Kindergarten fun?!?!?! - rant - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 105 Old 12-20-2006, 11:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ds is not ever going to kindergarten. People ask him how old he is, he says 5. They ask if he's in kindergarten. He says no. They say "oh, next year?" He says "never". Then they insist on trying to convince him it's fun. Maybe it used to be fun 30 years ago, but here the kindergartners have *homework* *every night*!! And there is no "play time" like there was when I went. It doesn't sound fun to me!!! Do they think they're doing me a favor? It's annoying!!! I'm trying to get him to say he's homeschooled, but in the meantime
for reading, I feel better now.

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#2 of 105 Old 12-21-2006, 12:26 AM
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I felt the same way when we were homeschooling. It drove me insane and I wanted to scream at people.

DS goes to public Kindergarten now for various reasons, mainly because he wanted to. He actually does enjoy it but they put waaaay too much emphasis on academics these days.
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#3 of 105 Old 12-21-2006, 12:31 AM
 
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It was a huge relief for me when DS finally figured out to start saying "we homeschool" in answer to kindergarten questions LOL so I hear your pain!

DS really likes "doing school" as he puts it (since it mainly involves me reading to him which is his favorite activity anyway) so I can't imagine he would like "building school" as we call PS any better.

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#4 of 105 Old 12-21-2006, 12:36 AM
 
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In my experience, even after your child says, "I'm homeschooled," people will still continue to ask what grade he's in. Folks just can't seem to get it through their thick skulls that we don't do schooling that way! : It goes something like this:

Person: Oh, hi! How old are you?
DS: I'm six.
Person: Oh, so you're in kindergarten? Or is it first grade?
DS: I'm homeschooled.
Person: Oh, that's great! But what grade are you in?

I haven't yet come up with a good answer to that one that's not a novel.

Proud Catholic, homeschooling, RN-student mama of
DS 10 reading.gif  DS 8 fencing.gif DS 5, DD 3 energy.gif and a new DS  belly.gif 3/2011
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#5 of 105 Old 12-21-2006, 12:46 AM
 
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I really think some adults don't know how to talk to kids. So they assume kids are in school and ask about that.

Dd gets that now and she's not even in school, since she's only 4.5. But I always get the whole "Is she going to preschool?"
Dd's unprompted answer is always "I'm not going to school. I'm going to stay home and play."

Loon , dh , dd , and twins ds1 dd2 **Thoughts become things. - Mike Dooley**
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#6 of 105 Old 12-21-2006, 03:01 AM
 
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My daughter cracked up a friend of mine recently. We were at a playplace thing in a mall - yes, we go to the silly things... good way to build the immune system! - and I had left to take ds to the restroom. My gf started talking to a "grandmotherly" lady, who in turn started talking with dd and gf's dc. This is how the conversation went:

G'ma: And how old are you?
DD: Five
G'ma: Are you in kindergarten?
DD: No (totally calm)
G'ma: Will you be going next year?
DD: No
G'ma: No honey, not this year, but NEXT year, will you go?
DD: No
G'ma: I know you're not going THIS year, but after next summer, will you go?
DD: No
G'ma: (getting a bit exasperated, but not mean or rude) No, sweetie, I know you're not in school RIGHT NOW, but NEXT YEAR, after Valentine's Day, and Easter, and summer, THEN you'll start kindergarten, right?
DD: No (still completely calm)

Finally, my gf had mercy on the lady and told her we were homeschooling, but we laughed and laughed that dd just kept sweetly saying, "No," rather than trying to explain or justify anything.

When people tell dd that kindergarten or school or whatever is "fun", I generally answer for her that it's certainly not any more fun that staying home with mommy!!


lizzie

It's such a relief to finally trust yourself.
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#7 of 105 Old 12-21-2006, 10:37 AM
 
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My oldest two DS didn't go to kindergarten either because we homeschooled. I'm totally looking forward to my youngest child starting kindergarten in a school next year. It's something I haven't experienced with a child yet.

Well homework for a kindergartner is not like homework for a 5th grader. If you actually check with the schools in the area the homework for grade K usually consists of coloring sheets and learning numbers or the alphabet or practicing writing a new word. It's not that much and it's great practice for them as they prepare for 1st grade when homework does begin. The schools know what they are doing, and they aren't doing it to be hard on the kids.

Plus, homeschoolers do homework all day ya know. Just messing with you. My kids have been in public, private and homeschooled and I agree with it all. I don't down one type of schooling over another. I just don't see the point.

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#8 of 105 Old 12-21-2006, 10:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Nitenites View Post
In my experience, even after your child says, "I'm homeschooled," people will still continue to ask what grade he's in. Folks just can't seem to get it through their thick skulls that we don't do schooling that way! : It goes something like this:
My oldest two are 11 and 8 and I never got that. Usually once one of them said they were homeschooled the questions stopped. It was as if it was so foreign to them that they no longer knew what to say to us.

And every now and then I had the occasional adult that would ask if it was HARD to homeschool a child and said that it seemed like it would be OR they would comment that they could never H/S their child, they just weren't the type of child they could teach at home and I would always wonder how they would know that if they haven't even tried.

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19 yr old
12 yr old
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#9 of 105 Old 12-21-2006, 01:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Nitenites View Post
Person: Oh, hi! How old are you?
DS: I'm six.
Person: Oh, so you're in kindergarten? Or is it first grade?
DS: I'm homeschooled.
Person: Oh, that's great! But what grade are you in?

I haven't yet come up with a good answer to that one that's not a novel.
DS: I'm not in any grade; I'm homeschooled.
Person: Oh, but what grade would you be in if you were in school?
Mama: What military rank are you?
Person: I'm not in the military.
Mama: But what rank would you be if you WERE in the military?

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#10 of 105 Old 12-21-2006, 01:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 2tadpoles View Post
DS: I'm not in any grade; I'm homeschooled.
Person: Oh, but what grade would you be in if you were in school?
Mama: What military rank are you?
Person: I'm not in the military.
Mama: But what rank would you be if you WERE in the military?

: That's great!
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#11 of 105 Old 12-21-2006, 02:09 PM
 
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Is it OK to acknowledge that some kindergarten experiences ARE still good?

My four children LOVED kindergarten. There was plenty of play time, no homework, lots of positive & age-appropriate learning. My youngest learned to sign last year in K - every day, the class had "carpet time" to sign the date, the day of the week, the weather, and how they were feeling. My kids also learned to sign songs in music class. With reinforcement learning from home, all my kids were reading in kindergarten.

My only issue with kindergarten in our school is that it is full day (not all area schools have gone full day, though). I wish that all schools would go back to half day K, like I had. There is a rest period (and the kids are encouraged to keep a blanket at school), but I would like to see the return of 1/2 day K.


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And every now and then I had the occasional adult that would ask if it was HARD to homeschool a child and said that it seemed like it would be OR they would comment that they could never H/S their child, they just weren't the type of child they could teach at home and I would always wonder how they would know that if they haven't even tried.
While I think homeschooling is perfectly fine for those who are so inclined, I don't have the confidence or the patience to do it - for many and varied reasons. I know myself - my strengths and my shortcomings. In short, I just don't feel that *I* would be a very effective teacher; and that *my* children would be terribly shortchanged in regard to their education. Obviously, this is not the case for everyone; and I am NOT generalizing. But those of us who choose not to homeschool (those who've tried as well as those who haven't) have just as many valid reasons not to, as you who homeschool have to do it.

Every baptized Christian is, or should be, someone with an actual (disturbing) experience, ... a close encounter, with God; someone who, as a result, becomes a disturbing presence to others. - Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, A Presence That Disturbs
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#12 of 105 Old 12-21-2006, 02:17 PM
 
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DS: I'm not in any grade; I'm homeschooled.
Person: Oh, but what grade would you be in if you were in school?
Mama: What military rank are you?
Person: I'm not in the military.
Mama: But what rank would you be if you WERE in the military?

I will have to remember that!

Skell, I agree that K should be half day. I may have considered K if that was the case. In our district, the teachers are very clear that K is no longer about play (that's what preschool is for, I've been told). The teachers in first grade expect the kids coming out of K to be prepared for lots of writing, able to read, etc. The expectations are getting higher each year. That was what helped us make the decision to hs, we just wanted to set our own pace.

~Joan, Happy mom to 2 beautiful kiddos, one new puppy and 2 lovely felines
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#13 of 105 Old 12-21-2006, 02:20 PM
 
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In defense of us ignoramuses...

My daughter is not of school age yet- and I don't know anyone who homeschools. So until I read this thread, I didn't realize homeschoolers don't move through a grade system either.

No crime in that. Just didn't know. Maybe you could just explain that to people when they ask.
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#14 of 105 Old 12-21-2006, 02:29 PM
 
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In defense of us ignoramuses...

My daughter is not of school age yet- and I don't know anyone who homeschools. So until I read this thread, I didn't realize homeschoolers don't move through a grade system either.

No crime in that. Just didn't know. Maybe you could just explain that to people when they ask.
I think one of the issues is the frequency at which these questions are asked. It is time consuming to explain hsing or the laws in your state for hsing, to everyone that inquires. Often people are friendly about it, but others can be rather rude to you or the children. When I meet adults for the first time, I don't immediately ask, "what's your job or what do you do?" There seems to be more leeway in asking about an adults intetests. I find people address children about school almost immediately and then ONLY about school. Certainly children have other interests besides school. I think some of the suggesting that it's 'fun' is part of the culture (brain washing) because people don't often know their choices.

~Joan, Happy mom to 2 beautiful kiddos, one new puppy and 2 lovely felines
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#15 of 105 Old 12-21-2006, 02:30 PM
 
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My four children LOVED kindergarten.
My DS1 enjoyed Kindergarten, too. He went to school until halfway through second grade. Of course, I believe he would have enjoyed being homeschooled just as well. Since school was a "given" part of his life at that time, he had nothing to compare it to. KWIM?

I didn't pull him out of school because of any real problems he was having in school. The military landed us in a really rough part of a rough city, and the schools there were scary. We brought him home for that year, intending for him to return to school once we moved again....but that never happened. Even though he'd had a positive school experience, he still has no desire to go back to school.

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My only issue with kindergarten in our school is that it is full day (not all area schools have gone full day, though). I wish that all schools would go back to half day K, like I had. There is a rest period (and the kids are encouraged to keep a blanket at school), but I would like to see the return of 1/2 day K.
I'm almost 36 and I went to full day Kindergarten. That was the norm where I grew up. I actually had never heard of 1/2-day Kindergarten (except in the Ramona books I read as a kid) until I had my own children. And even then, my son's district had full day K.

Honestly, it seems to me that 1/2-day would be a big pain in the rear. No sooner are you dropping them off then you have to go back out to pick them up.

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In short, I just don't feel that *I* would be a very effective teacher; and that *my* children would be terribly shortchanged in regard to their education. Obviously, this is not the case for everyone; and I am NOT generalizing. But those of us who choose not to homeschool (those who've tried as well as those who haven't) have just as many valid reasons not to, as you who homeschool have to do it.
Of course you do. But I don't know too many homeschoolers who persist in asking traditionally-schooled children *when* their parents are going to bring them home. I'd just like the same treatment from the schoolers; for them to stop openly treating my family like a bunch of freaks and assuming that we don't know what's best for ourselves.
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#16 of 105 Old 12-21-2006, 02:34 PM
 
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When I meet adults for the first time, I don't immediately ask, "what's your job or what do you do?" There seems to be more leeway in asking about an adults intetests. I find people address children about school almost immediately and then ONLY about school. Certainly children have other interests besides school.
I think a lot of people have no idea what things really interest children, and for some reason they actually believe that school is an interesting place to be and is a topic of interesting conversation (although I've met very few adults who truly felt that their school years were productive ones).

When we lived in the South, the "how's school?" question was almost always shortly followed by "what church do you go to?"

Talk about being the odd-man-out on two counts.
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#17 of 105 Old 12-21-2006, 02:49 PM
 
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My kindergarten-aged unschooler replies, "I'm in homeschool kindergarten".

I do follow the "grades" but not in terms of work (remember, we're unschoolers) but I guess just to let the children see that they are progressing. We just follow the age range that they would have been in were they in institutionalized schools. It's just a fun thing for us, I guess.
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#18 of 105 Old 12-21-2006, 02:53 PM
 
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My oldest was convinced kindergartner was fun. She wanted to go. I would hear it alllll the time. "when I am going to go to Kindergarten mom?" "when I get older will I get to go to school too?" "how come all my friends get to go and I don't?"
Not any more. She is almost 8 and has NO desire to go to school. In fact if I mention it she flips out "NOOOOOOOO!" I have even old her that she needs to work on her reading "if I can't teach you to read at home then I might need to send you to school so they can teach you"
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#19 of 105 Old 12-21-2006, 03:23 PM
 
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and they were in kindy and first grade. On the evening of the very first day of school my dd's kindy teacher called and told my DH that my dd didn't color in the lines on her Clifford coloring page!?! During the 11 days she was in school she had homework; she needed to finish her coloring pages (more tiw in marketing). She colored a motorcycle white and it was marked as wrong. The police motorcycles are white with black lettering in our area. She also got so frustrated she put herself in time out (weird because I have never done that to any of my children) because she didn't color her Clifford red like trhe other children. I asked if she was told to do so or if the color was left up to the children and it was left up to the children.

My 1st grader regaled me with stories of how he gets to be a teacher too. He tutors the other chiodren who can't read yet...

My fourth was born with physical birth defects and he needed surgeries so I needed the babysitting public school provides. Once we determined the surgeries would be in the future I withdrew them from the pathetic schools here (I live in Central FL where the schools are ranked at the bottom).

I can't see how kindy is fun? They each got these HUGE heavy Entertainment books to peddle for $20 each on their first day of school!?! They were exposed to commercialism (Clifford; my children only know the Norman Bridwell books not the PBS cartoon... we don't pay for tv or watch much.) Snacks were expected of the parents in the form of sugary, dyed water and preserved, salted, sweetened, and dyed snacks.

My children's experiences weren't fun!

Sincerely,
Debra, homeschooling mom of 4 ages 10, 9, 7, and 3 1/2
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#20 of 105 Old 12-21-2006, 03:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 2tadpoles View Post
DS: I'm not in any grade; I'm homeschooled.
Person: Oh, but what grade would you be in if you were in school?
Mama: What military rank are you?
Person: I'm not in the military.
Mama: But what rank would you be if you WERE in the military?

of how I feel when my children are quizzed about their grades!
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#21 of 105 Old 12-21-2006, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The most recent lady who was trying to convince ds that kindergarten is fun has a 7 year old. We live in the same small town (one kindergarten). She *knows* what kindergarten is like here. And yes, here, there is a lot of homework, every day, not all fun things like coloring. One of our friends who goes was sick of homework by October (talk about burning out early). And they tell the parents if the kids don't do the homework they won't advance to 1st grade (don't know if it's true or just a threat - but that's what they say). I know it's not the same everywhere, and some places it might still be fun (actually we have a friend in a public kindergarten in Minnesota, and it sounds great) but *not here*. And yet, this lady is trying to convince ds it's fun. So she says "When I went to kindergarten we played this that and the other." And I say "And now they have homework". And she agrees with me that it's not like "the good old days". So, once again, why are you trying to convince ds that it's fun?
Oh, and the reason for the homework? "They're going to have it in first grade." Well they're going to have to get a job when they grow up, so should we send 'em out into the workforce now?!?!? And yet, my aunt, a principal, told me that studies show that homework in the early grades doesn't make a bit of difference!
(I'm still feeling ranty, I guess)

Mama to three  
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#22 of 105 Old 12-21-2006, 04:03 PM
 
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Honestly, it seems to me that 1/2-day would be a big pain in the rear. No sooner are you dropping them off then you have to go back out to pick them up.
The bus solved that problem, which was a good thing since dh and I shared a car.

My kids went to half day kindergarten. If full day were mandatory I might well have homeschooled them or made some other alternate arrangement.

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#23 of 105 Old 12-21-2006, 05:20 PM
 
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Well homework for a kindergartner is not like homework for a 5th grader. If you actually check with the schools in the area the homework for grade K usually consists of coloring sheets and learning numbers or the alphabet or practicing writing a new word. It's not that much and it's great practice for them as they prepare for 1st grade when homework does begin. The schools know what they are doing, and they aren't doing it to be hard on the kids.
Homework is one of the big reasons we switched from public school to hs during first grade. If a five year old child is at school for 7 hours, why do they need another 15 minutes of practicing coloring, nurmber or letters at home? What have they been doing for 7 hours? In first grade, homework was taking 30+ minutes a night, not counting reading, and not because it was hard - it was too easy and incredibly boring. My son was stressed out about going to school becuase it got in the way of important things he wanted to do, like read.

I don't think homework in early elementary grades is benign, and I don't think it is done becuase extensive research shows that it improves literacy or success in life later on.
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#24 of 105 Old 12-21-2006, 05:50 PM
 
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I can't see how kindy is fun?
You can't see how YOUR school's kindy is fun.
I explained how my school's kindy is fun, and why my kids enjoyed it.


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They each got these HUGE heavy Entertainment books to peddle for $20 each on their first day of school!?!
Yeah, we get that "Arts in Education" fundraiser sh**, too. It's not mandatory - we just chuck everything or send it right back.

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Snacks were expected of the parents in the form of sugary, dyed water and preserved, salted, sweetened, and dyed snacks.
I've never been asked to provide such snacks - and in our school, parents no longer send snack for the whole class (thanks to the food allergy boom - and my own DD is diabetic). Each child brings their own snack. When my older kids were in kindy (back when 'rents DID provide class snack), I sent homemade snacks. Even at class parties, the teachers typically ask for things like veggies/dip and fruit.

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My children's experiences weren't fun!
I'm sorry to hear that. I'm just asking that you acknowledge the fact that kindergarten is not the same in all schools. Some school ARE good, y'know.

I try not to generalize homeschooling ... why is it so wrong to ask the same courtesy for other schoolers?

Every baptized Christian is, or should be, someone with an actual (disturbing) experience, ... a close encounter, with God; someone who, as a result, becomes a disturbing presence to others. - Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, A Presence That Disturbs
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#25 of 105 Old 12-21-2006, 06:04 PM
 
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my oldest hated it. he wasn't a bad kid, or stupid, but he was treated as a problem child because he didn't do well sitting still, coloring in the lines, or learning to read. He hated every minute of the loooong day and was overtired and cranky by afternoon when he came home.

He had a lot of homework: one whole handwriting sheet each night, one math worksheet, one phonics worksheet, sight words, and reading aloud. He was usually too tired to do it.

He did better in first grade, because that's when reading finally "clicked" and his teacher liked boys a lot. His K teacher was rather uptight and didn't seem to handle any of the boys well at all except the quiet one who was more like a girl in his mannerisms and work habits.

Ds's K was nothing like the loving, fun, half day church school I attended in 1970. I don' think dc are any smarter these days, for all the work and pressure they have to deal with. They aren't any nicer, either.

Just my experiences and "generalizations" for the day.
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#26 of 105 Old 12-21-2006, 06:08 PM
 
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Dh and I haven't decided if we'll hs yet since ds is only 2.5. However I work at gym where I stand out in the center of a circuit and chat with everyone while they work out. We have several kindergarten teachers and all of them have told me how all the kids have homework and there is NO recess! Not one single play time all freaking day!! That just absolutely baffles me. None of the teachers agree with it but they all say they have no choice because there's all this stuff they are supposed to teach them and make them learn and they just don't have enough time. Of course around here I guess one of the bigger issues is they will get several non-english speaking kids in the class so they're probably spending most of their time with those kids.

There are lots of charter schools here, including several montessori, which we are going to look into. Right now I just can't see myself sending ds to school for 7-8 hours a day where he doesn't even get 10 mins of playtime.

Anyone ever wonder if we are teaching our children to be sedentary? I mean "we're" sitting them in school for 8 hours a day, not given any play time or maybe one short 15-20 mins of play, and then it's back to just sitting in a chair. Makes me wonder if we're teaching them not to want to be active.

Rachel, mom to Jake (5/04) and Alexia (7/07) a surprise UC thanks to hypnobabies!
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#27 of 105 Old 12-21-2006, 06:16 PM
 
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Anyone ever wonder if we are teaching our children to be sedentary? I mean "we're" sitting them in school for 8 hours a day, not given any play time or maybe one short 15-20 mins of play, and then it's back to just sitting in a chair. Makes me wonder if we're teaching them not to want to be active.
We're preparing them for life at a desk, in a cube (classroom), doing work that someone else deems important (curriculum), and being rewarded in the form of a paycheck (grades).

IMNSHO.
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#28 of 105 Old 12-21-2006, 06:21 PM
 
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The bus solved that problem, which was a good thing since dh and I shared a car.
Oh, I can see how the bus would be very helpful, but buses aren't available to all students.
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#29 of 105 Old 12-21-2006, 06:21 PM
 
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I think a lot of people have no idea what things really interest children,


When we lived in the South, the "how's school?" question was almost always shortly followed by "what church do you go to?"

Talk about being the odd-man-out on two counts.
True
Wow, yep, that 2nd one must be pretty regional cuz that would NEVER come up here.
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#30 of 105 Old 12-21-2006, 06:47 PM
 
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DS: I'm not in any grade; I'm homeschooled.
Person: Oh, but what grade would you be in if you were in school?
Mama: What military rank are you?
Person: I'm not in the military.
Mama: But what rank would you be if you WERE in the military?

: That's awesome...

It's such a relief to finally trust yourself.
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