Pre-School

Follow up to delayed consequences post

Hi Ladies - you all posted a lot of great comments to my previous post about seeking ideas for delayed consequences for my 3 yo DD who is having trouble listening at school.  I just wanted to add that I was really heartened by the comments from those of you who felt that her behavior was not atypical for her age.  I have really been obsessing about this whole thing recently - I even had a dream the other night that she got kicked out of school because she wouldn't listen!  I have been feeling like this is just a matter of her needing to adjust to the new setting and expectations and learn how to "get with the program", so to speak.  This school follows their curriculum a year ahead, meaning that DD's class is actually following a 4 yo curriculum.  It is really structured and they do a lot more of what I would call actual schoolwork - worksheets, literature, etc.  Unfortunately, my DH has had me questioning my own instincts a lot, because he has the impression that our DD is the only one who is having trouble following instructions and listening.  He keeps calling her an "outlier" which really bugs me.  I have been really torn between wanting to support her teacher and help my DD to fit into the school environment and feeling like possibly her teacher's expectations are a little high.  Also, there is only one teacher to 12 kids, so I know she can't spend a lot time dealing with my DD.

Anyway, it really helped me to "hear" all the feedback that aligns with my own instincts that this is not some indicator that my DD is a problem child!  I feel more relaxed about the whole situation and I am going to give this another month and see if she starts to show signs of progress with listening and understanding what's expected of her.  If she continues to have trouble all the time, I think we will look into a different program that is maybe a better fit for her - like something a little less structured and with more than one teacher so she can get a bit more individual attention.  Of course, that's assuming we can find something like that!  So - thanks again for the supportive feedback!

Eleanor Paige, born 3/27/08 Noah Christopher, born 10/2/10 Image and video hosting by TinyPic Image and video hosting by TinyPic Image and video hosting by TinyPic Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Re: Follow up to delayed consequences post

  • One teacher for 12 three year olds?  Worksheets for three yr olds?  I can't say I have ever heard of a program like that.  I have been to many, many preschools in choosing schools for my kids, at least a dozen and not one didn't have at least one teacher and two assistants in the class for 3 yr olds, and none of them promoted worksheets.  In fact almost every school I visited said that play is VERY important for three yr olds and worksheets really don't do much, even the ones that are considered more acedemic.  My daughter's preschool doesn't do worksheets at any age, my son's preschool does them with 3 and 4 yr olds, but only 1-2 a week and they are usually things like identifying girls from boys, healthy foods from unhealthy foods.  They are worked on during what they call small group, 1 teacher/therapist to 2-3 kids, they do them together.  I think it is also worth noting that my 4 yr old is a beginning reader, he writes all his letters and numbers, his name and other short words, like MOM  :-)  Without worksheets.  I would definately look into other programs in your area.
  • With the caveat that I am not certified in early childhood development, this school sounds like a bad fit for my DS at least.  I prefer a play-based curriculum for early childhood.  A year ahead sounds like it wouldn't be developmentally appropriate for my son at least.  I'm having heartburn over the schools in our area teaching reading in Kindergarten.  I just feel it isn't appropriate until first grade.  Pre-school kids learn by playing.

    Just my 2 cents....

  • I read your post this morning, but it was too hard to reply on my BB.

    I'd look for another preschool - I'm not sure what the point of teaching an "accelerated" curriculum is for pre-school; what's the rush?  I think there should be some structure for kids in preschool, but I wouldn't like to see my DD doing worksheets on any kind of regular basis.  they need to touch and experience things in the real world, not learn to hold a piece of paper.  Our 3 yo program doesn't do anything w/ writing or worksheets until the 4s room.

    I'd also REALLY try to work on your husband's attitude.  As everyone says, there is a VAST span of "normal" development and think that your kid is an "outlier" and treating her that way - especially at this early age, could really have far reaching consquences. 

    I don't personally think the 1:12 ratio is a big deal, it would be nice if it were smaller, but that wouldn't be a deal changer for me. 

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  • I actually have started looking at some of the other preschools in our area.  We have two Montessori schools close by, and I read up on their programs and theories and am considering those as a possible fit for my DD.  I know they have a specific approach but on the surface it seems like it might be a good option for us.  There is also at least one other "regular" preschool (it's a standalone school) as well as a couple of other church-based preschools like the one my DD is at right now.  I have no idea how easy it will be to switch or find openings now that the year has started but I can at least explore my options while we give this a little more time.  I'm thinking that perhaps if I don't make such a big deal about it she may be more cooperative - she is really testing me and DH a lot right now, checking her limits, and sometime she is contrary just for the sake of it.  I think it is possible that if I don't give her the attention for this maybe she won't bother any more (hey, it's worth a shot, right?).

    As for DH - I am definitely working on his attitude.  I really challenged him on what he was basing his assumptions on that she's the only kid who isn't behaving in school - he has never observed the other kids, doesn't know any of them or their parents, and it's not like her teacher can tell us about any other kids giving her trouble, so how does he know?  He keeps getting hung up by the fact that in her summer soccer program she was usually off doing her own thing instead of chasing the ball with the rest of the kids, but I think that's because soccer didn't interest her that much. She can focus extremely well when it's something she's interested in, but if she is bored then she is very easily distracted - seems normal to me for her age!

    I sort of understand one of his points, which is that he is afraid that we may be denying reality and making excuses for her instead of dealing with potential issues, and he feels that her teachers would know more about kids her age than us, since she's our first.  But I believe that we know our daughter better than her teachers do, at least this early in the year.  She is smart and active and strong willed, and yes, it is possible that in a group of 12 kids she is the only one who won't sit still and listen when she gets bored.  That doesn't mean she is abnormal or a problem child!  After reading a lot of the responses to my posts, I am feeling kind of frustrated that it doesn't seem like her teacher is doing anything creative to engage her or address the source of her distraction.  Yet another reason I'm thinking about finding another school.

    OK, sorry - this is has been so front and center in my thoughts lately, it's helping to get it all out there.  Thanks again for the helpful feedback!!

    Eleanor Paige, born 3/27/08 Noah Christopher, born 10/2/10 Image and video hosting by TinyPic Image and video hosting by TinyPic Image and video hosting by TinyPic Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers Lilypie First Birthday tickers
  • I don't understand the school. In order to effectively follow a curriculum for a 4 year old, wouldn't all children in the class need to have been schooled on the 3 year old skills? I do not understand their train of thought.
    image
  • RoxBride - they use the year-ahead approach in all their classes.  I have been trying to find the name of the specific curriculum they told us they use, but basically, they start at the 2 year old class where they teach whatever this curriculum has designated for 3 year olds.  My DD was in the 2s last year and did pretty well for the most part.  They worked on basic shapes, colors, letters, and numbers, and it seemed like they got a fair amount of time to play in centers;  they also took a nap.  This year, in the 3s class, she is working on writing letters and is learning the different sounds they make (short vs long vowels), she has worked on writing straight lines and circles and other shapes.  She is also learning about the calendar.  They do something called Saxon worksheets each day, they have Spanish class, music class and computer class once a week, and they do not nap anymore. They do get time outside in the playground and have PE once a week, but they don't really have much free play time.  Her teacher explained they do circle time a few different times a day.

    Actually my DD is doing well so far with the worksheets - she has brought home several papers where she has drawn straight lines down the page and she traced a capital A and small a very well.  She sings songs that she learned in school and she seems to remember the stuff she is being taught.  I feel like she can handle the academic part of this class but is maybe not quite mature enough or emotionally ready for the discipline required to actually be "taught" as opposed to learning through play.

    Eleanor Paige, born 3/27/08 Noah Christopher, born 10/2/10 Image and video hosting by TinyPic Image and video hosting by TinyPic Image and video hosting by TinyPic Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers Lilypie First Birthday tickers
  • I think your instincts are right and you should absolutely trust them. I don't know if I have anything different to say as far as the curriculum is concerned. My only comment would be that school is supposed to be a positive experience. She needs to be at a school that she (and you) are comfortable with so, she has a positive association with school and grows to love learning. Being challenged is certainly good, but not to the point were it can make a child feel inadequate.

    Hope this helps:) 

  • You know your child best. Teachers see children in a specific light and do not see their behavior in different settings. Most 3 year olds have trouble listening and are off doing their own thing. It sounds like you are very intuned with your daughter's behaviors and are not trying to avoid "reality". The pre-school program sonds intense and I know my son would not be successful in a similar classroom either. Just my thoughts!

  • image ScoobyM:

    RoxBride - they use the year-ahead approach in all their classes.  I have been trying to find the name of the specific curriculum they told us they use, but basically, they start at the 2 year old class where they teach whatever this curriculum has designated for 3 year olds.  My DD was in the 2s last year and did pretty well for the most part.  They worked on basic shapes, colors, letters, and numbers, and it seemed like they got a fair amount of time to play in centers;  they also took a nap.  This year, in the 3s class, she is working on writing letters and is learning the different sounds they make (short vs long vowels), she has worked on writing straight lines and circles and other shapes.  She is also learning about the calendar.  They do something called Saxon worksheets each day, they have Spanish class, music class and computer class once a week, and they do not nap anymore. They do get time outside in the playground and have PE once a week, but they don't really have much free play time.  Her teacher explained they do circle time a few different times a day.

    Actually my DD is doing well so far with the worksheets - she has brought home several papers where she has drawn straight lines down the page and she traced a capital A and small a very well.  She sings songs that she learned in school and she seems to remember the stuff she is being taught.  I feel like she can handle the academic part of this class but is maybe not quite mature enough or emotionally ready for the discipline required to actually be "taught" as opposed to learning through play.

    a lot of these ideas would leave a preschool in my state unlicensed.
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