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My six year old has been challenging in a new way lately so I got this book from the library. Let me first say it's like they have a camera in our house :LOL It's very nice to read she's developmentally normal when she says she hates me, or rolls her eyes and give me a snotty tone about something
:LOL

ANYWAY, I already started a thread on this on Childhood Years, but this post is more about homeschooling.

I read through the section on School just out of curiosity. It reads like an argument for homeschooling
(though of course they never mention homeschooling and numerous comments throughout assume the child is in school).

The authors seem to think that kids are pushed too fast in school (and keep in mind this was written in the 70's). They talk of how active six year olds are and state that most first grade classrooms are not realistic in their "sit at your desk and pay attention" expectations for kids this age. They strongly suggest children should not start first grade unless they are at LEAST six and a half years old by the beginning of the year because the relative freedom of Kindergarten is much more suited to this age.

They did stress that it's not so much chronological age, but developmental age that makes a child ready or not and they have a short (not comprehensive) list of what to look for. Their point being, your six year old could be the smartest kid in the country but if her body is not yet ready to sit at a desk and pay attention, she will be miserable in first grade.

They mention half day first grade as being a great idea! I never heard of that. From what I've heard, even many Kindergartens are now going to full day. They mention a school in Ct that tried out half day first grade and the results were great. The teachers reported less student fatigue, greater attention spans AND at the end of the year the kids were at the same level as kids in full day first grade. I wonder if anyone still does this? My six year old misses the age cut-off here by one week but it blows me away that in other towns and states she would be "old enough" for first grade. I just can't imagine this little girl having to sit at a desk and pay attention for hours every day (let alone being away from her mom and brother for that long!).

They also lament that many kindergarten classrooms are now trying to teach reading to 5 year olds. The authors say that formal reading education should not start til 7 because many 6 year olds are still reversing letters. They don't say refuse to teach your child or hold them back. They say let the child do it at their pace and that most kids will at least start to learn to read on their own by 6. And they briefly mention that trying to teach a child to read before they are ready can actually slow their acquisition of the skill.

It's a very interesting chapter, that's for sure
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ShannonCC
They mention half day first grade as being a great idea! I never heard of that. From what I've heard, even many Kindergartens are now going to full day. They mention a school in Ct that tried out half day first grade and the results were great. The teachers reported less student fatigue, greater attention spans AND at the end of the year the kids were at the same level as kids in full day first grade. I wonder if anyone still does this?

There was a lot of educational experimentation going on in the '70s (remember "open classrooms?") so it wouldn't surprise me if half day 1st grade was tried, nor would I be surprised that it was an improvement over full day school.

Fast forward to the 2000's and I don't know of any schools around here that have half-day K. Too many people need childcare during the day
and the rest are caught up in the race to keep up, be competitive, and not be left behind. You know, if you don't start early, the kids will never get into Harvard and THEN what kind of life will they have?
 

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Yeah, I think it's daycare too. I think all the kindergartens around here are full day too, but I'm sure there are *some* half day still out there, right?

I was in grade school in the 70's and I think it was pretty normal classroom situations. What's an "open classroom"? We had your standard desks, all lined up to face the board. I do remember that first grade was fun though and we got to get up out of our seats and run around a bit
And Kindergarten was just playing with blocks and sandtables and all sorts of fun and nothing academic. Actually, my first few years of school weren't bad. It wasn't til about 4th grade that it started going down hill for me :LOL

But I digress . . . .
:LOL
 

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I read that book (Your Six Year Old) too. It really is pretty good, once you get through all the culturally imbedded stuff.

I remember back when my older daughter was little, hearing other parents talk about how their kids really had an attitude once they went off to school all day (in other words, once their kids were about 6yo). I was so smug, thinking we were going to be hunky-dory because we weren't doing the school-thing. Little did I realize that the attitude was simply a function of being 6 years old. I'm glad we didn't exacerbate the situation by having to deal with school -- dd is one of those who tries to be on best behavior in public, then lets loose when she gets home.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ShannonCC
I was in grade school in the 70's and I think it was pretty normal classroom situations. What's an "open classroom"? We had your standard desks, all lined up to face the board.
That's what we had too--the desks in rows, etc. But my younger sister had an open classroom one year--they didn't have desks, but tables, and all around the room were "stations" where the kids could go and do different experiments or projects, there was a reading corner... It was leaning towards "child led learning" but not all the way. The idea was that things were open and there was group learning going on.

I was so jealous, because it sounded way better to me than the rows of desks that I had and the assignments like "read the chapter and answer the questions at the end" that I always seemed to be working on. Our parents hated it though.

sorry to drag this ot...
 

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I know that in, "Your Three Year Old" book, the author says, "You do NOT have to teach your preschooler to read." It was said twice, for emphasis. I agree with that sentiment. It's good to know, for me anyway, that that "no rush" attitude is carried over into the subsequent books.
 

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It sounds like I need to check out those books. Thanks for mentioning them.

I remember when I was little we didn't start reading until 1st grade. Mallory could read just about anything by the end of kindergarten and she turned five 2 wks before K started. I think she is just a natural reader. Savannah will be 6 next month, and she is having trouble even remembering all the letters by name. I'm glad we're homeschooling now, offically as of last Friday at 2:25.
We can work on her schedule now w/out feeling like I need to "keep up" w/ her teacher's ideas.

Thanks!
 

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Here in California, a child doesn't have to turn 6 until December 2 to qualify for first grade! And the testing mania is so outrageous that I hear of kindergarteners who have tummy aches from all the pressure of testing.


That being said, both my children went to all day kindergarten at a private school - and both of them loved it. It was a little bit of academics in the morning, lots and lots of play time, and free choice time, and then hands on art, music, yoga, etc. in the afternoon. The school philosophy took a turn after that toward more intensive academics (read: workbooks, workbooks, and more workbooks), and each of my children left that school and came home in the 2nd grade.

I felt weird putting my kids in all day kindergarten, but I hadn't come to the homeschooling idea yet, and the public school was already tried and rejected. All the private schools around here other than parochial schools and Waldorf have all day kindergarten (and our Waldorf school seemed very strict and, well, cold to me). That way they can still charge you full tuition!
If it's done right, it doesn't have to be a terrible thing. I think the terrible part of the current mania for all day kindergarten is the push for academics. I know of public schooled kindergarten classrooms where children are expected to be able to read, and write in sentences by the end of the school year!


Shannon: I love the Gesell Institute books, "Your _____ Year Old" and have recommended them to parents for years. Then, when I had my own kids, they explained so much. It really was like they could see into our home, and into the minds and hearts of my kids.

Laura
 

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Hello all, this is very interesting, I was just on the web yesterday looking for private schools for my kids they are 5 and 7 kinder and 2nd grade, my 2nd grader, Robbie is having trouble with reading and they have finally firgured it out. and well my kindergartener is another story, she seems to be behind, I have noticed that she seems to be slow, she's also started to studder some and can't quite get out what she means, the other kids are not being very nice to her at school and to top it off shes very senitive, she knows that there not being nice to her she tells me they are mad at her.. poor things. I don't know what to do. I work part time during the week and just cant do home school. I think allot of the problem here is they have 30 kids in the class, they started that last year, they come in an hour or 2 appart and stay longer, somehow they are getting around the 20 student thing, I"m in california too. I think something needs to be done about the class size, the teacher said the pace picks up after christmas and she might have to do kindergarten again, well I dont think so, they havent even done any test yet. I believe the way this teacher yells at everyone shes to affaid to do any work. well just wondering if anyone has any idea on where to go from here.
Thanks
Joy
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Joy, if you are interested in homeschooling at all, try starting a thread about it here. I know there are working moms on this board who homeschool (some single moms, some who juggle shifts with dad, some who work at home, etc.). Maybe you could get some advice on how to homeschool and work. If you don't want to homeschool though, try going to the school board to get advice on how to work out the school problems. Good luck to you!

Yeah, I did have some culture shocks reading this book
Like the part where it said that a little six year old can be taught that girls don't call boys
(they did stress that this was in the current culture - it still made me laugh). Or the parts that mentioned spanking. They *never* suggested it themselves and seemed to be disagreeing with it when mentioned, but it was mentioned a few times (in examples of problems real families were having). Stuff like that. Overall, a book I'd recommend though.

I made dh take it to work and ordered :)LOL) him to read it. I'll definitely take out the 7 year old one next so we can prepare


Little did I realize that the attitude was simply a function of being 6 years old. I'm glad we didn't exacerbate the situation by having to deal with school

This is what I think. From what I can see, homeschooled kids are still kids. They still can be annoying, mean, cliquey at times. But (also IMO) it's far less than if they were in school. I think school is a great place for bad behaviors like this to flourish while when homeschooling it's not as likely to get out of control. It's still there, just not so much, yk?
 
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