Tag Archive | kindergarten

Struggling With Your Little Student's Teacher: Part 3 of 3 – By Nicole Perkins

By Nicole Perkins 

My daughter’s Kindergarten class is constant chaos, between the walls where you can’t tell where one things ends and another begins, to the desks all over the place, as well as the kids, it makes my head spin after only an hour – no wonder my daughter comes home so hyper and over stimulated. It is the most ridiculous ADD breeding ground I’ve ever seen. 

In a classroom full of rowdy toddlers, some of whom are eager to learn, others who are eager to play, splitting them up into groups where one is always left under-supervised, makes things more hectic than it needs to be.  Wouldn’t working as one big group, where everyone’s on the same page be more conducive to actual learning instead of just completing things? Questions would only need to be answered once instead of 20 times, the kids could have a nice pleasant pace without having to constantly stop in the middle of what they’re doing to switch activities, and there wouldn’t be a batch of 10 five-year olds left to their own devices at all times.  

The other two Kindergarten teachers don’t appear to be like this – I’ve watched and from what I hear, this is not standard operating procedure. I tried to voice some of my concerns at the parent-teacher conference but even then, she appeared totally rushed and flustered – I don’t think she heard a word I said.

So what do I do, switch her to another class? She would be devastated and it would probably cause more emotional harm than good. I’m trying to sign up for as many days as I can to be the parent helper, but I have a two-year old and my own work to do – my time is limited.

Should I talk to the principal? I can’t stand watching some of these poor kids who just sit there with blank stares on their faces until someone comes by to help them – they’ll never learn anything in that environment!

 

Or do I just watch my own kid, go over everything with her after school and help her make sense of the mayhem she “learned” at school that day? I’ve created a little station by my computer where I can get some work done while she does hers so I’m right here to answer any questions and look over what she’s done. It’s just the other kids I feel so bad for – you can literally watch some of them get left behind.

Has anyone else ever had a teacher they were unsure of and what were some of your solutions?

Struggling With Your Little Student's Teacher: Part 2 of 3 – By Nicole Perkins

By Nicole Perkins

In my daughter’s Kindergarten classroom, there is a full-time helper, along with a parent and the teacher. Now, the teacher is a mother of three, so I will give her some slack, but her actions are shaping the lives of a lot of children and I’m not sure she’s providing a standard she would find acceptable for her own children.

I will only go by what I have seen first hand which now tells me a lot about why my daughter’s work has come home so sloppy. Twenty kids are separated into four groups and there are three different stations – art, reading and “jobs.” The teacher calls a group to her reading table, the helper’s art table, while the rest are left to their own devices to get through their actual “jobs,” which is where the parent comes in.

We are the ones who wander all over the classroom (because of course the groups are random), to help the kids, one at a time, on the work that really matters – how to sound out their letters and match words to their pictures or something along those lines. At all times. there are 10 kids who are all over the place, have no idea what to do, or are sitting there by themselves, struggling or waiting until the parent helper can come over to help them. And then there are the kids who are advanced, who are done right away and bored out of their minds. On top of that, every 15 minutes, the teacher claps her hands and the kids all get up and move to another activity.

There is no consistency with the thought process constantly going from one thing to another, and with a different parent each day, there’s no consistency with how they’re taught. Everyone is rushing to get things done before the teacher claps her hands and the kids are not getting any real guidance on the things that matter the most in their education. I am even more grateful than ever that I work from home and have the flexibility to go regularly!

And I’ll admit, I may be a little of a control freak and perhaps, I’m just over-sensitive about my daughter’s first forray into school, so before I go crazy looking at everything with a negative eye, does any of this sound familiar or completely different than what other kids experience in Kindergarten? I just can’t imagine this is normal because it seems like such a hectic environment for children to spend their day. 

Check back in the next couple of days for some possible solutions, and any suggestions our wonderful community of moms may have, are greatly appreciated.

Struggling With Your Little Student's Teacher: Part 1 of 3 – By Nicole Perkins

By Nicole Perkins

So my daughter started Kindergarten and loves it. She’s made so many new friends and is constantly singing cute little songs and bringing home the most darling art projects – anyone remember the five little pumpkins sitting on the gate? Anyhow, it’s her actual work that I am a little concerned about.

Now I know this is just kindergarten and I don’t expect her to be writing essays or anything of the sort, but I would at the very least, expect that what she does already know, would be expanded upon. Instead, it has been quite the opposite. The “jobs” are very often wrong and not corrected, not to mention rushed. Things I’ve seen her do at home, are not being done at school and my little perfectionist has turned into a spaz.

So I didn’t panic, at first. She’s still adjusting, probably just not focusing because of all the fun the kids are having and I can’t imagine a room of 20 toddlers – I’m sure it takes some time to establish order!

But it’s been about three months now and I have since spoken with other educaters and moms. I have also had a chance to spend some time in the classroom as the parent helper and what I see is quite disconcerting.

Aside from my own disagreements with how the teacher and helper handle the children (always very rushed, unprepared, flustered and snappy), or the classroom setup (ridiculously clustered walls, desks facing every which way so the kids are constantly moving around to see what’s going on), what concerns me the most is where the teacher’s priorities lie – more on the completion of things instead of the actual learning of things.

Check back to see how our Kindergarten experience is shaping up and please, feel free to share your own stories.

Adjusting to Kindergarten – By Nicole Perkins

By Nicole Perkins

Last week was my daughter’s first week of kindergarten – yes, she passed her test to start early – and she loves it! I am truly astounded at the work she has brought home, there haven’t been any incidents at school, she already has told me she can walk from the truck herself, and her enthusiasm is boundless. Her only complaint is that recess is too hot and I couldn’t sympathize more! She’s just so cute and independant – naturally I fought back tears all week.

 

There’s just one little hiccup. At some point within the first hour after school, she has a completely irrational meltdown, over nothing. She started school last Wednesday and had one instantly because I tried to help her into the truck, (for which she apologized later, completely unprompted which was so sweet). Thursday, same thing, although directed at her brother this time because he got to put more groceries on the conveyor belt at the market. And Friday, I tried to head it off at the pass and take them for ice cream to celebrate her first week, and she lost it in the middle of Dairy Queen.

So this weekend, my husband and I had quite a few talks about it, brainstorming all weekend about the cause(s) and possible solution(s). Is she just tired, getting used to the new schedule, using all of her good behavior at school, only to collapse the minute she gets home, resentment over the new rapport her brother and I are developing, feeling a little left out, or is it things she’s picking up from other kids at school? My first instinct is to try and nip it in the bud immediately before it becomes a routine.

But after talking with some other moms in my neighborhood whose children also just started, it appears to be epidemic. So I’ve decided not to panic or do anything drastic to our routine. I’m sure it’s a combination of a lot of things and with such a big change in her life (and ours!), it’s even more important for me to be patient and supportive. The last thing she needs right now is more change.

For now we’ll just come straight home every day to decompress until she gets into the swing of things. The word on the street is that it takes about a month for all the wrinkles to iron out which seems perfectly resonable. So, since I’m clearly not the only one who has, or is, experiencing this, any suggestions or personal stories would be of great service to all of us first-timers who are sending a child out into the world. We look forward to your comments!

Starting Kindergarten Early – Nicole Perkins

By Nicole Perkins

My daughter turns five in the middle of December – obviously past the cut off for kindergarten. So on July 30, I’m having her tested to see if she’s ready to start early.

I wasn’t going to do it initially because it would separate her and her brother by another year in school and I wanted them to be close, but at the prompting of numerous people, I have decided to let her give it a shot. She knows all her letters, can write them, their sounds, words that use those letters, and is always talking about how much she wishes she could read. She know her numbers, can count up to 100 without too many slip ups, and now walks around announcing additions and subtractions she’s done in her head. After giving it some time to marinate, I feel that it would be a disservice to her if she had to sit through another year of preschool .

And I know she wants to do it. We live right up the street from the school and every time we drive by she laments about how bad she wants to start “real” school. Plus, she’s so tall – daddy’s 6’7″, and she is always mistaken for much older than she is. Perhaps this way she might not look so tall for her age if she’s with kids who are a little older.

I started early, October, and I was always the youngest person in my grade. Sure it was a little weird starting college at 17, having to get my parents to co-sign on an apartment because I wasn’t an adult yet. I was always the last to drive, vote, and drink amongst my friends. But it kind of worked out – I like to think I learned from their mistakes before it was my turn.

Now all I’m worried about is her disappointment if it doesn’t work out. I have gone out of my way to prepare her that, no matter what, she’s going to school this year. The same elementary school offers a pre-K, half-day program that she’s already enrolled in, but I dread the thought of her having to face her first major let down. I don’t want her to feel pressured to pass, but I want her to be prepared. I think I’m going to be more nervous about her feelings than she will be about taking the test!