Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Headed in two different directions

For a few months now Jessica's teacher has told me that we need to work with her on her "sounds". Wasn't sure if this meant animal sounds or what. Her teacher was referring to the alphabet and phonics....you know, the sounds that letters make. In September all the kids at school will be moved up to appropriate classes according to their ages and ability. I just found out that there is a "smart" class for those kids turning 3. This "smart" class will be for those children who can recognize numbers out of order, know all their colors, shapes and all the sounds. So my thoughts are, "hmmmmm so there's a "smart" class? And I've got till September to help with her sounds. Better get cracken!
Flashcards are Jessica's new best friends. Quick Jess, what does this letter say? She's not doing too bad and we still have plenty of time.
Jessica has a few boyfriends who will be starting Kindergarten this year. Kindergarten is not like when we went to school. No more sitting in the corner eatting glue while wiggling your loose tooth in hopes of having something for the Tooth Fairy at night. Oh no. These kids are expect to know how to write their names and addresses, count, speak well and be close to reading. Three new schools in my area are trying something new this fall. If your child is behind you can now send them to Kindergarten till 2 instead of noon. They're finding out that kids with no preschool and those that English is their second language are holding back the whole class. It seems like across the nation school districts are expecting more out of the children.
Here's what I find odd. While the schools expect more the parents require less. Kids these days can't even make it to the grocery store without mommy throwing in some mindless DVD or video game while driving down the street. Are you shitting me? Johnny can't go 4 minutes without some type of stimulation? Kids TV shows on cable claim that "It's like preschool on TV". No it's not. It's still the blasted "idiot box"! Preschool requires leaving your home and interacting with other children and if you're lucky obtaining some knowledge. Kids don't have ADD ( I realize that yes some actually do)...just because the teacher isn't bursting into flames and shooting guns into the classroom. It means you failed as a parent. It ticks me off that so many kids are being labeled with ADD and then given drugs because they can't operate unless they're playing video games or zoning out on hours of TV. How lazy are we as parents? And childhood obesity? Huh? Those two words shouldn't even be in the same sentence. I guess while you're kid is watching TV in the car why not drive through McDonalds? And as long as the kid is enjoying "preschool" while zoning out on the couch, heck throw them a bag of cheetos.
I don't quite know how the schools expect children to be ready when they're not receiving much support from home. I guess we'll wait and see. For us, we'll continue with the flashcards. My goal is that by the time my two young ladies walk out the door ready for college they'll know (and it will have been proven to them) that you'll get farther in life with what's above your shoulders.


At 8:38 PM, Blogger Joannah said...

Amen, sister!

As a teacher I'd just say don't push Jessica past the point where it's not fun anymore. As long as she thinks it's fun, she'll soak it up like a sponge! Good luck!

At 10:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well stated Aimee!!!!! Hope to see you all soon, Lisa A.

At 5:22 AM, Blogger Meg said...

Leap frog has some wonderful games and toys that help teach the letters and the sounds....and it keeps learning fun! the fridge magnet is wonderful (my 3 year old holds it and uses the "letter of the day" while we all line up behind him marching and singing around the house!) and for when Jessica is able to watch TV the leap frog letter factory videos will have her recognizing letters and sounds in two weeks!

At 5:50 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Good post! Have you ever seen the TV show "Honey, we're killing the kids?" You should see what those parents are feeding their kids!

At 7:42 AM, Blogger Jen said...

Beautifully said! I couldn't agree more. TVs, computers, playstation, gameboy....all built as "babysitters" for parents. And they wonder why ADD is on the rise. It's crazy. (Okay, computers have their positive points but they still suck you in....look at us :)

Your daughters will be strong, independent, smart women. They're lucky to have you.

At 5:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here Here Aimee! I could not agree more!

Hope all is well. Love hearing about you and yours through the blog!


At 5:10 PM, Blogger Killired said...

amen to you! i just finished up taking classes to transition my 4 year prek certificate to a k-3rd grade licensure.
i have a child that just finished k and one that will begin k... son #1 was just naturally intelligent. he picked up on everything and was advanced in kindergarten with reading... son #2... uh oh... i'm nervous. he's never been in preschool but they started one this summer at the school where he will be in k this fall. it's been slow but he's starting to get the hang of the letter-sound relationship. i think he's intelligent, i just think his interests are not in school and learning the things that school offers.
make sure to not only use flashcards with her but to read read read books to her and with her. there are soooo many alphabet books out there and they really help with the letter-sound relationship that she will need to learn! try to make it fun for her and not to school-like at home. one of my professors advised me to be very careful about 'teaching' my own kids at home.. she said to just let it come naturally and not to sit down with them and treat them like a teacher... does that make sense... i'm not sure if i'm explaining it clearly enough but she is right... it's hard not to sit down with them and do with them the things that teachers do in class.
best advice... read read read read and talk talk talk talk talk about any and everything!!!!!
dont let them make you feel inferior for not being in the 'smart' class...
oh and it is true about the kids who haven't been in prek and the kids who are not engligh speakers as a first language. it's very hard for them to catch up with the others. sounds like they have a good plan though... but... we have all day kindergarten here and i am a strong advocate of that. my kids school has a 2 hour literacy block of time everyday... if they were in half day k... they wouldnt have time for anything else!
good luck to you... clicked over from all stars!


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