Preschool/ free play vs forcing memorization and writing - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 10-01-2010, 07:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I provide child care in my home for a small group of children. They range in age from almost 2 to 4 years old. A mother approached me recently because she is concerned that her four year old cannot write and does not know things like vowels, etc.

When I started watching him a little over a year ago the boy couldn't talk. He said two words which were both the names of television characters from older superhero type movies and I would not have known what he was saying had the parents not told me. He has come a long way in this amount of time. He still has speech issues and doesn't catch on to some stuff as quickly as some of the younger kids and I have voiced my concerns to her several times. They baby talk to him at home and I think that is a huge part of the problem.

Anyway, she was talking to a coworker and that woman's four year old is in a daycare center and he knows vowels, consonants, can write the letters of the alphabet, etc. The mom I work for is concerned because her son cannot do all these things and I believe she was trying to tell me she thinks it is because I am not teaching him.

I work with the kids most days on things like colors, letters, numbers, etc but in a fun way and I would never force this child to sit and write because he is just not ready. I tried in the past and he had no interest and as I told a friend it was like kicking a bowling ball up a hill. He is just not ready yet.

So I am hoping that some of you could direct to me to some resources to help this mother understand that it is not crucial for her child to be forced to do something he is not yet ready to do. He is just now identifying letters (something all the younger children can do already) so it seems too early. Am I wrong here? I just feel like I am doing the right thing.

Please if you have resources, I doubt she will read books but articles maybe, about the importance of free play and anything else that may help in this situation. I feel like I am in a tough spot in this situation.I did remind her that he did not talk a little over a year ago and she seemed to come around a bit on that one but I just don't see a benefit of making him sit everyday and write letters when he is so far behind in everything else and not interested in letter writing.

Help?

Jenn- Geeky momma to one fabulous Tiny Diva (10/27/08)
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#2 of 7 Old 10-01-2010, 07:53 PM
 
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Please if you have resources, I doubt she will read books but articles maybe, about the importance of free play and anything else that may help in this situation.
You'll find quite a few in my page on preschool/kindergarten. I'd print them out to hand to her rather than expect her to read links you might send her. Best of luck - hang in there! Lillian
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#3 of 7 Old 10-01-2010, 07:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks. I will check them out over the weekend. I was hoping to put together a packet for her.


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#4 of 7 Old 10-01-2010, 08:02 PM
 
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Thanks. I will check them out over the weekend. I was hoping to put together a packet for her.

Oh, just be sure you have lots of paper to print on, because you'll have LOTS to give her! Lillian
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#5 of 7 Old 10-03-2010, 03:23 AM
 
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Just a thought -- what if you gave her a list of the things you have been working on over the last couple weeks (specific colors, shapes... a mini report card) and told her this is what you believe to be age and developmentally appropriate for her child. That and some articles that back up what you have been doing. And refer her to speak to her own pediatrician or other health care provider about what you have been doing. If you are seeing any red flags or he could just be, you know, average -- maybe a "Dr" title could give her some perspective.
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#6 of 7 Old 10-03-2010, 04:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Violet,

Thanks. He is definitely far below average. Most people cannot understand what he is saying when he speaks and sometimes even I haven't a clue what he is saying. His words often do not sound like words. I have spoken to her about this but she will not take him to a doctor. They don't really "do" doctors.

We talk everyday about what the kids did all day. She knows what we do but now that she knows another kid who is ahead of her kid and she found out it is normal at that day care she is concerned. I have been concerned about him since I met him over a year ago. His younger sibling also has some language issue but is catching up at a much faster pace.

I really care about these kids and worry they may not see how severe the speech problem is because they can understand him and they don't spend time with other kids his age.

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#7 of 7 Old 10-03-2010, 04:27 AM
 
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If you feel there is neglect through denial, are you a mandated reporter and would this be something you'd be mandated to report?

Do you know anything about the other center? Is there any chance they've got useful resources that the mom would be willing to accept from them (expert=person in a suit from another town ) even though she won't hear it from you? Is the boy the oldest kid you're watching? She might feel like they've "proven" themselves or something if you've only got younger kids right now. OTOH, if they aren't screening kids for those who are into sitting down with academic work, then they'll screw the kid up more.

And heads up, she might be finding stuff like http://nurseryschoolratings.com/wp/a...g-at-day-care/ to read. And if there's denial about his speaking, there's bound to be some about where he'd fall in the
Quote:
some children will end the year knowing how to read and some may just understand letters.
end of things. (Side note, writing straight lines up and down is exactly what didn't work well in 19th century Italy, are we seriously still doing that with kids?)

( and link from the bottom of that page? http://www.besthomeschooling.org/art..._ps_kdgtn.html What a contrast, eh?)
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