Skipping PreK and Kindergarten

Amy - posted on 03/24/2010 ( 27 moms have responded )

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Some mothers on other groups have said they are going to "skip" school until first grade because their children already know ABCs, 123s, and colors. They get social time with other kids at parks and playgroups. Their claims are that there isn't enough education and it's all fluff, so why send them? Is there more to it than that, though? Are these early classes getting kids ready for future acedemic careers or is it just a cheaper daycare where there is nothing beyond socializing?

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Alison - posted on 03/25/2010

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I can't help but wonder why some moms insist on educating their children themselves. I wonder if it is not becausem mom doesn't want to let go of her baby.

Sometimes it seems like modern parenting is all about reinventing the wheel.

Another argument in favor of sending your children to school... to let someone else have a go. A trained kindergarten teacher may notice some issues/weaknesses that you may not want to see in your own child. I know that I really value the input I get from my daughter's daycare about her ability to learn, to follow, to pay attention, to get along with others, to communicate. I know that as the mom, I do not have a clear view of my child. In my eyes she is 100% awesome!

Charlene - posted on 03/24/2010

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I think Kindergarten, at the very least is very important. It's not just about learning your ABC's, 123's and colours. A child needs to get used to the structure and schedule of being in class.

I think that if you just thrust a child into first grade where they have to sit in their seats and pay attention for ~6 hours a day, 5 days a week, it would be hard for them to get used to. Pre-K and kindergarten let kids gradually get used to it so that it's not such a shock to them.

I think that kids should go to at least Kindergarten, if for no other reason then that.

Heather - posted on 03/28/2010

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To Jackie Isble
Gotcha!! I agree if the parent doesn't teach them that stuff...then to plop them in 1st grade is dumb move on the parents...And for everyone else, I also understand that when ppl talk about homeschool they either see only the jean jumper wearing little girl with pig tails and boy in dress shirts and pants who are unsocialized or they see the lazy parents who say they are homeschooling and really do absolutely nothing...so their kids are 8 and 10 yrs old and barely reading!! I'm neither of those...I just don't like the public school system...let's face it...it's failing rapidly!! Proper discipline and instruction at home where my kids will be held responsible for their actions and at the same time are allowed to learn at their pace rather than with the median of 30 kids in a classroom! Yet still play sports, get musical education, more hands on, and so many more advantages!! So I'm in the same boat...no public schooling until 8-9th grade!!

Heather - posted on 03/26/2010

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Ok, I've lived it! I was by my "mother's side" until i was 6 yrs old. I didn't go to kindergarten, or preschool. Mom taught me! I remember being put in pubic school in 1st grade and above others who had been in the system since preschool! I remember knowing my ABC's and a little reading before they did! I did great in school! I had high energy, but once a good teacher who knew kids well enough, saw that if I was just kept busy, I was fine! I graduated in the top 10% of my class and had a 4.1 GPA! I don't believe that kids HAVE to have kindergarten. They told my mother that my older brother absolutely HAD to go to kindergarten, they put him in and found out he really didn't need it...the following year he went to 2nd grade!! My mother raised 7 of us like that...she never went through the 8th grade and we were all in the top of our classes!! We were taught to use our heads and common sense and we were taught that AT HOME not at school!! I fully plan on raising my kids "by my side." I don't shelter my kids and they them play with others every day! I babysit other kids so they get plenty of socialization, not to mention have 29 cousins! Children are sponges from birth to 8-10 yrs old. I plan on guiding my kids to learn and think on their own, teach them virtues and valuee, faith, and honesty at those critical ages! I will be homeschooling, not because i don't want to let go of my kids, but because I can give them sooo many advantages to learning than a public school system. They can still play local sports, or be taught orchestra or music, and yet not be tied down to being around ppl you really don't necessarily like or approve of! A lot more hands on learning too. I will put them in a school system around 8th grade. That way, if they want they can take extra credit classes, and even college classes, play more competative sports! But I'm not going to force them to go into the school system. If they want to and can keep up the grades, I'll let them finish at home! I can honestly say that I learned more from my parents about socialization and the "Real World" than I did the school system! My parents worked in the real world socialized me and my entire family above and beyond what any school system can do, and any parents who parents with all their heart and lives can do the same for thier child. Children have been raised just fine in years past without public school systems!! The school system isn't the key to knowledge and learning, it's the parent's teaching the children to think and learn and handing down wisdom that is the key of knowledge. Any one can learn in America today without any help from kindergarten or the public school system! I personally think that preschool and kindergarten are free babysitters with the "educational" wrapper tied on! And now that I think about it, neither my kids, nor my 29 nieces or nephews went to preschool or kindergarten either and all either graduated with top grades or are in school right now with great grades!!

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Starfish - posted on 04/30/2012

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Two of mine are in K and yeah, maybe they didn't "need" it, but there's a lot of education going on in there...not just numbers and letters. They're learning a lot about reading, about science, history, agriculture, etc. Plus, they get to have field trips, and all sorts of cool things. They've really gotten a lot out of school. Yeah, there's fluff, but I'm glad they're going.



I suppose it may not be the same for every K class, but ours is excellent, and I'm glad we're taking advantage of it.

User - posted on 04/27/2012

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Pre-K-Prep-App A Readiness skills tutorial in English and Spanish for the parent. Assists the teacher in grounding pre-k concepts. itunes ID 518237038

[deleted account]

Kati, just to clarify....Kindergarten is not mandated in Louisiana, but it is very rare for a child not to go. All public schools offer it. It's preK that costs so much. And there is not enough spots for all the kids in the community to go to the public school's prek. And I happen to live in the number one school district in the state. Pretty pitiful huh? Think how much better the district would be if all students had the opportunity to go to prek for little cost or free.

Rosie - posted on 03/28/2010

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i find it odd that all states dont mandate kindergarten. growing up with it like that it just seems like other kids would be at a disadvantage for not going to kindergarten. plus, paying $300 a month for it is ridiculous!!! i paid 29 bucks for the whole year!! my first child learned to read when he was 4 and i still wouldn't of given it a second thought to enroll him in kindergarten. i felt he needed it as a transition from going a couple hours a day, to being there all the time. plus teachers with all their experience can spot some social problems or academic problems earlier.

Lyndsay - posted on 03/26/2010

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I don't necessarily think kids should have to go to both, but kindergarten is important. It's not even about learning ABCs or numbers or even socializing... it's about preparing them for their academic career, which they are going to be involved in for the next 12 years or more, but in an environment that is still comfortable and fun.

[deleted account]

My girls have been in school since right after they turned 3. W/out Head Start they wouldn't have been able to attend preschool since we couldn't afford it though. I am a huge fan of preschool and K. Some kids can adapt w/out it, but for others you are just setting them up for a struggle.

Jane - posted on 03/26/2010

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No big deal on the pre-K stuff...if the child is getting their social time in play groups, parks and other places, then that's great. Kindergarten is not mandated in a lot of states and so of course, it's a choice a parent can make. However, there is nothing like a child starting kindergarten, meeting potential life long friends and becoming part of a class. Both of my kids went to kindergarten even though they both knew their ABC's, 123's and colors but it was more than that. It was participating in a class room environment, meeting NEW kids, learning the day to day structure of school, meeting adult mentors (aka, the teacher) and learning from them. My kids are 20 and 16 but if I had little ones, I'd still go the kindergarten path.....they loved it and learned more than what they already knew so it was worth it for them and me.

Jackie - posted on 03/26/2010

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and for the record when I say schooling I don't lump in public schools...if I have anything to do with it my daughter will not step foot in a public school until at least high school when she is old enough to have a solid study/educational foundation for which she can drive herself through high school on.

Also Heather, I think home schooling is a completely different situation than someone who just keeps there kids at home through Kindergarten then puts them into 1st grade with the rest of kids who went to Kindergarten. I did not get the impression from any of the posts that we were talking about homeschooling....but instead people who just skip it altogether.

Jackie - posted on 03/26/2010

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Some kids skip pre-school...I don't think thats a huge deal. But I don't think you can take a kid whose lived by mommies side for 5 years, stick them in 1st grade adn expect them to succeed. Yes they "teach" in kindergarten, but thats more incidental b/c they are there. it is critical for the socialization aspect of it in my opinion. I know my cousin (a teacher) was offered to skip a grade for her daughter and decided not to b/c she wasn't socially ready. If the kids are "bored" at school...you get off your butt and challenge them at home. My cousin has been "teaching" her daughter extra stuff from home since she was in 1st grade by picking up workbooks and whatnot at the bookstores and teaching stores.

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Im from Wales and my son started full time school when he was 3 years old. I dont think its done him any harm so i dont see why anyone would want to keep them at home longer than that.

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Here in the UK you can't start school early. You can be put back a school year if you don't progress well but that usaulyl happens at the end of primary school at age 11. In my year 7 there were 3 people who were a year older than us because they'd been kept back a year, they all had dislexia and so had found their SATs exams extra hard.

Amy - posted on 03/25/2010

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I picked up registration forms for preschool this week for my daughter. Although, I am one of those who just didn't go to preschool or kindergarten. I skipped it. It wasn't required, my sister was home schooled until 2nd grade because where we were at it was cheaper. We just didn't have the money. I sorta paid attention out of boredom. However sis and I were at college from junior year of high school on and got scholarships. I don't think it disadvantaged us in any way to stay home. But I know once I was in first grade, I had zero problems adjusting. It was just something fun and new. They do offer just two days a week for the preschool here at a local church. I think it will be good for my daughter. She is so eager to go to school that I think it's something she'll enjoy and give me a bit of a break since we plan on having another soon. I think like all things - it depends on how they are teaching and what they are teaching that makes it worthwhile.

[deleted account]

Alison, to partially answer your question...
Pre-k in my area is very expensive. I don't know that we could afford it. It would be less expensive to invest in a good home school program for the year. Plus, I am a trained teacher so I have full confidence in my ability to teach my child. But past that, she will be going to public school. So, my answer is that it is a money issue.

Jenny - posted on 03/25/2010

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I skipped pre-K with my daughter and started her in Kindergarten when she was 4. She excelled right from the get go and in Grade 2 she remains at the top of her class. I will likely skip pre-K with my son as well. He just turned 2 in January and is already identifying letters and sounds. If he's like my daughter, he'll be reading by 3 and a half. For the social aspect they both were in daycare with a few other kids. It's whatever works best for your kids, they're all individuals.

[deleted account]

If you think your kid is too smart for kindergarten then why not push for them to go into the 1st grade and get a head start on things


I don't agree with doing that. There is such a difference in maturity level between pre-k, kindergarten and first grade. Especially in boys. Even if they are academically ready, they probably won't be socially ready or mature enough to do well in first grade.

And on a similar note, I think it is a good idea to hold back children in pre-k or kindergarten if they have a late birthday or don't seem to be as socially mature as the rest of the children. It's not a shameful thing. Just like babies, pre-kers are all different and develop at different rates. Many times children benefit from the extra year because they are able to grow and mature. If they had been pushed on, they may become socially or academically frustrated. Then they may be held back in a higher grade which is shameful in a child's mind. But this should be done on a case by case basis with much consideration taken by the teacher and parents.

LaCi - posted on 03/25/2010

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I think its good for kids. I know I enjoyed preschool and kindergarten VERY much, so I would want to send my son to both, regardless of whether he ends up being "advanced," I agree with the all of the parents who mentioned the structure and transition to school being important. And kids NEVER get too much social time. I wish I could figure out how to get more social time for mine at his age! Unfortunately I really don't know many moms and all the playgrounds are usually empty so he just ends up playing with us ;/

Charlene - posted on 03/25/2010

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LaCi, I think it's different from state-to-state, province-to-province.

For my daughter, she'll be going to school in PEI, where kindergarten is now mandatory. I'm going to make the transition as easy as possible and start her off in preschool 2 or 3 half days a week, then kindergarten is five half days. It just makes more sense, to me anyway, to do it that way.

LaCi - posted on 03/25/2010

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I didn't even know that this was legal, I always though that-while prek is optional- kindergarten is mandatory. If you think your kid is too smart for kindergarten then why not push for them to go into the 1st grade and get a head start on things?

[deleted account]

Here in the UK it's slightly different. Children aged 3-4 years old are entitled to 15 hours of free nursery education for 38 weeks of the year (the same weeks children go to school here). Usually what happens is that you can choose whether your child does a morning or afternoon each day. After this children start school the September before they will turn 5 years old. I think nursery is really useful for not only learning but most important social skills. It prepares them for school but as it's only for half a day is just a stepping stone to the schooling system.

[deleted account]

Kindergarten is not a requirement in Louisiana. Most kids go though. I don't understand why it is not a requirement because there is a whole curriculum for pre-k and kindergarten that first grade just builds on. It is like asking for children to come to first grade behind and setting them up for failure.

And I agree with Charlene that it is a lot about the structure of the school day and rules of school.

That being said, the public school charges $300/month for pre-k. Pretty crazy. I'm looking into half day programs through local churches that are cheaper than that. Or I may invest in a good home school program for that one year. My daughter will go to kindergarten at the public school though.

Becky - posted on 03/24/2010

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Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think most states require kindergarten. With that said, school isn't just for learning abc's, and numbers. It's about learning how to act around peers, and in society in general. Kids need to be around other kids.

[deleted account]

Is it good for kids to have so much structure in their lives at such a young age? They don't have good attention spans at that age. In our state they don't let kids enter 1st grade unless thay have followed a public/private/homeschool kindergarten curriculum so skipping/unschooling is not an option.

I'm thinking of doing 1 or 2 days of kindergarten and homeschooling for the other days. Unfortunately public school doesn't offer part-time K where we live so I'm trying to find the money for private.

I think the social aspect is an advantage and thats why I want some kindergarten participation, but it's not needed for education purposes.

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