setting.
Such children are better off starting school the next year when they are older and more able to cope. Or they could be placed in an environment such as a Montessori child care or school, where there are fewer children per teacher and less stress.
It is not only the shy child who may have problems settling in at school. Some children are really independent and like to do their own thing. They may come from a home where there are few rules, or they may have been encouraged to follow their own road throughout the day. Sitting for hours at a time and doing only what the teacher says can be like a gaol sentence to these children, especially if they work slowly, but like to finish what they are doing before moving onto something else.
It is very frustrating for a child to have to leave work they are truly interested in to move onto the next subject. And they don’t get the satisfaction of finishing something. By the time that subject comes around the next day or whenever, they have lost interest in it.
So while traditional schools do offer much for our children, they are not always the best thing for everyone. Some children learn differently and traditional schools simply don’t have enough staff to attend to anyone who is different, or who needs a different way of learning. But the most important reason to consider any change in school is still your child’s happiness.