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Old 02-13-2014, 05:06 PM   #41
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Re: Public School Kindergarten in modern times...what do you think?

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That makes me sad hearing about how kindergarten has been for your son, I'm sorry

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Thank you.

Today I had a conference with his teacher. And I'm just as lost on what to do.

And the kicker?? I wrote a note in his agenda for her to send him to my class to have lunch with me as a "parent". [Because I can't leave my class with the Pre-K kiddos]. Anyway, he never comes. And at the conference she told me she didn't let him go because he got in trouble at Art [granted, yes he did. Not following directions, lots of "extra" energy as usual] and she wants to use him having lunch with me as a reward. She [NOT the art teacher] officially wrote him up for it. It's called an RPS at our school [a Request for Parental Support]. Because he was not listening [he was tattling every two minutes during quiet time. Which yes I hate! lol] AND he was just smearing his art project.

BUT I talked to the art teacher and she said she did not write him up but she only wrote up another student for using lots of cuss words.
So obviously it wasn't a big enough deal to write him up for the art teacher, but it was for the teacher

AND hello??? I AM already supporting. I am doing all I can. I've had him evaluated. I have taken everything away at home. It doesn't work.

And now I'm just plain ticked off. Do NOT use my child eating lunch with his parent as a reward.

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Old 02-13-2014, 05:39 PM   #42
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My dd is in k this year and I think it is outrageous. They are really bombarded with a lot right from the start. She is delayed and started behind where she should have been, but has an IEP for speech and learning disability and has a lot of extra help. While it's good for her to have help, it adds to the amount of structured time she has.

Based on what k was for me and what I feel it should be, my dd would not be behind. She started K recognizing most uppercase letters (some lower case) and knowing just a few sounds consistently. She could write her first and last name and recognized a handful of familiar words. She could count to 12 and recognized all numbers. Since starting k, she is learning at a crazy rate! BUT, as impressed as we are...she received an insufficient on her report card in reading and math. That's the lowest she could get. She went from barely recognizing her letters to sounding out 3 letter words in 4 months and she isn't even close to where they want her. She also can count to 100 by 1's and 10's and basic adding and starting to subtract, also "insufficient". She tends to be inconsistent in her skills which is part of the "I" grades.

As much as I don't like how much is expected of her, I can't deny that they are teaching her in a way that works for her. We worked with her so much and never got through to her like her teachers have. My ds recognized all upper and lower case letters before he turned 2 because we worked with dd so much and in so many different ways...so trust me, we tried! She loves school and loves her teachers and doesn't feel stressed by the expectations. I just worry how long she will tolerate moving this fast
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Old 02-13-2014, 05:56 PM   #43
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Re: Public School Kindergarten in modern times...what do you think?

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YES!! Exactly. I can't say Amen loud enough! Some need to do that to learn. Some need to stand by their desk and write. Others need a couple of walk laps around the room, etc, etc.

I hate the whole "every child must fit in the same educational box".
YES!!! The whole concept of pushing 5 year old children to spend most of their day sitting in chair quietly is just awful. I was so fortunate to be able to teach (PreK, 1st and 2nd grades in various years) in a small private school so that I could afford to send my oldest there; and even more so to be able to homeschool my youngest. When kids are ready for this, it's great. When not, it sets up the whole classroom - and especially that child - for difficulties through their entire elementary experience.

By the way, my oldest spend his PreK years in a German "Kindergarten". They did not even attempt to formally teach academic information until the kids were at least 6. 3 and 4 year olds played outside, in the gym, did crafts and cooking (VERY odd to see 4 year olds with paring knives peeling and slicing potatoes!), and played games - through all of which they were practicing fine motor skills, cooperative skills, and learning letters, colors, numbers, literary analysis, etc. At six, they started learning letters and numbers. First grade (at age 7) was what American Kindergarten is now. But, amazingly, by third grade they were all working at or higher than an American third grade level. When kids are ready to learn, they learn fast.
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:56 PM   #44
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Re: Public School Kindergarten in modern times...what do you think?

Way too much , way too soon IMO. Children do not fit in little boxes and should not be required to sit still for hours on end. How would you like to sit and listen to a lecture all day every day ? I know that I for one would tune it out, especially if I was not interested in the topic or had other things on my mind.
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:24 PM   #45
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I don't have much time to comment because I'm headed out, but will comment on my break times.

I'm a teacher. Went from Kindergarten to Pre-K [LOVE this age].

In your opinion do you think the Kindergarten of today is too stringent and demanding of a child?

I will add more later on what I think and why I do, and why I moved to Pre-K!
I agree with it. We are far behind other countries in terms of our childrens education. I will also add that outside of my babywearing, CDing, ERFing, non-vaxing and cosleeping...I don't seem to really fit in here at all.
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Old 02-14-2014, 05:56 AM   #46
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I might get flamed for this, but here goes...

Part of the reason children are pushed so hard in public schools so early now is because parents do not take time to help educate their children.

I have a friend, who has her early childhood education degree. Her first grader still cannot read, and her almost 4 year old doesn't even know his abc's (I'm talking the song here people!). Why? Because she "doesn't feel like" working with them.

So anything they do get taught at school is promptly gone by the time they get home at night. She also doesn't "force" aka doesn't make her child do any homework-she says the teacher gets paid to teach, not her. It's really sad.

With that being said, I do think there is too much structure at too young of an age, at least in our district. However, we are in the top district in the state & I have seen my kids struggle, and then flourish because they were being challenged.

My biggest complaint is they are allowed 15 minutes for lunch. This includes any time they spend in the lunch line-so I can see why they can't talk during lunch (there's no time to eat if you do talk!). I don't however think it's realistic to ask any child to remain quiet for 8 hours a day, nor to shovel food down in less than 15 minutes...but I digress.

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Old 02-14-2014, 06:31 AM   #47
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I'm doing schooling that would allow me to work in a kindergarten class. Ours in Ontario sounds way different. It is full day and children start the year they turn four. It is focused on play. No themes or monthly plans or anything. Everything is supposed to be based on the children's interests. It follows emergent curriculum.

The children learn through their play. It is still in the process of implementation, but my town has it fully implemented. Each class has an ECE and teacher, so ratios aren't crazy. I remember 31 kids and one teacher in my K class
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Old 02-14-2014, 07:14 AM   #48
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Re: Public School Kindergarten in modern times...what do you think?

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Originally Posted by MadAgain View Post
I might get flamed for this, but here goes...

Part of the reason children are pushed so hard in public schools so early now is because parents do not take time to help educate their children.

I have a friend, who has her early childhood education degree. Her first grader still cannot read, and her almost 4 year old doesn't even know his abc's (I'm talking the song here people!). Why? Because she "doesn't feel like" working with them.

So anything they do get taught at school is promptly gone by the time they get home at night. She also doesn't "force" aka doesn't make her child do any homework-she says the teacher gets paid to teach, not her. It's really sad.

With that being said, I do think there is too much structure at too young of an age, at least in our district. However, we are in the top district in the state & I have seen my kids struggle, and then flourish because they were being challenged.

My biggest complaint is they are allowed 15 minutes for lunch. This includes any time they spend in the lunch line-so I can see why they can't talk during lunch (there's no time to eat if you do talk!). I don't however think it's realistic to ask any child to remain quiet for 8 hours a day, nor to shovel food down in less than 15 minutes...but I digress.

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I feel like this is the minority, not that I dont agree with you, parents do at times have a very blase attitude in which they feel "their kid, their way" and they dont have to do anything they dont feel like doing. I feel that some people dont really understand that being a parent is more than attending to the emotional needs of their children. So in that respect I do agree with you for sure. However, the reason children are pushed so much in public school is that this country compares our children to those in other countries and when we look at that, our children are "failing". They feel that we should push more, get them to know more, score better. I feel that they are neglecting the fact, though, that our country is one of the only in the world that teaches this way. To tests, I mean. If you look at the worlds best schools, they are play based and have a more loose attitude, they wait on the readiness of the child and then teach. This is a scientifically superior way to teach a person, something that is not acknowledged in the US
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Old 02-14-2014, 07:46 AM   #49
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I want to know where you see that the best (academically) schools in the world are play based? I agree that our schools are not getting something right, and I used to think play based was the absolute answer. I started my kids off in Waldorf which is the epitome of play based schools in the US. (And a common model for play based European schools as well). I no longer find that the gold standard. There are a lot of kids that get left far behind in Waldorf, and I found that the kids who were thriving academically not only had at home parent help going on; they had complete homeschool programs being implemented when they got home from "school." From my experience in the Waldorf community, this was not limited to our own school by any means. In fact, it seemed our school was better than many others I heard about. There are a lot of things Waldorf has going for them, but I wouldn't call them the academic standard.

I'm sure there is a happy medium, and we are homeschooling right now to explore that. However, the statement that the worlds top tier schools are completely play based, without any supplementation, sounds like the type of propaganda Waldorf uses, so I suppose it ruffled my feathers a bit. However, I'm not completely up to date on my info. I'd love to read what you have about those schools, because I am still exploring different methods and could use all of the info I can get.

ETA: I forgot to quote. This is in response to sunnyllamas post above.

ETAA: and I'm not referring to just play based Kindergarten. All of Waldorf grades are loose and more "play" based. And they delay all academics until children are ready to handle it (according to Waldorf), like the above post by sunnyllama suggests (child readiness). So they don't teach ABCs in K through fun games. They just play. No academics involved whatsoever.

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Old 02-14-2014, 07:59 AM   #50
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There is no homework in K in Vancouver. The only only homework before Gr 4 is home reading and maybe spelling words in Gr 2/3. My dd is in Gr4 now and there is homework every other week and nightly home reading/spelling.

I think this is the way it should be. 5 hours of formal education per day is sufficient and more importantly, homework at young ages is just homework for parents because very few kids can do it independently. If I thought I could be a good teacher, I would homeschool!!
That's good to know. I was starting to get worried when I heard the stories on here. I don't mind reading to my kid every night, since we do that anyway, but homework in kindergarten just seems crazy.
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