WWYD-preschooler way ahead of other kids

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Registered: 03-27-2003
WWYD-preschooler way ahead of other kids
22
Wed, 09-17-2003 - 9:06pm
My 4yo just started a new preschool, it runs 4 days a week, 2.5 hrs. Its a mix of special learning kids and (for lack of a better term) *regular* kids. Its for ages 3-5.

First off, ds LOVES it. So I'm not seriously considering taking him out. Plus its very convenient location-wise (we live in a more rural area nowadays, and its only 10 minutes away). The teachers are nice, its clean, etc.

The problem is the curriculum-or should I say lack thereof?! I've noticed already that even the children who are not developmentally challenged seem to be WAY behind my ds. And nothing wrong with that, I know all kids are different.

I guess I am concerned that he is going to a)get bored and b) not learn much of anything. At his old preschool, they learned to write their names, did basic counting and colors, etc. It was more of a pre-k style program. Now they do story time, lots of free play and outside play, sing songs. Which is *ALL* great, but I had kind of hoped he'd have just a BIT more structure.

I dont know if I should try to casually mention something to the teacher, maybe ask what the curriculum plans are for later in the year, or wait and see. I dont want to come across like an overbearing mom, and I really am for the most part fine with the school. Should I just concentrate more on supplementing at home and just write this off as fun social time? He really is into learning, he has actually been trying to learn to tell time and to read. Should I be looking for a program that is more *advanced*??? I feel like maybe I am selling him short in some ways by keeping him there, but he does love it and like I said, there are lots of positives to it.

wwyd??

dj

Dj

"Now when I need help, I look in the mirror" ~Kanye West~

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Wed, 09-17-2003 - 9:20pm
Well, I would start by thinking about what you want your son to get out of this program. Different parents want different things out of pre-k programs. And different kids need different things out of the, and some kids don't need them at all. DD didn't need one at all. DS needed the structure of one, along with a curriculum.

I don't see anything at all wrong with talking to the teacher about the curriculum and her plans for the year. In fact, if you don't already know that info, I would ask anyway.

So, my advice? Really look at your son, and what he needs out of a program. If it is just socialization, this might be the program for him! I have always supplemented some at home, especially with DD, who is way above grade level in everything. And that might have to be an option for you, especially if he stays advanced.

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-28-2003
Wed, 09-17-2003 - 10:07pm
Hello,

I would definitely prefer lots of free play, stories, and songs for your sons age. He is actally learning a lot more, not only socially but intellectually than he would from strict structured lessons. children that learn to read and write earlier have no long term benefits from that, and they miss out on other experiences they would make otherwise. Songs and stories are ideal for language development at this age. Children learn to listen, concentrate, memorize and remember. Most teachers follow stories with a discussion, where children learn to speak in full correct sentences, and to state there opinion as well as to wait their turn, to listen to others and to respect others opinion. Also have you checked out the learning material and toys offered for free time? Are there enough teachers to help and assist children individually during free play? if there is a good variety of material and sufficient teachers available every child will learn at there his/her own pace and by choice. At this age this will benefit your son much more than lessons. If he is truely interested in writing and reading work with him at home, and ask the teachers if they have material for him (letters, books, pens and paper) to practise more.

I have a degree in early childhood education and have worked in a daycare center like your son's for years; at the moment I'm staying home with my 2 year old.

Also ask the teachers when, why and how they chose activities or not to have activities.

They may be doing more than you think ;-)

Katharina
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 09-18-2003 - 5:53am
Personally, I think parents worry too much about academics at too early an age. Let him enjoy the free play, outside play, and songs, especially if he really likes it. If he didn't like it, then yes, I would say find something different but if he's happy, why consider moving him?

Sue

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 09-18-2003 - 7:24am
I am reading a very good book about this topic, "The blessings of a skinned knee." It's about raising "ordinary" children and accepting the fact that our children are not the exceptional people we want them to be. It home on alot of areas for me.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 09-18-2003 - 8:10am
IMO, if he likes it, why not keep him there?

My ds4 was ready for Kindergarten academically last year when we went to dd's kindergarten roundup. We have decided though, that both the children will be going through the two-year kindergarten (they both have late birthdays.)

Dd5 has been in her *young five* kindergarten for a few weeks now; I winced the day she brought me home worksheets that explained colors, until, I realized she was showing me how to sound out the words. They are now going through a typical year course of learning letters and their sounds - and though dd already knows them, what is this school year going to hurt? There is no doubt in my mind that she will be reading at least early readers when she enters her second year of Kindergarten... even if the lot of her class now will just be getting to the point of distinguishing *W* from *M*.

Obviously, I am far from being any sort of expert, but my honest opinion is that children who are *ahead* are ahead for a reason - they want to learn - naturals - and even if they are just presented with things they already know, they have the drive to forge on, above and beyond what is expected - so how can that hurt?

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 09-18-2003 - 8:30am
We always sent our kids to "developmental" preschools. Which means that they did little structured learning. Our kids ALL loved it. They have lots of free play, they do cooking, visit the media center (books/computers/videos), play on the playground, music, etc. There is a theme of the week and the activities settle around this theme. But they do little to no "academic" work.

When my older sons entered K they knew their letters, numbers and some letter sounds. They did not write their names, nor were they able to do any formal type of mathematics (although they could figure simple addition in an informal way). There were many kids in their K classes that came in reading and able to write their names. As of now my kids are WAY ahead of those kids. DS#1 scored a perfect score on his FCAT(Florida's standardized test) and DS#2 scored in the 90th percentile on his SAT. The kids who come in already reading are not necessarily the best students when the kids are in the older grades. My 2nd grader is reading Harry Potter and my 4th grader reads on an adult level.

So-if your child is happy I would not worry about the lack of structured curriculum. If your son is bright he will catch up when he needs to catch up. I do not believe there is any LASTING advantage gained by having a preschooler drill academically.

Jenna

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Registered: 11-20-2001
Thu, 09-18-2003 - 2:15pm
Sounds like this program is developmentally appropriate. Is it NAEYC accredited? Sure sounds it. I would rather my child attend this program than the former one you describe.

Linda

 

Linda - wife, mother, grandmum                     &nb

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 09-18-2003 - 2:24pm
I'm sure it is, its a sidebar of the headstart program, so to receive their funding I am sure they are accredited.

Dont get me wrong, I agree with lots of free play. But his old school was just much more organized it seemed, and more of a pre-k program. He loved his old school, he still talks about it all the time.

I will probably just keep him where he is, as he likes it there and is enjoying himself. I really am not trying to push him academically, I just worry that he will get bored.

dj

Dj

"Now when I need help, I look in the mirror" ~Kanye West~

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Registered: 03-29-2003
Thu, 09-18-2003 - 3:36pm
But do you really want him to "learn" his colors and letters all over again? Wouldn't that be more stultifying? I think that, for very advanced preschoolers, non-academic programs are actually better.

My DS is now, at almost 4, "learning his letters" for the third year in a row (he first learned them right before his 2nd birthday, then in preschool last year, and now again in preschool). Since he won't start K till almost age 6, I figure that he'll "learn his letters" five solid years in a row, assuming that they do a letter review in K.

I'm probably going to put him in more of a niche preschool next year, that focuses on music or science, because I'm not sure how many years of this pre-reading stuff a kid who's been reading since age 3 can take. So if I were you, I'd probably feel lucky.

My nephew just started K. He came home very upset, because his mother had told him that they'd finally get to reading in Kindergarten. He said, "All they did was teach us our letters!" I don't know what to say. It's really hard when a kid's intellectual development is so far ahead of (at least in my son's case) their emotional and social development.

Congratulations! I'm so happy to hear it. I just heard the good news and popped back over, just in case you were still checking in.
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Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 09-18-2003 - 3:46pm
I see what you are saying. Hes known letters, colors, numbers, simple addition and subtraction, and has been able to write his name for quite awhile. Right now he is focused on getting me to teach him to read and trying to figure out how to tell time. I guess even if he was in a more structured program, they'd just be teaching him things he already knows! So maybe it IS better if he is just *playing* during preschool, while picking up some important socialization skills!

dj

Dj

"Now when I need help, I look in the mirror" ~Kanye West~

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