Avatar universal

Why is my almost-5-year-old having trouble adjusting in JK?

I've been a stay-at-home-dad raising our five year old son. He has always preferred playing with older kids, instantly gravitates toward kids, six, seven and older.
He's an only child, has never been to any daycare and has spent more than his fair share of time with adults, specifically me.
We thought he would adjust to kids his age with Kinder garden but somehow that hasn't happened. His teacher says he bothers and annoys the other kids, breaks their lego creations, pokes them to get their attention, likes playing by himself and tends not to sit in his assigned spot on the carpet opting to move about instead.
It came to a point recently when he simply didn't want to go to school anymore and wanted to join the afternoon class instead. The problem persists, he is still a loner.
What can I do? Am considering Montessori education.
Francis, Toronto, Canada
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973741 tn?1342342773
Well,  I would work on socializing your boy as much as possible.  You probably have his class roster---------  I'd ask the teacher for some names of kids and I'd set up playdates.  If he goes in the afternoon, you could do one in the morning or meet at a park after school.  Or sign him up for some things in which other kids are involved---------  soccer is a good activity as kids just kind of run in packs and try to kick the ball.  You don't have to be super athletic to fit in and have fun.  Our kindergarteners are starting cub scouts this Spring.  In your area, do they have any boys groups like that (don't know if Canada has boyscouts/cubscouts???)  We went to the first meeting this week.  Check to see if they offer that.  This summer, look for some camps he can do.  You'll have to make an effort and in a loving way encourage him to learn those social skills.  YOu can still be involved to help him.  When you have a playdate, involved a special snack and keep the playdate on the shorter side until he gets better at them.  
I'm a little concerned about the Thomas aspect.  Do you think he has self esteem issues as well?  Anxiety?  Keeping your pediatrician in the loop about all of this as well would be a good idea.  Well, the playdates-------- and activities will help him with his confidence and I think in that regard you will have to get him out there and involved.  Be super posative and help build his confidence.  

Keep us updated!  Wishing you and your son the best.  
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Avatar universal
Thanks. We had a meeting with the Principal, VP and his teacher yesterday regarding our concerns and this is what emerged:
My son is now in the afternoon class and seems to be a bit happier there. On the other hand, he wants to be called Thomas, the name of a boy in his morning class who he role models, copies his hairstyle, likes sitting in the same spot as Thomas who sits there in the morning. He went to the cubby holes and switched his name with Thomas and changed all the names.
He is still not at ease in this class.
I suggested the teacher communicate with me every now and again about his progress/behavior. She will be starting to keep a book with him and give him stickers at the end of each day indicating how good or bad. Will make it like a game and give him some incentive at the end of the week, we at home too could top it up and reinforce positive behavior.
The trio also suggested I use time-out more often and more effectively, something I have not really been doing.
The problem is being an only child and living in a maturing neighborhood with very few kinder garden aged kids is a problem for us and a concern for the school as well which feels it in the form on declining enrollments.
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Avatar universal
My son has had a lot of the same issues in kindergarten, so you aren't the ONLY one. Sometimes it feels that way.  

I would ask the school if they hvae more resources, can they have someone come in and observe and make some recommendations. I too do not believe behaviors are just random, etc.  School is also much for demanding at this point and he may be reacting negatively to the increased demands, etc.  Also, if he doesn't like schoolthen he may be anxious about going to school.  Anxiety can cause a lot of the behaviors you talk about.  

My son is like a different child in the classroom too.  he is sweet at home in the mornings and turns into a monstrous child at school, so it' shard to understand and as parents we only get limited information too about what is REALLY going on, so that makes it EVEN tougher.

My son exhibits a lot of those same behaviors you mention.

I took him to a psychiatrist and he recommended getting my son evaluated for sensory processing disorder and so I did and the other day at the eval, the OT says she feels he has sensory processing disorder as well as anxiety/separation anxiety.  The school kept mentioning adhd and I'm sure in your son's case they are thinking this if they have not said it yet!!  

You will have to be persistant and it's not always easy to get answers.

I think the Montessori approach is good too.  I think it's good for kids who have difficult temperaments too.  

Good luck and please let us know how things are going.
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Avatar universal
This advice is really helpful and we would be talking with the teachers tomorrow when we meet about some of the options u suggested.
It is hard because his personality has changed so much, he doesn't listen, does his own thing, lacks respect and we aren't sure what's driving that behavior or what we can do  better.
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973741 tn?1342342773
I think I would focus on why he is having the problems where he is at.  I am a fan of Montessori programs and they can be great and that is an option.  But some of the issues he is having also need to be addressed.  Does the school counselor have any programs to help with social skills?  Our school runs "friends groups" for kids in this situation.  They meet in small numbers with the counselor who facilitates activities to help them come together.  I'd also work on some one on one playdates with someone from school.  Maybe the teacher could give you some names of a couple of people and you can contact the parents.  I'd keep the play dates short and facilitate to help him along.  Kids love to play with the grown up, so don't worry about that.

My son has social skills issues as he has sensory integration disorder.  We've had to teach him many things step by step.  He was motivated though because he wanted friends.  How does our son feel about this?  An example of what we did was talk about being too close to someone.  I got a hula hoop and put it around him and then I tried to get in too.   I was too close.  So he kind of saw what I meant about personal space.  Then we had him put his arms out straight ahead and called them robot arms.  He was to not get any closer than robot arms and I'd cue him with this phrase until it stuck.  Things like that.

Good luck
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