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Old 02-13-2014, 09:07 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Rhianna'sMommy
But there is one boy who didn't even know his letters 2 months into school yet and was already hopelessly behind the other kids who were up to 15 sight words (I think) and reading simple books. He couldn't sound out words because he didn't know his letters. I have talked with several teachers that say he just isn't ready to learn that stuff maturity-wise and by the time he is he'll be so far behind that he'll probably never get caught up. It is a horrible cycle for those kids because there is a good chance when their brain is ready that they have huge potential but are too far behind to show it.
This makes me sad because I think given the space and time to mature and develop this child you're describing (and so many other kids like him-- including maybe my own child) would probably easily be able to "show his potential." I'm not saying some kids wouldn't still struggle but I think if reading was taught at a more developmentally appropriate time then more kids could be successful from the beginning and learn to love school! I don't think it puts others who may be ready early at a disadvantage because they could still learn concepts through play and games and having fun like you mentioned later in your post.

ETA-- My child is learning to read in kindergarten just fine but it's hard and not much fun and I think it is going to affect his love for learning as he grows. Also he struggles a lot with comprehension and social skills which affects his understanding of what he reads because he has ASD... but I think many children could benefit from more focus on social skills learning in kindergarten.

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Old 02-13-2014, 09:08 AM   #22
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Re: Public School Kindergarten in modern times...what do you think?

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I taught kindergarten 10 years ago and felt that it was getting out of hand even then. No recess in half day K and only one 15 minute recess allowed in full day K. It was ridiculous. My students managed to meet all the academic standards without homework or excessive table work. A friends son is in K now and has a ridiculous amount of homework. The teacher even gave daily homework to do over Christmas vacation! I wish we would just let our kids be little and allow them to learn in a developmentally appropriate manner.
Oh yes, I forgot about holiday homework. They get it on Thanksgiving week, the 2 weeks of Christmas, and the one week of spring break. And I will be totally honest [this coming for a teacher ]
I don't have my children do it. It is a VACATION! I let them enjoy it. We were in Ohio visiting family this past Christmas. My children had never spent a Christmas with their Paternal Grandparents. One of whom has stage 4 cancer. You better believe I did not do homework, but them enjoy that vacation fully.

I do agree that Kinder can be great for those who are ready [my oldest was!!], but awful for those who are not. Especially when it is rigorous.

The extremely funny thing is my youngest comes home with those straight faces nearly every day because he talked during lunch or he shouted out an answer, or he talked or played with a friend in specials [you know, the one where they have to sit and listen for 45 minutes.]

Yet for the all the "trouble" he gives, he is totally on target, knows his stuff, placed in the 80th/90th percentile in their testing. So he IS learning!
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:09 AM   #23
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We actually plan to skip formal prek with our boys and go straight to k. DH is a prek aide and works with DS1 all the time but for tiny amounts of time. They count Cheerios at breakfast, split them into groups and add, talk about colors while reading, learn letters while doing a puzzle, etc. no formal structure so learning is fun and when he has no joy or attention for concepts, he just plays or chats instead.

I am concerned about how they will handle k. I had all day k in 1985 but we had 3 recess, lunch, free play, and nap time. We had built in down time and our teachers didn't expect us to sit quietly for the entire day.

Heck, DS1 will be 4 in less than a month and I can't get him to sit still for 30 min unless he's in front of the tv.

K is way too intense and structured for the majority of kids, especially the barely 5 year olds.

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Old 02-13-2014, 09:11 AM   #24
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Re: Public School Kindergarten in modern times...what do you think?

I'm pretty happy with my son's kindergarten teacher this year. She doesn't send home any homework except for the little books they are learning to read in class. We're asked to read them to and with him a couple times each evening. It takes about 2 minutes and he loves it. I'm not huge on homework in elementary school at all, but especially not kindergarten. He's learning just fine without it. Do I think kids should be made to do paperwork at his age and forced to learn stuff? Nope. But if they enjoy it, I think it should be available to them. He enjoys learning and likes to go to school. I've had kids who didn't and weren't ready for the formal learning at 5 or 6, so I've seen both sides.
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:23 AM   #25
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Re: Public School Kindergarten in modern times...what do you think?

It is ridiculous. There is such a broad range of normal abilities/readiness at that age. Yes, some children are ready for it (and then some), but some are not and I really think it damages them if they are not ready to meet the expectations. We homeschool, and even if I wasn't planning on homeschooling throughout, I most definitely would the first 3-4 years for that reason. My oldest was reading chapter books at 4 and needed more challenges, but dd2 was not ready to read until around age 7. In public school my oldest would have been bored out of her mind and my second dd frustrated and feeling inadequate.
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:32 AM   #26
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Re: Public School Kindergarten in modern times...what do you think?

I'm so torn.

We are in a top school district in our state but our state is one of the lowest ranked for public schools.

My ds is way ahead and is in K. I know he could get so much more at home. I feel he looses things at school.

My ds loves school so we send him and I'm not sure if I have the discipline to homeschool. I was a teacher and dh is 3 credits shy of his doctorite in education but won't go and complete it.

All that said I do feel all day K and some of the things they test them on us a bit much. I think it's frustrating for teachers too bc it seems everything is a test or an evaluation and the "paperwork" for them takes away from alot of the joy of teaching.
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:35 AM   #27
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Re: Public School Kindergarten in modern times...what do you think?

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Oh yes, I forgot about holiday homework. They get it on Thanksgiving week, the 2 weeks of Christmas, and the one week of spring break. And I will be totally honest [this coming for a teacher ]
I don't have my children do it. It is a VACATION! I let them enjoy it. We were in Ohio visiting family this past Christmas. My children had never spent a Christmas with their Paternal Grandparents. One of whom has stage 4 cancer. You better believe I did not do homework, but them enjoy that vacation fully.

I do agree that Kinder can be great for those who are ready [my oldest was!!], but awful for those who are not. Especially when it is rigorous.

The extremely funny thing is my youngest comes home with those straight faces nearly every day because he talked during lunch or he shouted out an answer, or he talked or played with a friend in specials [you know, the one where they have to sit and listen for 45 minutes.]

Yet for the all the "trouble" he gives, he is totally on target, knows his stuff, placed in the 80th/90th percentile in their testing. So he IS learning!
I have a friend with 6 boys and she refers to teaching them as "ballistic homeschooling". She gives homeschool lectures and often tells the story of homeschooling her oldest and how exasperated she was the first year. She tells how one day she was reading a lesson to him and he was sitting in his chair upside down, and "drumming" on the underside of the table with his pencils the whole time she was reading aloud. She was angry, frustrated, and gave up after that for the day. Later, she overheard him telling her husband all about what she had read to him, in detail. She quickly discovered that her son learned best while being active in some way.
My oldest reads while listening to music on headphones. Drives me nuts, but she actually absorbs things better that way. I can't understand it, but it works for her. She consistently scores above the 90th percentile on standardized tests.
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:36 AM   #28
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Re: Public School Kindergarten in modern times...what do you think?

My daughter is the youngest in her class and is doing fine (okay, she's doing great) but imo, not enough play, too much work. In her opinion too. She comes home sometimes and says she didn't get a break all day. I would be thrilled, totally thrilled, if she was allowed to just play with a little bit of work. The teacher told me that she always wants to give them time to play but that she runs out of time. I would also be thrilled with a half day of K, like it was in pre-k, which was also work, only a half day of it.
Pre-k was not a babysitting service. It was in a school in the district, and that is the place where my daughter learned her letters and numbers, counting syllables, days of the week, and how to conduct herself properly in a school setting.

My daughter is so sensitive and artistic that I wish that I could have afforded Waldorf school for her, at least until 2nd grade, but we just couldn't do it. The situation with the schools nowadays breaks my heart. I'm just grateful that they still do specials, like art and music and library regularly.

eta. there is 5 pages of Pearson math,
5 out of 10 language arts exercises to be done,
1 visual story to be retold,
sight word flash cards to be reviewed nightly
and a new book to be read and rated every night over the course of a week.

I'm sure that probably seems completely overwhelming for struggling kids and I'll bet those parents think the teacher is nuts. For my daughter it's a "do it with her eyes closed" sort of thing.
There have been quite a few examples of one size fits all teaching this year and I'm not sure what that is born of. My daughter knows how to add 2 different numbers with no problem, but the flash cards that have been sent home just this week are of the (0 + 1 = ?) variety and reviewing them is a bit of a joke for us. Why would the teacher send this stuff home when my daughter is downright advanced in math? She's sending F books home - why not do the same with math? It's annoying.
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:40 AM   #29
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Re: Public School Kindergarten in modern times...what do you think?

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Originally Posted by syfitz View Post
I have a friend with 6 boys and she refers to teaching them as "ballistic homeschooling". She gives homeschool lectures and often tells the story of homeschooling her oldest and how exasperated she was the first year. She tells how one day she was reading a lesson to him and he was sitting in his chair upside down, and "drumming" on the underside of the table with his pencils the whole time she was reading aloud. She was angry, frustrated, and gave up after that for the day. Later, she overheard him telling her husband all about what she had read to him, in detail. She quickly discovered that her son learned best while being active in some way.
My oldest reads while listening to music on headphones. Drives me nuts, but she actually absorbs things better that way. I can't understand it, but it works for her. She consistently scores above the 90th percentile on standardized tests.
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".
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:42 AM   #30
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Re: Public School Kindergarten in modern times...what do you think?

DS gets optional homework over breaks. For Christmas she sent home a packet. Each kid can decided what they wanted to do. Whatever pages they did--some were just coloring or cut and paste-- they earned a big fuzzie (which is her reward system). I think DS did a few pages. It was his choice.

I work for a different school district and have been in their lunch rooms during lunch and the atmosphere is completely different (they are the no talking during lunch and the lights get shut off) that at my DS's school.

I forgot for K, DS also got nap/rest time every afternoon for the first 3/4 of the school year.

Now in 1st, they eat lunch late so they have snack time in the morning which is great. The snack has to be non messy and something they can eat while doing center work.
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