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Kindergarten For Shy Kid: Public Or Private School?

Discussion in 'General Discussions - USA & Canada' started by Naari, Jul 6, 2017.

  1. Naari

    Naari Platinum IL'ite

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    Hello ILs,

    My earlier thread on this question died pre-maturely, realized it was bad timing (posted it US night time!), so re-posting the question as I really need some suggestions / thoughts here.. Thanks!

    DD recently turned 5 and completed 1st year of pre-school in a private school. She is eligible to go to Kindergarten starting September this year. We started her pre-k in a private school as public school here does not offer pre-k. Now, for Kg (which starts in Sept 17), we got her enrolled in public school. Now my primary concern is that DD is slightly on the shy side and does not socialize and open up / make friends quickly in school. Not that she does not try, but sometimes if the other kid does not respond immediately, she gets hurt and backs off. So, I am worried that in the public school where the class sizes are around 25-30 kids per class with 2-3 teachers per classroom, she might withdraw into a shell or get intimidated. As against that, the private school Kg class sizes are around 10-15 among 2 teachers. So, with a lower student: teacher ratio, there is a better chance of getting one-on-one attention and to allow for more time for DD to open and develop at her own pace in private school.

    Her private school teacher suggested that we go ahead and continue with them for Kg considering all the above. She thinks that the public school might be a sudden transition for DD and may end up overwhelming DD & either may have a positive effect of opening her up socially or have a complete negative effect of her withdrawing in her shell.

    Interestingly, DD has a very charming and dynamic personality at all places except for school. She is smart and talkative with outsiders in malls, restaurants, stores everywhere except in class. But, in school, she is too stuck up and well behaved almost to the extent of restraining her personality and playfulness. So much so, that she wouldn't even ask her teacher for even water or to go potty or any sort of help initially, though it has gotten better lately. I really do not understand this 2 different personalities that DD exhibits, one at school and one at all other places.

    Friends, I need your suggestions considering my DD's personality, whether she should go to private or public school for Kindergarten? Also, pls note that public schools in our area are excellent, so the quality isn't much of a worry here.

    Also, pls share if your kids have been akin to DD in exhibiting different personality at school and other places..

    As always, thank you so much!
     
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  2. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    If you plan to transition her to public school in first grade any way, then, not doing so in KG has minimal benefit. It could be even more difficult as kids would have already made friends in KG and she will be the 'new' kid in school. I think you should try the public school. You said it is in an excellent area, so you can be sure the teachers are good, and are able to devote time to a child like your who might need a little help socially.

    A big yes. A big fat yes. : ) And oh how many hours and nights I spent worrying about it. My kid also followed rules to the letter in school. In retrospect, I should have simply let her be. As long as she was happy about school, doing OK in academics, not missing having many friends, I should have relaxed.

    One thing to keep in mind is that children pick up a lot on what we talk with spouse, friends, and their teachers. Don't talk about her shyness or related things, and about the public/private dilemma too much in front of her.

    Once school has started and things settled down, (around mid October), start to develop a relationship with the main teacher. By email is the most suitable. If you have already sent the teacher 2-3 emails before the first time you really need her help, you will get a more favorable and faster response. After 3-4 weeks of school, send the teacher a short email about how your child has settled down well, and talks about school at dinner, and told you about this/that activity they did in class, this/that daily thing they do in class. Another email can be a comment and question about something that was written in the weekly newsletter. Just develop a relationship and some familiarity with her/him.

    Get to know the best way of talking with teacher. At drop off or pick up time, is not a good idea. In the morning, they have all the kids coming in and are busy getting the day started. At pickup time, teacher simply wants to see the last kid go home.

    And one more thing -- private schools in an area with excellent public schools have their own reasons for suggesting you continue your child there for KG.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2017
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  3. Naari

    Naari Platinum IL'ite

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    Thanks Rihana for the wonderful, thorough response!

    Great point. I did not think of this. Agree, it would be much harder for her to make friends if she started public school in later years when other kids have already bonded and formed groups.

    haha, I am the same. I worry about her a lot. Sometimes I wish she is herself in school, her playful self, show her friends her true colors. As an eg., we recently went to her class for her birthday celebration and after the b'day song the kids were giving DD hugs, almost like a big, group hug, all of them!! But, what surprised me and Dh was that DD stood there clueless and straight like a pillar, not hugging them back at all, not even wrapping her arms around them! Now this is a girl who loves & likes to be loved back.. so, not sure what that behavior was all about! This is what I meant by 'very different' person in school.

    This will come in really handy as I have always been the one to seek too much feedback from teachers or asking too many questions.. sometimes I would think the teachers are going to hate me for all my questions.. I think your gradual strategy seems wise for a better relationship with the teacher.. I will do this ..
     
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  4. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    The more you see your child in school, during class, or at pickup/drop-off times, the more you tend to compare with other kids. Not a worrying compare, but you will notice the differences. And it will be natural to think why my child is not like that/that. I used to pick up my child for quite a few years from school. Always came walking alone to the area where parents and others waited. While other kids used to walk in pairs or groups. Each grade's teacher used to say she has enough friends and talks, interacts well in class and during recess, lunch, P.E. Turns out, after a long day at school, she simply wanted to get home and have some quiet time. She is/was very popular with kids and adults in our neighborhood. Well into high school, kids of all ages used to ring the bell and ask her to come out and "play" : ) Was funny to see her come home, park the car in the garage and take out her old not-electric scooter to go ride it with the kids. Sometimes she sat on a neighbor's porch and played 'Old MacDonald' on her guitar late into summer evenings. But all through school, had very few school kids as friends.

    Yes, it is useful. I learnt it by chance when my first kid was in KG. She got a really nice teacher, and I wrote an email to the teacher thanking her for a good start to the school year. Teaching, especially KG, is a tough job. Little thank-you's and compliments go a long way in making the teacher happy and to remember you as the 'nice' 'not pushy' Asian parent. : ) More so, since some of us don't have the gift of gab to make small talk with the teacher in person. I had a good rapport with the teacher, and around winter of that year, I needed her to help me with something (what exactly, escapes my mind). I wrote to her, "given that <kid> thinks you hung the moon, if you tell her... it will have an impact."

    While on the topic, it helps to make a note of nice things that happen during the year, and at the end of the school year, send teacher an email, cc the principal. With specific examples of how the teacher helped, went out of the way, etc. Of course, this is all assuming you get a good teacher.

    Giving a nice gift card at Christmas time is another good idea. Give it a few days before the school holidays start. We have a thread on gift ideas. Even if you don't have a particularly great teacher, give a gift. You could skip the year end gift in May/June.
     
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  5. Sunshine04

    Sunshine04 Platinum IL'ite

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    Curious as to why give the gift few days before.???
    Please post the thread about gift idea s
     
  6. Naari

    Naari Platinum IL'ite

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    My kid is similar. Everywhere we go, malls, restaurants, book stores, she will start a conversation (yes, literally, approach) and talk to ppl. And, she will pull off some very interesting conversations with adults like asking them some witty, funny questions, telling stories, talk about her school and toys. So, outside, we have received several compliments for how cute and smart she is because of all her charm (she is very good with her gestures and uses her hands a lot to describe and exclaim, which is pretty cute) . But, this very kid is extremely the opposite of all of that when she went to school. Meaning, if I described all of this to her teacher, she would stare in amazement and disbelief! And, that has sparked our curiosity... But going by your words and story and many others, I am just going to wait and watch as she grows.
     
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  7. Naari

    Naari Platinum IL'ite

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    Pushy Asian parent - Lol, I raise my hands, that's me!!:blush::)

    I remember sugar coating my questions a lot with some compliments for teacher wrapped around my questions, but I am thinking the teacher may have eventually figured it out:roflmao:
     
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  8. Amica

    Amica IL Hall of Fame

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    :hello: One more vote for sending her to public school.

    This.

    Plus the private school has not yet helped her open up socially. Maybe a different atmosphere will do the trick.

    She sounds really cute. [​IMG]
    .
     
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  9. Amica

    Amica IL Hall of Fame

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  10. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    The last day of school is usually a day when school lets out early. The schedule is hectic. They have some holiday programs or assemblies going on. Teacher also is in a "pack up" mood. Most children bring gift on the last day. And it is a zoo in the classroom. I saw some parents sending gift with child 1 or 2 days before the last of school, or themselves going in at recess or other time to give it to the teacher. And, thought that was a nice idea.

    The other reason is that in lower grades, like KG or 1st, the teacher has the children work on pretty elaborate gifts for mom/dad/family which they bring home in pretty bags with lots of fine tissue and ribbon. Really nice ones, like a picture of the child in a nice frame hand-made and painted by child. They bring it home 2-3 days before the school ends. If you give your gift after this, it looks kind of like you are doing it in response... LOL, as I type this, I feel like I gave too much importance to the "when" of gift giving........ : )

    Main thing to remember is don't give her/him more 'junk' or knick-knacks. Most mention in their class webpage what are things they need or like. Or, ask other teachers of the same grade. This works out if you volunteer in the class and happen to know the other teachers a little bit.

    Link to gifts thread:
    Gifts for Teachers in U.S. Schools
     
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