Kindergartener already "behind"???? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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#31 of 40 Old 09-02-2004, 04:24 PM
 
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As a former K teacher, I think talking to the teacher was a good first move. It is true that expectations from the state and federal level have drastically changed what is expected from young children. But, teachers and parents can still make learning relevant and enjoyable for children.

I would suggest using your child's interest to help him learn his letters. Here are a few activities I have had success with in the past.

Instead of just rote memorization of letters, you can make a letter book. Don't do it in order. Start with the letters he already knows. Have him write them out on the page. Illustrate it with things he knows that start with that letter. After he has mastered those letters add more slowly. You can also use photographs or cut out pictures for more fun.

Many children retain information easier when they write it themselves and see it in familiar everyday settings. You may want to label things in your house. Then the labels can be used for "teachable moments." Make sure you let him do the labeling. He may then notice that couch and cabinet start with the same letter and sound the same, but chair doesn't sound the same.

PM me if you would like more suggestions, I have a million.
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#32 of 40 Old 09-02-2004, 04:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyn
A recommendation for increasing fine motor skills is playing with beeswax or modeling clay (beeswax is nicer because it smells great and warms in your hands) and knitting. My son could barely write his name until he learned to knit. Now his teacher compliments him on his penmenship and his cursive writing. Good luck all!
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Originally posted by 2boysandadog
Katana,
Here are some suggestions for fine motor skills improvements:
kneading bread dough, threading objects, cutting with scissors, painting, drawing w/ sidewalk chalk, drawing in sand. Do a quick search for fine motor skills on google and you'll get some pages w/ other great ideas.
Thank you both, for these suggestions. I really appreciate it.

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And, as I said, my dh will not go for holding him out another year and since I'm obviously so bad at teaching my kids stuff homeschooling would be a terrible idea for us.
2boysandadog, you are not bad at teaching your kids stuff. I don't believe that, at all. You sound like a wonderful, concerned, caring mama.

At our house, ds does not learn academic things from me. That is not what I'm there for. I'm there for hugging and kissing and comforting and talking to. And I've accepted that. He started learning his letters and numbers when he was two, and he learned them from dh or my mom, with me, he always got distracted or frustrated.

For a long time, especially last year, I felt like such a failure. I'm his mother, and I couldn't help him write, or do workbooks, he didn't want me to help him. But he'd spend hours with dh or my mom, or by himself, doing them.

So, I've let it go. I will do what I can for him, but not feel bad that other people work better with him when it comes to 'school' work.

If that makes any sense.

Thoesly, I really liked all of your posts.
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#33 of 40 Old 09-02-2004, 04:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Katana
Thoesly, I really liked all of your posts.
Thanks for the kind words!

And OP, I just realized how many times I posted. Please forgive me for hijacking your thread. I'll shut up now.
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#34 of 40 Old 09-02-2004, 04:47 PM
 
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Originally posted by thoesly
Thanks for the kind words!

And OP, I just realized how many times I posted. Please forgive me for hijacking your thread. I'll shut up now.
I hope you keep chiming in, as it's really helping me to hear a teacher's perspective. Especially that there are still teachers are out there who care and want to help children in the public school arena.

You're helping this overemotional mom put a lot of things into perspective.

Hope you don't mind me gushing.
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#35 of 40 Old 09-02-2004, 06:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Katana
Hope you don't mind me gushing.
I adore gushing! (But I'm not real good at shutting up!)

This thread has reminded me of a former co-teacher who said we should make our own motto separate from our various school districts. The district mottos always embraced high-sounding ideals about equality of education that meant teachers spent time rating everything kids did to form a "Body of Evidence" (how horrible is that?) to "prove" students had achieved standard #598 or whatever in our class.

His idea for a teacher motto: We gotta teach these kids!
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#36 of 40 Old 09-03-2004, 10:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by thoesly
Thanks for the kind words!

And OP, I just realized how many times I posted. Please forgive me for hijacking your thread. I'll shut up now.

No, no, no. Please don't shut up. I'm jotting down some of what you said. I was trying to quote and respond but I'm still learning how to use that so I'll have to try sometime when my 2 year old isn't whining and I can think. Thanks for all the wise advice.
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#37 of 40 Old 09-03-2004, 12:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 2boysandadog
No, no, no. Please don't shut up. I'm jotting down some of what you said. I was trying to quote and respond but I'm still learning how to use that so I'll have to try sometime when my 2 year old isn't whining and I can think. Thanks for all the wise advice.
Thanks for being so nice about it! If you figure out all the computer options, let me know. I just figured out the quote thing a few months ago, and I doubt I'll ever figure out how to link to a thread. (It's been explained to me several times -- I just seem to have an inability to grasp even basic computer concepts -- whenever I edit a thread, it's usually for "computer ineptitude.")
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#38 of 40 Old 09-03-2004, 01:22 PM
 
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I read this earlier in the week and didn't have time to respond, but I have a minute now. I think it is crazy all that is going on in kindergarten. My husband teaches it and he is in the middle with literacy. He adds all the activities he can that are fun and unintrusive, but he refuses to do the intense reading activities with the whole class. He'll do something with the small group who seem ready. Of course, the darling K teacher at the school starts the year with a half full word wall up and cuts down on recess to do more reading. And the teachers that let there children play more are constantly reminded by the principal and first grade teachers what they want.

My son is only 2, but we are not going to put him in an overly academic kindergarten. Reading is, to some extent developmental. I've seen kids in 3rd grade where it suddenly clicks. I always feel bad about the stress they've lived through because they didn't read earlier. I also wanted to add that headstart reg's "require" students to know 5ish letters by the end of the program (I could be remembering this wrong -- but I know that was a big change from not teaching letters before kindergarten). I don't know if that info will help at all, but it may if someone is telling you what your child should know since it contradicts even (federal?) standards.
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#39 of 40 Old 09-03-2004, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by thoesly
Yes, most teachers *do* know about child development, and many of them are not happy about the demands being placed on them. Teachers do not set curriculum for their individual classrooms. They are told by the school district what goals must be accomplished, and they must do their best to help students reach those goals. The good teachers (and I've only met a handful that I wouldn't classify as "good") figure out how to make it fun.
Here the curriculum, or at least the "goals" are set by the state. Talk about top-down. The teacher is supposed to be good as far as making it fun in class and she does, it's just that feeling of "oh no, he's headed for remedial classes" that scares me. Do they get one of those IEPs if they get moved to that, though?

Sarasprings,
Bravo for your hubby. And thanks for the info on head start. I found out today at a picnic, talking to other moms, that 4 of his classmates have already been thru private K, so that certainly skews the expectations! No wonder he looks so "behind!" :
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#40 of 40 Old 09-03-2004, 05:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2boysandadog
Do they get one of those IEPs if they get moved to that, though?
It may depend on your state, but my guess is no -- at least, not a "real" one. An IEP (Individualized Education Plan) is for children who have an identified condition that interferes with their ability to receive an education in a "typical" manner. IEPs have goals and accommodations and they spell out exactly how much time a child receives from specialists (speech/language, occupational therapy, mental health, etc). A child who meets the legal criteria for "learning disabled" would receive one, but a kid who just needs a little "catch up" would not. IEPs are legally binding documents that can be wielded in a court of law, so school districts don't go out of their way to create more than they must.

Always remember, you are the parent, and even if they want to put your child in a remedial class (not sure they have those anymore -- they were considered discriminatory when I was teaching), you can refuse. As long as you always keep the focus on what is best for your child, you can be at peace and they will be more inclined to work with you (In other words, saying, "He doesn't need . . ." and "This would not be good for him because . . . " will get you much further than "I don't want . . ." because it's supposed to be all about the child -- does that make sense?)
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