Full-Day School Is Hard on 5-Year-Olds

First day of school balloons with Grandad

I think my son may have hit a wall with school. Oh, he has fun at school. He has his Star Wars buddies at recess. He loves his teacher. He’s doing well in Math and making good progress in reading. But, for the last 2 months I have not looked forward to his bus arrival at the end of our driveway. I can see on his face that he is happy to be home. Almost immediately something will set him off and that is it. We are in for another screaming, tantrumming, how-the-heck-I-am-going-to-make-dinner-and-supervise-homework-and-get-us-to-our-activities kind of evening.

Tonight was stunning. Tonight was quiet. Tonight was tantrum-free. He got off the bus and immediately gave me a big smile. He ran up the driveway and announced that he wanted to play wii. I reminded him about homework. He looked at me, then asked for a snack. No tantrums, no screaming, no timeouts.

Snack. Homework that included writing. wii time. Wait, what house am I in? My house is supposed to be noisy at the witching hour. Not tonight.

Last year he was at preschool three mornings a week. The year before he had two mornings a week. The transition to full-day school from mornings is tougher than I thought it would be.

My girls had half-day kindergarten…much more relaxed for all of us. I would put them on the bus and then in the blink of an eye the bus was returning them home at 11:15. Our afternoons were a blur of playdates, activities, library storytimes, a class or two. My son on the other hand comes home and immediately we are rush-rushing through homework-dinner-swimming-volleyball practice-bath-books-bed. I am going to make it my business to get him outside each afternoon from now on.

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3 comments for “Full-Day School Is Hard on 5-Year-Olds

  1. Amanda
    March 17, 2009 at 10:07 am

    We had that same issue with the transition to 1st grade last year. I found it helped to let my son to give him a snack then send him to his room for 20-30 min to decompress from his day.

  2. The Lazy Organizer
    March 17, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    I’m glad he is making the transition. Is your son tall? He does not look like he is five years old!

  3. cabadov
    March 24, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    I’m not looking forward to the transition to grade 1 with my son (he goes for just the afternoon now). So called ‘experts’ say early school years as kids are adjusting they tend to be on their best at school and then release themselves in their home environment where they feel safe. But that’s just from the so called ‘experts’ what do I know. 🙂

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