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Can you use public Kindy as free daycare? - Page 3

post #41 of 94
Moved to LaS, because this is a primarily a discussion of public schooling.
post #42 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post
No homework, no standardized testing, I can pick her up any day at any time for any reason, her vacations will coincide with my college vacations (e.g. she'll have 6 weeks off in Winter instead of 2, be done by early May, etc.), she'd go 4 days a week instead of five.
some of your demands seem very odd to me because they aren't based on knowing anything at all about the school. For example, our school doesn't do standardized testing for K. At all. There are a few screening things, but it is mostly a formal way of checking the kids one-on-one to make sure everything is going OK. It's not something a parent needs to try to get out of -- they don't make five year old fill in bubbles at our school.

Homework is minimal. Things like pictures that make a story that the child cuts out and then paste in the right order. Throwing a fit over it would just be silly.

And the schedule thing is poorly thought out on your part. If it is a decent program, they have things going on and when a child misses school, they miss part of something that is happening in a sequence. They do units, have wrap up days, and talk about what they will doing on other days. To occassional take a child out of school is one thing, to be start a child in school with no intention of having them show up consistantly is really kind of mean to the child.

And our school seldom has a solid week. Nearly every week has an early release day or teacher work day or holiday of some sort.

If you want to use school as day care, that will work just fine. Use the part of the day that you aren't in class to prepare for class, clean, etc so that in that in the time that your DD is out of school, you can focus on her.
post #43 of 94
Thread Starter 
A lot of these are very good ideas, thank you. Are homeschooling groups really open to a new person showing up and just jumping in? As in, hi, here I am, here's what I can do for you and by the way can someone please watch my child a few hours a week? I guess that makes me feel a little intimidated but worth a try.
I just don't personally like the idea of releasing my child into a system that dictates to me where my child will be and what she will learn. (And this is NOT an attack or judgement on those who have chosen public schools and find it works for them. I just have my own ideas about learning and I'm a John Taylor Gatto fan). I've worked a lot with continuing education for teachers and what I consistently see is bright, enthusiastic people with great ideas for teaching who find themselves hamstrung by state, district, and local beaurocracies. I also don't see my child doing a "unit" simply because she is told to. If she'd rather be doing something else, she will find a way to do it and I can see that being disruptive also.
post #44 of 94
If it's a kindergarten in a college town, there's a good chance that the vacations will line up with those of the college.

Depending on how their funding works, some schools (1%? less?) are more open to spontaneous parent-directed field trips. But it'd be 1 school in a 10000 who'd be okay with you taking him out whenever you weren't working, which I suspect is what you really want. I don't think many daycares would like that either. Getting taken out of daycare frequently can lead to an anxious child who is always wondering when mommy will come instead of just enjoying themselves.


If she's at a 1st grade level, chances are she'd be bored in KG, unless it was an astoundingly play-based KG, which don't show up in public schools these days.
post #45 of 94
Thread Starter 
Good point on the anxious child thing. And yes, I worry that Kg is not all play as it was when I went. Why is that?

I don't have a formal assessment of her level but she can do those "1st grade" level fun math books you can get anywhere. She did attend part time preschool on the campus where I worked (very Montessori in their approach, I could stop in any time, their holidays coincided with mine, etc.) and her teachers didn't realize she could write because she wouldn't do it there. It was self-directed/optional style learning and my daughter just chose to do other fun things they had set up. She liked to write at home with me, though and still begs me to get out paper so she can write. She's been keeping a bird journal for quite some time.

So yes, I can see her totally bored and disgruntled with kindergarten. When I was in 1st grade I tested at like a 3rd or 4th grade level for some things and hated school. I don't want my child to go through the same thing.
post #46 of 94
There's lots of kids who can read and write in my son's kindergarten class. That isn't anything the teacher couldn't handle.
post #47 of 94
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post #48 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
If it's a kindergarten in a college town, there's a good chance that the vacations will line up with those of the college.
I wouldn't be so sure about that. I work at a university and I don't know of any colleges or universities in synch with the public school schedule.
post #49 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post
Good point on the anxious child thing. And yes, I worry that Kg is not all play as it was when I went. Why is that?

I don't have a formal assessment of her level but she can do those "1st grade" level fun math books you can get anywhere. She did attend part time preschool on the campus where I worked (very Montessori in their approach, I could stop in any time, their holidays coincided with mine, etc.) and her teachers didn't realize she could write because she wouldn't do it there. It was self-directed/optional style learning and my daughter just chose to do other fun things they had set up. She liked to write at home with me, though and still begs me to get out paper so she can write. She's been keeping a bird journal for quite some time.

So yes, I can see her totally bored and disgruntled with kindergarten. When I was in 1st grade I tested at like a 3rd or 4th grade level for some things and hated school. I don't want my child to go through the same thing.
I'm a little confused about what you hope to find in a kindergarten. Do you hope to find a play-based program, which your dd seems to prefer, based on your description of her choice of activities at preschool? Do you want her to be in a more academic environment? FWIW, I don't think the two are mutually exclusive, and I think Montessori is a good example where "work" and "play" blend.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post
So yes, I can see her totally bored and disgruntled with kindergarten. When I was in 1st grade I tested at like a 3rd or 4th grade level for some things and hated school. I don't want my child to go through the same thing.
It's wise (and frankly inevitable) to use our experiences to prepare us for future events. To keep us alert to problems that may appear, and to inform our decisions. I'm trying to say as gently as possible to beware of being primed to seeing problems at every turn and creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. Your child's educational journey will be her own - and she may have very different experiences than you did, even if she public schools. You had unhappy public school experiences. You have a preference for homeschooling (which, btw, I think is great and fine and a good thing). You are an educator, so I'm sure you've thoughtfully considered educational options for your child. If homeschooling suits your family and your dd, then make that choice because it's the best option, not out of fear.

You don't want your child to go through the same unhappy experiences you had. You can't avoid all unhappy experiences though. You'll be able to help her manage problems when they appear - and they will, whether you public school or homeschool.
post #50 of 94
OP, have you actually checked out the specific kindy that you are thinking of for your dd? By that I mean, met the teacher, seen the the room, know a bit about what the day includes, talked with other parents? That might give you a clearer picture of what you would be choosing if kindy is your choice. Kindy kids come with differing abilities, so I don't think that knowing how to read and doing 1st grade math are really too much of an issue. It wasn't for my ds-he loved all of the social pieces! I don't think that you should assume that she would be bored and disgruntled-she may enjoy herself.

If this works best for your family right now, and you choose kindy and not homeschooling, it will be a great favor to your dd if you can be supportive and respectful of her experience as a student.
post #51 of 94
My public school system (Fl) has after-school care for kids whose parents work and can't pick them up at 2 or 3 pm. I know that some homeschoolers send their kids only to the after care and not to school, but I don't think it's free. I'm sure it's significantly less than regular daycare, though.

As for asking the Homeschool group, there is absolutely no harm in asking around-- you never know who might be in a situation similar to yours that youcould help each other out. Even if you start out by putting her in school, you should join the Homeschool groups and their email lists because something could come up at any point and you could just pull her out at school at that point.
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post #52 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by EFmom View Post
I wouldn't be so sure about that. I work at a university and I don't know of any colleges or universities in synch with the public school schedule.
I'm in Texas; schools and universities are on the same vacation schedule for the most part, though schools have a longer winter break.
post #53 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post
A lot of these are very good ideas, thank you. Are homeschooling groups really open to a new person showing up and just jumping in? As in, hi, here I am, here's what I can do for you and by the way can someone please watch my child a few hours a week? I guess that makes me feel a little intimidated but worth a try.
Well most homeschool groups that I am aware of are parent participation groups - meaning that they expect you to be involved in some way. The goal for most is to provide support to the family and opportunities to the kids for educational, social and enrichment activities. So they want people involved.

The co-ops and day programs that I know about will often have a small fee and/or a rotating duty day and/or some kind of admin contributions expected from parents but nothing that couldn't be worked into a schedule that works for your WOH activities as well.

If you know where you are likely to land I would start researching groups and opportunities now. Ask about co-ops (drop off and parent run) and whether they have a list of parents who provide child care (which you would pay for) or have any kind of support for working parents where you might be able to find families willing to trade off or share child care arrangements.

Good luck
Karen
post #54 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post
This won't be allowed, and it's insulting as heck to the teacher and the other students. Please don't even ask about it.
That. How disrespectful to the teacher.

If you need daycare, find one. Don't use resources that another child could use. And I highly doubt the school will allow you to use them as a drop off daycare.

ETA: if you're a college professor, doesn't your college offer some type of daycare?
post #55 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by EFmom View Post
I wouldn't be so sure about that. I work at a university and I don't know of any colleges or universities in synch with the public school schedule.
Other way around. The West Lafayette school system has vacations that line up with Purdue's, for instance. It's the only college town I ever lived in, so it was silly of me to say it's likely. But there's certainly more of a chance of it happening in a town where the college is the major employer and most of the kids are affiliated with the university.
post #56 of 94
Since you mentioned your preschool being Montessori- like and you are happy with it, why not see if your new town has a Montessori program. It would be great for an advanced kid.

That said, I'm not sure why people think Kindergarten is so awful and/or boring. I guess it really depends on the school - but here, the classroom is filled with all sorts of toys, materials, various centers, and activities. My DS, who was beyond a 1st grade level in many ways, was challenged b/c it was a huge room with plenty of things to keep him occupied while the other children were learning letter sounds and basic math. He could go hang out in the reading nook and read or listen to a book on CD, work on advanced mathematics with the assistant teacher, take a walk to the library or computer lab, etc.

So, not all schools equal a kindy classroom where the children sit in desks all day doing easy worksheets, or anything. I maybe felt a bit similar to you, cyberfish, when my first kid was that age and we ended up homeschooling for kindergarten - but the thing is, unless you already know exactly what city you are moving to, and have observed in each Kindy classroom - you really can't be sure what Kindergarten these days entails. It is very much a fun, play-based, and a social setting for little ones, IME. Yes, they learn some basics, and a good teacher/program is equipped to handle kids who are advanced w/o then hating school or being bored to tears.

Elm had a good point about the cut-off date, though - it may not even be something you have to decide on for another year anyhow.
post #57 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post
(I'm a college prof so hours will be flexible).
are all your classes going to be during the school day? In many places, newbies get the night, weekend, and freakishly early morning classes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post
As in, hi, here I am, here's what I can do for you and by the way can someone please watch my child a few hours a week?
Most homeschool moms are overwhelmed and super busy. My guess is that you'd have a better chance at hiring a homeschooled teen who wants some money, but they tend to be super busy, too.

I doubt that you are going to find anyone who wants to provide free day care.


Quote:
I just don't personally like the idea of releasing my child into a system that dictates to me where my child will be and what she will learn. ... I also don't see my child doing a "unit" simply because she is told to. If she'd rather be doing something else, she will find a way to do it and I can see that being disruptive also.
I believe that it would be very unfair to your DD for you to send her to school under these circumstances. She'll get one set of messages at school -- that being there is important, that learning is good, that joining in with the group matters, and a completely different set of values at home.

It's like a kid with two parents who have different sets of rules. It's confusing.

Your best bet may be a home day care with some one who doesn't care if your child learns anything or plays with others, which is the opposite of a good kindergarten teacher.
post #58 of 94
Coming from experience here, it isn't going to work to do that. I homeschool my oldest and will likely send my youngest to a B&M school.

My youngest is in a Tues-Thurs preschool for kids with speech-language delays. It only runs two days a week. I am home schooling my oldest and was looking for more one-on-one time with him and tried enrolling dd in a second preschool to give me more time with my son. The other school ran on days she wasn't there (and you can't just pay for the days they are there, you have to "reserve the spot", so you are paying for services you don't use) and, even though it was a short time period (it was a brand new school, and they didn't go into session until November, so it was a very short semester), it became clear that it wasn't fair to anybody. She missed things, was off sync from her friends, and got excited about upcoming projects that she wasn't going to be there for. My dh lost his job over Christmas vacation so going back wasn't even an option, but even if it was, that was definitely not a good solution.

This fall, if we have the money, we would like to send her to a different preschool that only runs M-W-F, to compliment the T-T one she is already in. That would work because she is on the same schedule as the other kids.

This was at the preschool level (she is 4yo), where there is zero requirement for attendance (she isn't in the public school system in EI preschool, it is a private school run by the university, where she and her brother both get services), so I wasn't even running against those issues, but it was still not a good situation.

With my son, when he was in Kindy, there was a massive screw up in his IEP paperwork and I had to act as his Para in the classroom for a month. It forever changed my views of teachers. I knew, intellectually, that it was a hard job, but seeing the challenges they undergo on a daily basis, and the commitment they have to the kids, I know it would be a problem. The load on teachers is incredible. They are already trying to balance integrating diagnosed SN kids, kids who don't speak any English, kids with no dx but obviously SNs, kids who are coming in from the foster care system (two kids in ds' class arrived that first week with no SHOES and the school social worker had to find basic clothes for them, along with basic school supplies before they could come into the classroom, plus the trauma of being removed from their homes the day before). With juggling all of that, it is unfair to add the burden of destabilizing a kid who would otherwise be a typically developing kid. These teachers are awesome, even the one I didn't personally like in my son's classroom, and they take their job very seriously. It would be incredibly insulting to treat them like daycare providers.

Speaking as a homeschool mom, I think all homeschool moms would love free babysitting services at some point, because we are all insanely busy. But, almost nobody can logistically share childcare because schedules don't match up well. There are multiple "park days" a week because no matter when you schedule them, only a handful of the families have availability at any given time, and it isn't always the same families. This is in a reasonably large town (~500K in the area), with a large homeschooling community. There are also a large number of families homeschooling kids with some sort of SNs, and that cuts down on their ability to both provide childcare and receive childcare.

You are going to have to make a choice of what consequences you can live with the best.

You might check to see if there are other alternate schools available to fit in with your schedule. The M-W-F school we found was with the local Center for the Arts, and is play/art/theater/music centered preschool, which is a fantastic fit for her in particular. You might see if there is some alternative like that, although it will be harder to find the older the child is.
post #59 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post
A lot of these are very good ideas, thank you. Are homeschooling groups really open to a new person showing up and just jumping in? As in, hi, here I am, here's what I can do for you and by the way can someone please watch my child a few hours a week? I guess that makes me feel a little intimidated but worth a try.
.
Depends on where you're moving. Some places have part time school and homeschool drop off programs.

If you get in touch with local homeschooling groups, you can let them know what you are looking for. Doesn't hurt to ask.

There are a few "drop off" homeschool programs:

http://www.classicalconversations.com/
http://www.deerstream.org/
http://www.schoolhouseofwonder.org/
http://www.learn-outside.com/irvin-learning-farm.html

You could look for things like that during your classes, but you're likely going to need a back up sitter for committee and faculty meetings unless they are super regular.

Enjoy your new job!
post #60 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post
That said, I'm not sure why people think Kindergarten is so awful and/or boring. I guess it really depends on the school - but here, the classroom is filled with all sorts of toys, materials, various centers, and activities. My DS, who was beyond a 1st grade level in many ways, was challenged b/c it was a huge room with plenty of things to keep him occupied while the other children were learning letter sounds and basic math. He could go hang out in the reading nook and read or listen to a book on CD, work on advanced mathematics with the assistant teacher, take a walk to the library or computer lab, etc.
Because it requires a good teacher who is okay with kids doing other things while "letter time" happens. Which becomes more difficult as class sizes increase and as requirements for standardized testing go up.
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