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Since when is preschool a prerequisite of kindergarten?

It seems these days that kindergarteners are expected to know quite a bit more than they used to. My son can sing his abc's and count to about 15. He knows all his colors and shapes. He can write his name. He doesn't read or even really recognize letters not included in his name or numbers. If I ask him, for example, what words start with the buh buh B sound he either doesn't get it or doesn't want to cooperate, I'm not sure which.
We couldn't afford preschool, but made too much for any free pre-k programs. And I thought preschool was to give your child a head start. Instead, not going to preschool starts you at a disadvantage. I read to my son everyday. I try to get him interested in his flashcards and workbooks but I also have a 1 year old and my home just isn't a classroom.
Maybe I'm making a bigger deal out of this than needs be, but his registration interview is on Frday and I'm worried and freaking out the more I see what people say is expected.


Asked by Nicoles2LilRams at 8:41 AM on Mar. 5, 2011 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (8)
  • Don't freak out! Somehow, the expectation got skewed. What I'll tell you is that children learn when they are ready. Simply providing the opportunity of structured learning in preschool doesn't make children learn. My nephew has been in care since he was a year old with preschool programming and then went to Kindergarten with full day programming. He didn't learn to read until the summer right before Grade 1.

    Your son sounds like he's doing great! You are doing a fantastic job of caring for him while offering him the opportunity to learn basic literacy and numeracy skills. :) Good job!

    Answer by Nonoluna at 9:02 AM on Mar. 5, 2011

  • It's frustrating, because like you, others want their kids to have all the advantages of other kids.
    And, yes they are expecting quite more than they have in the past. Every grade is like that.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:48 AM on Mar. 5, 2011

  • It all started with the "No child left behind" act a few years back. When the government went on a frenzy to start bringing children and schools up to the expected level. I personally think it's ridiculous what toddlers and younger children are expected to know BEFORE school starts.

    Honestly, a kid isn't going to be interested in learning if it isn't fun for them. This goes for children from kindergarten all the way through college. The only difference is older kids know about to learn the material regardless. Whereas younger children have a harder time focusing and putting forth the effort if it isn't fun for them. My suggestion is to start turning his learning into a game. When you're walking down the street ask "Can you point out what starts with a "B"?" And if he doesn't answer then you show him something that starts with "B". Then ask him if he can point something else out. Do this with books and other things too.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 10:13 AM on Mar. 5, 2011

  • That was a frustration for me as well.

    Answer by cleanaturalady at 12:50 PM on Mar. 5, 2011

  • Good luck to you. I don't know what is required anymore. My son had to know his ABC's, he had to count to ten, he had to know how to tie his shoes, and his colors. I wonder what more they are looking for. Much more than that and I think they are asking for a bit much. Well, like I said, good luck, I hope he does well.

    Answer by Peajewel at 5:59 PM on Mar. 5, 2011

  • I can imagine your frustration.

    Answer by ethans_momma06 at 8:14 AM on Mar. 6, 2011

  • I believe that preschool is important. My feeling is that children should know all of the letters, numbers and phonics (sounds of each letter) going into kindergarten...but I was raised by a teacher :)

    Now, that said, it sounds like your child might be behind, but that is water under the bridge. There are always kindergartners who do not know all of their letters or numbers. The kindergarten will work on these skills, so don't lose sleep over it at night. By first grade he should be completely caught up with a good teacher. The interview will place him in the right place, no reason to be fearful of that.

    My recommendation is get out the ABC flash cards every night when he is in the bath + bath crayons and go over each and every letter + its sound. Have him write the letters he doesn't know right in the tub-then say their sounds. Also, get the leapfrog fridge magnet with the letters and sounds for him. He will be fine!!!!

    Answer by spottedpony at 12:32 PM on Mar. 6, 2011

  • It was never an expectation here, not everyone does preschool. We didn't and my son has done fine.

    Answer by KTMOM at 12:10 PM on Mar. 7, 2011