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"The New Kindergarten" - Page 2

post #21 of 40
Run out and copyright that "playcare," wakeupmama; that's your million-dollar idea right there.


mirlee, if there is a waldorf kindy near you check it out. Even if you would change schools for the academic years, Waldorf kindergarten is marvellous. The focus is on the social; it's believed that is the work of the children at this age. They do structured activities like making soup, but the day is a beautifully rhythmic cycle of play, activities, rest, outdoor time, in all weather, stories, etc. It's charming, and well worth it, I think. With no academic activities at all, your child will not be pushed in any direction he's not ready for- it's contrary to the very philosophy of the school.
post #22 of 40
Shannon - that is exactly how it is around here....and I think it STINKS! :
post #23 of 40
Wakeup Mama, I love "Playcare." That is so sweet, and so absolutely what toddler care should be.

I definitely experienced the "new Kindergarten" this year. My daughter was in K, she actually had a great experience, but *I* was unhappy with the lack of playtime. Because hers was half-day, less than 3 hours, I just let it go- but I don't think its right. Her class got NO recess, because they had "so much to cover" in their 3 hours. I was the ONLY parent, among those that I talked to, who thought this was a problem!! The other parents thought they had to buckle down, get serious, make the most of their 3 hours, etc. If you ask me, playtime and exploration are more important- but that is the minority opinion here.
post #24 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShannonCC
I also wonder if it's a regional thing? I'm in the NY area of NJ. I wonder if more urban areas push more for early academics and more rural areas don't? Or I might be totally off base here. What kind of area does everyone live in?
I live in Southeast Texas in a small city (@100,000). In feel it is more rural/small town than urban. The area is largely supported by oil refineries. Our school district and those of the surrounding towns (much smaller) all have the "new kindergarten." I was APPALLED when neighbor children brought home kindergarten homework DAILY after school from @8:30am - 3pm. This seems to be no problem for my neighbors.

I am truly glad to be homeschooling, but I have to keep reminding myself not to get sucked into the new kindergarten way of thinking. I find myself sometimes tempted to try to push things on dd instead of delighting in her own discoveries, largely because I kind of want to keep-up-with-the-Jones, as ugly as it is to admit.
post #25 of 40
Kids in Kinder need to be outdoors/indoors playing, what was formerly called"freetime"-if a name even had to be applied-more hours of the day than not!
There is no school district in this nation that offers that.
No kinder,no thanks!!!!
Poor little darlings!!
This reminds me of an article my dh read in a major art design mag. The president of a major video game production company was turning down applicant after applicant due to the fact that they were lacking creativity. They knew the games,but lacked total creativity......when further interviewed,the applicants revealed that they didn't actually play a lot as a child...they watched TV.....or did schooling in their daycares.
So absolutely pathetic.

mp
post #26 of 40
i jus find it weird that our society wants 4 and 5 yr olds to be sitting behind a desk for 3-8 hrs a day... im sorry.. dd cant sit still unless shes eating.. and shes a regular 5 yr old with no ADD or anything... it is jus soo sad... all the childrens creativity and life is getting sucked out of them to make sure that they master reading and writing younger...

oh well i guess that 20 mins of art will be long enuff to let them express themselves creatively... who knows maybe we are all wrong about this homeschooling bit and having our children behind desks for 8 hrs a day is a good thing..
post #27 of 40
Thread Starter 
It's not a desk Tricia. I *still* don't agree with it, but the article stressed that they are learning "stations" and the children go from station to station. So they don't have to sit at a desk, but they do have to go to where the teacher tells them at the time the teacher tells them to do what the teacher tells them to do, the whole time they are there. But because it's learning stations and not desks people can fool themselves into thinking it's not as bad that these kids don't have any free time to themselves

You know, I don't understand why the term "daycare" has gotten a bad wrap. What is wrong with the term? I don't understand why the need to pc it up into childcare or whatever (day care - care during the day, right? ) And I would much rather hear a 2 year old is in daycare than "school". To me, daycare conjures up images of kids playing and having fun while school brings something quite different to mind.
post #28 of 40
I'm not sure why, ShannonCC, but the word daycare does seem to have a kind of stigma attached to it. People talk disparagingly about public schools being "daycares" for older kids, for example. I have a friend who is an admin assistant for high-level managers in a hospital and she jokes about how her job (which she hates) is doing "executive daycare."

I think the move in the last few years to call it "child care" was largely driven by folks trying to professionalize the workers in the field, to make it more like a career than just a job and encourage them to study child development and get certifications, etc. Semantically, if you're a "child care provider" than it's obvious your work is caring for children. If you're a "daycare provider" your work is, uh, caring for days? Which could mean just passing the time until the parents come pick their brats up. Do you see what I mean? I think it puts a more positive spin on what the actual work entails, even if it sounds a bit awkward and PC-ish.
post #29 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShannonCC
It's not a desk Tricia. I *still* don't agree with it, but the article stressed that they are learning "stations" and the children go from station to station. So they don't have to sit at a desk, but they do have to go to where the teacher tells them at the time the teacher tells them to do what the teacher tells them to do, the whole time they are there. But because it's learning stations and not desks people can fool themselves into thinking it's not as bad that these kids don't have any free time to themselves
I jus the term desk.. cuz well its what i associate with school... :LOL when dd was in K in school it was tables with about 4-6 kids at one table...

no matter what they are sitting at.. i agree with you that the system is wrong.. they probably arent having fun.. and if they are happy its jus because its new.. when the novelty wears off it will probably be a different story...

i know this from dd's old school.. they would do an activity like learning a letter or practice printing whatever... if they finished quickly they got to go play... and if a student wouldnt do it quick enuff some days they wouldnt get to play at all.. because they were on a schedule things had to go for certain times etc... personally i dont like the idea of having a child who isnt grasping it quickly not getting any free/play time at all.. its sad in my opinion...
post #30 of 40
Quote:
You know, I don't understand why the term "daycare" has gotten a bad wrap. What is wrong with the term? I don't understand why the need to pc it up into childcare or whatever (day care - care during the day, right? ) And I would much rather hear a 2 year old is in daycare than "school". To me, daycare conjures up images of kids playing and having fun while school brings something quite different to mind.
IMO, it is because people feel a lot of guilt about leaving their children all day. School, and pre-school, meanwhile are seen as advantageous. Therefore, sending your child to "school" (even at 6 weeks ) is easier for many working parents to handle.
post #31 of 40
As far as no ADD or anything, everyone I know who's had their kid evaluated has gotten a diagnosis of something or other, and usually a recommendation for meds. All for perfectly nornal, unique individuals. I hate reading those evals. The lack of respect for the child is abominable. And parents take it as gospel bc it's a "diagnosis," the result of these vague "tests."
post #32 of 40
DD's K teacher actually had me get her evaluated for that... my dr wouldnt do a refferal for it.. he wrote a note saying she is a "normal" healthy active 5 yr old...

she is quite active and has tons of energy... she even had me test her for a learning disability and hearing... cuz dd wouldnt do the work... dd was not a big workbook kid.. altho thats changing now..

nowindays kids are being constantly diagnosed ADD and put on drugs... its quite sad.. and my doctor even says it...ppl look at it as a quick fix.. instead of finding the underlying problem...
post #33 of 40
Gosh, it's so disheartening, isn't it? My kids will be homeschooled, but what about the vast majority of their peers? I really feel bad for those kids and possibly the burt-out young adults they may become. Teachers will get burnt out on this schedule too. (Someone mentioned a 4 day weekend for Christmas?? My mom is a teacher and I think she'd quit on the spot if her school did this. She needs the break as much as the kids!)

My dd's preschool is a Reggio Emilia school, so it is very play-based. (And very effective in helping kids discover and learn!) The head teacher there said that many parents are put off by the fact that they don't have a structured cirriculum with required activities. This teacher is very committed to letting children be children. At a community meeting about early childhood education that we both attended she made the statement that the toddler and preschool years should be valued in and of themeselves -- not just as an opportunity to "prepare" for what lies ahead. (So true!) But she said the day is coming when testing and "standards" will apply even to preschoolers. :Puke

It all just makes me so sad.
post #34 of 40
Thread Starter 
Oh my dd would be diagnosed in a minute too :LOL I will admit I have spent time researching ADD/ADHD to help me deal with her. That doesn't mean I think she really has it (I'm not asking :LOL) and it doesn't mean I think she needs meds but man oh man were there times I needed help with this kid and it was nice to read about other kids like her. I met a child in the library a few weeks ago who was just like dd! (in activity level - the big difference in the kids was that the mom told me her son was always in a good mood and just a happy, go lucky kid - NOT my little fireball : ) Anyway, they hit it off immediately :LOL They ended up sitting together at library story time and causing a disturbance The mom told me he had been diagnosed ADHD (or ADD? can't remember) and she caved to pressure and put him on meds for a few months and VERY much regrets it. Her answer was to stop the meds and pull him from school. Now she's homeschooling because the school couldn't deal with him. This was a KINDERGARTENER by the way and private school couldn't handle him! It really reinforced for me how good homeschooling is for us. That is not the reason we are homeschooling but the more I get to know my dd the more I KNOW that regular school is not for her. You know, I have no doubt that some kids *do* thrive in regular school. I know people who loved school (uh, not me). But not kids like my dd that's for sure. And not "slow" kids or "fast" kids or "too active" kids or whatever.

But on the good side, my dd has really been mellowing out this year And my son is just so easy going compared to his sister.

The other day the kids were driving me nuts (hey, they're KIDS!) and dh said didn't I want to send them to school to make life easier on me? BWAAAAA HAAAAAAA HAAAAAAAAA! : I said yeah, can you see me getting this child up, dressed, fed (oh she really hates to eat breakfast!) and out the door at the same time five days a week? Uh, no. And getting her to do homework! And what would I do when she decided she didn't want to go to school today? Or tomorrow? Or this month? Yeah, easier my butt :LOL

To go off on another tangent :LOL has anyone seen the articles on children being stressed out? I keep seeing them when I'm in line at the supermarket and I pick them up wondering what I can do to reduce my kid's stress. So far, every single one I've read has focused on the pressures of school, homework and after school activities. And they especially address the kids having no free time because of all that. I end up putting them down because the articles don't relate to my kids at all.
post #35 of 40
So sad, this trend toward creating "faster-better" children

I don't doubt that they'd peg my dear son as ADD or some other crazy term like "gifted-learning disabled" (huh?!?) if I were to put him in school.

Makes me sick to think of all these parents taking these opinionated "diagnoses" as the gospel truth about their child. Yeah, this evaluator who jut met my child is sure to know him a whole lot better than I do, sure, right, uh-huh. :Puke

Even when I was in school as a kid, I knew at some deep obscure level that something was profoundly wrong with it all. I've always been an unschooler...!

Some good readin' @

http://www.preservenet.com/theory/Gatto.html

The writings of NY teacher of the year John Taylor Gatto--VERY eye-opening
post #36 of 40
I think, intentionally or not, a large part of the problem with increasingly academic kindergarten programs stems from the "critical period" hypothesis. One aspect of this hypothesis is that children are more capable of learning easily and rapidly at younger ages.

It's sad that a data that points out a natural phenomenon is then twisted to support increased sit down, "measurable" work at such an early age.
post #37 of 40
You know, I read that article, and my 3 year old can do most of their "expected" stuff. Why force it?

All I remember of Kindergarten is a trip to the pumpkin patch.. and having to stay after school all the time because I couldn't write my "i" straight, it leaned to the side (my mom said the teacher kept me almost every day and made me write it over and over.. and she didn't know enough to argue.. and it came out a year later that I had small muscle coordination issues and writing was really difficult for me anyway.

Gotta love public schools
post #38 of 40
I just found the website for the Waldorf in our area. Interestinly, it isn't far from my office. I could drive him there everyday. I am just not sure how he would do in this environment. He is, shall we say, very spirited. I am going to get all my materials lined up for this school, the public school (which is reported to be very one of the best in the area) and another private school that we are interested in and see their curriculum. I will also pay site visits to all of them.

I am really offended everytime I hear that there is no time for play in kindergarten. It is so driven towards achievement. Even pre-school is like that now. We were just given the handbook for the pre-school the other day and it has all the things that they will be working on throughout the year. They are expected to know how to count to 10, tie shoe laces, know their abc's, write their name, recognize capital and small letters, and know their address and phone number before they are even determined to be ready for kindergarten. Boy is this stuff scary. This is what our pre-school teacher told us she has been told by several kindergarten instructors.
post #39 of 40
Quote:
Oh my dd would be diagnosed in a minute too I will admit I have spent time researching ADD/ADHD to help me deal with her. That doesn't mean I think she really has it (I'm not asking ) and it doesn't mean I think she needs meds but man oh man were there times I needed help with this kid and it was nice to read about other kids like her.


My 5 year old is exactly like that! She's constantly walking, talking, creating, something.
post #40 of 40
ITA with everyone. I don't understand why the so called professionals ignore the fact that formal education is better started later when the child's brain is better equipped to handle it. The early years so much is learned by creative play not desk work. Makes me sad for all these children.
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