Photo credit: Parent trainer Zweiback recommends that children role-play "school" at home with dolls and stuffed animals as a nonthreatening way to practice being in the classroom. Another Mom. Good luck with your search! For parents of shy kids, the first day of school may be fraught with extra apprehension. The school prides itself on it's social emotional curriculum and their remote schoolhouse program has been amazing. Preschool and kindergarten are a child's first taste of school, entry points for the years of education that lie ahead. Other children are less thrilled. I'd appreciate any thoughts or advice from other parents of shy kids. Also, please seek help from a mental health professional. Other children are less thrilled. Helpful, trusted answers from doctors: Dr. Smith on how to help a shy child in school: Something that can be attractive. If your child cries or throws tantrums on a regular basis before or at school, is significantly withdrawn most of the time, making little eye contact, or acts violently in school, hitting other kids or teachers, talk to your pediatrician or the school psychologist. He will always be somewhat shy I think but has learned (and I give Berkwood Hedge a lot of credit for this) to feel safe and content in his circle. Mother of shy 4.5 year old, Wow sounds like me when I was that age...Until I was about 11 I refused to ever go to a playdate at anyone's house and generally was VERY quiet. Independent schools for reserved, nervous kid, Shy kids at Head Royce, CPS, Bishop O'Dowd, Tech. He feels incredibly safe there. Happy at Aurora, You don't say what school your daughter would attend, or even which district, but here's my experience with OUSD. One of many reasons I think it has worked so well for him is that students have the same teachers for two years. Use Collaborative Learning. If so, please share your experience. A shy child is much more comfortable to watch the action from the sidelines rather than join in. Good luck. He is an expert on shyness. However, if your child is unhappy, doesn’t want to go to school, has trouble making friends, or is anxious about being shy, it is important that you help your child become more confident in his or herself. Both scenarios can occur in either public or private! We have also applied to some private schools -- Windrush, Berkwood Hedge, Park Day and Black Pine Circle. I have lots of local resources June, Our almost 5 YO son will be entering Kindergarten next year, and we've been searching for the right fit. In the 3 years he has been at his school he hasn't made any real friends. Selectively Mute kids will talk to a few people, but not most people...it varies in different kids. Jamie Frost, 34, who works at Tiffin School in Kingston upon Thames, London, received the one-off prize for going above and beyond during the coronavirus crisis to help keep pupils learning. As many teachers and other experts do, he stresses the need for parents to stay in touch with teachers and school staff. I know of a few very shy kids that started in K and really bloomed at The Academy. Even if your child doesn't speak up right away, just having his favorite things in class can help melt his shyness. Be accepting of a shy child… They become physically unable to speak. "Your child may be avoiding things because he doesn't think he can do them," says Dale Walker, a professor of child development at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. Anyone with an extremely shy kid with recommendations? I think it is difficult to raise a child who can be shy at times because society almost expects that every child should be chatty and easy to talk to. They have super supportive and caring teachers and staff. Social/emotional development (e.g. If you want to talk or message me for more questions I'm happy to answer! Don't just pay attention to the stumbling blocks. For a shy kid, it means they won't get overlooked, and they will be in smaller groups where it is easier to speak up. The school blends grades, so K/1, 2/3, and 4/5s are together and they all have teaching assistants as well. Thank you! We are in a small school in the West Contra Costra district. This opportunity for leadership helped give him the confidence to find his voice and to use it (at least at school and certainly at home - maybe too much at home!) Will my child make friends? BUSD mom, My daughter, who is 4.5 years old, is extremely shy and sensitive. That was a draw for both of my kids. As freshmen, there is a buddy system that pairs an older student with a new student to show them the ropes. Parent-teacher communication is an important tool for helping shy kids in school. He had one friend at school who was his best buddy last year (in first grade), but that boy moved away. Most shyness or quietness is not a serious problem, but a few red flags may indicate that your child needs professional attention. My 9 year old son has SM. Assign them to work with other children in the class that are confident … What activities does your child love at home that aren't part of the classroom? Homeschooling can help shy children to become well-adjusted and confident in social settings by allowing them to develop social skills at a pace that suits their individual needs. At the end of the 3 days, the teaching team has a long meeting to discuss every child, in terms of academics, personalities, social situations, existing friends, even who has parent volunteers...and they create balanced classes. Does your private school have caring adults on the playground to help kids navigate tricky social issues? Both of these very different schools start in 9th grade so everyone is "new." He is now at Berkwood Hedge and we're very happy there. Little Scholars International Preschool 4 Preschools, Child Care & Day Care. and that confidence continues to grow. To schedule a tour contact Lisa Piccone, Admissions Director at 428-2606. That is where you, as a parent, can do a lot. She's been in preschool for 2 months, and has only talked to one other child. "I would start, personally—in this day and age—with a web search. Understanding introversion will help parents not only see the world through their child’s eyes, but be aware how they can help their child On top of that, there’s nothing wrong with being a little shy. Practice with Them. They have a "buddy bench" where kids can go and sit when they don't have anyone to play with. "I'd go in and read to Julia's class," Lewis says. But your experience with your young shy child will depend on the specific school. The kids know to befriend anyone sitting on the buddy bench. Everyone knows him and he knows everyone. My daughter will start kindergarten next year and her dad and I are having the public/private debate. During the preschool years kids are just beginning to learn how to interact with peers and participate in group activities. Your child doesn't need to be a gung-ho, first-in-line student to learn. A few months ago, I was attending a training session out-of-state. He likes other people, he just had a hard time speaking up and/or approaching them. This is the story of how, with the best of intentions, shyness turned into a mental health issue. I live in the Oakland area. I've enrolled three shy kids in a highly-regarded OUSD elementary school, including a girl who is the youngest in her grade. Check out The Academy on Benvenue in Berkeley. Then, when he was in first grade he had to step up to show the new Kindergarteners. Don’t label your child as “shy.” When you label your child as “shy,” you’re doing two things. "Meet with the teacher and work out a plan," says Meg Zweiback, a nurse practitioner, family consultant, and associate clinical professor at the University of California at San Francisco. Set him up for success. Give your child chances to practice, but try not to make it pressure. Bring his interests to school. A friend's child could have been described the same way as yours, and therapy and medication have helped her immensely - just a thought. She will start K next fall, can anyone recommend a private school for reserved, nervous, and neurotic kids? Welp, about a month before kindergarten started, she just -- changed. It's human nature. Make sure he's challenged. Some children take longer than others to adjust to a daily classroom routine or to a new school, teacher, or class, but they eventually open up. We are trying to encourage her speaking out and be more adaptive, but of course it takes time and efforts. or because we had monthly play-dates with her soon-to-be classmates, but she had a painless entry into public kindergarten. Some children find school a thrilling experience: They wave their hands in the air to answer questions, belt out songs during group sings, and are the first to sit down for snacks. The class size is small, so she will get a lot of attention. First, … So, best you can do is tour all the considered schools, talk to teachers, figure out best ways to support either choice, etc. Find out which ones your child enjoys, and make them part of the evening routine. In both preschool and kindergarten, children are testing new ground, learning new rules of behavior. Private School that Supports Social Skills? However, thrusting a shy child into a crowded public school setting can be counterproductive, an overwhelming experience that can reinforce social anxiety and make it much more difficult to overcome. I suggest looking at Walden Center & School in Berkeley. He has progressed over the years....he now talks to most kids, a handful of adults, but no one new, no teachers...etc. Some children have an easier time grasping new skills in a quiet place, without the stimulation and pressures of the classroom. Shy kids can often find school participation and activity overwhelming. If your kid doesn’t socialize with other kids and finds it hard to make friends, … In all grades (K-5) a teacher and full-time aide (sometimes 2 full-time teachers) is in each class of about 20-24 kids. He's in his second year at a small, nurturing preschool. Pressuring them to speak just makes the anxiety worse. Go to school. There's something for everyone at that school and generally it's a great community. I shared your concerns with her and she believes Archway would be a good match for a shy child. It's not for everyone, but the kids who love it really have a great experience there. Best for Boys: The Invisible Boy at Amazon "The lessons are powerful for children of all personalities." My little guy is too shy to reach out to his classmates so he is often alone, and he is starting to pretend he's sick to avoid going to school … We--and our child-- have been thrilled with Aurora academically and socially. When she's in unfamiliar situations, she doesn't talk. This causes children to be unable to talk to people/adults. communication and conflict resolution skills) are incorporated into the curriculum. Keep in mind, too, that your shy child will definitely need more support than a more outgoing child during his first few days in a new program. My child won't sing in a group. Thanks in advance. It is currently a K-5 school, but will be starting a middle school next year which we are all super excited about! Don't make a big deal about it at a young age.". He has always been an introvert and gravitates towards adults. To start with, he is very shy outside of his home environment, but at home he's an outgoing child. Formerly shy parent, My sister has two children at Archway school. Although it's great to have a range of personality types and temperaments in a classroom, teachers and parents naturally worry if a child is always quiet. "It was helpful for me to know what was going on.". As an Archway ''aunt,'' and as a former shy child myself, I've seen the small community they have there and think it would be a school you should definitely visit and learn more about. Maybe the teacher could borrow materials from a higher grade to have on hand for your child. You can read the work of psychologist dr. Philip zimbardo for help. If your child is awkward painting with a brush, do painting projects together at home. It'll all work out in the end. My son has gone from a reclusive quiet kid to confident and saying hello to all teachers and students by name. 1 2. The students at Orinda Academy are super welcoming, mixing grades with friendships and a place for everyone. Will my child fit in, or be left out? Her teachers assured me she was ready but I flat-out didn't believe them. He struggles with a lot of anxiety and insecurity but also seems to have a hard time reading some social ques. Feel free to e-mail me if this sounds like your daughter. They may have one or two special friends they talk to but no one else in the class. The classes are small (up to 19 kids) and the teachers are extraordinary. So my shy children did not fall through the cracks. Young children master new skills at different paces, and there's no need to turn it into work. 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