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Thursday, January 05, 2006


Jack and Stella

Every time I read an article about or think about pre-school, my chest tightens up a little. Reading "Parents" magazine a few days ago they were saying how much more they are demanding out of pre-schoolers, that they are teaching subjects they never taught before so they can be ready for Kindergarten. Luckily there seems to be parents and professionals out there who think this is wrong. That kids NEED to fingerpaint, and learn to share blocks. I couldn't help feeling a little nervous though. Jack is only 2 1/2 but I feel pressure to make sure he knows his abc's and colors and letters (which besides colors he doesn't know at all). I'm not the best teacher, I try but I feel like I don't know what I'm doing and he's not really picking it up. I would like to maybe put him in pre-school when he's 3 or 4, but just to make friends and get him used to school, I don't want him coming home with homework at 3. Does this really happen? Ug, God help me do the right thing for my kids.


Blogger Server Girl said...

i finish reading this and...
1) am all teary eyed &
2) Defiant
No No No....My little Jack is too little for school ALREADY!!! ...I have seen ALL those commercials that are pushing for pre school now saying that they are more willing to graduate high school and college...i dunno..i am having a hard time bringing my cat to get shots at the vet let alone letting my child go to school for half a day....:)..that is such a cute picture!!

9:07 AM  
Blogger Darren said...

very cute pic it is stupid what they expect kids to do these days the hardly have time to be kids hunter has more homework now tha we did in high school

11:36 AM  
Blogger molly said...

In a way, I can relate--the thought of sending Emma away, even for a few short hours each day, just doesn't seem right...but in a way my situation is much different because I'm going to homeschool...(although we've pondered a christian preschool--just for the fun of it).
But as a former teacher, I can just tell you that all those things you are concerned about Jack learning will happen naturally. You don't have to have some structured learning environment where "mommy teaches you your letters now", type of thing. The fact that he is being raised in a loving, supportive, fun, creative environment will carry him far in his academic life.
But I'm sure you know all this.
I think a lot of the pressure comes from other parents, other children, the comparing is hard not to do....
But just follow your instincts, because I know they are excellent--you'll know when he (and you) are ready for all these big steps....

12:19 PM  
Blogger acumamakiki said...

There is very little time for kids to be small anymore and apparently there's homework in kindegarten so you keep Jack and Stella for that matter, home for as long as YOU want and think is right for him. They all learn to read, tie their shoes and shine brilliantly at school so trying to push your kid to excellence at too young an age just seems (in my opinion) stressful and unnecessary.

My girl started daycare when she was 4 months old and went 2 full days ~ that was so I could finish school and then work. She continued 2 full days until she was 3 when she went to 3 days. It was more than enough and I feel like there is such a short amount of time that you get them home with you, I'm not sending her anymore than I have to.

Now she's going 3 full days and 2 mornings ~ mostly so she's ready for everyday kindegarten next year. She has never wanted to go more than she does. She says all the time that she loves the time we spend together and so do I.
Alright I'll stop now.

1:44 PM  
Blogger la vie en rose said...

i can so relate to your fears. i heard a news story on npr the other day about parents hiring tutors for their pre-schoolers! what!?!?!!? you've got to be kidding me. i'm grateful britton's daycare does work with him on colors and letters, etc. but i too have been considering enrolling him the year before kindergarten just to get him prepared. kindergarten just doesn't seem what it used to be.

2:54 PM  
Blogger Kimberly said...

It's sad, but they do expect alot. Especially here in California. The sandards just keep going up and up. Even Hunter's 3rd grade teacher said the things they are doing now used to be 4th and 5th grade work. But pre school is great, I think. Hunter never came home w/homework and he learned how to be social and how to act in a "classroom" setting before kindergarten. Wait till he's a little older though would be my advice. It sounds like he's not ready yet. He will be, before you know it, just be patient with him. He does catch on to what you are doing. I never sat down and taught Hallie her abcs, I just sing it all the time, when I'm cleaning or in the car or getting her dressed. Kids know ALOT more than we ever realize.

4:14 PM  
Blogger gkgirl said...

i know that i am writing from canada
and that it may be different there than here, but from the sounds of it, the expectations are the same.

i am an early childhood educator and am qualified to teach preschool and/or kindergarden...i can tell you that we still beleive in the theory that a child's play IS their work, it IS how they learn...they NEED to play. you are right in wanting them to paint and play with playdough and use their imagination and all that...

i only hope that you can find a school that meets those needs for you...make sure you ask alot of questions, arm yourself with knowledge beforehand...there is so much evidence to support that what children need at that age is play and social interaction and NOT rote learning...
sorry...i tend to get on a bit of tangent on this subject,

4:20 PM  
Blogger Suz said...

To learn is a lot more demanding these days on both the kids & the parents then it was 10-15 years ago when my older two were 3&4.

My littleman does go to pre-k but 4 times a week, 9-12 which I feel is plenty. Yes they learn alot there but they also do alot of fun things and have their play time. There are places that have 5 days all day but I figure since he is gonna be going to Kindergarten fulltime in Aug :-(, I want him home in the afternoons and Fridays.

I'll tell you this much, it definitely isnt a easy decision to send them.


8:06 PM  
Blogger kelly said...

i am with you heather...i hate
what we have done to our children.
we are stripping them of the essentials of childhood only to
turn them into little competitive adults. such a sad world

6:43 AM  
Blogger Riss said...

Isabella is in kindergarten and she comes home with stacks of homework. Schools are so worried about making sure all the kids are learning. But it's such a burden on me to get it all done!!! In my heart I rebell and swear I won't subject Hunter to all of that. I want to homeschool or send him to a Waldorf school where they nurture creativity and play!!!

7:57 AM  
Blogger Glamorous Jo said...

I can't weigh in since I don't have any kids - but that picture is SO CUTE I might pass out.

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Queen Mum said...

Ok, I'm in BC and maybe stuff is different, but B4 you make any decisions research the schools, and decide what your child need.s My oldest (3y) goes for 2 half days a week. The center's philosophy is learning through play and she loves it comes home with new songs and ideas, and best of all is learning important concepts like how to share, playing together and taking turns. Things I just couldn't teach her on my own. Sending her was a TOUGH decision but it was right for BOTH of us. I needed a break and time to spend with baby, and she need time away from me :( I'll probably start sending her for 2 full days soon, but I know she's at the right place, and is making friends and not missing me at all.

11:29 PM  
Blogger teega said...

you know...kindergarten IS demanding children to know so much more then they use too. I know it doesn't sound great, but some pre-schools are great for social interaction between other adults and children AND a good base for learning the needed skills to become a Kinder. A lot of parents are apprehensive about taking and/or leaving their children in the care of strangers, but there are great centers available, you just need to research, and ask for other parents feedback that are, or have, had children that attend the centers. PLUS, they also have half days avalaible so that you don't feel like a huge evil parent!
Think about it...soon they will be away from you while in Kinder class & on...sometimes it's easier if the child has had a little bit of time away from the parents prior to the first day of school. Less stress on the both of you...

5:07 PM  
Blogger Mary-Sue said...

have you looked into unschooling?
read "The Unschooler's Handbook" and that pain in your chest will disappear instantly. at least it did for me

7:16 PM  
Blogger Mary-Sue said...

hi again Heather! yes! that is the one. i was going to suggest that they might have it at your library -- great that they do! another amazing one is called "Deschooling Our Lives". i was really skeptical and insecure about the whole schooling thing until i read those two books. now it's like this huge load has been lifted from me. i have a friend who unschooled all five of her children until they were ready (and she could tell -- said it was a different age for each of them) to choose on their own (girls chose around age 12, boys chose to continue unschooling). her oldest is 19 now and attending an excellent university and is one of the most balanced, neatest people i've ever met. amazing... I hope you can find some peace about it all! You sound like a really great mum -- i wish you lived closer! LOVE what you wrote about your "day off". Such a good reminder to me to take the opportunities to fill up my own cup... thank you! love your blog!

10:42 AM  

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