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State Possibly Dropping Kindergarten AND Pre-K

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

So, parents, what is your advice?  I can't afford private school (and DD's father would have to agree, which he wouldn't) and the state is looking at removing PK and K from the curriculum.  Should I home school DD when it gets to that point.  She will only be 3 in June, so she will be a late schooler, anyway, but here is the problem:

 

DD's half sister was already tested and they wanted to move the child up two years ahead.  DD's dad won't let them move her half-sister, so I am really sensing problems ahead for us, since DD is already well ahead of the game.  She is already identifying capitals and lower case letters and tracing them just for fun.  She is reading some, already, but not much.  Dd's receptive and expressive language skills are unbelievable--to the point where I can't even grasp how advanced they are and I have a Masters in Literacy.

 

Dd is learning how to add and can identify most of her numbers up to around 50.  She's counting backwards from (who knows why this number LOL but) 46, but only upwards of around 25.  She is showing left-handed and -sided strength/preference, though, like normal, she is still using both hands when one tires.

 

Her social skills are advancing very well, too.  She leads and teaches much of the time and follows, where appropriate, when she is trying to learn something from another child or trying to assess a situation.  The only trouble we have is with potty training.  Ever since her nightmares where she told me her Dad is "out there" and "gonna get [her]" she refuses to have a BM on the potty and told me, "Momma, I prefer to peepee on the potty and poopy in my pants."  This is really only one of two areas with which I am concerned.

 

Her gross motor, that had a 2% delay at 10 months, is now caught up and tuahen some, after doing swimming, and now gymnastics.  She is throwing and catching balls, jumping in place and off of objects, beginning to ride a 2-wheel bike, and wanted to, and is starting to, learn to roller-skate.

 

The other area with which I am concerned is still her emotions.  She DOES know/recognize them, but even with the language skills she has, she has a huge issue reacting appropriately when her emotions come into play.  This probably has to do with our custody situations, as well, so we've been seeing a therapist, who suggests playdough work and blowing BIG bubbles, so she has to take in a deep breath and blow out slowly.  Any other suggestions for this?  I know this is so normal at her age, but it's the lack of progress--in fact the back-tracking--that is kind of worrisome.

 

I am just worried that with all the changes they are making to the school system, with her personality, she is going to have a really rough time once school starts, if she gets frustrated, especially.  She refuses to do things that are easy for her more than once or twice before she tunes out and gets annoyed.  My guess is, that between the lack of Kindergarten that is likely to come by the time she hits school age, she will not understand the social norms involved in attending school and between that and the fact that Dad will not be on board for challenging her within her educational career, things are going to be really rough, at least for awhile.  The good thing is, she is a very quick learner.  The bad thing is that she gets so easily bored and tunes out.

 

So, any suggestions on how to prepare a gifted child for the expectations that she will have to meet at school and how to handle the frustration and tuning out?  I know I can provide her at home with more challenging material but her personality is already established as (as her gymnastics instructor put it), "She is the type of child who will walk into the classroom, find her desk, and put it where SHE wants it to be."

post #2 of 12

 

 

Quote:
My guess is, that between the lack of Kindergarten that is likely to come by the time she hits school age, she will not understand the social norms involved in attending school

 

 

most likely your child will be on par with the majority of her peers that also did not attend pre-school and Kindy and will deal with starting school just like the rest

 

most states do not pay for pre-school and children (gifted and non) do just fine - some don't even attend Kindy (it's not mandatory in my state-some schools have it others it's more like a day care or they don't even have it)- I don't see this as a gifted issue

 

if you are that concerned and you don't want to pay for private, how is HS going to prepare here in the manner you want? most do not HS for social preparation for schooling maybe you should post in the school section


Edited by serenbat - 3/14/12 at 7:26am
post #3 of 12

She's only 3 and if there is to be no formal schooling until 1st grade in your district, I'd not school her at home at all until just before starting. That doesn't mean she won't be learning... she just doesn't need structured homeschooling. Read to her, let her read whatever she wants. If she suddenly becomes passionate about elephants, go with it... read elephant books, go to the zoo and sketch them, watch nature documentaries, write stories of elephants of have her dictate them to you. When she suddenly decided to be done with elephants and the Greeks are where its at... go with that. She'll be gaining all sorts of skills without feeling like she's really "working" at them.

 

A few months before school starts, introduce workbooks, make sure she can write her name, turn to particular pages of a textbook, ect. If the program is being cut, then it's likely she wouldn't be the only one new to them. Find a little playgroup. It may take some time to find a good fit but it's worth a try. Just some kids to play with if she wants for the time being.

 

Keep in mind that she's going to grow a great deal between now and 1st grade. What seems unmanageable now may not in a year, or two or 3 depending on when she'd qualify. If she heads off to school advanced, well, deal with that then. For now, just let her explore how young children explore. 

post #4 of 12

As an unschooling parent whose kids have begun (bricks-and-mortar) school at the high school level with no difficulty, it is certainly easily within your ability to satisfy her learning needs at home.

 

And that goes for social learning as well. I have two incredibly strong-willed kids. Their strong wills exerted themselves usually by simply refusing to do whatever was being expected / asked, particularly in group situations rather than through acting disruptively, but the effect was that they were a very poor fit for group-learning situations until they were closer to age 6. Around that age they developed the maturity to understand the necessity of group-based expectations and compliance with them, and the motivation to do so. This continued to improve and by age 7 or so they were absolute model kids in classroom-style situations: eager to please, compliant, respectful, helpful and all that. I would never have imagined that when they were two or three, but maturity is a wonderful thing.

 

The other thing I did was spend a lot of time with them in public situations teaching and reinforcing empathic, respectful social behaviour. Grocery shopping together, waiting in line at the post office, attending a music concert, watching a gymnastics class, at a playground, wherever we were. I kept very high standards for social behaviour and explained why I was guiding them the way I was. Empathic social understanding and behaviour can definitely be nurtured without being in school!

 

You may be worried that the later start to school will slow down the introduction of academic skills in the classroom, exacerbating the poorness of fit. While 1st grade may start out a little slower without all those kids having had K4 and K5 years, I tend to think it will ramp up pretty quickly. The foundational work for 1st grade only takes two years if you start it at age 4. If you wait until age 6 when 95% of kids are truly ready for a bit of seatwork and have already picked most of the pre-academics through osmosis, the foundational learning can take just a few weeks. 

 

Miranda

post #5 of 12

 

 

Quote:

And that goes for social learning as well. I have two incredibly strong-willed kids. Their strong wills exerted themselves usually by simply refusing to do whatever was being expected / asked, particularly in group situations rather than through acting disruptively, but the effect was that they were a very poor fit for group-learning situations until they were closer to age 6. Around that age they developed the maturity to understand the necessity of group-based expectations and compliance with them, and the motivation to do so. This continued to improve and by age 7 or so they were absolute model kids in classroom-style situations: eager to please, compliant, respectful, helpful and all that. I would never have imagined that when they were two or three, but maturity is a wonderful thing.

 

The other thing I did was spend a lot of time with them in public situations teaching and reinforcing empathic, respectful social behaviour. Grocery shopping together, waiting in line at the post office, attending a music concert, watching a gymnastics class, at a playground, wherever we were. I kept very high standards for social behaviour and explained why I was guiding them the way I was. Empathic social understanding and behaviour can definitely be nurtured without being in school!

 

 

these are some of the things ALL parents (gifted and non, schooled and HS) should be doing-IMO thumb.gif

post #6 of 12

 

Regarding social education - you can look for opportunities or create your own group learning situations. If the entire district is without PK and K, I suspect that there will be many informal and formal programs that step in to fill demand. Look for parent co-ops and extra-curricular programs and day camps. They may be somewhat less organized or shorter duration (both in terms of number of hours per day and length of program) but that may actually be a better fit from your description of your situation. They may also be less costly than full time private school.  

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies and (duh) I didn't even think of the fact that most would be without formal schooling before then.  And thanks for the ideas.  We already do interest-based fun learning and since she's a sponge and has quite the memory, things stick easily and quickly.  Right now I have her in gymnastics and in the fall, we will probably start dance, too.  So, along with that stuff and the park and reading groups (you know, maybe the reading groups can help with that formal group type of situation...), has her pretty well socialized, but like I used to, she tends to try and talk with/play with the older children and try and mentor/teach the ones her age or a little older.

 

Do any of your children think they are older than they are?  If I hear, "I'm NOT a child, Momma," one more time...well, I'm not sure how the teenage years will go when she is already declaring herself an "adult."

 

As far as public situations, in general, I can't tell you the compliments I receive on her behaviour.  She takes formal situations, like going out to dinner and such, very well. She is very respectful, and has been for over a year now, once she got the idea, with her pleases, thank yous, and pardon/excuse mes.  I think I'm most concerned about the sitting still if she gets done early with certain things.  Once she is bored, she has to explore everything and be nosy about everyone else.  But, thinking about it now, it seems like most children will have that issue, if they remove PK and K from the curriculum.

post #8 of 12

Quote:
Originally Posted by breezyleigh View Post

Do any of your children think they are older than they are?  If I hear, "I'm NOT a child, Momma," one more time...well, I'm not sure how the teenage years will go when she is already declaring herself an "adult."


I've never heard this from my kids, but I've never based my treatment of them, or my rationalizations of it, on age-based expectations. I've never done that sing-song-y excitement about "how grown up you're getting" or "what a big girl you are!" or "when you're big, you'll be able to..." all of which seems to imply that being older/bigger is somehow more worthy and exciting than being younger and more dependent. Instead I'd say something like "Oh, you want to do that? I wasn't sure if you knew how. Okay, that's great." Drawing attention to the learning, rather than to the "bigness" or "old-ness." That has not only helped avoid their indignant protests about their competence, but it has helped me not be boxed in by age-based expectations. That meant I gave them a ton of autonomy when they wanted it, but didn't begrudge them childishness when they didn't seem ready for something. It led to a lot of incongruities ... a child who was into her second year of violin lessons but was still nursing and co-sleeping, a child who was too shy to speak aloud to acquaintances but who could safely and capably build and light a fire in the wood-stove, a fluent reader who was still in diapers, or a pre-walker who was out of diapers, that sort of asynchronicity. But it avoided them looking down on less capable children as "babies" or less worthy of attention. and it avoid a lot of the attitude and control battles that tend to arise when parents purport to have a better idea than the child about what she is ready for. My kids have pretty much always turned out to be right about what they're ready for, even when I had serious doubts. So this is my pitch for abandoning age-based expectations more or less entirely with gifted children. 

 

For the record, we seem to be sailing through adolescence and the transition to independent adult life here with no difficulties. I did the same thing all the way through: accorded my kids whatever independence and responsibility they honestly felt they were ready for with little to no regard for their chronological age. When my not-quite-17-year-old told me she wanted to move across the country to live on her own, and gave me her reasons and a plan for how she would do so, I trusted her to know she was ready for it, and helped her make it happen. I was very skeptical but she has proved herself easily up to the challenge!

 

Miranda

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

Well, Miranda...this part all started when the kiddo was demanding I turn on the TV and I told her she had overstepped her boundaries with those demands.  I had told her, you're the child and I'm the adult, here.  I know, looking back, that was a mistake.  I'm far from perfect.  Over all, though, I feel better about many of the ways I am parenting her, after reading some of these replies, especially your last reply.  I had a woman at work actually condemn me for getting Chutes and Ladders for DD because, to that woman, DD is too "young" for that.  I pretty much told her I don't care what she thinks about it being too difficult of a game for MY child because I know DD is ready for it--and she was ready.  I have focused a bit on the "big girl" attitude, though, even though I have been pretty good at seeing when she may be ready for different things, and the way you've worked with your kids sounds much better and it's actually what I've been doing many times, though I've still put that big girl idea in there.

 

I'm about exhausted, right now, so I will wait to reply more when I can write something that's much more coherent than what I've probably written right here.

post #10 of 12

OK, momma. Take a deep deep breath. Just remember you've got to save some energy for parenting your child through to adulthood.

 

Right now, your daughter is two. She's two. I don't care how advanced she is, she's two. Most two year olds do not react appropriately to emotionally charged situations, even when you don't have a charged custody situation. I'm sure that the custody situation isn't helping at all, and is probably making things worse, but I do want to make sure that you have age appropriate expectations for your child. Saying that she's "almost 3" when she's, in reality, 3 months from 3, is doing your child an injustice. You begin to think of her as 3, and expect too much. When your child is bright and verbal, it's doubly hard because they sound like they're much older. Right now my 7 year old is reading the regulations from our HOA and arguing coherently about how stupid some of them are. But she's till 7. She won't be 8 until May. And her self regulation skills are only so-so for a 7 year old. If I treated her like she sounds (and sometimes act), I'd be terrified that .

 

I really good book that you might get a lot out of is: The Emotional Life of the Toddler. (Technically, your daughter's a toddler til 3. I read this book when my older child was 5, and I still found it very helpful for understanding him.)

 

As for the schooling situation. She's two. Kindergarten is a long two years off. That's nearly the time she's been alive. Who knows what might happen by then?  PreK is not IMO, a necessity for anyone. Some kids get a lot out of a good play-based preschool, my kids certainly did. I'd also recommend looking into coop preschools or coop kindergartens when the time comes.

 

Right now -- do your best. Work on age-appropriate social skills and emotion regulation. Expect it to take years, not months. Most of all, have fun and enjoy your child. Don't try to control too far into the future. Your child will change. You will change. Your community will change.

post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post

OK, momma. Take a deep deep breath. Just remember you've got to save some energy for parenting your child through to adulthood.

 

 

 

I'm with Lynn.

 

Neither of my kids went to preschool or Kindergarten. Or grades 1-4. One went to 5th and 6th grades. The other didn't start school until 7th grade.

 

One transition to school quit easily, the other is on the  autism spectrum, which has caused her a variety of challenges.

 

At this point, I'm a big fan of school. I LOVE the school my kids (who are now 13 and 15) attend. The place is amazing and my children are thriving.

 

But whether or not a child is attending school at a particular age is amazingly unimportant. What is important is that their life is working for them, that they have the chance to be both successful and challenged, that they have nice people around them. It can happen inside a school or out side of one.

 

 

post #12 of 12

Hi there! 

 

For us, it was only a slightly bumpy start which could have been better if I had thought things out all of the way or if things had otherwise occurred to me.  

 

I personally don't think there is any issue with just skipping Prek and Kindergarten. My #1 went to Prek, but he was much like your daughter in that he was the leader, an excellent reader at 3 etc. So I allowed him to go for social, to work on his physical play, etc which can be easily substituted by attending playdates and such. You can even google and see if there are 'CO-OP' schools in your area which are parent run preschools and maybe otherwise schools. But, I don't see this as a big deal at all to miss. Honestly I think the children who would suffer from not going to Prek or K are at risk children, who don't have great parents who spend time with time them, read with them, teach them everyday life things. I only worry about these children. 

 

Now, we do have issues like I mentioned in the other thread, but I don't think maybe our issues are everyone's issues. I think each child has his or her own temperament. So outside of what I mentioned we're struggling with, I really think she'd be fine in skipping and going to 1st grade when she's at least 5 or so. You might call k12.com people and officially ask about their age requirements. I was surprised when I learned that it's different in this State we're living in now. I didn't go with them, yet anyway, but I may at some point. 

 

 

 

 

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