December 22, 2010,
S.H. asks from Kailua, HI on December 13, 2010
Did Your Child Go to Preschool? and If Not, How Did He Adjust to Kindergarten?
My son is 4... not in Preschool. I am homeschooling him though. But per Kindergarten... fewer kids (at least in my State), have had Preschool, per the economy/budget etc. So I was wondering, how then did your child adjust to 'school' once they began???
I am not looking for the "he should attend Preschool first...." opinions.... but rather, the NOW and if your child is not in preschool, and will be attending Kinder at turning 5 or 6 years old... how are you prepping your child or how did your child adjust to school, if you have already gone through that passage of time, with your child???
Also, what age did your child start Kinder? At turning 5 or at turning 6 years old?
*My Son is born in August... mid-August.
The cut-off is right at his birthday. The school also has a Jr.K class..... for the late born kids.... or if tested fine, they go into Kindergarten. Jr.K and Kinder at this school, is just per age cut-off's.
Thank you all.
N.L. answers from Los Angeles on December 13, 2010
My DS did not go to preschool or daycare. He started Jr. K this Fall and will begin Kindergarten next Fall just before he turns 6. The reason I put him in Jr. K is because we wanted him to start getting acclimated to school going 3 days a week rather then starting him right off the bat going 5 days.
He adjusted very well from the first day. Academically I did all the homeschooling and he is where he should be. He is reading and writing now and although the other kids in his class are not, the teacher said he does not get bored at all. In fact, he loves helping the other kids.
The report we received from school said that my son was great at sharing and taking turns. He never speaks unless he is called on, helps kids if they get hurt and always raises his hands to answer a question and 99% of the time gets it right. He enjoys helping with clean up and listens very well.
It’s surprised me at first only because so many people told me that he would have such a hard time adjusting, he wouldn’t do well, would not want to go, blah blah blah. I’ve had a Mom tell me that her daughter who had been going to preschool since she was 3, threw a huge fit the first day of Kindergarten and has been causing trouble in school. Go figure!
We prepared him by enrolling him in martial arts at age 4 so he has been taking direction from another adult for awhile. He plays soccer so does great playing as a team and taking turns. I work with him a lot at home and we do play dates at least twice a week.
My DS has made many friends, wakes every morning excited to go and even got chosen to be the lead in their little Christmas show. He did awesome.
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J.L. answers from Minneapolis on December 13, 2010
Things to keep in mind.
School can not change a child's temperament. If they are home-bodies, or not ready for group experiences going to pre-school before kindergarten isn't going to change that. All that will happen when they do go to school is "adaption." They will either assimilate or rebel to the situation.
The only advantage of preschool is that the kids are "conditioned" to be accepting of a structured setting...making it easier for teachers to work with the kids. For some, maybe most kids it works. For others, probably the non-conformists in training, it won't.
And whether people want to admit it or not, not all kids are better for being in preschool. Those children in Kindergarten who are biters, bullies, or cryers are doing this because this is how they are coping with their situation. Every Kindergarten classroom has them. It doesn't mean these kids are academically slow, socially disabled, destined to be deliquent, or that it's because they didn't go to preschool. It's all about coping mechanisms and temperaments. In short, these kids were going to behave this way regardless of their academic experiences.
When teachers say they can tell the difference, I say it's only because they know which kids came from where and so they label them. While it's easy to jump on the kids...what about these teachers who are so quick to toss their weight around and instantly judge these kids as trouble? I'm certain, the number of not-so perfect kids in the class is probably equal from both teams of preschooled kids and non-preschool kids.
If you want to preschool your children from home, go for it. If you wind up with a teacher who wants to already label and pigeon hole your kid as socially retarded because he didn't go to preschool, find a new school because with her calling the shots on his academic record and evaluations for the first year of school...your kid is probably SOL to start with! She's lazy and judgemental and it's easier to label than to work with the child who is guilty of just being a kid. But that's just MHO.
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K.U. answers from Detroit on December 13, 2010
My daughter is only 3 and is in preschool now, but I can tell you what happened with my SIL's son...they did not do any preschool at all and when he had to start kindergarten, they really had a rough time of it.
Granted, some of it is/was his personality and temperment - he was always very shy and timid and clingy to mom, preferring to just stay by her side at home then go anywhere or do anything with other kids. His mom felt that she didn't need him to go to preschool because she could teach him at home, but the truth was she really didn't do anything - she just let him watch TV all the time. He was also a young 5, just starting K a month after his 5th birthday. She did not do anything to prep him at all and spent the whole summer stressing out about how he would do, how clingy he was, etc. So when he was suddenly left on his own without mom in a classroom full of kids and a teacher, he did not do well at all. He had extreme difficulty separating from his mom and for the first 2 months the teacher would have to meet mom outside the school to escort him in because otherwise he would run after her, screaming and crying that he wanted to go home, and trying to get back in the car.
He was initially in a 1/2 day program, then a few months into it, the teachers recommended he do a full day, because he was not "on par" with the other kids (mom's words, not mine). So he started going for a full day, but at the end of the year, he ended up having to repeat K instead of going to 1st grade because he just was not ready. So in a way, that first year of K was more like preschool in terms of adjusting to being away from mom and being in a classroom setting.
Of course, I am not saying that that is what will happen to your son, or anyone else's child for that matter - so much of it depends on your child's personality, how independent they already are, how sociable, their age and maturity level, and what you are doing with them at home. My SIL was so worried about how clingy her son was that she didn't think he would do well in preschool but that might have been exactly why maybe he should have been doing preschool before kindergarten. Many parents I know who have shy kids at ages 2,3, and 4 have noticed them coming out of their shells quite a bit once they have been in preschool for a while. And many teachers I've talked to that teach kindergarten and first grade have said that they can tell which kids have been in a preschool program and which have not, just based on their comfort level with being in a structured setting away from mom and following the rules and routine of a classroom with other kids in it.
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T.C. answers from Colorado Springs on December 13, 2010
My children are totally homeschooled. It is my opinion that children thrive best with the more time spent at home with mom teaching them as long as possible. They gain a better confidence, knowing that they are not having to fight for survival at so young an age. And, this goes at least double for boys! They need that at home time to be boys! Forcing them into a classroom environment at so young an age is not good for them. Preschool is, in the big picture, a brand new phenomenon. Prior to 20-30 years ago, nobody went to preschool. They got to be kids at home, learning in a more natural environment. Enjoy this fleeting year with your son.
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J.C. answers from Lincoln on December 13, 2010
I have 5 boys. My oldest 2 went to preschool first. They both do just fine in school. My oldest has an october birthday and we chose to wait until he was almost 6 to put him in kindergarten, that was definitely the right decision for him.
My second son has a January birthday, his school recommended he move up to kindergarten the moment he turned 5, so he only had the second semester of kindergarten before moving to first grade. He's always the youngest in his class, but it was definitely the right decision for him. He adjusted just fine and is at the top of his class.
My third son did not go to preschool. We homeschooled him to get him ready for kindergarten. Best decision I ever made! He was the easiest one to transition to school. He was old enough to be emotionally/mentally ready. He'd had 5 years of nurturing from his parents and was therefore, very confident. He instantly was at the top of his class and stayed there all year. He's now in 1st grade and doing amazingly well. He's at a 3rd grade reading level and very happy with school.
All children are different, there needs are different. You are doing the right thing for your son, he'll do great in kindergarten!
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E.M. answers from Johnstown on December 13, 2010
None of our 3 girls went and they ALL tested ABOVE kindergarten entry level. Just work with him on his letters at home, let him watch Sesame Street and he will be FINE. Being that they all have January birthdays, all 3 of them started at the age of 5 1/2 yrs. I thought we would have social issues with the twins, but after attending church & Sunday school, kindergarten was a piece of cake.
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A.W. answers from Kalamazoo on December 13, 2010
Ok - my first child (boy) did not attend preK, I homeschooled him and he then went to half day K, which is what our school dist had at the time. He adjusted fine, is now in 3rd grade at the top of his class and has been deemed "academically talented". Our school district then switched to full time K, so I had my daughter go to PreK when she was 4 yrs old (the year before K). She went 3 days a week for half day. She didn't hardly learn a darn thing that I wasn't alreay teaching her, but I felt that the time away from me was important since she would be attending the full day K when she was 5. She is now in 1st grade and is doing wonderfully. Both my kids have summer birthdays (june and july), so they started and finished K at age 5. They will both graduate when they are still 17yrs old. I based my decison on the full/half day thing do to social interaction and being away from mommy since they have never been to daycare or really baby sat.
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J.U. answers from Norfolk on December 22, 2010
I did home preschool for both of my kids. One boy and one girl. They adjusted just fine. The girl is a self started and just really curious.
My son ...not so much but he really enjoys being around the other kids and is willing to do the work. He only complains when he gets really tired. Really, who doesn't do that.
As far as preparing them for school. I knew they were ready because they wanted to make friends. They wanted to meet others and be around other kids more often. I did a couple of summer camps offered by the county to see how they did without me for a couple of hours. Any classes around town that allows mom not to be in the room holding the child's hand will give you an idea how he will handle being away from you for a good amount of time.
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