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We are new to school -- my ds1 started PT kindergarten this year. It is going okay, although much of what I feared would happen (coming from a homeschool philosophy) is happening. They do a lot of worksheets. He finds it boring. There is no time to play and he's not making new friends because they have no "downtime." He complained last week that there are toys in the classroom, but never any time to play with them!

I asked the teacher about that, and she said that they are Duplos that they use for some learning activities later on, and she's been considering putting them in the closet because they are so tempting. And that she used to have a play kitchen and tool box in the room, but took them home, because there was no space and time for them. It's all those stupid academic standards they have to learn, of course. i don't even want to bring home picture books about kindergarten, because they always talk about their dress-up corners, and art class, and playing with blocks -- my ds does none of that in school.

I think it sucks. It seems like full-day kindergarten is the answer but honestly? I'm happy to still have him home for half the day now. I think a full day of school is an awfully long day for a five-year-old.

It seems to me like my bright little guy is going to burn out on school sooner than later. I have the option of homeschooling and may very well do so, but it still kills me that 99% of the kids in our town have to go through this (not to mention the teachers).

So, what can one person do? The PTA seems to be all about fundraisers and Boxtops and the like. It seems like other parents are vaguely dissatisfied, but that's it. Where could I begin, or is it just an impossible task?
 

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Is it public or private? How big is the school? It seems that it might be easier to make changes in a private school than in a public one, and in a smaller one than in a larger one.

I am afraid that many traditional schools place such emphasis on academics these days, and I also am not certain this is the best approach for littler kids. We are starting in a traditional school (our local public system), but my heart tells me it's not the best thing. Unfortunately, the schools I really like (such as two nearby Montessori schools) are cost prohibitive. I mean, really cost prohibitive.
So we're tentatively trying this, and if we don't like it, we'll figure something else out.

Good luck to you.
 

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Complain and complain some more, then take them out of school. Really I know what you are going through. They won't listen. There are too many other parents that want their kids to do all the work. They want their kid to be reading by the end of k. They want to see all the work sheets they are doing.
I finally spoke up at my ds's 4th grade back to school night and all my friends just sat with their heads down. No one agreed with me. So i guess you are one of the few. I am right there with you. Good Luck!
 

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Poor baby!


I do not know what you could do to change the situation in the school, but I would definitely change it for my little one! Last resort, I would pull him out, put him in another pre K, which actually uses brains in early childhood education or homeschool him.

The other thing you might could try, is to do some research, where scientist have done studies, that prove that too much and too early introduction to academics can be actually damaging to the child. There is loads of info out there on that subject, including books and specific studies. Check out David Elkind (" Miseducation:preschoolers at Risk" or "The Hurried Child"), Jane M. Healy Ph.D.("Endangered Minds- Why Children Don't think and what we can do about it"). The Internet has also a ton on it.
Make a research file and take that to the school board, armed with solid background information they might give you a better chance.

I am sure a lot of teachers know about the bad teaching techniques they have to use and are under huge pressure themselves, but a lot of the boards are not even willing to listen to them.
No wonder that homeschooling has gained such popularity!
I hope it works out for your little one either way!
 

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I'm so sorry. I teach kinder. We do not have centers like the ones you see in books. We never play. We do not have any toys in the room. We do not have recess or snack. We are focused only on academics. There is no time for developmentally appropriate kinder activities. We're not even allowed craft projects.

Why?

No Child Left Behind Act. There is no time. Kinder is all about the academics now. You probably will not get to fight this one.
 

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Man, when I taught Kinder, we had all of those centers. If I were to go back, I'd do it the same way. I have proof that it works-- my daughter. I never had her do worksheets, yet she's reading very well (she's in KG). She learns from life experiences, from things that are meaningful. Don't we all? I know, I'm preaching to the choir here.

My DD is in full-day KG. There are definitely things I do not like. They are making her do silly work-- like initial sounds books-- even though she reads a few grade levels ahead. (We are going in to meet with the teacher about this.) BUT, on the plus side, every day they have choice time. They have recess twice a day. Snack time. PE daily. Art and music 2Xs a week each. Everyday Math. I'd push to try to get those things . . .at least it makes the boring stuff just one part of the day.

If you think HSing would work, I'd go for it.
 

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Wow, that's terrible! Our kindys do have centers and the kids play in them. I'm sorry your son has so much pressure so young! Though here I think it starts more in 1st grade...I really do hope this teaching to the test ends, hopefully with the next election!
 
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