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#1 of 17 Old 09-22-2010, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This is the 3rd week of K for ds1. He really likes it, the friends, the music class, the gym class, the new caterpillars they got, the cutting and crayons.

I'm just a little lost at this point though - can someone tell me if we're supposed to expect ds to learn anything in K? I'm really not being sarcastic, I just don't quite get it. Is this supposed to be another year of play, and learning to get along with others? (He's an older 5, has done three years of preschool.) Is it just to get used to school routines and rules? Or should I be on the lookout to see that he's being challenged at all?

So far I've seen two worksheets of 1-10 dot-to-dots with some coloring. Are those for fun or teaching? (DS has been doing those for like 4 years now.) DH is saying we shouldn't "rock the boat" or expect him school to teach him anything this year, we'll just keep giving him challenges and appropriate learning at home. That unless he's starting to act up from boredom then K is just for.. whatever. Is he right? Or is it like what I hear about 1st grade (from reading here, thank you!) where they assess where the kids are for the first few weeks and then try, hopefully, to give them appropriate teaching??
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#2 of 17 Old 09-22-2010, 12:45 PM
 
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Or is it like what I hear about 1st grade (from reading here, thank you!) where they assess where the kids are for the first few weeks and then try, hopefully, to give them appropriate teaching??
It depends.

All areas do K a bit differently. Is he in all day or 1/2 day? Is it play based or academic?

Our local K is very academic and all day. The kids were evaluated the first 2-3 weeks then divided into reading/math groups for those times. The rest of the time is spent in centers, whole group science/social studies/writing, circle time, and art/gym/etc. Our K has 5-10 minutes of 'homework' a few times a week (usually an open ended assignment to do with the family- find things that have circles in them, make a grocery list, count the people in your family, etc).

I would give it a bit more time, depending on how many kids and what type of program it is- they *may* still be assessing....but if you do not see anything coming home on what they are doing, meet with the teacher. Look at the districts curriculum guide (that should tell you what they do this year- minimum).

Some areas dont do differentiated reading/math in K- some do. Check into your districts policies and the individual teachers preference on how they do things.
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#3 of 17 Old 09-22-2010, 12:56 PM
 
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The first few weeks of school are a review/assessment time. Depending on the grade and school district it can take up to 5-6 weeks to catch up the students after being out of school for 2-3 months. And while dc and preschool is becoming the norm, not all children go. For those who haven't been in a school setting before, these first weeks of K get them familiar with the rules and routine of a classroom. Sitting on the carpet for circle time, lining up to go outside, changing tables for activities, raising hand to talk, etc. The teachers find out who can write their names, know their colors, ABCs, numbers, etc.

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#4 of 17 Old 09-22-2010, 02:48 PM
 
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It's still pretty early. The first month of kindie is all about learning routine and building confidence. It's easy on purpose and will be for pretty much all the kids.

What happens afterwards depends on the school. At our local kindies, they expect average kindies to be able to write 3 to 4 related sentaces phonetically, read 3 and 4 letter words in short sentances, match rhyming pictures, count to 100, skip count 2's 5's and 10's, add and subtract small numbers, ect. There are ability groups and differentiation. Granted, that all may be well below your DS's level... especially as an older 5 with 3 years of preschool. My point is just that the coloring, letter learning and dot-to-dot stage doesn't last in our area. They just want kids to get comfortable and feel like they can be successful in school.

Our eldest fell apart in kindie. She was 2 to 5 years advanced all around and driven. She ended up with a mid-year skip to 1st. DS, however, started as an older 4, was only about 1 to 3 years advanced and LOVED kindie. I can't say he "learned" that much academically but he finished the year with a positive outlook on school and eager for 1st grade.

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#5 of 17 Old 09-22-2010, 02:52 PM
 
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Try doing a search on "YourStateName curriculum standards." That should take you to the state Board of Education's expectations for what children will learn in each grade. Then you nudge that up if you live in a well educated/higher income community and down if you live in a community known to have bad schools.

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#6 of 17 Old 09-22-2010, 03:56 PM
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My middle child is in his 5th week of K. I know that they were doing individual reading assessments last week (he reads comfortably at a 2nd-3rd grade level and can read 4th-5th with me there to define the words). So far the class has been learning sight words: a, the, is, and. They are doing basic addition and subtraction.
The teachers have assured me that they will be giving the children appropriate level books to read, but I think for the most part they will be doing sight words and basic phonics. Which is what you expect in kindergarten. However, he loves his school, is really happy there, and is learning a ton in spanish, has science, art, and music a couple times a week, gets to play with clay and legos and paint and all sorts of other fun stuff, has buddies he plays soccer with at recess, etc. He is always going around singing songs he learns at school. So I'm not too concerned about him sitting around being bored all day because I know he's not! And even if he doesn't work on reading at all this year, he'll still be ahead in 1st grade, so does it really matter? I will make sure that his individual reading work is at his level but that's all I intend to push for (and am hoping no pushing is necessary).
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#7 of 17 Old 09-28-2010, 09:15 AM
 
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Well JK start here when children are 3.5 - 4.5 years old. They learn to write their letters, and phonics, simple math, play time, songs, etc. But they only go to school 2.5 hours a day.

Kindergarten is for children 4.5 - 5.5 years old. They start printing and sounding out their own words to write sentences under pictures they draw. They start to read simple books. They start to do simple math. etc. But they still have play time.
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#8 of 17 Old 09-28-2010, 03:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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... he loves his school, is really happy there, and is learning a ton in spanish, has science, art, and music a couple times a week, gets to play with clay and legos and paint and all sorts of other fun stuff, has buddies he plays soccer with at recess, etc. He is always going around singing songs he learns at school. So I'm not too concerned about him sitting around being bored all day because I know he's not! And even if he doesn't work on reading at all this year, he'll still be ahead in 1st grade, so does it really matter? I will make sure that his individual reading work is at his level but that's all I intend to push for (and am hoping no pushing is necessary).
Thanks to all, sounds like this is the consensus, to leave well enough alone for now, and if he's having fun I shouldn't stress that he isn't being challenged at this point. I guess he's being challenged in other ways anyway, having to stand in line, and navigate the day, and meet new friends... and for now that does seem to be enough for his head by the end of the day! He is having fun. Hopefully as the year goes on his teacher will continue to adjust his worksheets and reading to his level. He has brought home two appropriate-level books from the library so far, so maybe she's on top of it in some ways already.
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#9 of 17 Old 10-01-2010, 10:52 PM
 
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Thanks to all, sounds like this is the consensus, to leave well enough alone for now, and if he's having fun I shouldn't stress that he isn't being challenged at this point. I guess he's being challenged in other ways anyway, having to stand in line, and navigate the day, and meet new friends... and for now that does seem to be enough for his head by the end of the day! He is having fun. Hopefully as the year goes on his teacher will continue to adjust his worksheets and reading to his level. He has brought home two appropriate-level books from the library so far, so maybe she's on top of it in some ways already.
Yes, I agree that if he likes it to leave it alone. You can always challenge him in other ways- get books at his level from the library, do science experiments, music, art with him at home or get him into sports or something physical. My ds was in a JK-SK split last year for his JK class & the teacher did the best she could, giving him work that the SK kids were doing but it was still totally easy for him. He liked it though, and as the year went on we found his weaknesses as well as interests and concentrated more on those extracurricularly. Now in his SK year he has switched schools and is in a French Immersion program.

Amanda - wife to DH Kellyjog.gif, Mummers to Trentreading.gif born 03/03/05 Bridgetdust.gif born 08/08/07 and a IT'S A BOY! Kennedy babyboy.gifborn 02/20/11!
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#10 of 17 Old 10-02-2010, 10:23 PM
 
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From what I've noticed all the kids who go to preschool or have been taught at home end up gifted in Kindergarten. Most parents nowadays expose their kids to so many books, learning tools, etc. that they end up appearing gifted early on, but I truly believe that the giftedness can only be proven if the child is in the 99% at third grade and above. I can't tell you how many advanced kindies have proven to be rather average (aka bright) later on and the parents keep working to make them advanced. The teaching level in a public kindergarten assumes that the child didn't go to preschool/may not have had English at home/didn't have much exposure to educational material/..So you can easily see how many kids can easily be many years ahead.
My kids were advanced in kindergarten along with 3/4 of the class, but it is only now that they are in late elementary that they are truly in a class of their own. I think that's because I opted for a play based environment for the preschool years, no hothousing here!
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#11 of 17 Old 10-04-2010, 12:13 PM
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From what I've noticed all the kids who go to preschool or have been taught at home end up gifted in Kindergarten. Most parents nowadays expose their kids to so many books, learning tools, etc. that they end up appearing gifted early on, but I truly believe that the giftedness can only be proven if the child is in the 99% at third grade and above. I can't tell you how many advanced kindies have proven to be rather average (aka bright) later on and the parents keep working to make them advanced. The teaching level in a public kindergarten assumes that the child didn't go to preschool/may not have had English at home/didn't have much exposure to educational material/..So you can easily see how many kids can easily be many years ahead.
My kids were advanced in kindergarten along with 3/4 of the class, but it is only now that they are in late elementary that they are truly in a class of their own. I think that's because I opted for a play based environment for the preschool years, no hothousing here!
If 3/4 of your kid's class were "advanced", they weren't advanced. These things are relative. Also, I'm pretty sure that most of us, whose kids you insinuate were hot-housed, know that we didn't hot house our kids. Not to mention that the majority of kids do go to preschool and from what I have seen with my two boys, the teachers assume that they did go to preschool (one of mine went to a play-based, MWF 2 hour day preschool and the other didn't go at all). All are expected to know their ABCs, write their names, etc. on the first day of kindergarten. I have an almost-8 yr. old who is academically average or slightly above average. I have an almost-5 yr. old who is very advanced. Trust me, I can tell the difference in kindergarten. I could tell the difference at 2. I have yet to meet a child who appeared gifted at 5 and didn't at 8 or 9. I think that hothousing and worksheet-type preschools are generally frowned upon these days.
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#12 of 17 Old 10-04-2010, 12:58 PM
 
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My kids were advanced in kindergarten along with 3/4 of the class, but it is only now that they are in late elementary that they are truly in a class of their own. I think that's because I opted for a play based environment for the preschool years, no hothousing here!
You're making assumptions about the other kids here. My kids were completely unschooled, no preschool, no home teaching (other than taking violin) prior to KG age. Just play, and encouragement to be involved in the stuff of real life, like gardening, housework and meal prep. They ended up reading fluently and at a 2nd grade math level by the time they were due to start kindergarten. Some kids are just wired for early academic achievement. Some are later bloomers. It's true of both gifted and non-gifted kids. It's not necessarily due to hot-housing.

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#13 of 17 Old 10-04-2010, 01:16 PM
 
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I was just reading something (where was I reading!??!) that did say that children who have been hot-housed do tend to fall into line with their typical peers around third grade when almost all of the children are reading to learn as opposed to learning to read.
Of course I think that most parents know the difference between a typical child who has been extensively taught versus a gifted child who has been extensively "answered."

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#14 of 17 Old 10-04-2010, 01:21 PM
 
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I didn't see anyone mentioning your option to volunteer in the classroom. It can be very insightful!
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#15 of 17 Old 10-04-2010, 02:05 PM
 
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Thanks to all, sounds like this is the consensus, to leave well enough alone for now, and if he's having fun I shouldn't stress that he isn't being challenged at this point. I guess he's being challenged in other ways anyway, having to stand in line, and navigate the day, and meet new friends... and for now that does seem to be enough for his head by the end of the day! He is having fun. Hopefully as the year goes on his teacher will continue to adjust his worksheets and reading to his level. He has brought home two appropriate-level books from the library so far, so maybe she's on top of it in some ways already.
I think you are right on with this. Not that I have any special knowledge, I am just the fellow mom of a new K student. But I believe that if our children are happy and thriving, that is a good thing. And that "challenges" can come in many forms (the teachers are generally pretty cognizant of this in the beginning of K). The appropriate-level library books sounds like a good sign that the teacher is recognizing where he is at. As far as I am aware, academic level (and interest) will be all over the place in K. You'll hopefully get to meet the teacher more soon and hear her plans for meeting his needs for challenge with the schoolwork as well.

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#16 of 17 Old 10-04-2010, 02:52 PM
 
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You're making assumptions about the other kids here. My kids were completely unschooled, no preschool, no home teaching (other than taking violin) prior to KG age. Just play, and encouragement to be involved in the stuff of real life, like gardening, housework and meal prep. They ended up reading fluently and at a 2nd grade math level by the time they were due to start kindergarten. Some kids are just wired for early academic achievement. Some are later bloomers. It's true of both gifted and non-gifted kids. It's not necessarily due to hot-housing.

Miranda

I agree with this. Some kids are driven, all on their own.

We have done preschool, but it is mostly playbased. We play at home- no workbooks or anything like that.

My kids start K next year and are both reading/writing fluently. We are in an academic area, but working in the PreK class--there is no way 3/4 of their PreK class is reading/writing.

They both may slow down or stay ahead- each child is different.
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#17 of 17 Old 10-04-2010, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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From what I've noticed all the kids who go to preschool or have been taught at home end up gifted in Kindergarten. Most parents nowadays expose their kids to so many books, learning tools, etc. that they end up appearing gifted early on, but I truly believe that the giftedness can only be proven if the child is in the 99% at third grade and above. I can't tell you how many advanced kindies have proven to be rather average (aka bright) later on and the parents keep working to make them advanced. The teaching level in a public kindergarten assumes that the child didn't go to preschool/may not have had English at home/didn't have much exposure to educational material/..So you can easily see how many kids can easily be many years ahead.
Thank you for this insight, but I am not trying to prove my son's giftedness. I'm not even looking for a label at this point. When he was not-yet-3, starting his first of three years of preschool, and reading "anything you put in front of him!" as my father put it after babysitting one day, I started to wonder how bored he will be in school, in Kindergarten someday. Actually, no it was earlier, when he was born and gave my husband such an intense and curious look at the hospital, and when at 13 months old I was amazed that he knew many letters and colors. I did not teach him, this toddler/kid craved info and interaction, and I do my best to give it. And what a fun, enthusiastic kid he is!

Before K started I asked our public school how they deal with kids who are advanced, and they assured me up and down that they "meet kids at their level", that they want to challenge each kid, so we're giving public school a go. I would hate to see his enthusiasm for learning wane. I see that maybe I'm anticipating too many problems too early, and so I am for now appreciating K for the challenges and new experiences it is providing, even if not exactly academic. So far he comes home excited about gym, or art, or a new word they used in class ("attributes") etc. So I'll chill out and see how the month ahead goes!
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