My wife took our 2yo daughter to a toddler day at the local grade school today. She found out that they teach reading, writing, addition, and subtraction in kindergarden. Is this normal? Or is it just because the class size is 2 or 3 kids?
I think it is. Most kindergardners are age 5 I think so your daughter has a few years yet.
I don’t remember learning that stuff in kindergarden (1975). Just making art and signing songs. But we must have done some of it becuase I remember distinctly reading, writing, and math in first grade and multiplication tables in 3rd.
I think kids want to start reading anywhere between age 3 and 7. There was a thread here a while back where a surprising number of people said that they started to read around age four or five. On the other hand, a large part of grade 1 is devoted to reading. And I’m sure there are some who don’t start until age 7.
Now math, on the other hand… grade 1 sounds about right. But that probably varies as well.
My second daughter is in kindergarten, and is doing reading, writing, addition and subtraction. She’s clearly ahead of where her sister when she was in kindergarten 2 years ago - the town moved to all day (5 hour long) kindergarten this year.
When our kids were in pre-school, early reading (match the words to the object) and math (counting, adding and subtracting) were taught as early as age 3-4.
They keep moving kindergarten “up”. It’s sort of like the new first grade now. I think that’s a horrible idea, but nobody asked me.
You might want to check your state’s standards, they’re probably published online. I’ve been surprised to learn that kids in most places are now expected to do basic reading by the end of kindergarten. Lots of experts say age 7 is more appropriate, but that doesn’t seem to be the trend.
Around here, kids are expected to know their alphabet, how to count, and the basic shapes and colors before they enter kindergarten. Sheeit, when I was a kid, lots of children skipped kindergarten entirely.
But don’t fret about your 2-yr-old; you’d be amazed how much they pick up, just from being spoken to. I used to play counting and rhyming games with mine, like when we were running errands or whatever, nothing structured. I’d count 20 seconds out loud while waiting for their mac & cheese to cool, they loved that.
Oh, and I’ll caution you about one thing – I’d seen this expert advice about repeating things back to your kids when they’re learning to talk. It’s supposed to reinforce their behavior or something.
WELL, once mine DID start to really talk, they’d talk to ME that way, repeating the last word in every.single.sentence. It about drove me BANANAS. “Whad dat?” “That’s a firetruck.” “Firetwuk?” “Yes, a firetruck.” “Firetwuk?”
My daughter tries to read letters on an alphabet puzzle now, so I’m not worried about her. She picks up on everything. My wife slipped this past winter on the ice and said “Oh Shit!” A little voice came back “shit.” My wife, under her breath, realizing that the little one caught on: “Crap!” Quickly followed by: “cap.”
It just shocked me what they were learning. Yes, they go to pre-K at 4 and kindergarden at 5 here. I don’t remember kindergarden hardly at all - just playing and making art (1975 also). I know multiplication is not until grade 4 here, as my father joked that they’d let him teach fifth grade as soon as he learned his multiplication tables.
When did pre-K become the norm? (Is it?)
Not sure. It’s optional here.
Our oldest daughter went to a pre-school with “academy” in the name. It was basically like Kindergarten that advanced over the years until she goes to real Kindergarten this year. We didn’t pick it to push her. It was just a very good option over all.
Our town offers public school French immersion which very rare and she is in that now. She learned her colors, shapes and most other things a while ago. However she cannot truly read or do much math except she can count to anything.
My mother was a decorated teacher but she never pushed my to do anything above grade level. First grade is when you are supposed to learn most reading and math and I think that is wise. I soared to the top of the standardized test charts for reading about 2 months after we started in 1st grade. First graders should not be pointed towards elite colleges at that age but that is what many parents do.
I say that 1st grade is when they should learn those things which is the tried and true method and why it is named that way to begin with.
I learned addition and subtraction in kindergarten. Very basic and they used blocks to help us visualize what was going on. I also learned how to write as well. This was in 1985.
Reading I learned earlier. My dad had a bad teacher in first grade, plus dyslexia which wasn’t recognized as a learning disorder when he was a child, so he insisted that my sisters and I learn to read before we got near school. He taught us himself from a phonics book.
My daughter starting instant messaging me at work at the age of 3.5 (She commandeered the laptop while my wife was in another room). She was pretty precocious, but yeh, a lot of kids are fast learners around that age. Preschool helps, as well as, educational programming and DVDs.
My son is in kindergarten this year. He has been learning to read, write, add, and subtract. It’s a better than average public school, but I think the curriculum is mostly determined at the state level.
My oldest son is in kindergarten, in a special ed class for mentally retarded students (he’s autistic, rather than MR, but it’s the only class where the teacher knows sign language). Reading, writing, addition, subtraction, all are expected by the end of the year. They’re also learning to count money, which I don’t recall learning until 1st or 2nd grade, back in the Dark Ages of the mid-‘70s.
I’m fairly sure that my mom, who teaches grade 1, expects children to be able to recognize their letters, write them (though reversals of b/d, p/g, s/z etc are still pretty common), to be able to recognize their numbers (0-9 or higher) and write them, and understand the concept of “fewer” and “more” though not necessarily subtraction/addition of the form 2 + 3 = ?, 4 - 2 = ?
They should be able to spell their own name and write it consistently, and there are certain assumptions about art that get looked at too; the extent to which a drawing of a person has reasonable relative proportions and details, the ability to draw events of a story in order, or re-tell a short story through drawing (really, these standards aren’t high, but they are a measure of development and comprehension).
Then again, in any given class, there are many students that start grade one without having achieved these goals for whatever reason, and the grade 1 curriculum is set up to get them up to speed… ideally. Y(child’s)MMV.
Just to be clear, I’m not a teacher, but I have helped my mom out enough to have a sense of how these things are evaluated.
I worked with SpED preschoolers and kindergarteners a few years back. Even the three to four-year-olds with MR were expected to be able to recognize their own names written by their 4th birthday and id colors, shapes, body parts and so on.
The other kids who have varying disablities (downs, autism and less severe problems) were all learning to count, write their abcs and so forth in the older preschool class. The kindergarteners were learning to spell simple words and so forth. I assume the expectations for typically developing children in the school system are even higher for entering first grade.
There was an interesting show on television PBS(?) that showed how even very small youngsters might understand math. They showed very young, IIRC, 1yos an experiment in which the researchers lowered a screen and conspicuously changed the number of items left behind while the screen was drawn. Another hand would sometimes add or remove items out of sight.
They found that in general the little ones looked at the experimental area for a longer period of time when the total number of items changed, suggesting that they were in some fashion able to “count” the difference between the two states and recognize that something was wrong.
Aren’t there schools of educational thought that don’t teach children to read until 8-9-10ish? I’m thinking Waldorf or Montessouri, maybe, but am not sure. I briefly babysat a kid years ago who shocked me by telling me he couldn’t read, the first time I sat for him. He was eight at the time, and I’d never heard of such a thing.
I got over it.
I think the idea is that their little brains aren’t structured for close-up viewing and detailed work at those tiny ages, and that most kids when not pushed, just fall right into reading and quickly learn to read at age-appropriate levels right around 8-10, having a much easier time with the process overall.
Can anyone elaborate on this?
I learned to read in preschool.