Do your expect your child to be introduced to basic writing, ABC's, concepts in preschool?

Kristi - posted on 01/29/2009 ( 4 moms have responded )

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I am a concerned mom who wants my child to be ready for kindergarten. I am wondering if my expectations are over the top, although I don't think so. My girls were both introduced to basic writing concepts...top to bottom, how to hold a pencil, etc. in preschool, but we are at a new school this year and just found out that these things are not really taught. Just wondering what your thoughts are.

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Pamela - posted on 01/29/2009

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I am a retired teacher...your child should know the basics and be pre-reading prior to entering kindergarten.  Check your state's department of education website and find the guidelines for kindergarten so that you know what you need to do.  Also check out the school near you...their website and even the teacher sites will give you great info.

Raquel - posted on 01/29/2009

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I also am really concerned about my son entering kindergarten this September.  He's been in a Montessori preschool for 2 years now, and has been reading and writing since he was 3.  With the Montessori school system, they really seem to foster each child's strengths and not just teach based on a set curriculum on what a child should learn at what age.  I've heard from an elementary school teacher that I know that they don't really start teaching reading/writing skills until grade 1.  I'm just holding out hope that eventually the kids who were able to read/write when they entered kindergarten and the ones that don't learn to read or write until they reach grade 1 will all be on the same page once they start the higher grades.  :)

Kelly - posted on 01/29/2009

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I was certified as a preschool teacher about 5 years ago. Depending on where you live, laws undoubtably very, but here certification is pretty much required. The skills that we worked on were things like the alphabet, colors, shapes, cutting with scissors, gluing, counting, waiting in line, taking turns, sitting still in a group to listen to stories, staying in seats when appropriate, etc. We didn't teach them to read or neccessarily to write down the page, but we did work on individual letters and numbers. In our area, the children are asked to know how to write their first name with first letter cap, the rest lower case, and know their alphabet, counting to 20, shapes and colors for the start of kindergarten. However, some of the children invariably will struggle with even these basics for the first few weeks of school. My children (so far) are all excellent students, but none of them could read before kindergarten. I believe what Natalie is saying, that if they are prepared far beyond what the other kids in their class are, they will probably either be bored or regress and lose a lot of it. Definitely I would check with the school for their expectations, and I would just check with the preschool and make sure that they are working on those skills that are neccessary. I wouldn't try to go too far beyond that. Just my thoughts on it!

Natalie - posted on 01/29/2009

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Kindergarten readiness skills have advanced drastically since I was 5.  My oldest daughter started kindergarten last year, my second daughter is in kindergarten this year and my son will be in it next.  The school has a list of what they would like your child to know.  With my oldest daughter, she knew the ABCs names and sounds at the beginning of the year, but by February, she couldn't remember what a Q was... I think they only went over 1 letter every week and if the child was beyond that, they just had to wait for the rest of the class to catch up.  I made sure my 2nd daughter was a fluent reader- she was at a high 1st grade/low 2nd grade reading level and she is now struggling to read at a low 1st grade level.  It is very frustrating to me so I plan to keep working on their reading skills through the summers to make sure they don't fall behind.  If I were you, I would check with the school to see what their expectations are.  Kindergarten is hard because the teachers have children who are new to their letters and children who are fluent readers which makes teaching challenging.  Also, if you know people with older children who went to the same grade school, I would ask which teacher they preferred for kindergarten and why.  I am pretty opinionated, but I hope this helps!

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