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Can we talk about kindergarten? - Page 3

post #41 of 110
Originally Posted by hotmamacita
What are your thoughts on kindergarten? Whether you homeschool, unschool, or conventional school, do you think a curricullum is needed?
Well, I know at the kindergarten my son will be going to this fall is full/every other day. I know that they have some "play time" with toys and such but I also know that they'll have worksheets, which I'm not sure how my son will react to being "forced" to do them. He does some at home, but that's on his own accord, not someone telling him to do so. So, we'll see how he reacts. That probably didn't really answer the question, sorry .
post #42 of 110
I don't think a HS curriculum is really necessary. Just being allowed to follow your child's interest is the best way. I feel that my children that were in kinder were overwhelmed and pressured. I don't want that always to be the case.

If I remember correctly, however, first grade is all about getting ready for second grade. The children are NEVER just in first grade or fifth. It's all about being ready for the next year, rather than just living your life.

And, Hotmamacita, yes, we do have a garden. We use it for discussions on life, death, and rebirth. It's come in handy over the last year. We have all learned so much.
post #43 of 110
Originally Posted by callmeluci
Basically, they are getting our kids ready for the TAKS test. My sister is an educator & absolutely hates the direction that education has taken. Here in Texas, it is all about the test.
I wonder if this really works though? And is it worth what the children missing out on by being rushed academically? My DS is just about to graduate a 1/2 day kindergarten where the extent of their academics is learning their letters and their numbers to 20. The school (a public one) doesn't begin to teach reading until 1st grade, yet the school's test scores (CSAPs we're in CO) for this year had 94% of 3rd graders reading at a level of proficient or above.

Having said that, with DS personally, he was ready for much more so was somewhat unchallenged, especially towards the end of the school year. I am teaching him to read, but we are going slowly and he is perfectly able to simple addition, subtraction and multiplication. He is one of two kids in the kindergarten that can actually read. But as the results show, by 3rd grade by far the majority of kids have more than caught up.
post #44 of 110
I'm back - shocked by other descriptions of Kindergarten!!

Ours is just moving to all FT but there is no homework, no worksheets, and if there is pressure to read our ds succeeded in resisting it We have statewide standardized tests but K is optional.

It is really scary to hear about all this pressure on Kinder!! According to a Waldorf teacher I know, a child should not be thinking about reading until the first teeth have fallen out... She compares pressure on someone so young to "pushing on a locked door." IME so far, the door opens joyfully when it is ready.

Do you people in high-pressure school systems have a lot of parents who keep their child out of the system for an extra year? That happens a bit around here which means that the avg K student is now more than 5yo.
post #45 of 110
i havent read much of the therad but since my goal is to be a kindergarten teacher, and since i wish to include the parents ideas and opinons when i become one this thread would help me alot, ill be back soon thanks .
post #46 of 110
Originally Posted by hotmamacita

From Wikipedia ....
"There seem to be many positive learning and social/behavioral benefits for children in kindergarten programs. At the same time, it is widely felt that what children are doing during the kindergarten day is more important than the length of the school day. Gullo (1990) and Olsen and Zigler (1989) warn educators and parents to resist the pressure to include more didactic academic instruction in all-day kindergarten programs. They contend that this type of instruction is inappropriate for young children.

Also, an all-day kindergarten program can provide children the opportunity to spend more time engaged in active, child-initiated, small-group activities. Teachers in all-day kindergarten classrooms often feel less stressed by time constraints and may have more time to get to know children and meet their needs."
Let me clarify. Last year I taught an all day program, and it had 26 kids in it. There was an age range of 4yrs. 9mo. to 6yrs. 8mos. the first month of school. Some of the kids still had bathroom accidents and some of them could already read beginner books. There was no time in the day to group the children accordning to ability and get to know their individual needs. I didn't even get a full time aid until the second semester. I was just expected to chug along with the preprogrammed curriculum and they would check on me to make sure I was following it! The administration pretty much said my job was to teach what the curriculum department deemed right and appropriate for my kids, and test on the schedule I was given.

I had to quit and move to a different setting because I really felt it was morally wrong to put those kids in an academic straight jacket so early. It was so bloody frustrating to me and the parents. Not to mention that the kids who can't make it are all headed for special education programs now because they will never be able to catch up. Some of them just needed a shorter day and the chance to explore through play rather than have me guide them through everything. Oh, and lets not even talk about the behavior issues. If you wnat the kids to learn social skills they need to be in smaller groups that can opperate freely with an adult model, not like a herd of cattle where they must comply instantly or face "consequences". (shudder)
post #47 of 110
Originally Posted by hotmamacita
UP, you bring up something important. Preschool. I don't get its importance or urgency. In your case, you are in school right? Its been a benefit to you and I get that but the whole frenzy? And I don't get the homeschooling preschool thing? It seems odd but that's just me.
Why didn't you guess? The purpose of preschool is to get them ready for Kindergarten!
The reason they start with a curriculum at 2 1/2 is because it takes so $##$%^^% long to teach basic skills to kids that aren't developmentally ready to learn them.

My DD is in full time daycare and they have a curriculum and portfolio collection in the 2yr. old room as of this school year to comply with state standards. She has alternately been enchanted and well engaged, and bored to the point of being a daily behavior problem. Mostly it's because the program is no longer child led. When they happen to hit on a unit that she likes it is fine, and when they don't she couldn't care less. Is anyone here surprised by that? The school was!
post #48 of 110
I just wanted to say my dd will be finishing up K next week and it has been nothing but a good experience for her. She has done very well. However my child LOVES to read, and write (even likes writing her name in cursive). She is basically a sponge. But I feel that is MY child, not every child is the same and wants to/or likes to learn and that is where our school system is failing. I think you really have to research the schools, too and not just rely on someone else's experience. At my dd's school they played alot and although it was structured, it was fun. I would go to the school often and they try to do alot of different things to keep the kids interested. They also have more than just 15 mins. of recess, it's more like 30-45 minutes and then after that they have "specials" (gym, music, dance, art, library - depending on the day of the week). For the most part, my dd really likes school and I am fortunate that her experience has been nothing but positive.
post #49 of 110
Just a quick note to say that K is NOT mandatory in TX. The "compulsory age" for schooling is 6. So I guess I could be required for fall birthdays (my DS is a June baby, so he would be 5 his K year).

The public education in TX is in turns excellent and dismal. The elementary/middle school curricula are absolutely driven by the state mininum academic standards test (known as TAKS - although it's changed names at least 7 times over the years). However, once the kids reach high school they have a variety of well-taught classes and electives, honors tracks, etc. I gained an excellent education in HS, but my elementary experience was dismal.

My DH doesn't want DS going to school until he is at least 7. I don't have a problem with this at all, and maybe I can get him to agree to homeschool permanently!
post #50 of 110
my twins were in kg this year and are repeating. they didn't quite meet the standards, which could be my fault, if you want to look at it that way. i didn't feel that five year olds needed to do homework, so we didn't do it.

Also, they have speech issues, so it was tough. however, i was told they could be "placed" in first grade. i respectfully declined.
post #51 of 110
It is sad that when we were kids kindergarten was fun. We played and maybe learned some letters. Now it's learning to read and write and do math. I think that it is fine for some kids, but not most. My dd enjoyed kindergarten and I don't have a problem with the kindergarten at our school. They do work on reading, but there is plenty of time to play, they have recess and there isn't homework. I really don't see the point of having homework in kindergarten.
post #52 of 110
We can't afford private school, I want to stay away from public schools, and charter schools are difficult to get into, so there's a good chance I'll HS at least in the early years. I doubt I'll follow a curriculum, although - depending on her interest - I may do something more structured for math. She's been attending a Montessori preschool fulltime for two years now (I've been working there), but I'm quitting in the fall when my baby is born, and she'll have a year off before she'd be eligiable for public/charter schools anyway.
post #53 of 110
My dd will be doing Kindergarden at her Montessori school next year. She is definitely ready for a heavier academic load than preschool and should leave well prepared for whatever 1st grade throws her way.
post #54 of 110
I'll add my 2 cents. I have an almost 6 1/2 year old finishing up NYC public school K and I have to say that it was an awesome year for her.
I hesitated and really worried about this experience for her because I too feel there is too much presure put on little kids too soon.

The key with her success were two things: A progressive school and a wonderful teacher. Both amounted to her becoming even more curious about learning and craving to shown more and more- at school, at home - everywhere. The socialization was important to her development. Kindergarten helped her learn how to be a good friend and how to express herself well. Her self confidence grew enormously and she speaks confidently around groups and feels a place of community at her school.
This school does it very well and I am really pleased.
No homework- only nightly reading.
No worksheets only "writing journals" for anything they want to put in it.
A lot of play, drama, art and singing.
Tons of community building too.
And if I may, she is reading very well and writing too, but I feel that has more to do with her and us (the parents)- not the schooling!

We lucked out.
If public school is something you want it can be very good too. I hear horror stories and my kid's school isn't right for everyone, but it is about finding the right fit for your child. And to some parents, homework and worksheets is important.
post #55 of 110
savvy - where did your dc go? we are in love with the Earth School and hoping to go there, bc it seems like what you are describing.
post #56 of 110
The school district I live in starting this new school year will be doing full day kindergarten. This is one of the many reasons I will not be sending my children to ps. If there were decent schools with out the emphasis on just the test, which in my area this is what school has become, I would consider sending my kids to public school. I also don't like getting up so darn early in the morning! I think it is insane to get kids up at 0630 or 0700 to start getting for school and I won't be getting my kids up that early. If we weren't homeschooling the school would just have to deal with my kids getting to school at whatever time we decided to get up that morning. I don't and wouldn't have the patience for my first grader coming home from school with two hours worth of homework after sitting in class for 7-8 hours already we just wouldn't do it! I would be at that school throwing a fit every week! I know kids in my distirct have to do this homework stuff I have heard of parents complaining about it it is ridiculous!
Anyways that is just some of the reasons we don't do ps.
post #57 of 110
We home school. We use workbooks. Ben is nearly finished with his Preschool book. I think we will use a suppliment or 2 and maybe one more preschool workbook (big, thick, all inclusive workbooks) before moving on to Kindergarten.

No I don't think a curriculum is at all necessary, though it is nice to have some guidelines to follow. Ben really enjoys his lessons. He calls it "playing school". To him it's a game
post #58 of 110
And if I may, she is reading very well and writing too, but I feel that has more to do with her and us (the parents)- not the schooling!

We lucked out.
If public school is something you want it can be very good too. I hear horror stories and my kid's school isn't right for everyone, but it is about finding the right fit for your child. And to some parents, homework and worksheets is important.
I second that.
post #59 of 110
My daughter just finished kindergarden. The only thing I did not like about it was the teacher failed to ever listen to the children.

She had a "tattle man" which was a drawing of a man that the kids had to "tattle" to. When my daughter was kicked in the back by another (bigger) boy and she said her breath was "gone mommy" she was made to tell the tattle man. Nothing was done.
post #60 of 110
Oh that is awful . Did you ever talk to the teacher about it, or the principal?
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