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Should children in kindergarten be taught to read and have homework every night?

alphieb

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I was wondering if children in kindergarten should have complex homework every night and be taught to read fairly complex books at such a young age? When I was in kindergarten we just simply learned our letters and more or less played.

My son is in K and learning Spanish, reading and adding and subtracting. He also has homework every night but Friday. Is that too much pressure?
 

bazlyx

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Depends. It sounds like an interesting experiment.

Is he doing well, are most of the kids doing well?

Considering that the United States is behind in the world in the k-12 education standards it might be a good thing!

Children are very adaptable and the earliest experiences tend to make the biggest influence in life - if that experience has work in it, than its possible it can improve the childrens work ethic as they get older.

The critism of such a program would be that there might bring negative feelings about school early on and not allow 'kids to be kids'.

I'd like to hear more about how this works... its alot more ambitious than when I started school!
 

alphieb

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bazlyx said:
Depends. It sounds like an interesting experiment.

Is he doing well, are most of the kids doing well?

Considering that the United States is behind in the world in the k-12 education standards it might be a good thing!

Children are very adaptable and the earliest experiences tend to make the biggest influence in life - if that experience has work in it, than its possible it can improve the childrens work ethic as they get older.

The critism of such a program would be that there might bring negative feelings about school early on and not allow 'kids to be kids'.

I'd like to hear more about how this works... its alot more ambitious than when I started school!
Thank you for your reply. He actually is doing fairly well. It was mandatory when he started school that he know all his letters and numbers (he goes to a private school, but some public schools are also following this).

Now in November they are putting letters together and they have reading assignments every night. I make flash cards with words like the, and, they, said etc......I was just surprised, because we NEVER did that in kindergarten. He struggles a little bit, but my god he is six. Last night he read a whole book to me. Don't get me wrong it was fairly simple, but yet complex for that age. We had to go over and over the words in book before he could recite it, but he got the job done.

What inspired me to create this thread is my husband said I was working him too hard and to put him in the public school, because he would grow to resent education and become burned out before college. I wanted more opinions.

As far as math, he has a nack for that anyway. They are already adding and subtracting. That comes easy for him.

He does not have Spanish homework, but they are learning the numbers and letters as we did English in K.

You asked how the other kids were doing and that is interesting, because I asked him that same question last night and he said they could ALL read better than him. That inspired me to push him harder. This is why my husband stepped and and said "hey let him be a kid". I want him to achieve very well, but I'm afraid I'm doing the wrong thing.
 
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bandaidwoman

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I was raised in the Far East, english is my sixth language. In kindergarten I had at least one to two hours of homework (learning to write the chinese caligraphy which you need to know 50,000 characters if you want to attain college level education.) along with math. I also had to learn Malaysian since it was the official language. Kids brains are sponges. Don't worry.
 

alphieb

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bandaidwoman said:
I was raised in the Far East, english is my sixth language. In kindergarten I had at least one to two hours of homework (learning to write the chinese caligraphy which you need to know 50,000 characters if you want to attain college level education.) along with math. I also had to learn Malaysian since it was the official language. Kids brains are sponges. Don't worry.
Thank you,

I will keep that in mind. I think it will be very beneficial to him in the future. My husband was 2nd in his high school class and is now an attorney. He thinks since he did well and that info. was not instilled when he was in K. that it is not necessary, but it can't hurt.
 

cnredd

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alphieb said:
I was wondering if children in kindergarten should have complex homework every night and be taught to read fairly complex books at such a young age? When I was in kindergarten we just simply learned our letters and more or less played.

My son is in K and learning Spanish, reading and adding and subtracting. He also has homework every night but Friday. Is that too much pressure?
If you look at countries that are doing better than the US in basic skills, you will see a rigid discipline that is mandatory...

That rigidness is not tolerated in America because certain factions of society will complain and complain and complain..."Everyone must be codified!"...:roll:
 

alphieb

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bandaidwoman said:
I was raised in the Far East, english is my sixth language. In kindergarten I had at least one to two hours of homework (learning to write the chinese caligraphy which you need to know 50,000 characters if you want to attain college level education.) along with math. I also had to learn Malaysian since it was the official language. Kids brains are sponges. Don't worry.
That is absolutely amazing......My goodness. By being raised in the "far east" not to be noisey, but where, China or Malayia? How did your peers do with that higher education? Did they all succeed well?

I took German in high school and a little in college, but could not recite hardly anything now. I think America is trying to raise their educational standards.
 

bandaidwoman

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alphieb said:
That is absolutely amazing......My goodness. By being raised in the "far east" not to be noisey, but where, China or Malayia? How did your peers do with that higher education? Did they all succeed well?

I took German in high school and a little in college, but could not recite hardly anything now. I think America is trying to raise their educational standards.

Taiwan, then Malaysia, a year or two in Japan, never kept up with my peers once I moved to the states (at end of high school). I was Eurasian and the racism against mixing chinese and english blood was unbelievable. (yes, Asians can be just as racist as anyone else.) See my post in the other thread regarding american education. http://www.debatepolitics.com/showthread.php?t=5546 I actually think it is more positive than most people think.


If you learn a language before the age of nine years old you can speak it without an accent, after nine, it gets really hard. That's why I have my daughter in private school as well so she can start the languages right at Pre K (learning spanish and japanese). I really don't see why American schools start languages at the earliest, junior high for this reason. I learned english late (in high school) so I still carry a slight chinese, malaysian accent.
 
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alphieb

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To all,

Thank you for your post it has been very helpful.
 

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I agree that children's brains are like sponges. Just say a bad word near them one time and find out...
I was at a school board meeting once where the parents were trying to get the district to implement kindergarten, and they did. But the Supt. was against it, and said something about turning our kids into robots. He was a former jock who spent district money willingly on sports stuff, but was reluctant to spend it on kindergarten. But it happened anyway, even tho he attempted to sabotage the program. He set extremely minimal standards, barely more than baby sitting. One (of 4) teacher ignored the standards and taught the little ones to read by the end of the year. They tried to fire that teacher, but most of the parents were trying to get their kids into her class.
It is amazing what a child can learn early on, but balance is required. I also agree that we should let the child have a childhood, and if the extra learning becomes work, it is probably too much. One of ours loved it starting at age 2, the other could not be bothered with it until age 6, and they both turned out about the same.
Results may vary, as they say.
 

ngdawg

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I'm amazed you had no kindergarten. It's always been the norm here in NJ, although if you show good reason, you don't HAVE to enroll your kids (like private school, homeschooling, etc).
I took it upon myself to teach my kids reading before they started kindergarten-my son taught himself to write at about 2 1/2 by copying letters, so that when they started kindergarten, their teachers were very surprised and pleased; in fact, they sometimes were sent to first grade classrooms to read to them.
Anyway, enough bragging :mrgreen: The homework, etc., has a couple of main purposes, as outlined by this school district and I think it holds true for most: 1) it reinforces and keeps fresh the lessons of the day and 2) it becomes a 'habit' to have homework at an early age.
As for languages, they started here in the second grade, but it seems it either wasn't reinforced enough or kids just didn't care. Afterall, we don't speak spanish at home at all, so in their minds, what's the point of learning it?
I do believe kids are under a LOT of pressure to succeed earlier than my generation was. We finished school, hopefully graduated and were tossed into the world, and most did ok. Personally, I want and know my kids will do far better.
 

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ngdawg said:
I'm amazed you had no kindergarten. It's always been the norm here in NJ, although if you show good reason, you don't HAVE to enroll your kids (like private school, homeschooling, etc).
I took it upon myself to teach my kids reading before they started kindergarten-my son taught himself to write at about 2 1/2 by copying letters, so that when they started kindergarten, their teachers were very surprised and pleased; in fact, they sometimes were sent to first grade classrooms to read to them.
Anyway, enough bragging :mrgreen: Personally, I want and know my kids will do far better.
It was 1978, in "farmertown", Idaho. nuff said?
We taught our kids, and they teach our 6 grandkids as soon as they show the slightest interest, and so far they all have gone off to Kindergarten already reading except the first, and he caught up soon enough. He was one that had little interest until age 5. (too busy climbing everything, one scary kid!)
Within our family, we try to make sure that each new generation is a step above the last in as many ways as possible. The generation prior to my age had NO college except for one grandmother (my mother-in-law) who was a teacher. But all 4 of her kids attended college, 2 graduated, and one (my wife) has advanced degrees, and 18 out of 20 of her grandchildren have graduated from college, several with advanced degrees.
Helping your kids do better, as you said, is how we insure the future is brighter for all. So many parents, such as mine, have an "18 and out" mentality, which is sad. A lot of potential has gone to waste with that attitude.:(
 

RightinNYC

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When I went through my public school, we didn't start learning languages until 7th grade. By the time I was a senior, they had started kindergarden spanish and french programs. I wish I had had those...

And I think kids should come to school knowing how to read.
 

alphieb

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I wish I would have started my six year earlier with learning his letters and to read and write. It seems he is a little behind in that area. However, math is no problem and comes easy. I don't even have to tutor him in that area. If I would have tried earlier on his reading he probably would not have been ready. Every child is different.

I think it is a good idea to start other languages ect....when their little brains are still growing, maybe it will have an impact on higher IQ and SAT scores.
 

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alphieb said:
I wish I would have started my six year earlier with learning his letters and to read and write. It seems he is a little behind in that area. However, math is no problem and comes easy. I don't even have to tutor him in that area. If I would have tried earlier on his reading he probably would not have been ready. Every child is different.

I think it is a good idea to start other languages ect....when their little brains are still growing, maybe it will have an impact on higher IQ and SAT scores.
Back when my wife was teaching the younger children, she was also a reading specialist. I have seen her take kids that were years behind in reading skills and get them up to speed over one summer.
She uses phonics of course, and has even traveled to other states teaching teachers how to teach phonics.
Some things she stresses are reading to and with your child, and finding books that match their interests. Once they develop the basic skills and learn to like to read, there are usually no more problems in that area to be faced in the future.
 

alphieb

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UtahBill said:
Back when my wife was teaching the younger children, she was also a reading specialist. I have seen her take kids that were years behind in reading skills and get them up to speed over one summer.
She uses phonics of course, and has even traveled to other states teaching teachers how to teach phonics.
Some things she stresses are reading to and with your child, and finding books that match their interests. Once they develop the basic skills and learn to like to read, there are usually no more problems in that area to be faced in the future.
I try to set aside time everyday to work on that, at first he resisted but now he is actually used to it. This develops good study skills.
 

Stace

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I began learning to read when I was three, so that was never a problem for me. In today's world, I think it's important for children to read, though of course it should be kept age appropriate...but since I'm not an expert, I can't really say for sure what exactly that would entail...and I'm not too up to speed with children's books anymore.

Simple math is ok, as well. Always a useful skill.

I think teaching them simple skills in other languages could be useful as well...as other posters have said, children are like sponges and soak up knowledge. With more and more immigrants to our country, being bilingual is a highly valuable skill, and the earlier you are taught, the more you learn.

As far as homework goes...I don't know that I'd assign it every single night, I think every other night would be sufficient...but nothing more than a simple worksheet....and on the off nights, perhaps encourage parents to read with their children or do simple counting exercises...

I don't have any children yet, so I can't speak from any sort of experience, just throwing in my two cents :smile:
 
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