Pre-K questions - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 08-15-2011, 05:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
danaf617's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 43
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Hi all!  First post in the education forums.  :)

 

We live in an area where we would not send our kids to public schools.  Currently, our 4.5 yr old DD (who has been home with me since birth ♥) is registered at a private school for pre-K.  We've even paid her full years tuition.

 

DH and I decided last week not to send her.  We both have our own reasons and then reasons in common.

 

 

I am very interested in homeschooling and DH has his reservations. We've only made this decision for THIS year. From reading the forum the past few days, I see that it's popular to not really "school" at this age. I'm okay with that but I do want to make sure she will be where her peers will be for Kindergarten next year. I don't want keeping her out of pre-K to put her at a disadvantage or behind.

(Although I'm really hoping that DH and I can come to an agreement to keep her home next year, too if it seems best for her.)

 

So, what should I be teaching her? What do kids need to know before Kindergarten?

 

Thank you for any guidance you can give me!  :)

danaf617 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 08-15-2011, 05:38 PM
 
seawitch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Among the palm trees
Posts: 344
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We're doing it backwards from you guys - we are going to homeschool but for various reasons we're sending DS to the free-for-everyone preschool program. We found a nice school for him that's 3 days a week and he's raring to go. I'm not concerned at all about academics. But what they're going to teach there are the letters, how to behave in group situations, and how to write ones' name. YMMV on what kindergartens in your area are looking for. I wouldn't be concerned with academics at this stage, other than the very, very basics (ABC's, 123's, writing one's name, phone number, full name, address, that sort of thing).

coolshine.gif
seawitch is offline  
Old 08-15-2011, 09:16 PM
 
SweetSilver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Westfarthing
Posts: 5,258
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 84 Post(s)

Just reading to her on every kind of topic will prepare her for kindergarten.  They need to know that words stand for something.  They need to know how to count to, say, 10 or so and be able to hold a pencil and write some semblance of letters and numbers.

In kindy, teaching how to count to 100 is taught and possible adding simple sums.  If you can stand the educationese, school districts often post standards online.  There is also a book "What Every kindergartener should know" by someone or other.

 

Really, if you read books, play games with dice and money, let them pay for things with money, read more books, wonder about things together, draw together, read some more, explore some more, talk together about whatever just to talk, then your kid will be ready for kindy.  

 

I know that every kid is different but I will say I have "taught" nothing and my kids (6.5 and 4.5) are at or are exceeding grade level in most areas.  I'm not saying this is endlessly sustainable, but so far I haven't done a whole lot more than get them books about what they are interested in and things they might be interested in by extension (Sharks she loved.  How about dinosaurs?  Yup.  Now, dragons?  That, too.  Etcetera.)  And I introduced the idea of measuring the distance for all those huge sharks and whales.  Loved that!  I am curious about things, too, and this rubs off.  So far their curiosity just seems to be intensifying.  

 

No, I wouldn't worry one fig about being ready for kindergarten.

 

 


"Let me see you stripped down to the bone. Let me hear you speaking just for me."
SweetSilver is online now  
Old 08-16-2011, 08:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
danaf617's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 43
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Thanks for your responses.  :)

 

She can do a puzzle like it's her job, write her name and all of our names (immediate family), knows all of her letters by sight and most of the sounds they make, can count to about 30, knows at least 1-10 by sight, and love love loves to be read to.  ♥

 

All of that without actually doing anything structured or planned, so I guess she's doing okay.  I just know that DH is on-the-fence about HSing and my in-laws are definitely opposed so I want to make sure I make the most of this year for her. And it's still my goal to educate DH on HSing so that I can keep her home next year for K and the year after keep my son home for K. 

danaf617 is offline  
Old 08-16-2011, 08:53 AM
 
tankgirl73's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: NB, Canada
Posts: 2,773
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

With what you've described she can do, she's actually pretty much "finished" kindergarten already.  

 

Honestly, it's getting kind of silly when parents are wondering "what does my kid need to know before kindergarten, I want to make sure she's not behind."  It used to be that kindergarten itself was the 'prep' year, where kids who might or might not have known anything 'academic' get some basics in preparation for grade 1 -- but that it wasn't even expected that most kids would even do kindergarten!  Grade 1 was the normal entry point (thus it being called grade ONE, ya know) and going to kindergarten was for the kids who were extra-eager to start school and couldn't wait for grade 1, or to give them a bit of a 'leg up'.

 

Nowadays, you have to worry about preparing for kindergarten.  Pre-K never used to exist, there was 'nursery school' but it was more about play and child-care, but with the push for younger and younger academics, 'nursery school' turned into another academic entry point.  When I lived in Ontario, it was termed "junior kindergarten" for the 4yos and "senior kindergarten" for the 5yos.  And yes, parents worried about their kids being "ready" for junior kindergarten and not being behind.

 

I'm not criticizing the poster, BTW :)  Her worry about this is perfectly 'normal' based on today's societal expectations.  I'm just pointing out that... it's kind of a silly thing to worry about.  :)  And besides which, what's the worst thing that could happen?  She enters kindergarten, behind her peers.  Does that mean she's going to STAY behind her peers?  Wouldn't be a great education system if the teachers didn't actually help the kids who were behind, would it?  

 

(And if you think that would, in fact, be the case, then that says something there about your opinion about the education system and provides further justification for homeschooling ;)  )

 

Anyway, a lot of fears about education for youngsters can fall by the wayside once you realize that 90% of what kids "know" at this age is completely *developmental*, rather than "taught".  Yes, they need to be exposed to certain things in order for them to pick them up, but if they're exposed at 4 or at 7 doesn't really matter, and it can even be better in many cases to wait until they're 7 and you know that they'll in fact be able to pick them up easily, rather than banging heads against the walls and desks at age 4.  :)  

What should a child know at age 5?  That they're loved, that they're safe, that life is interesting and there's so much cool stuff to learn out there.  :)


Heather, mom to Caileigh 12/06 and aspie ADHD prodigy David 05/98 :intact lact
tankgirl73 is offline  
Old 08-16-2011, 08:23 PM
 
SweetSilver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Westfarthing
Posts: 5,258
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 84 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by danaf617 View Post

  I just know that DH is on-the-fence about HSing and my in-laws are definitely opposed so I want to make sure I make the most of this year for her. And it's still my goal to educate DH on HSing so that I can keep her home next year for K and the year after keep my son home for K. 


Seriously consider reading the kindergarten and 1st grade standards with your DH.  He might find them helpful if he can read what the school district wants and how she's accomplished most of that already.

 


"Let me see you stripped down to the bone. Let me hear you speaking just for me."
SweetSilver is online now  
Old 08-16-2011, 09:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
danaf617's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 43
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

thank you Heather.

 

I do agree with you.  I've heard what Kinder is like these days from friends who have blazed this trail before me and it blows my mind.  Certainly doesn't seem like the Kinder I went to as a little one.  I've heard from so many parents, teachers, and other acquaintances that she'll NEED pre-K in order to be ready for Kindergarten.

Even before I started thinking about HSing, I've thought that too much is expected from such tiny people.  What's the rush? 

 

I think I'll just take her lead this year and go with her flow.  She is super interested in writing and always asking me, "Mommy how do you spell _______?" and writing it on one of the magnetic doodlers we have.  And very recently she's been interested in "how many" of something we have and which is less/more.  I might stop by our local educational store and pick up some math manipulatives cause I think she'll enjoy it.  And like I said before, she loves being read to. We're off to the library tomorrow and I'll let her choose what we get.

 

 

I certainly don't want to push her but I can see that she's wanting to learn more.  I guess it will just take me some time to read the signals she sending and handle them as best I can.

 

 

From everything I've been reading here and on several HSing blogs, it seems there is opinion on the right and wrong reasons to HS.

I've dreaded the time passing and her becoming school-aged. I've agonized over thoughts of her first day.  My #1 reason??  The idea of dropping her off to spend her day with strangers and driving away feels like it goes against every mommy-bone in my body.  :(

danaf617 is offline  
Old 08-17-2011, 12:47 AM
 
greenthumb3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 1,517
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Hi! I totally understand your concerns.

 

I have homeschooled all 3 of my boys for preschool and it's been a great experience.

 

I wrote a blog post about the decision to do preschool-at-home, including some links to resources; you can find it HERE.

 

Best wishes!

 

 

 


Mama to DS (10), DS (8), DS (5), DD (3), & DD (6 months).
Lucky Wife to My Techy DH for 11 years.
We stillheart.gif Homebirth, Full-term Breastfeeding,
Connection Parenting, Life Learning, our LDS faith.
mdcblog5.gif

greenthumb3 is offline  
Old 08-17-2011, 07:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
danaf617's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 43
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

thank you for the blog link.  I enjoyed it! 

 

I swear the more I think about how much I was stressing about preK in JANUARY (!!!!) when I had to enroll her and hope it wasn't filled, the sillier I feel.

 

Everything my children know up until now they have learned from ME. Why is it that we are told we are suddenly not enough when they get to be 3 or 4 or 5 or whatever age? 

danaf617 is offline  
Old 08-17-2011, 08:48 AM
 
SweetSilver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Westfarthing
Posts: 5,258
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 84 Post(s)

I have several close friends with kids in school instead of homeschooling, and they never did pre-K before starting kindergarten and did just fine.  So, I disagree that it's necessary especially for a kid who already has covered much of the material.

 

When I was in kindy back in 1974 (yikes!) being away from home was still a new experience for a lot of kids in the class.  As the child of divorced parents, I knew day care/ preschool well but while this sector was growing I don't know that it was the norm.  I remember sitting at a desk once during all my years in preschool and never in kindergarten.  (5 years later I took home a text book for the first time for my one-page math assignment.  I felt very grown up!)

That era's kindy was more like preschool is now.

 


"Let me see you stripped down to the bone. Let me hear you speaking just for me."
SweetSilver is online now  
Old 08-18-2011, 06:09 PM
 
Reebekah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: PA
Posts: 260
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

my 2nd son is 4, and i'm bascially doing with him what i did with his 6 yr old brother at that age (and it really worked and prepared him well for K, which we are now doing at home):

-kumon cutting books

-sonlight p3/4 (good books to read)

-handwriting without tears pre k

-explode the code (ready set go)

-comprehensive curriculum of basic skills workbook (from sams club or amazon.com)

-leap frog letter factory dvds

-starfall.com

-if he's ready for math, we'll do singapore earlybird math

Reebekah is offline  
Old 08-24-2011, 05:59 PM
 
lollie2357's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 496
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by danaf617 View Post

 

All of that without actually doing anything structured or planned, so I guess she's doing okay.  I just know that DH is on-the-fence about HSing and my in-laws are definitely opposed so I want to make sure I make the most of this year for her. And it's still my goal to educate DH on HSing so that I can keep her home next year for K and the year after keep my son home for K. 


My husband and I are still trying to decide if we want to commit to homeschooling (neither of us have any experience).  I'm using preschool as sort of a test run to see how much I can handle, if my daugther learns well from me, how I like lesson planning, how it works, etc.  I agree that schooling isn't really necessary at this age, so by "playing school" now I get to try it out without feeling any pressure, you know?  If you approach it this way, maybe that will help your DH feel like he is getting a trial run. 

 

Like you we've got letter writing, counting and reading down without school.  So we're doing a natural science themed preschool this semester.  Right now we're talking about flowers, learning to identify the ones in our yard, the names of the parts, writing and sounding out those words, counting, glueing, drawing.  We're focusing on flowers, but gaining all these other skills right along with it. I like to find craft projects on Crafty Crow.  I blogged about what I'm doing this fall just the other day if you want to have a look: http://wewilsons.blogspot.com/2011/08/science-y-preschool-stuff-spoiler-alert.html  (Hope it's okay to post blog links here.)

 

We just started back to school this week, and my daugther LOVES it.  She would do school all day if i had the energy.  :)  Seeing her enthusiasm and eagerness to learn makes it seem so fun and easy, and that is the biggest thing swaying me towards homeschooling. 
 

 


Mama to two little ones,

& one in heaven

lollie2357 is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off