Curriculum: PreK, K, or wait another year?

Preschool readiness skills (birth to age 5) and the common developmental concerns of young children.

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crafty lady 3
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Curriculum: PreK, K, or wait another year?

Postby crafty lady 3 » Mon Mar 13, 2006 3:40 pm

Hi everyone!

I am new to the board and the idea of homeschooling. My daughter is 4 with a September birthday, so she would not be starting kindergarten this year even if she were going to attend the public school.

The question I need advice on is should I start her on a homeschool preschool curriculum, a homeshool kindergarten curriculum, or not bother this year.

My daughter just started to read in the last two weeks. (This was her idea, not mine!) Granted, she is only doing two and three letter words with short vowels at the moment, but she is using phonics to sound them out correctly. She is currently itimidated by the idea of a whole book to read (those phonics readers I bought when she started this will probably be gathering dust for a while), but she loves to sound out single words that I point out in her familiar books. So, academically, a kindergarten curriculum would not be a stretch in any way.

However, her motor skills (both gross and fine) are delayed. Writing would definitely be a problem. She can barely form letters--and when she does you must be generous in order to interpret them. Her coloring and drawing also seems lower than I would expect, and she has been professionally evaluated (Long story there!) and is delayed for her age. So from that standpoint, I think a kindergarten curriculum might be a problem. I know from looking at workbooks that I can buy (which she loves as long as she can do them with Mommy) that it is difficult to find something that is challenging to her academically that she is able to physically do.

She loves for me to read to her and will easily listen to the Magic School Bus books. I have also read her a couple of chapter books, but am having a hard time finding books that she likes that I approve! (But that is another post!)

Any suggestions for this child and Mommy?


P. S. Can you imagine her a year and half from now just starting kindergarten? It might almost be worth it to see the powers that be squirm from the results of their own inflexibility!

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Postby momo3boys » Mon Mar 13, 2006 5:48 pm

i have the same probem with my son, he is reading at a 2nd grade level but would be in kindergarten this year. he is also slow in writing but fast in reading. i just let him have a lot of freedom with his written words. i use the scaredy cat reading system and both my kids love it. it comes with a workbook but it is very flexible with the use of it. you can go at her pace, but she can still be learning to read.
Phi 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

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Postby ATL Mom » Thu Mar 16, 2006 1:52 pm

There are many topics in the kindergarten level that you can teach to your child without having her write. I do encourage you to continue to have her practice her writing skills. Seriously though, my 11 yr old's writing is not always readable. Nor is my husband's.

For starters, you could teach lessons about animals and the sounds they make and the homes they live in. You could include some basic reproduction information, as well. (ie. ducks lay eggs, cats have kittens, dogs have puppies, etc.)
You could include various habitats, such as the ocean or the forest or the desert.

You could do several basic Math skills. Shapes, size concepts (big/little), money recognition and value, and even basic addition. Use manipulatives to do these instead of workbooks that would require her to write things down if writing discourages her. Coins are wonderful for adding, subtracting and other games.

Since she enjoys reading words that you point out to her, you could create a "book" of your own for her to read. Better yet, help her make the book. Buy a small photo album and cut out pictures from a magazine. Then write the word that corresponds with the picture using a magic marker. She'll have her very own book. You can even use this process to create a book that actually has some kind of sentence structure.

Use the grocery store to teach her about fruits and vegetables and different types of food. You could talk toher about where the produce is grown and how it gets here to our grocery store. This would definitely be tailored to your child's level and capability of understanding. You could even look up pictures on the internet of the farms where those products are grown. (sugar cane fields for sugar, apple orchards for apples, etc.)

There is no need to wait until the state says she has to begin schooling. Especially if you intend to homeschool. My daughter is 18 months old and we already have "lessons". She knows all her animals and the sounds they make. She's learning her colors, tho this is a slow process. She's even learning to recognize her letters. She'll be able to point to a specific letter long before she'll be able to understand what the letter is and what it does.

Hope this helps.
If you had it to do all over again, would you?

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Writing is not something that anyone starts out good at...

Postby Theodore » Fri Mar 17, 2006 10:33 am

Writing is not something that anyone starts out good at. (see, I ended my sentence with a preposition!) The only way to get skilled is to practice a lot. If you're worried about your daughter's writing, just work on it more and don't worry about it. Her writing will develop over time; the important thing right now is her reading.

I'd personally go with the kindergarten and do the writing parts separate, if necessary.

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Postby hbmom36 » Thu May 18, 2006 9:58 pm

My 7 year old began writing around the time she turned 5, and boy was her handwriting atrocious!! She was also having a hard time with spelling. We started using a writing and spelling curriculum, which she really disliked. We kept on with it, until she started making lists of things that interest her. She makes lists of EVERYTHING, and it has really improved her writing and spelling. I wouldn't worry too much about handwriting in a 4 year old. I believe the best way to improve it would be to have her write about things that interest her, and you will see the improvement over time.

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Postby hairsnipr1 » Wed Jun 06, 2007 12:25 pm

Hi, I'm in the same situation that you are in. My son is 4, he'll be 5 in December. He already knew everything he was being taught in he was bored. I have been reading about and purchased used "Sing, Spell, Read and Write". I wasn't sure if I should buy the preschool or the Kindergarten...luckily they gave me a deal on both. After looking at what they'd do in each, I would've just purchased the Kindergarten as most of the preschool is reviewed in the Kindergarten level. He is wanting to learn to read and write and this seems to be an awesome curriculum for his age. I have not read ANY bad reviews on it. So maybe check it out...and my personal opinion for your child is just go with the Kindergarten package.
hope I was somewhat helpful.
good luck!

Angie Burnison

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For I can do everything through Him, who gives me strength.

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Postby Calla_Dragon » Wed Jun 06, 2007 12:31 pm

My son just turned 4 and we're doing kindergarten curriculum with him. He's also delayed in some areas and has a tough time writing. I either take the writing parts out or let him work on them if he wants to, which he usually does. We're doing colors, numbers, shapes, letters, phonics and whatever else he picks up from his big brother's schooling. We also sing a lot of songs, read a lot of stories and make crafts. It's pretty laid back and low key, but then again so is my older son's school work and he's at a 2nd grade level. I also use Time4Learning for my 4 year old which he loves. He loves to do schoolwork and will ask many times a day, especially when he sees big brother doing his.
To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent.

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Postby Ceres » Thu Jun 07, 2007 7:55 am

My son learned to read at 3 but frustrated me because he couldn't write down the letters that he could read. I asked a teacher friend of mine and she said to relax and not stress myself or my son out. Their little brains work so fast, learn so much at this stage that their motor skills simply can't keep up. It takes a lot longer to develop the fine motor skills to make the letter "A" for example, than for their brain to process the letter "A".

I backed off for quite some time, until he started attempting to write the letters on his own, then we started doing handwriting worksheets, etc. He loves to write now.

Hang in there and concentrate on what they ARE capable of, rather than what you think they SHOULD be capable of. That was my big mistake. :wink:
"A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops." - Henry Adams

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~ Aristotle

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Postby bigreys5 » Thu Jun 07, 2007 2:12 pm

Hello, I am homeschooling a 7 year old and a four year old. I totally believe it is dependant on the child's readiness.

My 7 year old was very frustrated when I first tried to teach him to write at age 4, so we slowed down back to phonics at that point. He just all of a sudden started writing at 5, and since it was his choice, he picked it up very quickly. He has been doing grade 1 work for a while now, but he would not be starting grade one until next year if he was in PS.

My four year old on the other hand is already writing his letters and numbers. I think it is becuase he saw his older brother "doing schoolwork" and wanted in on the fun! He has been doing kindergarten work for a while, and is getting kind of bored already.

Now, one thing that helped them a lot was starting out tracing the letters. We used Jan Brett tracing pages, and they both loved them. My four year old still likes to trace, but can and will write out on his own also.
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Postby Entropy » Sun Jun 10, 2007 3:39 pm

Since fine motor skills take time to develop, maybe you could use alphabet stamps to let your kids express themselves without the frustration of having to write out the letters. I found alphabet stamps at the Yellow Bus that are dotted, so my guys can practice forming the letters over the dots if they so desire...
(They were items LER0661 or just look up alphabet stamps as they have others)

I've also found them at lakeshore...
(LA923X are the follow-the-dots letter stamps but they also have other alphabet stamps as well.)

Good luck! What a bunch of smarties you have! How exciting. :D

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Postby Kitty-Cat » Tue Jul 03, 2007 10:56 pm

If my daughter was interested in reading small words but not a whole early reader then I would make some books with her. I would have her draw or colour a picture of a cat and write the word 'cat' underneath it. Then do some other animals such a dog, pig, bug and hen then staple them altogether as a book. Use whatever 3 letter words she likes that can be illustrated reasonable easily. There is heaps of free clip art and colouring sheets online so you don't need to be an artist.

With the motor skills I would make that a part of my 'school' time.
Threading beads
Making play dough letters
Using an eyedropper to mix colourd water
Threading cards
Writing letters or drawing is a tray of sand, kool aid, pudding etc
Filo board (This is something we bought that my daughter enjoys, kind of like hook embroidery. You can make pictures, letters, numbers or patterns on it with colourd cord)
Jo from Australia

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