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Should my 4 year old son be expected to sit still at circle time in pre-k????

My 4 year old son just started pre-k a little over a week ago and he is said to be disruptive in school. He is not following directions, wants to play and will not sit still at circle time. He has been in the 3 year old classroom before pre-k and I don't think it was as structured. The other day, during nap time (he is not required to sleep but lay quietly), he left his mat and started to disturb the other kids. He was sent to the front office until nap time was over. I'm so lost on where to start. He is not disruptive at home and has lots of free time to explore his surroundings. He is very smart, knows his first and last name and how to spell it, shapes, colors, letter and numbers. What do I do? We have talked with the teacher about positive reinforcement. I thnk he is bored in school but his dad says that's no excuse and he should follow directions like everyone else.


Asked by Jsmom0409 at 10:38 AM on Aug. 16, 2013 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 2 (9 Credits)
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Answers (12)
  • Good to hear that you're going in to observe. My first thought was to explore (by talking to the teachers) how they are responding to his disruptions at circle time. The exact same child/behavior will be an "issue" for some teachers or in some situations, and not in others, because of how it's handled. If they are handling it in a way that tends to escalate it, it will be more of a problem. I think it is helpful and important to get a sense of the context, which is what NotPanicking pointed out in her answer. But you will likely have a chance to see this yourself as you observe (assuming things go as they typically have been while you & your husband are there.)
    You can always give feedback to the teachers to help discover, as a team, what will be most helpful & supportive to your son.
    Sometimes simply seeing the best in the child (recognizing the purpose the behavior serves & responding constructively) transforms situations.

    Answer by girlwithC at 11:44 AM on Aug. 16, 2013

  • Talk to them and find out specifically how they are dealing with him leading up to the point of removing him (obviously the nap time stuff they'll pull him out immediately, but circle time, etc should be ramped up). If you're on the same page at home and at school, it's harder for him to test his limits.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 10:49 AM on Aug. 16, 2013

  • This is part of the learning process. I agree with your husband on this. Your son needs to learn these boundaries now to avoid more significant problems in the future.

    Answer by Mrs_Prissy at 10:44 AM on Aug. 16, 2013

  • perhaps, he is not mature enough for the school setting



    Answer by feralxat at 10:44 AM on Aug. 16, 2013

  • He just needs some work on following directions.

    Answer by DJDNY at 10:46 AM on Aug. 16, 2013

  • He's not special, rules are in place for a reason. He needs to mind them, remember he can & will be kicked out of his Pre-k program if he continues to be a problem.

    Answer by funlovinlady at 10:42 AM on Aug. 16, 2013

  • You need to explain to him how important it is to follow direction, give him some tasks at home, sit still with the timer for 10 minutes, and we will play blocks (or whatever)
    He will get the hang of it, but yes he must learn to sit still, and follow direction, or else kindergarten will be a nightmare.

    Answer by 2kids2dogs2cats at 10:45 AM on Aug. 16, 2013

  • He might be bored or he might not be ready for school. He might not be mature enough yet. He does need to learn these skills though and pretty soon.

    Answer by kmath at 10:46 AM on Aug. 16, 2013

  • I agree with Dad.

    Answer by virginiamama71 at 10:44 AM on Aug. 16, 2013

  • Thanks! I do agree that he does need to listen to the teacher. We are going to the school today to quietly observe what is happening at school and where there are areas of opportunity. We will also be practicing learning to sit still at home more so that he is not labeled as "the bad kid." I really do think the setting is overwhelming because he is in a classroom of 22 kids. I will also talk to his pediatrician to see if she feels that he is unable to communicate properly and that is why he's not listening.

    Comment by Jsmom0409 (original poster) at 10:48 AM on Aug. 16, 2013