What Type of Pre School Activities Are Most of Your Children Participating In?

Updated on February 04, 2008
R.M. asks from Tyler, TX
8 answers

I am a Kindergarten teacher and my co workers and I some time wonder what type of programs are being used to prepare the children for Kindergarten. Any infomation would be wonderful.
Thank you,

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answers from San Antonio on

Well as a SAHMommy and only have one income I take the my two dd's to Story time at the Library. I read to them about 3 or 4 nooks a day. I use flash cards to learn numbers and letters. They are 3 and 4. It's really hard though. I really wish that I could get my 4 y/o in Pre-K but it doesn't look like it will hapen b/c we make too much money [yet only my dh works], my girls speak english [helloe we live in USA why won't they] and yet we don't have enough money to send them to private school. I think I totally agree the children of "middle class" parents get left behind. AND THAT TOTALLY MAKES ME MAD!!!
So I don't know if this helps and I would love some pointers if you have any. For me it's really hard teaching them. Don't have much patient. Thanks for listening to my lil rant and vent.

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answers from Austin on

Hi R.,
I have an in-home MDO preschool program that consists of mainly 2 and 3 year olds (although my son is 4). We use a professional curriculum that is theme-based. We learn a color and a shape each month along with 2/3 letters and 2/3 numbers. My 3 and 4 year old students practice writing the letters and numbers in addition to sight recognition. They also "write their name on their paper" using their first letter of their name. We learn 7 basic shapes in the curriculum (heart, star, triangle, rectangle, square, oval, circle), but I also have thrown in rhombus (aka diamond), and hexagon and octagon - although not consistently. We do work on letter sounds, but not as much as the basic identification. We also practice rhyming sounds and words that start with the same sounds. We do A LOT of practice with game playing, taking turns, sharing, self-help (washing hands, buttoning, etc) skills, learning to sit appropriately and listen to stories, answer questions, communicate with each other and so on. Hope this helps!

Personally (and this is just my two cents) I think the group of kids hit hardest by the challenges of kinder are those "middle" kids - the kids whose parents don't qualify for preschool due to financial restraints, but don't understand how kinder has changed from when we were kids (remember when it was all about fingerpainting and learning NOT to eat the glue! lol!). It is my understanding that kids must be able to read 20 words before they can be promoted to the next grade? That must be so hard to accomplish if a child comes to kinder not knowing all of their letters, let alone sounds! God Bless you for what you do- there will be rubies in your crowns in heaven! :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

I am a stay at home mom of a 15 year old and a 2 year old. While my son is at school my daughter and I read books, color, review flash cards, sing. The flash cards we review are colors, numbers, shapes, and letters. We listen to music in differnt languages. I speak english fluently but try to incorporate some spanish. We do different motor skills activities. I have recently begun to fit in letter sounds. We still do finger painting and coloring. I know this sounds like a lot, but my lessons are done in incriments of about 10 minutes or so. I don't want to overwhelm her or bore her. Most of what I try to teach her is either done through games or singing. My family is also middle class, but that does not mean that I feel handicapped because she might not qualify for pre-k. I spend almost all my time trying to teach her something new, whether it is driving to an appointment or playing at the park. I feel that there are many opportunities throughout the day to get a lesson in. I did the same with my son. He has to read books that are separate from his school work and writes essays on what he has read. He has work books that he needs to complete as well. He also doesn't have summers off. He does this all year long. I will add that he is an honor roll student and is involved in many after school activities. Hope this helps!



answers from Dallas on

I am a Grandmother raising a five year old girl with ADHD. She missed Kindergarden this year because of her birthday. I have had her enrolled three days a week in Pre-K since she was three. Her teachers this year attended a conference held by HEB ISD to get information about what skills are required for Kindergarden in their district. Prior to that, they had been using older guidelines they had from the Irving schools. I suppliment at home and go over paperwork, but I have observed the social skills gained and the classroom readiness my child has gained from the basic Pre-K experience and feel very badly for the kids who arrive at Kindergarden "cold". Our little Pre-K even takes the four year olds on field trips.
I hope you take a moment to give us a response and perhaps tell us what you think we should be doing out here! I often feel like I am playing catch-up since I put all this behind me years ago and feel out-of-sync with the moms of today.
Thanks for your question!
C. S.
PS...I'm in early retirement and not wealthy. This wonderful little school runs 210.00/mo for three days a week, 930AM until 230PM. There are two teachers for a four year old class of ten.



answers from Dallas on

I agree with the other moms about the middle class being left behind. We are a one income family (I'm a SAHM) with my husband making OK money. That being said, we have sent (are sending) both our boys to preschool.

With my first son we had him a kinder-readiness program at his school last year (a very reasonably priced school). He started the year w/3 days a week and ended it with 5. They did a wonderful job of teaching them the letters/phonics, writing letters, etc. My son is an exceptional reader naturally (started kindergarten this year reading at almost a 2nd grade level), so we really haven't worked much at home with him, just recreational reading or educational games (and video games/DVD's).

My second son is now 3, but has 2 more years until kindergarten. He is in the PALS program (speech program in McKinney) right now, so that may effect what program he goes to when he's four (year after next). We currently have him in the same school with his older brother 2 days a week and PALS 2 days a week (only 2 hours long). We will keep him at 2 days next year also, but when he is four I'd like to put him in the kinder-readiness program like his big brother. I was very impressed with the program, but it will all depend if he's still in PALS at that point.

We have never done workbooks, flashcards, etc. with our children. Instead we just integrate learning into everyday. We pick out letters and words on signs, while shopping, etc. Both my boys learned sight words very early this way. For early math, I have them count out produce for me or have them tell me how much something costs, etc. They love "helping" mommy this way and it's not a chore to them. We practice writing by writing "notes" to grandma/daddy, etc, which also fun. I try to keep my kids in activities and social so that they are well socialized and confident around other children by the time they are in school.

Like one of the other ladies mentioned, we'd like to hear what a kindergarten teacher likes to see her students know. Also, we put our older son in private school this year for kindergarten (long story) and I was just wondering what the public schools teach vs his private school. They are doing reading (phonics/sight words), simple addition, telling time, counting money, simple science, spanish and of course writing (they started journals after Christmas break). I know there are other things, but those are the main things.

Thanks for such a great question.



answers from Dallas on

I am a working mom whose 5yo daughter attends Montessori school. She just missed the cut off for enrolling in Kinder this year (October birthday). She is currently working with the 1st graders at this school. She is reading and writing and doing single digit addition and subtraction. She's a very bright kid who has had the benefit of excellent instruction. I am a little concerned about starting her in Kinder next fall as I am pretty sure she is going to be very far ahead.



answers from Dallas on

I use a funshine express curic. I love it! So do my boys. www.funshineexpress.com



answers from Dallas on

My son just turned two in December, and I feel he is doing pretty well. He goes to an MDO program two days a week where he learns to be independent from mommy and daddy. They follow a basic curriculum with letters and numbers of the month, music class, etc; although they are definitely not trying to be a preschool. I think it has been very good for him, but I am considering pulling him out at the end of this semester to get him into a more academic environment. He seems to love learning. I can see the joy in his eyes when he points to something new and can identify it, or when he counts or says his ABCs or some other thing he has learned. I don't want him to get bored. I know they are highly controversial, but I have used videos such as "Your Baby Can Read" and "Preschool Prep Company" with him. I swear by these! He loves to watch them and has learned all his alphabet and numbers, and most of his colors and shapes and even some sight words. Maybe I am just a proud mama, but I feel he is doing extremely well to know all of these things barely a month after turning 2! I do let him watch some TV, but even if it isn't academically based, I still use it to help him develop his skills. For instance, we watch Thomas The Tank Engine almost every day. I ALWAYS watch with him without fail and we discuss the colors of the engines, who is bigger or smaller, and other valuable lessons. I have used flash cards, but not in a traditional sense. I don't really "flash" them to him, but rather let him play with them. We use them like books. He has certain ones he likes and every few weeks or so he might move on to another one or two which will become his favorites for a while. We have lots of books, which we get at Half Price Books. They have a lot of DK and Priddy books. He isn't really into story books, but does have a few he enjoys listening to. We read/look at several books every day. We also attend story time at the local library whenever we can, usually about once a week. We attend Little Gym class, and are members of a very active Moms Group that has weekly play dates.

By all means, if you have other suggestions, I would certainly love to hear them. I don't believe in pushing my child, but I do want him to have every opportunity to learn.

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