Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Andy, Jul 12, 2008.
I hope this works: Saw this on MSN homepage and found it very interesting:
i think thats ridiculus. shouldnt they be trying to help these kids? what are they saying by just sending them away? that cant be good for these kids self estem.
These are often the same children that often face expulsion or drop out in high school. So much for early intervention!
I think the article is more about the preschool system than the kids who are getting kicked out. It's pretty much the same thing that I've started to mention -- the preschool system ignores what we know about child development.
From the article:
Not always a "problem child"
Many parents and experts see a preschool system that has lost sight of what's appropriate to expect of a 3- or 4-year-old.
"I think some people have expectations that children that age are able to sit for 20 minutes and listen to a lesson," says Lisa McCabe, associate director and cooperative extension associate of the Cornell Early Childhood Program at Cornell University.
"You stick them in that environment and they start acting out and hitting, and then they're labeled a problem child, when they're not -- you're just expecting things that are inappropriate."
It's natural for a little kid to whack their playmate to get what they want, in part, because it works.
Most young children haven't yet mastered how to "use their words," much less the patience and internal check system to follow through.
Earlier it mentions that preschools are set up to prepare kids for kindergarten. What happened to the concept that kindergarten was set up to prepare kids for going to school?
Call me old-fashioned but I firmly believe that kindergarten should be the first exposure to a formal education for children. Before that, the work of kids should be play. We really need to stop thinking that daycare for young children has to become a part of the education system.
When my 1st child entered Kindgergarten, I couldn't help but think that she was supposed to know before enterring Kindergarten what I went to Kindergarten to learn.
I think society is expecting too much of our 3 -4 year olds. Sara is correct, the system is ignoring child development in their rush to push academics down the throats of the these kids who still need lots of time to play.
Pre-schools expel kids at a higher rate, because they can. Often (at least here) the demand for pre-school places is greater than the number of places available. And over here, a 3 year old who just isn't handling it can be asked to leave (rather than expelled) because he "isn't ready". No stigma, just a gentle suggestion to let him be with his mother for a bit longer, or in a more intensive care environment if his mother happens to work.
Sara, I understand your views on pre-school. In an ideal world, you are right. Kindergarten IS supposed to be the transitional point between home with mum, and school.
However, we live in an era where increasing numbers of children are spending more time in various forms of out-of-home care, many of which are expected to provide adequate opportunities for development within what is appropriate to that age group. easy child 2/difficult child 2 is currently in her 2nd year of a 3 year diploma course in Early Childcare. Even when she is working with babies, she has to have it all drawn up as an appropriate education plan. Children under a year old need to be given access to appropriate experiences and stimuli.
I was a full-time working mother. At the time I copped a lot of flak for going back to work instead of staying home to be a full-time mother. But I had no choice - mortgage interest rates were running at 17%. So I went back to work when each kid was 12 weeks old (10 weeks old in easy child's case) and my kids went into Long Day Care, full-time. I spent every spare minute of my work breaks with the kids (which meant I continued to breast-feed) and it was difficult. The guilt piled on me was immense. Every bit of negative research that came out, was sent to me.
This was in the early 80s.
Over the next couple of decades things have changed. More people use child care and in our country it is now subsidised. They're even talking about bringing in paid maternity leave for all non-casual workers in the country (government funded).
The big crunch came for us when the kids started school. Since they had spent all their years in child care, they had no need of the Kindergarten stage. They'd done it already. easy child attended a Kindergarten where almost all the other classmates had also been in full-time child care, and the teacher (also the school principal) said, "I have a class full of leaders, and no followers."
Far from suffering as a result, these kids were champing at the bit, ready to take off along the straight. We lost touch with many of them, but of those we know about, all went on to gain entry into good schools at high school level, many getting into Selective School (exam-based academic entry at high school level - Selective takes about the top 1%). Part of this is likely to be skewed data because many of these kids were children of university staff and so had an academic/IQ head start already.
However - it is simply a statistic of modern life, that for many reasons (including the need for parents to work) children are put into child care and pre-schools. These, when done properly, provide early and age-appropriate education AND play opportunities (since "play" is always education, and these places use play as a teaching tool). So by the time most kids get to KIndergarten (which in Australia is the first year of formal schooling) the kids are ready for a lot more than they're usually given.
Another point about pre-school - it is really good for kids who would otherwise be bored. By the time a child is getting old enough to be heading for school in the next year or so, they need to be getting more stimulation than they often can get at home unless they have a mother who can provide a wider range of experiences for them.
I was a child of a stay-at-home mum. I was the only child at home during the day and by 3, I was bored. Reading books was a good pastime but I needed more help and my mother was too busy. I spent a lot of time playing outside with the dogs or with various toys. But I was bored. My mother sent me to the local pre-school which I enjoyed. We didn't do very much there, certainly not compared to modern pre-schools. But it was a wider experience and it stood me in good stead when it came to preparing me for school the following year. I think school would have been too confronting for me to begin with, if I hadn't previously had pre-school.
The system SHOULD be consistent and equitable. Either pre-school should be formalised so it is available for all children as part of the entire education process, or it should be eased back so there is less emphasis on getting an educational head start, and more emphasis on play.
However, there will always be those children who crave intellectual stimulation from the get-go, and who shouldn't be blocked from getting what they crave. For those kids, as well as for the kids who find academia a bit tough to handle, we need amore flexible education system which can take better care of our kids at the individual level.
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