Pre-K is on the way! Is this OK?

tobr24u(z6 RI)March 31, 2014

Not with me, as it is just another attempt to solve the problem of a lack of structure and parenting in mostly inner city families. Evidence shows that Head Start didn't work and methinks that this won't either...

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Do you have anything to back up that statement about Head Start? I was under the impression that it was a very successful program, but I've never looked into it in any detail, so I could be wrong.

Kate

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 8:47AM
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jodik_gw

Don't we already have this... more or less... in the form of Preschool?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 9:06AM
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tobr24u(z6 RI)

The research has shown that it only worked while school was "fun." As soon as homework and other demands were put on at around Grade 4 results slacked off...

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 9:10AM
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october17(5chgo)

Headstart was a very successful program. I knew the man who developed and implemented that program. He was wonderful.

Quality of personnel assigned to him began to deteriorate. Then he passed away. Doubt it is of much value anymore. Except, as tobr said, trying to save the poor little kids from the non-parenting baby mamas.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 9:20AM
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momj47(7A)

I'm all for it. Too many children have no enrichment, no adult conversations in their homes, and start school far behind and never catch up.

If we don't try, we'll be a nation of illiterates.

My dear granddaughter, in kindergarten, can read, but there are many other children in her class who barely know the alphabet and can't read at all. Kindergarten is now the new first grade and in some cases, even second grade. Kids who are behind now may never catch up.

It's heartbreaking to imagine what their future will be if they don't catch up. And with larger class sizes and so many extra responsibilities on teachers, they probably won't get the individual attention that would help them.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 9:40AM
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tobr24u(z6 RI)

The research on Head Start shows that the results are not lasting no matter how soon you start. In short, it is almost impossible to overcome extremely disadvantaged home lives. The money might be better spent trying to prevent children from being born into these circumstances, but this also is proving to be extremely difficult...

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 9:47AM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Have they changed the grades in which certain skills are taught? My memory is that reading was never taught before the 1st grade, and no one (or almost no one) in Kindergarten could read--nor was anyone expected to read in Kindergarten. So are you telling me that they now teach reading in Kindergarten? (Been a looooooong time since I had any kids in school!)

Kate

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 9:51AM
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tobr24u(z6 RI)

The idea is to immerse the disadvantaged children in a learning situation as early as possible hoping that learning will catch on as an intrinsic value with these kids...

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 10:03AM
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momj47(7A)

Have they changed the grades in which certain skills are taught?

Oh, yes, they certainly have. I wouldn't have known, but now that my daughter, her husband and two kids live with me, I'm involved in the school again. (the same one my son went to). And it's great fun. I've already figured that when I retire, (any minute now), I should be a reading volunteer for kindergarten.

Kids coming into kindergarten without knowing the alphabet, their colors, counting,. are already behind, and it's hard to catch them up.

They are having spelling tests in first grade, learning cursive in second grade. It's nothing like when I went to school and it's not even like it was when my kids went to school.

It's heartbreaking to see how lost some of these children are. in kindergarten. I just want to sit with them in a rocking chair and read and talk and read and read.

I imagine our children, and grandchildren have very enriched lives. It makes such a difference.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 10:46AM
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demifloyd(8)

We went through this last year

There were posts about reports that head start was a program deficient in results

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 10:47AM
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jodik_gw

My grandkids could all read by the time they were enrolled in Kindergarten... and I think a lot of the inability spoken of has to do with Moms or other parents who can't stay home due to income issues...

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 11:53AM
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blfenton

What is the difference between pre-school and pre-K?

Is pre-school private and paid for by parents and pre-K is in the schools and paid for by my taxes?

My kids are 26 and 24 and they both went to pre-school but emphasis was on fair play and learning to socialize with some educational learning through an art program. Perhaps more emphasis on the important life skills of learning acceptance, friendship, of getting along is better at this age than stressing educational skills. Those skills, if headlines are to be believed seem to be lacking.

Kindergarten was half-day and with no expectation of knowing how to read or even printing your name. A couple of years ago our district went to all day kindergarten - will it be a success, who knows. Still too early to tell but some kids are ready and others are not. My older son was 4 and still napping in September of beginning K - would that have worked for him - I don;t know.

Neither of my kids could read when they started kindergarten but by the time they finished high school they were able to do that and everything else required of them to get into university. The inability/ability to read when starting kindergarten is not an indicator of success or future failure.The ability to get along and play fair may be.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 12:23PM
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momj47(7A)

Is pre-school private and paid for by parents and pre-K is in the schools and paid for by my taxes?

That's generally the difference now, I think. The elementary school my grandchildren attend has a Pre-K program now, it didn't exist when my son went there.

I would guess that children in Head Start programs might feed into the Pre-K program. There are also children who don't go to any pre-school or daycare programs and get few interactions with adults at home - so Pre-K would be great for them. Sadly, there are plenty of "parents" who think they can pop out a kid and send them to school and that's it, they've done their job.

Pre-K is focused on skills - reading, counting, colors, etc, and here it's generally a half day program. Kindergarten is full day. Pre-K is not day care or child care.

it's especially targeted to at-risk children. The earlier children are screened and remedial action is taken, the better the outcomes.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 12:52PM
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patriciae_gw(07)

Children in other countries start school sooner than we do generally around 3 or 4 years old. Must be some reason for that.

Kindergarten was optional when I was a child and my mother didn't send me. It was really hard for me. I didn't know the rules or what was expected of me but since everyone else knew...it was awful. As most well off children go to pre-school the poor and lower middle class kids are at a disadvantage.

I don't believe that the fact of the advantages conferred by children going to Headstart don't last is an indication that the program is worthless. It simply means that more needs to be done as the kids get older. The other kids are getting enrichment at home and the poor kids don't even have anyone at home or perhaps even a home to go to. It is no wonder the advantages wear off. An educated population being vital to the stability and prosperity of a country, it would be sensible to figure out what these kids need in order to stay on par with their peers.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 1:39PM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

For those kids who would benefit from it, I think it is great. However, I do not feel it should be compulsory. My feeling is too structured of an environment for a kid who is not ready may cause them to despise school and learning. My oldest child was not ready for kindergarten at age 5. At age 6, he had matured and was ready to read, sit still, and hold a pencil. His home environment was not deficient, we talked to him, had many books available, etc. When he was in kindergarten, it was full day but they still took naps.

By the time one of his younger brothers was in kindergarten (6 year difference), naps were gone, etc. By first or second grade, there is also only one recess which is just 15 minutes in conjunction with the lunch time frame. The now 10 year old was in a pre-K program at the school because of his autism and his need for services. I thought it was wonderful as it was just 2 days a week, some structured activities but plenty of free time. We declined to have him in Head Start which would have been 5 days a week, and I felt too much for that age.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 2:52PM
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elvis

â¢Posted by patriciae Z7PNW (My Page) on Mon, Mar 31, 14 at 13:39

"Children in other countries start school sooner than we do generally around 3 or 4 years old. Must be some reason for that."

Which countries, Patricia? I didn't check all of them, but here are a few:

Mexico = 3
Northern Ireland = 4
England, Scotland, Wales, Nederlands, Australia = 5
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Spain = 6
Sweden = 7
Canada depends on province, near as I can tell. For example, compulsory is 6.

Tish: "My feeling is too structured of an environment for a kid who is not ready may cause them to despise school and learning. My oldest child was not ready for kindergarten at age 5. At age 6, he had matured and was ready to read, sit still, and hold a pencil."

Agree, Tish.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 6:24PM
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redsox_gw

Kids entering kindergarten have such varied skills. Many can read, some even chapter books. Other kids don't know their letters and I recall one who didn't know her colors. I'm not sure how it is possible to have a 5 year old who doesn't know colors.

Pre-K does level the playing field for all. Kids who can't get their alphabet also hold back the rest of the class from moving ahead. Our school hired a resource teacher a couple of years back. She pulls out about 3 kids (from the whole school) at a time and works with them until they read on grade level.

The problem is that many of the kids from disadvantaged homes have very unstable lives and they live with the Mom, then the Grandma, then the Aunt. So they just disappear from the classroom, sometimes without even notifying the school.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 7:06PM
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chase_gw

Children in Ontario can start school at age 3/4 depending on month of birth.

Junior kindergartener is 1/2 day and senior kindergarten is full days...recent change. Both are voluntary.

I absolutely support the .concept for many different reasons, From the need that working couples and single moms and dads may have but more importantly the chance for children from disadvantaged situations to be in a safe, nurturing and educational environment.

We can never do enough for our children...never..

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 7:09PM
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elvis

The socializing aspect of pre-K is great, but it's very bad news if one is a licensed child care provider trying to make a living...

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 7:31PM
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momj47(7A)

Around here, Pre-K is half a day 9 - 1130 or so, so kids are still going to daycare. And they serve different purposes. Pre-K is for educational skills - numbers, letters, colors, words.

Daycare is caring for children.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 7:52PM
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mary_md7

The "push down" of academic curriculum to lower grades (kindergarten, pre-K) is a big problem. Learning through play is one thing. Didactic academic instruction for young children is developmentally inappropriate.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 9:14PM
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elvis

"Pre-K is for educational skills - numbers, letters, colors, words.
Daycare is caring for children."

I should have been more specific. 2 of my co-workers' spouses own small teaching daycare centers. Both of these individuals have elementary education bachelor's degrees. The addition of free public preschool education has hurt their businesses considerably.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 10:01PM
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eibren(z6PA)

"The idea is to immerse the disadvantaged children in a learning situation as early as possible hoping that learning will catch on as an intrinsic value with these kids..."

Headstart in Pennsylvania began to be used as MHMR's Early Intervention treatment program for many developmentally delayed children. The goal with such kids is not to instill a philosophical orientation in favor of learning, but rather the cognitive ability to actually learn. Children are only eligible for MHMR Early Intervention services until the age of 3, and all Headstart services are for preschool children, not for students in elementary school grades 1--4.

With a large proportion of Headstart's population being composed of special needs students, of course they are not going to excell. We're talking here about kids who would otherwise have ended up in special ed, at times in schools specifically for the mentally retarded. When you consider that Headstart has been able to prevent this in many instances, it is worth every penny.

As a caseworker I frequently came into contact with Headstart workers. To a person they were hardworking, knowledgeable professionals. The Headstart classes I dropped in on from time to time, located in extremely deprived neighborhoods, were full of well behaved, attentive children wholly focused on learning activities. When child clients of mine were able to be enrolled in Headstart, it sometimes became a safety factor that helped to prevent the need for a child to be placed in foster care. The parents were guided through the need for child immunizations and involved in their childrens' educations in positive ways that often helped them to become better parents.

Headstart is an excellent, well designed program which has
saved may young, special needs and deprived children from deficient lives due to early malnutrition and lack of stimulation, and, in some cases, lack of supervision and/or abuse.

Since the Republicans chose to target Headstart for budgetary cuts, of course they will try to justify this atrocity by claiming the program is of limited value. In fact, for many children it is has been a lifesaver. Any program can of course be run into the ground by excessive budgetary cuts, particularly in the case of a program such as Headstart, which has always existed with insufficient funds.

Pruning taxes for the wealthy at the expense of special needs and disadvantaged children is a despicable act that will come back to haunt our society for years to come in the form of the bent and broken lives of people that could have benefited from it, but did not because of selfish and short sighted policies.

This post was edited by eibren on Tue, Apr 1, 14 at 16:17

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 10:02PM
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tobr24u(z6 RI)

No one would deny that special needs students should be denied help learning that parents are not capable of providing. The disadvantaged are also offered help that their parents don't bother to provide, but gains for the latter are not lasting according to some studies...

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 5:21AM
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arcy_gw

Students "raised" in homes that do not VALUE education do more poorly than those raised in families where parents care about academic success. Head Start helps, but is only a band aid. The LASTING effect is negligible because PARENTS don't follow through!! Homework/study is NECESSARY. Most families who qualify for Head Start do not believe it is THEIR job to encourage/help REQUIRE their children to do school work after school. Preschool is STUPID. Most of these students are already in DAY CARE which is the same as PRESCHOOL!! This is a sly way to get parents FREE Day Care. What we need is mandated parenting classes. What we need is to CHARGE parents when their child does not succeed due to their lack of commitment to their education!! Our schools are FULL of kids wasting the time of educators and their peers!! We need testing that eliminates the slackers at each grade level. If you do not perform we put you to work!! Even the youngest child is capable of some sort of work--just look at China or the southern USA's cotton plantations!!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 6:29AM
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tobr24u(z6 RI)

Well said, but forcing parents to attend parenting classes has not worked as these classes are educational in nature and, thus, not compatible with parents who are adverse to education. As one parenting expert put it: "Inadequate parents have inadequate children."

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 6:42AM
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jodik_gw

Each child being an individual, how can we expect them to learn at the same exact pace, or be ready for the same exact things at the same exact age? Answer... we can't.

There must be some leeway expected... it's the nature of humans, and the individual.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 7:49AM
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tobr24u(z6 RI)

That is true, but as a psychiatrist once told a group of young social workers there is no magic wand to make your clients respond to he rigors of learning...

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 8:07AM
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patriciae_gw(07)

Great idea. Lets condemn children to a life of physical labor by judging them when they are 5, 6,7 years old. They can pick oakum for heaven sakes and make themselves useful.

Here we have a basic difference between the conservative and liberal mentality. If the program isn't working ditch the program and conclude the problem cant be fixed so you can ignore it vs if the program isn't working try something else until you devise one that works because we have a problem.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 4:12PM
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eibren(z6PA)

Tobr, do you have a link?

What I am able to glean from the summary in Chapter 6 is some positives that persist through the 4th grade, especially for those children from the most deprived circumstances.

Here is a link that might be useful: Headstart Study

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 4:49PM
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patriciae_gw(07)

I never got back to Elvis on when kids start school-while school is compulsory at around age 5/6 in most 1st world countries they pretty much all have state/tax supported pre-schools that are begun around age 3 or so. They are called different things but like our system the younger kids get mostly socialization plus small amounts of learning that increases as they age. While generally not required most kids go. I've looked up England in particular because when I lived there in the mid 60's I was interested in how they raised their kids vs us. It seemed to me they were almost coddled-you never saw them walk around then suddenly these same little kids were trudging down the sidewalks on their way to school with their little satchels all by their lonesome. I judged them to be around 3 or 4 and so it is today in England they have something called Reception class that starts in September after your 4th birthday and you have to go.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 7:52PM
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eibren(z6PA)

...the research on Head Start shows thit is almost impossible to overcome extremely disadvantaged home lives. The money might be better spent trying to prevent children from being born into these circumstances, but this also is proving to be extremely difficult...'

If proof of reliable contraception was a prerequisite for unearned entitlement programs, it would not be so difficult.

It makes such common sense I have difficulty seeing why it has not already been implemented. People who receive SSI and welfare already have to provide documentation of need.

I agree with others here who feel that overly structuring the time of very young children could be detrimental. Additionally, if the "no vaccine" movement is not curbed, pre-K could end up being lethal for some children exposed to previously eradicated childhood diseases.

Aside from those concerns, early childhood nutrition and stimulation are very important for child development. Just having a chance to interact with other children is valuable, let alone the activities pre-K class leaders can implement.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 8:24PM
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mary_md7

"Most families who qualify for Head Start do not believe it is THEIR job to encourage/help REQUIRE their children to do school work after school."

I believe this statement is incorrect in cases. Often,the problem is that many of these parents don't have the life skills and understanding of education to give their children constructive assistance. Or in sociological terms, they don't have the capacity to provide their children with the human capital and social capital they need to succeed.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 4:28PM
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tobr24u(z6 RI)

Have you have tried to give them the skills necessary? Pretty much a fool's errand...

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 5:48AM
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david52_gw

Our schools are FULL of kids wasting the time of educators and their peers!! We need testing that eliminates the slackers at each grade level. If you do not perform we put you to work!! Even the youngest child is capable of some sort of work--just look at China or the southern USA's cotton plantations!!

Best of all, those nimble little fingers can weave rugs. Pay them piece work, they go much faster. Well, until arthritis sets in around age 11.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 11:04AM
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littleonefb

"Our schools are FULL of kids wasting the time of educators and their peers!! We need testing that eliminates the slackers at each grade level. If you do not perform we put you to work!! Even the youngest child is capable of some sort of work--just look at China or the southern USA's cotton plantations!!"

Just what the US wants to be known for, slave labor of it's very young because they are "slackers" in a particular grade level.
Just "throw them to the wolves" so to speak. Toss them out because they don't meet some arbitrary expectations of some crazy minded people that say they aren't good enough for an education, just make those ones just like they do in "China or the southern USA's cotton plantations."

Talk about sick minded people in this country.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 3:49PM
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mylab123(z5NW)

I say put the little boogers to work on sewing beautiful leather handbags and drive the handbag prices down to where the "little people" ( me) can afford them.

Those expensive designer handbags currently go easily for
$1,6000+ (WAAAY plus in many cases) but all those tiny fingers could do that tiny, fine detail work (which is claimed to make those price tags really not so unreasonable) would make all those designer handbags easily affordable to me and my brand new BFF, Arcy.
And, since they would be mere children who dont take up much factory space with their tiny bodies (more room to squeeze more little workers to produce more goods ) nor eat much anyway ( good for their parent's food budget) the price of those handbags should drop like a stone.
I've always said I wouldnt spend more on a handbag than the amount of cash I could feel comfortable affording to carrying in it at any given time.

If Arcy's idea takes those kids out if the classroom, keeps them off the street, gives them something productive to do, makes for a much smaller teacher to student ratio and provides me 'n Arcy some lovely and very fine leather handbags, that is making good use of human beings who previously were nothing more than a bunch of little takers.
And...... if they are very, very good little children who work very VERY hard, perhaps they might just find themselves a little lagniappe ( as much as three whole dollars a week!) in their paycheck - teaching them that hard work really does pay off!

So, leave poor Arcy alone. She is demonstrating innovative ideas which would provide jobs, jobs, jobs for her fellow Americans while enriching the lives of those who have worked hard all their lives and want to be able to own some of those very beautiful designer handbags at an affordable rate.

Its a win-win situation all the way around.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 5:00PM
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chisue

Doubtless, early childhood education is dangerous. It may save some poor kid from repeating his or her parents' hopeless life in a ghetto. (Oooh! Bad word!)

Tell me someone has proof that Head Start HARMS children, does NO good. "Oh, why should we even TRY? (wrings hands)"

Here's where I plump again for a voluntary boarding school for kids who need real raising as much as they need scholastics. It would be a better use of funds than aid to dependent children (squandered by the parents or guardians); paying teachers to teach in traditional baby-sitting schools; paying police to keep the noise down; paying incarceration costs.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 6:31PM
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elvis

Arcy: "... If you do not perform we put you to work!! Even the youngest child is capable of some sort of work--just look at China or the southern USA's cotton plantations!!"

It never occurred to me that this was anything other than sarcasm. It does occur to me that some of you are waaay too angry; you might try to lighten up.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 7:14PM
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mylab123(z5NW)

You would have loved the sarcasm about what to do with the children of women on welfare - it was one of the very first replies to a thread I ever read when I first found hot topics.
And the sarcasm regarding what some did with cremated ashes of loved ones? That was 'specially special, too.

I was really looking forward to my inexpensive calf-hide haute coutour handbag.
I certainly hope that part wasn't no stinkin' sarcasm, too!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 7:52PM
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elvis

Check the thrift shops, Mylab. You wouldn't believe what one can find there. I found a Chanel bag once. In near-perfect condition.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 8:43PM
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jillinnj

It never occurred to me that this was anything other than sarcasm. It does occur to me that some of you are waaay too angry; you might try to lighten up.

Then you clearly have not read arcy's posts over the years. She drops these kinds of bombs every now and then and then disappears again. Almost never responds twice on the same post. Having her read her posts here and on the conversation side of the decor forum, I am sure she is not being sarcastic and holds some very warped views.

mylab - I really just so enjoy your posts. Your post on Thu, Apr 3, 14 at 17:00 may be my favorite ever. Thank you!

edited to add my thoughts on the op (almost forgot to do that thanks to arcy's crazy view of life) ---

I have no problem with my tax dollars being spent on helping under privileged children get ready for school. I'm sure Head Start is not perfect, but instead of ditching it all together (the conservative way), I prefer to make changes to it to improve it. As someone above said, this is the perfect example of differences between conservatives and liberals. Conservatives hate when their precious dollar is spent to help someone less fortunate than them. Liberals are happy to spend that dollar to help improve society. Chase got it right -- we cannot spend too much on our children. They are the future.

This post was edited by jillinnj on Fri, Apr 4, 14 at 8:40

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 8:32AM
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tobr24u(z6 RI)

I remember a psychiatrist telling young counselors and social workers who were frustrated by the lack of results that their efforts were showing that they did not have a magic wand and after a reasonable time to curtail the resources being extended. Many of their clients would be "womb to the tomb" cases and this is just the way it has been and will be in our society...

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 9:06AM
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