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#1 of 67 Old 10-24-2008, 03:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is a little bit of a vent. I was thinking last week about how kids used to start school at 6 or 7. Then it went to 5. Now kids are expected to go to preschool at 3 or 4 and people keep going on and on about how very important preschool is. It crossed my mind that eventually daycare/preschool is going to be "mandatory" just like public school is starting at the age of 1 or 2. That idea scared the hell out of me. Not two days after I had this thought, I saw an editorial in the local paper about how education MUST start at birth. It was written by a former teacher. She talked about how by the time they get to kindergarten, they've already learned so many bad habits and it's too late for some of them to become good readers or even good citizens.

This freaks me out so much. It feels like we're heading to the point of having kids raised by the government entirely. Mandatory boarding schools even. I know that's probably a little melodramatic, but government education just keeps expanding. From the ages of 3 to 18, most kids are in school. Then they go to college and that's at least 4 more years (even longer now to get a bachelor's degree - it takes most people 5 or 6 years). Used to be with a diploma, you could get a decent job and take care of your family. Now you have to have a bachelor's to make decent money. How much longer before you have to have a master's degree to be able to support your family on one paycheck? It just seems like the push for the government to be in control is getting younger and lasting longer so that they can make sure you're a "good citizen" and be the kind of person they want you to be. KWIM?

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#2 of 67 Old 10-24-2008, 03:43 PM
 
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Yikes.

I agree, it's so much so early and fast. Kids need to play!

My DH never went to preschool and actually started school a year later than most of the other kids his age (Sept bday) b/c he "wasn't ready" according to his mom. He graduated college with almost a 4.0 as an engineer so obviously it isn't important for all kids

I really hope the talk about early childhood programs being available doesn't lead to mandating them

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#3 of 67 Old 10-24-2008, 03:47 PM
 
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Preschool is not important, in my opinion. I don't personally know any children who have went (we don't even have one in our town). These kids are doing perfectly fine in school.

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#4 of 67 Old 10-24-2008, 03:51 PM
 
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i agree. let me climb on my soapbox too!

i absolutely HATE that preschool is so popular. it is rediculous that students entering kindergarten are expected to actually know things beforehand. imo, grade k should be where they learn the alphabet & have play centers, etc....but NOOOO - kids do that stuff at age 1 & 2 now. i'm only 37, & i am floored how my kindergarten days resemble the same thing as a toddler preschool program now. i also find it rediculous that people feel the need to pressure me about what my children know (or don't know)...and what's worse is when i find myself actually caring what they think, ugh...i get so mad at myself!!!! especially with my son...he's only 4!! he isn't even in school at all. he would not be in public school, nor do i consider him to be homeschooled at this point. yet...i have honestly had family and friends ask questions about what he knows. why do they care???? he's 4!

anyway. preach it sista!

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#5 of 67 Old 10-24-2008, 04:04 PM
 
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Public school in Ontario Canada starts at age 3 years 9 months for kids born at the end of December. Boggles the mind. It's called Junior Kindergarten (JK) and is the beginning of regular school, with a adult:child ratio of up to 1 in 20. On a Canadian parenting message board I frequent the education forum is full of posts from moms whose 3- and 4-year-olds cry and don't want to go to school, and of responses that reassure them that this is normal. Yeah, "normal" in that disturbed reality, I don't doubt it.

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#6 of 67 Old 10-24-2008, 06:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by minkajane View Post
She talked about how by the time they get to kindergarten, they've already learned so many bad habits and it's too late for some of them to become good readers or even good citizens.
Because if they can't share or sit still or *READ* by five, then they are lost forever. Attitudes like this just burn my cheese.:

I think it's important to have quality programs available for young children who need them, but the leap to making these programs mandatory is just ludicrous.

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#7 of 67 Old 10-24-2008, 07:59 PM
 
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I agree, it is early. But I think it's probably a positive thing for a lot of parents that have to work and wouldn't have to pay for daycare if their kids could start school earlier.

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#8 of 67 Old 10-24-2008, 08:08 PM
 
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I agree, it is early. But I think it's probably a positive thing for a lot of parents that have to work and wouldn't have to pay for daycare if their kids could start school earlier.
I agree that it is the working parents who will benefit most from school starting at an earlier age.

However, I'm 42 and my dh's mother got my hubby in school a whole year earlier because she was tired of him hanging around the house all day. Jeez. And she wonders why I won't leave her my kids in my will.
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#9 of 67 Old 10-24-2008, 08:25 PM
 
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devil's advocate:

I work in a failing public school where some of the third graders STILL can't read! Going to school early is an ABSOLUTE blessing for some children. It's better that they are in a HeadStart classroom from age 3 instead of at home watching TV all day.

It's too bad that more children don't have the kind of parents that float around here at MDC.

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#10 of 67 Old 10-24-2008, 08:31 PM
 
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I strongly feel kids spend to much time in school. Even though mandatory age for school is usually 5-6 with some states being 7-8 many parents dont know this and send at 5 thinking they HAVE to.

I was talking to mom last night about how the being socialized thing is made into such a big deal that I just dont buy. The only socialization I had and 90% of my generation had is with cousins or siblings.

I think it is fine to send them as long as they want to go but I have heard so many stories about forcing a child to go because they "need" the socialization.

 
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#11 of 67 Old 10-24-2008, 08:43 PM
 
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It was written by a former teacher. She talked about how by the time they get to kindergarten, they've already learned so many bad habits and it's too late for some of them to become good readers or even good citizens.
OK that cracks me up. She needs to follow her logic.

If we used to start later, then SHE started later. Which means that SHE might not be a good citizen or reader, b/c she started later.

I mean, all of us, our parents, their grandparents...are we all just lumps sitting around? Oh no, wait, there have been amazing advances made by people who didn't start school until they were 6 or 7, OR who might not have had official schooling at all. My grandmother, born in 1903, was a traveling schoolteacher when she was single. Rode her horse to students' homes in rural Montana and taught them for awhile, then moved on to other students. But that was a very strong generation of people (hers and those that she taught), but with barely any schooling.

The logic of all of this is bewildering.


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I work in a failing public school where some of the third graders STILL can't read! Going to school early is an ABSOLUTE blessing for some children. It's better that they are in a HeadStart classroom from age 3 instead of at home watching TV all day.
Weeeeellllll. They might not have been in preschool or K, but they HAVE been in formal school for 3 years, right? So if they aren't learning to read yet, I'm not totally sure the home situations should get all the blame... YOu don't get the blame either, I'm sure you're very good at whatever you do in the school, but there is *something* missing that even being in school from 1st to 3rd that isn't teaching them to read, and just being there earlier might not solve that.
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#12 of 67 Old 10-24-2008, 09:05 PM
 
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Having worked for an early intervention program (Healthy Families) I think it will benefit most of us if more children get exposed to things like talking to our infants, toddlers, taking children out of pumpkin seats, having floor time, reading, puzzles, coloring, toys that require imagination, etc. Things that we on this board do as a matter of course but other families without education think are too difficult or not important.

You can't imagine how many families there are where children spend most of the day in the carseat, never spoken to, where there are no books at all, where there are no toys like puzzles, blocks, dolls, imaginative play, etc. These are the families and children that would benefit from FREE preschools so that their children get the stimulation needed to be able to learn to read, learn math, learn music at an appropriate age.

I would disagree with it being REQUIRED. Absolutely. But offering it free to those who would like it I feel would be beneficial to our society as a whole.
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#13 of 67 Old 10-24-2008, 09:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MommyTorf View Post
devil's advocate:

I work in a failing public school where some of the third graders STILL can't read! Going to school early is an ABSOLUTE blessing for some children.
If three three years of public schooling has failed to teach kids to read, then the solution is clearly to give them more of what has failed.

It was my understanding that any benefits of HeadStart programs had worn off by 6th grade at the latest -- most by 3rd grade.

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#14 of 67 Old 10-24-2008, 09:28 PM
 
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I am so puzzled by this push for earlier and earlier. I actually have family members that are worried that my son isn't reading well enough yet. He's 6. I think being an emerging reader is fantastic at that age and would have been comfortable with him learning later, as well. People have this expectation that kids will learn to read in K, anymore. I remember learning the Letter People in 1st grade and being excited when they got to S because he was in my name! K was a way to get kids used to school, and it was optional and partial days. Then it became important and became a full day. Now Pre-K is there to 'get kids ready' for K. It boggles the mind. My idea of K is play-oriented learning, so pre-K is simply play time And now 4K isn't enough, because 3K really teaches the basics and you wouldn't want your child to be behind in 4K - oh horror of horrors. *rolling eyes* And I know people that have kids in 2K. 2K!!! I want to plead, "They are 2...just let them have fun!" but it's all about 'centers' and 'activities' and 'letters' and 'skills' and they all think I'm the crazy one.

I just want kids to have a few years to be kids and to have fun. They have 12 years of education, so I'm in no hurry to get them started. Of course, that's why I homeschool.

As to the situations about working parents and parents with limited interactions with kids...well, I don't see why education would be a solution. Free daycare? Great! I would love to be able to take my kids somewhere fun and interesting and play-filled for free. Teach them letters there? No thanks.

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#15 of 67 Old 10-24-2008, 10:39 PM
 
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I live in Ontario, Canada. Starting in 2010 all kids will attend Junior Kindergarten (must be four years old by December of the registration year so that means there will be kids who might be only three years old starting JK) on a FULL TIME basis. This means that kids who are three or four years old will be going to school each and every day from 9 am to 330pm.

So, now kids here will be going to school full-time from the age of 3/4 until they are 17/18.

Sorry, but I think we have gone down a very dangerous path shipping off our children to institutions of formal education so young and for so long. I think we will realize in 20 or so years that "our" desire to provide more academics will have detrimental affects on society. We will see a whole generation of children come adults who conform to government without question and feel inadequate due to lack of parental/caregiver bonding and individual attention they lacked at such a young age.

The sad thing is that with so many children in daycare now days most parents see this as a great thing. Basically they see it as one less year that they have to pay for daycare. Sadly, daycare and school are VERY different. There are different expectations and rules in place.

I currently provide home daycare. When a child is tired or just needs some alone time they are free to cuddle up or take some time alone. This just will not happen in a school setting. There is gov't curriculum that must be followed regardless of what that one child might need at any particular time during the day.

I worry about what kind of society we are creating.

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#16 of 67 Old 10-24-2008, 10:49 PM
 
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That is crazy about the mandatory school age in Canada. I had no idea!

What irks me about the initial statement is that somehow kids won't be "good citizens." Ack. That's one thing that scares me the most about public schools. (is that too political? )

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#17 of 67 Old 10-24-2008, 10:52 PM
 
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That is crazy about the mandatory school age in Canada.
Just to clarify ... only one out of ten provinces / three territories has an extra year of "Junior KG" tacked on at the beginning. Most of Canada does not.

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#18 of 67 Old 10-24-2008, 10:52 PM
 
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That is crazy about the mandatory school age in Canada. I had no idea!

What irks me about the initial statement is that somehow kids won't be "good citizens." Ack. That's one thing that scares me the most about public schools. (is that too political? )
I should clarify that this is in Ontario and not in all of Canada. And, the education act still clarifies a child does not "have" to attend compulsory school until the age of six.

However, few people know their rights and think kids have to go to school for JK. And, like I said, they also see it as free daycare.

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#19 of 67 Old 10-24-2008, 11:36 PM
 
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OMG Melissa, full time school for 3 year olds? That makes me want to cry...those poor little kids who just want to be with their mamas!

We live in Ontario and somehow I hadn't heard of this. I feel this is a ridiculous amount of stress to place on 3 year olds. My son is currently 3 (born at the very end of December!) and even if I wasn't planning to homeschool him, there is no way I would put him in school even for half days. He's just too young, and not ready for school in many ways. But I can't even begin to imagine putting him in for a full day!

This entire trend is really upsetting to me. Why, oh why can't kids just be allowed to be kids anymore?

Oh this reminds me, on a local website I saw a posting for a workshop which, call me crazy, I find pretty darn disturbing:
Quote:
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is offering a free workshop called "Helping Preschoolers Develop Coping Skills for Life" on Monday, November 17th. This event takes place at Sobeys, Community Centre, 7654 Tecumseh Road East. The workshop begins at 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Help preschoolers develop the resiliency skills they need to bounce back from the stresses of life.
Am I the only one who sees something wrong with that?

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#20 of 67 Old 10-25-2008, 12:38 AM
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Moved from Learning at Home and Beyond to Learning at School...

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#21 of 67 Old 10-25-2008, 12:43 AM
 
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Pre school aka headstart, pre k and K are full time here 3/4 yo are in school from 8-3 every day.

The only difference is pre school and pre k do not make a big deal out of it if you come get your child early while in K 12 days a year is the limit on missing excused or not.

 
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#22 of 67 Old 10-25-2008, 01:39 AM
 
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It really really freaks me out that anyone is going to make rules about where your three or four year old baby should be all day. I'm all for optional flexible programs, but mandatory all day five days a week "class" for three year olds - yikes. No.
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#23 of 67 Old 10-25-2008, 03:12 AM
 
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I'm totally not cool with mandatory schooling for 3 and 4 year olds.

BUT, I did enjoy my part time preschool. I started at age 3 and went until I was 5, and then I started full time K. I LOVED it. I always enjoyed school. But I realize that the needs of every child is different, and I absolutely do not agree with trying to force parent's to put their kids in school at such a young age. I think for some kids (like me) it's a good thing... if they're not getting enough attention or care at home, they could certainly thrive and excel and be around teacher's who will care about them. But for everyone? No.

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#24 of 67 Old 10-25-2008, 03:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MommyTorf View Post
devil's advocate:

I work in a failing public school where some of the third graders STILL can't read! Going to school early is an ABSOLUTE blessing for some children. It's better that they are in a HeadStart classroom from age 3 instead of at home watching TV all day.

It's too bad that more children don't have the kind of parents that float around here at MDC.
Thanks. Now explain why those same headstart kids in my city are still behind and reading at a 3rd grade level in middle school.

It has freaking nothing to do with how soon academics are started. For my state, it has everything to do with the stupid test that schools need to comply to. Take the last school district newsletter. It was all about how many stupid points the damn school acquired in the last year. Nothing about community service, nothing about what that school did. Just simply X school was now up to the bar with Y points.

Points don't matter if a kid is lost in the process.
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#25 of 67 Old 10-25-2008, 03:51 AM
 
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I received a letter in the mail telling me about state school places for my 3yo when he turns 4.
It is full time too: 9 to 15:30. Oh, and my son can't play with anybody his age during the day because they are all in nursery school.

In Denmark where we used to live, kids start at 6 or 7. Yes, most do go to daycare from 1yo (fully paid maternity leave until that time), but they don't do any academic work at all before school age.
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#26 of 67 Old 10-25-2008, 04:19 AM
 
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Preschool isn't a new concept, wealthy families in certain cultures have sent their kids to schools at around 3 yo for quite some time. My dad went to preschool in Ireland in the early 1930s. I went to preschool back in the 1970s. Maria Montessori developed her systems in Italy back in the 1920s.

Public preschools and headstart are being opened to provide all families with an option wealthy families have had for a long time. One of the reasons we bought a house in the town we did was b/c it offered a free preschool. They changed it though the year DS wa born, and we have ended up paying a small fortune to send him to a Montessori preschool , it's ok though b/c he really likes it and it's probably better than the public one was.

I do of course agree that it should remain optional, but I think it's great for some kids.

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#27 of 67 Old 10-25-2008, 04:28 AM
 
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For my working mom (late 1970s), preschool was essentially daycare. She tells me so now. She wanted to work and since there was no one to watch me in this area, she chose preschool because I was 4. Before my parents moved, my grandmother watched me.
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#28 of 67 Old 10-25-2008, 09:09 AM
 
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She talked about how by the time they get to kindergarten, they've already learned so many bad habits and it's too late for some of them to become good readers or even good citizens.
she's absolutely right though, in terms of high-risk kids. mamabain (PP) said it well---you have no idea how deprived some children are in their home environments. Studies have been done that those kids have something like 90% fewer verbal interactions than other children, and the majority of times they are spoken to it is negative (shut up, sit down, don't do that). When your home environment is so impoverished (and I'm not talking finances, I'm talking simple interactions with your parents, positive feedback, hugs) there is no way you can suddenly function in a kindergarten environment 5 years later. I'm not talking about reading, I'm talking about relating to others, making transitions, etc.

It's sad to think about, but there are homes out there where this is the norm. Some of the children involved show behaviors similar to those of institutionalized kids. Your child may not need preschool, but I believe they do.
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#29 of 67 Old 10-25-2008, 09:48 AM
 
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I agree that it is the working parents who will benefit most from school starting at an earlier age.

However, I'm 42 and my dh's mother got my hubby in school a whole year earlier because she was tired of him hanging around the house all day. Jeez. And she wonders why I won't leave her my kids in my will.
I know how it is. I had the same kind of parents. My parents divorced and my mom worked several jobs at a time usually, leaving me in daycare at the age of 4, started school early (graduated at 17), at home with my older siblings before and after school, I walked to the bus alone for years and was a latch-key kid by 10 years old. I hated it and I didn't want my kids to turn out that way so I homeschool them for now.

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Originally Posted by waiflywaif View Post
you have no idea how deprived some children are in their home environments. Studies have been done that those kids have something like 90% fewer verbal interactions than other children, and the majority of times they are spoken to it is negative (shut up, sit down, don't do that). When your home environment is so impoverished (and I'm not talking finances, I'm talking simple interactions with your parents, positive feedback, hugs) there is no way you can suddenly function in a kindergarten environment 5 years later. I'm not talking about reading, I'm talking about relating to others, making transitions, etc.
but those same children "might" (not saying they are) be better off in a school environment each day rather than being home in something more negative or tough on them. So it can certainly go either way.

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