"I want to go to a math and reading school" - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-06-2009, 12:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So after 2.5 years of Waldorf preschool, our boy won the lottery and enrolled in Waldorf public charter Kindergarten. We chose the school over several other excellent options we got into. Unfortunately one of my worst fears was realized when he said, after the very first week, "Papa, I want to go to a reading and math school." With no prompting or hinting from me at all.

I did not sleep that night.

He's anxious to learn, and I want to provide this opportunity. Can anyone suggest a reading/writing/math program appropriate for Kindergarten that can be used on a part-time basis at home? By program I don't necessarily mean a prepackaged curricululm... but a method or routine that's worked for you would be great.

I'm not looking to set hard and fast goals for achievement here... but I do want to provide my son the education he's craving.

Thanks.
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Old 12-06-2009, 01:09 PM
 
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We homeschool, so I have some ideas. But I thought that Waldorf would not let kids be exposed to that sort of thing until they are seven years old.

?
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Old 12-06-2009, 01:26 PM
 
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We do math a LOT here, and some additional reading exercises, even outside of full day K at the public school (my son is 5). All self directed by my son. I went to target or the dollar store and we bought a bunch of different level math and reading workbooks, a big wooden abacuss, ruler, etc and before school or afterschool, my son on his own will pick up one of the workbooks, and just do them. Usually, I'm right there talking about it/helping him, so his learning takes much more shape than just paper/pencil work, for example we cook together (measurement), and we talk about things that isn't always typical for his age, for example we talked all about algebra the other day. So I say, take him shopping with you, provide him with materials you think he'd like, and follow his lead on what kinds of things he's thinking about when he says he wants to do more math and reading.

I just reread your post and realized, I don't know much about Waldorf and what you are supposed to expose your kid to at what age, so read my comments knowing that
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Old 12-06-2009, 01:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, please keep the advice coming... and don't be concerned about what's Waldorf-appropriate or not. We can judge your advice.

Our Waldorf teacher's mentor said something very wise to our parent meeting once... when a parent was concerned because she wasn't following a certain aspect of Waldorf exactly... the mentor replied, "A parent's voice is sacred." By extension, I believe... so is my child's mind and hunger for learning.

While I don't buy into all the Steiner pedagogy, I do see real beauty to the wisdom and contemplation that guides the educators we've had so far.
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Old 12-06-2009, 03:10 PM
 
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[QUOTE=sairy_gamp;14764081 Can anyone suggest a reading/writing/math program appropriate for Kindergarten that can be used on a part-time basis at home? [/QUOTE]

For reading I like "Reading Reflex." It's a book (cost less than $20) and has lots of basic information about how kids learn to read. It has lots of little puzzles that you cut out of the book (and store in envelopes) that help children learn their letter sounds and how to put the sounds together to read different words. Very nice way to start learning to decode. Very fun, very low stress. It works well with kids who catch on easily as well as kids who need more re-enforcement.

For math I like "Singapore Early Bird". These are basic and include hands on-activities.

Doing just these simple things could be enough for him. If he would like more workbooky stuff, the Go for the Code phonic series is excellant. It starts with "Get Ready for the Code," "Get Set for the Code," etc.

None of these resources are expensive.

Enjoy you little eager learner!

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 12-06-2009, 07:55 PM
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We lat Dd play the games on www.starfall.com
She's just about to read alone, she started out with Hooked on phonics pre K as she was hungry for more and already knew most of her letter sounds.
She into rhyming and putting together letter sounds to make words now.
Math we play with adding and subtracting whatever we are playing with, beads, peas, dolls. I'm really trying to follow her lead, she'll be 5 in January and in K next fall.
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Old 12-07-2009, 03:22 PM
 
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My kindergartener LOVES the Kumon workbooks. You can get some of them at Target, but more at a real bookstore.

We also really enjoy the EPS Primary Phonics books http://www.epsbooks.com/dynamic/cata...eriesonly=357m
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Old 12-07-2009, 03:24 PM
 
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We did Kumon and it was great for our son. I would recommend it. We actually went to the Kumon center.
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Old 12-07-2009, 06:04 PM
 
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So when would he have time to just spend time with you as a family? Or time to just play on his own? I don't understand why you want to take the time you have with him and spend it doing the stuff he isn't getting out of his school.

If he isn't getting the learning he wants out of his school, then what is he getting out of that school?
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Old 12-07-2009, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
So when would he have time to just spend time with you as a family? Or time to just play on his own? I don't understand why you want to take the time you have with him and spend it doing the stuff he isn't getting out of his school.

If he isn't getting the learning he wants out of his school, then what is he getting out of that school?

This is obvious, and is the crux of the matter, but is beyond the scope of this discussion. Within the context of our current situation now, I'm looking for suggestions. Thanks.
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Old 12-07-2009, 06:57 PM
 
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Kids get lots of different things out of school, and core academics are just part of it. Most K classrooms are sooooo over pushy with reading, writing and math, that even though he is interested in those things, he might not like a regular classroom anyway. This way he can work at his own pace for how ever long is fun.

There's a really big difference between wanting to spend 15 minutes a day learning to read and spending 7 hours a day plus homework learning to read. If he is having fun and doing interesting things in school and mom can easily met his desire for other learning in less time than a lot of kids his age spend on homework, then that may be the best solution.

Doing things that our kids are interested in IS spending time with them. That can be learning to read just as easily as it can be playing a board game.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 12-09-2009, 02:29 AM
 
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I'm surmising that there may be some disagreement at home as to the best choice for his schooling, but it sounds like this isn't the discussion you want to have. If your family is set on keeping him at this school and you don't feel like it is meeting his academic needs and you thus need to supplement at home, I'd go the route suggested by some of the pps and incorporate reading and math into games you can play as a family.

There are quite a few math games that you can either purchase or make on your own -- addition war with cards (you each get two cards and have to add the #s and see who wins with the larger #), double shutter, etc.

In regard to reading, I would just spend a lot of time reading together, following the direction of the words with your finger and helping him learn about books through that. You could also play sight word bingo using early sight words like the dolch sight words. That would be something you could make up yourself.
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Old 12-09-2009, 04:05 AM
 
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Sorry you guys are struggling with this. My son, who is 5, spent the last couple of years in a play based preschool. He wasn't really ready for K this year, but was ready to move on from his preschool. One of the options I considered was a Waldorf school because I felt it would meet many of his needs (for play, nature, outdoor time). I did know it wouldn't meet one big need of his - his desire to learn more academic things. So, I ended up choosing a Montessori school because he was beginning to figure out math and reading concepts on his own, but wanted a deeper understanding than would he could work out by himself. Even though the philosophies are different, it was a hard choice to make.

I used to teach Kindergarten and did Montessori training...

As far as teaching reading, I would get some phonemic awareness books. Phonemic awareness has to do with hearing the sounds in words (like a pre-runner to phonics - which would have more to do with recognizing the written symbol and correlating sound to it). There are some good books out there with fun activities/games you can do together. Also, I think a mix of phonics and reading together is great. I would also get really, really easy beginning readers. Starting to recognize words and patterns is an important part of figuring out the code that is reading. You can also use "baby" books for this purpose if your son is OK with it (doesn't feel like he is being made a baby). The kind of books that have one word per page that corresponds with the picture. A good teacher supply store should have all of these things.

As for math, I would make sure he understands quantity (he can count out how many objects are in a group), then symbol (he recognizes the numbers) and then help him correlate the two. Other typical K math concepts are measurement, time, very simple addition/subtraction. Again, a teacher supply store would have a lot of stuff to teach this - many fun/game type options.
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Old 12-09-2009, 11:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mamadebug View Post
As far as teaching reading, I would get some phonemic awareness books. Phonemic awareness has to do with hearing the sounds in words (like a pre-runner to phonics - which would have more to do with recognizing the written symbol and correlating sound to it).
"Reading Reflex" starts with phonemic awareness activities.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 12-11-2009, 02:26 AM
 
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DS taught himself to read using starfall.com and Bob Books.

Timmy's Mommy WARNINGyslexic typing with help of preschooler, beware of typos
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Old 12-11-2009, 08:47 AM
 
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I have a friend who takes her child to a Kumon center and if you don't want to be making too many curricular decisions, I think that is a good choice.

For our first year of reading instruction we used Teach Your Child to Read in 100 EZ Lessons. I did not follow the scripts to the letter, ask the comprehension questions and deferred the writing instruction. If you stick just to reading, 10 minutes a day should cover a lesson or two.

My personal opinion is that after you play with objects a little bit so that kids understand numbers (which a 5 year old has probably figured out on his own), it's best to just go on and nail down addition facts and algorithms. So we started formal math instruction with math fact drill sheets (+1s, +2s ... +9s) and moved into two digit addition with regrouping (carries) which continues to cement the single digit facts. A few to a dozen such problems a day seem to be adequate.

'Course I'm very anti-new math and note that in very successful math countries (and California) the curriculums are very narrow in scope for K-1-2 and are basically paper and pencil computation.
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