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My oldest daughter starts Kindergarten the 9th of August. I want to know what to expect. This thread is for teachers and parents with older children who have been where I am right now with a child starting kindergarten and if there is anything that you could go back and tell yourself to better prepare yourself for your child to start school what would it be. That is the information that I am fishing for. And Teachers, what kind of advice do you have for new parents about how to deal with school or just any type of advice. Any supplies you would recommend getting extra of? I didn't realize that they didn't teach the kids their alphabet anymore, they are expected to know that when they start kindergarten now. I am NOT a teacher so it took me a whole week to teach my daughter her alphabet. So I'm wanting to know about stuff like that too. Anything else I should be trying to teach my daughter before she starts school.??? Any help would be greatly appreciated. :help:
 

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I am a special ed teacher and my DD was a kindergartner last year

typically they get their alphabet, numbers 1-10 sometimes to 20, colors, shapes from PreK

my DD learned how to add and subtract basically by grouping....if there are 2 sitting bears and 3 more sit down there are now 5 sitting bears....if one bear gets up there are 4 bears still sitting

she learned about coins...a dime is worth .10 and Hamilton is the man on it....
this skill is VERY weak still

they learn their address, phone number, full name, etc you can go to your state's dept of ed website and there should be some files that tell what they should be learning....in Oklahoma they are called PASS skills (Priority Academic Student Skills)

if this is her first time to go to school you can expect her to cry...it is easiest on the students and teacher if you drop her off, tell her bye, and then leave (it isnt easy on the parents :) ) I drove my DD to preK and about halfway through, when I got out of the car she said "what are you doing? I can go in by myself"....I cried all the way home......a few days later I just sat in the car as she was getting out and in her small voice she said "Aren't you coming in with me?"

an extra jacket is good so that when hers is forgotten at school, she will have one to wear the next day...you might even want a 3rd so when the 2nd one is left, she still wont be cold (2 of ours are oversized hoodies)

be aware that they paint, use markers, etc and her 'new' clothes WILL come home with something on them

about Christmas of my DD's Kind year I realized she was a reader....our kids brought home a book every night to have read to them....occasionally she had homework (maybe once per week on average)

Rachel
 

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I am good with finding information so if you want, you can give what state you live in and I can find you the skills that she will learn this year....it may even tell what things she should already know.

anything that you teach her will just put her in the top of her class and make it that much easier to perfect those skills.

full name
birthdate
address
phone number
mom and dad's names
colors
shapes
rote counting
numbers 1-20.....she will need to learn that the number 3 is 'three', count objects so that "* * *" is "three * "

alphabet...they will learn not only the letters but the sounds too

she will learn sight words....http://www.mrsperkins.com/dolch.htm
the Pre-primer list
a and away big blue can come down find for funny go help here I in is it jump little look make me my not one play red run said see the three to two up we where yellow you

as she acquires words that are the ones they are working on, it helps to make a set of flashcards for home too...at Christmas break my DD started having weekly spelling tests

Rachel
 

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Great advice so far. I'll add to this as a teacher and parent:

Prepare her for how she will be responsible for a snack every day (if they do this) Teach her how to open her water bottle, zip lock bag, etc. herself.

Pretend school one day to teach her how to wait her turn, raise her hand before speaking, how not to interrupt the teacher or other children when they are speaking....

Help her with her small motor skills. Kid's who are unable to hold pencil, crayon, scissors find it hard to keep up, thus instead of learning the lesson, they are picking things off the floor. ALL of that is part of learning.

To this end, let her draw and write as much as possible (in the car, in waiting rooms, in lines...) Teach her how to clean up after herself (again, this teaches motor skills).

I knew two little girls (different moms) when my kids were small. Their mothers wouldn't let them dress themselves(buttons and zippers) because they were too slow, they couldn't carry their plate because they "might" drop it, etc.. Mom carried their bag/backpack for them everywhere. Mom put on their seatbelt.

Wow, were these girls behind in kindergarten and it continued for years. Please let your kids be independent (mistakes are sometimes OK)--they need those skills to be successful in school as much as knowing numbers and letters.

Sorry for rattling on...
 

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BTW I just asked my 6yo DD to read the pre-primer list and she missed 4 of them...remember that she is between kindergarten and 1st grade....then I gave her the primer list and she missed 16 of those!

I didnt even try the 1st grade list....while I dont doubt that she knows a few of them, I didnt want to frustrate her
 

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My daughter loved kindgarten!! she learned alot, and she's almost reading this summer.. she does pretty good..with those step 1 reading books that have a few words on each page.
but she already knew her alphabets from preschool, they learned adding and subtracting, and she learned how to count by 2's and 5's and 10's.. I was very impressed..

DD had a problem remembering our address, and her birthday, so every now and then the teacher would quiz her on both of them.. it was to point she knew her address, but froze up and forgot when teacher asked her, I spoke to the teacher saying I know she knows her address, so by the end of the school year when teacher asked her she could say it without any difficulties. I guess she was a little shy maybe, but not by the end of the school year.

hard to believe she will be a 1st grader, the times goes fast thats for sure.. Hope your daughter has as good of an experience as my daughter did.
 

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Try really hard not to cry. If she sees you crying, she will think it is because school is a scary place that you are afraid of. If she starts crying, leave anyway. It is hard to walk away from a crying child, but trust me, she will calm down within 2 minutes after you leave, but you have to leave. If you stay and try to calm her, it will only get worse, both for you and her. Talk up school well beforehand, be excited, and maybe take her out to see her classroom before the first day of school, if possible.

As for not knowing alphabet or numbers, don't stress. She'll pick it up quickly, especially if you are willing to help her.

Both of you will survive this transition. I cried when my first went to kindergarten, but at the end of the day, when I saw him get off the school bus. I'm certain I'll cry when my middle one starts kindergarten this year. We will both be okay...eventually... :Bawling:

-Joy
 

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I got a little teary eyed.. But she was so excited and wasn't sad at all.. which made it alot easier for me and daddy..

But what was nice is we left the kids in the class, and all the moms and dads went to the cafeteria and they had donuts and juice and we drew pictures of our kids first day of school, and we also wrote a little msg to them.. then the teachers hung up the drawings in the hallway and the kids were able to look at them and figure out which one was theirs :) that helped alot, but my daughter was really excited so it did make it easier..
 

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I have three kids AND I teach... here are a few thoughts.

I was never sad to see mine go to k5. (But I'll admit to having a moment when they leave for college) And before that, they had been home with me, exclusively. We played lots of file folder games (purchased at the teachers supply place) and read continually. We watch no tv at my house, I consider it an 'anti-prep' for school, teaching a shortened attention span.

We cooked, and they measured (numbers) and read. Mine all read well before starting K5. We count the chickens and the tomatoes we pick. You can find math anywhere you look in the world.

My kids were so excited to go to school that there was no apprehension. We had visited their school/ their class and their teacher BEFORE school started, so they knew just where to head when I dropped them off. My children did NOT go to school in my own community and did not know other kids before they got to school. If I could change anything about the school thing, I'd have changed churches BEFORE they went to school, instead of when they were older, so that they knew other kids before school started for them.

We did our hugging and kissing at home, before leaving the house, and made a photo (not just that first year, I have a photo of people leaving for college). Their daddy dropped them all off the first day, just like we intended to do everyday.

The course of study information, if not available online, IS available from your school or district office. I recommend you pick it up and read it. If you realize that your child isn't ready, don't panic, or feel that you have to cram it all in. They will test them the first few weeks, and then again, regularly until the end of school. They can keep you up to date on what needs 'work'. Every child will need some work, some where.

A true funny story... my daughter, my oldest, went to K5. It was determined that she could not skip properly. (Skipping is a required skill here and in many states). She passed every single qualification BUT skipping, which she proceeded to fail until 3rd grade, where they stopped requiring skipping. Failure to skip did not then, nor does it now equal failing kindegarten. It simply meant she couldn't skip. Last week, we discussed her failure to skip and it is the ONLY thing that she ever remembers failing. The reason that we discussed it,was that this came up in her 2nd year medical school class!!!!!!. A significant number of her classmates also failed to skip..... ROFLOL~!
Oh, well, doctors who can't skip!!!!

~ Please teach her to tie her shoes, blow her own nose and manage the bathroom, including washing her hands. Many children come to school without that training and they and their teachers suffer for it.

~Read to your child, not instructional reading, simple reading. The exposure is critical.

~I second the suggestion of a couple of jackets. And impress upon the child that she is responsible for her belongings. Don't get crazy with that, just insist that she is big enough to manage herself. Stuff will get lost and left behind and YOU should be ready for that. My pet peeve with my older kids is pens and pencils. I provide an adequate amount of them at the beginning of each semester. If my kids can't keep up with them, they get to purchase their own. Praise her when she does keep up with things!

~Get the kid on a good schedule, if she's not already. Sleep is critical. Kids that stay up late suffer the next day (no matter what their parents think). A proper breakfast is necessary too. If that is not a routine that she's used to, hop to it NOW, not the first two weeks of school.

~ Make sure that she gets adequate exercise each day. Mine were very active at school, but each evening after dinner, we rode bikes together.. Good for everyone and helps them sleep well each night.
 

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My two and a half year old granddaughter just finished summer school. She is very mildly downs so this is a sort of pre-school intense therapy. M-F 9am til 3:30pm. Granted it is totally different than starting kindergarten, and she is only 2 1/2. It was the hardest thing in the world to leave her there! She would give me kisses and hugs, wave and say bye bye. Then by the time I got to the door, she was saying no no no. She would have preferred if I could have stayed there with her in a corner somewhere, poised and ready for my hugs now and then when she needed to give one. So, Mommy, you have to be a big girl and know that she will be just fine. She may be a little upset at first, but will get over it probably faster than my Nina did. And surely faster than you do! It's just kindergarten, thank goodness, and if everything isn't perfect the first day, there is always the next day.
 

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I've got one who just got done with K, and one going into it this year. The school did expect them to recognize and name the alphabet and numbers to 10 before school started, and I think write their name.

I just got out ds's report card and they covered the alphabet, and sounds, numbers to 20, high frequency words (colors, numbers to ten, simple words) paterns, naming shapes, coins, rhyming words, address, addition and subtraction with ten or less.

Also "following rules, directions, sharing" lol, I don't see how my son mastered any of those, he sure doesn't use them at home :p

It was hard for ds to get started, he was very shy, but after a couple of weeks he was comfortable. Our school also has the teacher come out to meet the child so that they will not have a "stranger" for a teacher. I think that was good because we didn't have time to meet her on the open house night.

Our county also starts K a week later than the other grades, this helped my ds in that his older brother and sister were comfortable about where to go on the bus and before class, so they were a great help to him at first. They now have instructions on helping dd when she goes this fall.

My advice, put your childs name on all clothing that comes off. Send in extra change of clothes incase of an accident (food, bathroom, or art class). Have the colors of their things match. My son picked orange...orange backpack, lunch box, pencil box, etc. so he could tell if he grabbed what was his. Pin a card on their jacket or backback with their name, teachers name, bus number... the first week can be disorienting, and the teachers don't know all the students yet.

After the first week or so, you will relax. (I'm trying to follow my own advice, all my "babies" will be in school this year)
 

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This whole thread just makes me sad.... :badmood:

...I just dont know why people "assume" the government can do a better job with their kids than they can.

BUT, heck, when I look at SOME parents I can see that their kids ARE better off in public school! (No offense to any of you on this thread because I have no idea what kind of parents you are.)

So, I guess the reason I am saying anything at all, is to agree that YES, some kids are better off not being taught by their parents. But, I want to encourage people who havent ever even considered homeschooling that it is an investment in your kids. It's not impossibly hard to do, and didnt you teach them to get dressed, talk, feed themselves? Colors? Numbers?

Disclaimer: I know there are some good public school teachers out there. :baby04:
 

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Get child ready for full day- long one. I'm still miffed there isn't half day K anymore. More important IMHO than alphabet and numbers is courtesy- how to act toward the other kids (and teacher though not so important). Work on please thank you taking turns maybe even saying hello when you see someone in am or giving compliments if she has not been around enough kids/people to have this down already. Maybe 'what will you do if a little boy wants the book you are holding?' and if it won't frighten her 'what should you do if someone pushes or hits you?' Certainly 'what do you do when the teacher tells you to line up/ sit down at your table/ on the floor?' 'what do you call the teacher?'

Somehow this is the toughest part I think for the teacher- manners to those who all come from different family backgrounds/manner sets.
 

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sewsilly said:
Please teach her to tie her shoes, blow her own nose and manage the bathroom, including washing her hands. Many children come to school without that training and they and their teachers suffer for it.
This would be the area I'd focus on. If your daughter doesn't have the alphabet etc. nailed down by day one, no big deal - there will be plenty of others in the same situation, I'm sure, and you wouldn't have enough time between now and 8/9 to get there without a whole lot of unnecessary stress for both of you.

My advice: go for the practical. If she can't tie her shoes, make sure she has velcro for school and you can practice tying at home. Nose blowing is another big one for me - I made sure DS knew, just because it was a pet peeve of mine, but at least 3 times during the year the teacher sent notes home asking for tissue donations. They go through a LOT of tissues!
 

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Ark said:
This whole thread just makes me sad.... :badmood:

...I just dont know why people "assume" the government can do a better job with their kids than they can.

BUT, heck, when I look at SOME parents I can see that their kids ARE better off in public school! (No offense to any of you on this thread because I have no idea what kind of parents you are.)

So, I guess the reason I am saying anything at all, is to agree that YES, some kids are better off not being taught by their parents. But, I want to encourage people who havent ever even considered homeschooling that it is an investment in your kids. It's not impossibly hard to do, and didnt you teach them to get dressed, talk, feed themselves? Colors? Numbers?

Disclaimer: I know there are some good public school teachers out there. :baby04:

Why be sad? thats what some of us chose to do.. You chose homeschooling we chose public schools, I love the schools my daughters go too.. The teachers are excellant and they get a good education, and meet alot of kids and have lots of friends...
 

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It saddens me, too. Not that so many choose public schools, but that the kids are losing their childhood. A 5 year old should NOT be spending 7 or 8 hours in a stuctured environment. Even if it is loosely structured - why start warehousing them that young? Children that age should be exploring, they should be using their creativity to find what interests them and forming their own personality. Trying to fit every child into a preset mold based on their birthdate is sad.

Adults don't like it when a company says you have to retire at age 62, because some aren't ready to retire, and some are beyond ready. But when it comes to children we have no problem saying you have to put away your childhood and become a worker bee because you turned 5.

It is setting up some children to fail. Maybe their motor skills and coordination are not "average" and so they are going to be ridiculed - and if it starts in kindergarten and they stay in the same school, it is not going to stop. Maybe their social skills are above average or below average - either way they will be teased. And maybe they just aren't ready to sit still for long periods - so they will end up on ADD meds. Or maybe their mental function has not matured enough to memorize their ABC's because they are still at the distracted preschooler stage - they will be labeled dumb.

I think if a parent has researched it and decided public school is the best choice for their child - more power to them. If they are choosing it because it is easy, or is the tradition, then it is sad.

I just wish they would do away with the whole age thing and test children on social/emotional, fine and gross motor, and cognitive ability and start each child when they are ready to start.
 

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Where i understand where your coming from, some kids aren't ready for kindergarten, some most definatly are.

If your worried about the teasing, well thats something everyone has to deal with, even in the work place, and really the teasing is worse in the middle school.. not so much the elementary school..

My sister homeschools her daughter, she will be in 8th grade next year, my sister is going to send her to HS in the 9th grade private school.. The daughters not to thrilled but i know once she gets there and meets alot of people she will love it. My sister told me the other day that when she sent her daughter to 2nd grade she missed her so much she wanted to homeschool her again, so she pulled her out of school, and her daughter loved going there, to me that seemed selfish on my sisters part.

But Public school is the right thing for us. My oldest daughter has done excellant in school, she's on the honor society gets all A's.. it hasn't hurt her one bit.. I said to her once want me to homeschool you? she said "no way mom, I might like the idea of staying at home but i would miss all my friends."

My DD6 loved Kindergarten, she had 3 teachers, went all day long.. Some schools might not be that great but ours is pretty good I have no complaints.
 

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RockyGlen said:
It saddens me, too. Not that so many choose public schools, but that the kids are losing their childhood. A 5 year old should NOT be spending 7 or 8 hours in a stuctured environment. Even if it is loosely structured - why start warehousing them that young? Children that age should be exploring, they should be using their creativity to find what interests them and forming their own personality.

I really don't understand what makes you think a home is NOT a structured environment (loose or otherwise). I also do not understand why you think that children are not allowed to explore or create or grow personally just by virtue of spending time in a different building. What difference does it make if he's playing with worms in a playground instead of in my backyard?

DS just got out of kindergarten. The "school day" was a whopping 2-1/2 hours. I wish we had had an all-day option, because that would have made the rest of his life much less complicated, but we chose the best option available for him. It seems to have worked out fine, though; I haven't yet caught him putting on a uniform and calling cadence! :)
 
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