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Child initiated....who thought up this rubbish?

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by ginnyweeze, Dec 8, 2007.

  1. OK, I'm only a parent, not an 'expert', but don't I get a say in my child's education.

    I'd like my child to do more reading and writing at pre-school, but I'm told she can't because she's not initiating this.

    OK, call me old-fashioned, but isn't it called pre-SCHOOL. Doesn't that mean children should learn things. Tangible things. In fact the most important things to learn at this age - reading, writing and arithmatic.

    I pay my taxes, but don't get a say in this! No wonder literacy standards are so low. Come to think of it, now wonder behaviour is so poor when four-year-olds are dictating what happens in the classroom.
     
  2. OK, I'm only a parent, not an 'expert', but don't I get a say in my child's education.

    I'd like my child to do more reading and writing at pre-school, but I'm told she can't because she's not initiating this.

    OK, call me old-fashioned, but isn't it called pre-SCHOOL. Doesn't that mean children should learn things. Tangible things. In fact the most important things to learn at this age - reading, writing and arithmatic.

    I pay my taxes, but don't get a say in this! No wonder literacy standards are so low. Come to think of it, now wonder behaviour is so poor when four-year-olds are dictating what happens in the classroom.
     
  3. Your daughter will be learning through her play at her pre-school, and this learning will include early reading, writing and arithmetic skills, though (I would hope) not as obviously as if she was bringing home worksheets of sums (for example).

    However, as far as I understand the EYFS guidance, parents should be in partnership with their child's setting, and therefore involved in their child's learning. How far parental involvement goes with regard to pre-schools, I don't know.
     
  4. Learning through play is OK for some of the time...but how about a bit of learning through teaching.

    If I had never bothered teaching and nurturing my daughter she would never have learned to eat solids or to become potty trained!

    I don't expect her to bring home work sheets, just to do more of an educational nature when she's at her most alert and at pre-school.
     
  5. For starters, pre-school is a terrible name, children aren't pre anything, they are what they are and where they are now. As purplemagic says, the learning your daughter is experiencing should include all the early literacy and numeracy skills she needs. She isn't at school yet and even when she is, there should still be a lot of child initiated learning, for her to use, consolidate and develop her skills. Have a good chat with your daughter's key worker about their methods and reasoning - hopefully they can put your mind at rest.
     
  6. How old is your child ?
     
  7. The idea behind child initiated learning is that the child chooses what they want to do and practitioners intervene to move child on in his/her learning.

    The amount of adult directed learning increases as the child gets older (more adult directed at school than pre-school).

    From a teacher's point of view, I would prefer children to be involved in constructive play at pre-school, where they are developing speaking and listening and personal/social skills, as that provides a sound base onto which so much else is built. However, I appreciate that parents often feel they should be 'doing more', especially if they feel their child is ready for that next step.
     
  8. Hi ginnyweeze
    I'm sorry you feel like this. I've been teaching nursery aah for more than 20 years and although I've seen lots of changes, I still hold dearly the same views about how small children learn.
    I've worked with lots of parents who felt initially like you do "but they are just playing" and I can understand that it often looks just like that. Lots of time I have had parents say to me "but he's not wanting to draw; write etc" and I say look trust me, this is a waiting game, very hard I know. I could make said child sit down each day and practice his name yes and in a few months he can do it, fantastic, or I could concentrate on other skills and in a few months noticed how much more ready he is and yes in a few weeks he can do it! Meanwhile that child has become so much more confident in other areas such as social skills. I have seen this so many times and refrained so many times from saying told you so!
    Early years education is about giving children life longs skills and attitudes. We want to foster a love of learning; an ability to focus, to listen, to form relationships, to be curious, to question.
    This can be done in so many ways, the best way is to focus on what the child loves to do. I could go on for hours about the mathematical and literacy skills I could get out of a ball of playdough or session with the dolls house, I won't bore you with the details.
    I don't think your preschool have explained to you what they are doing very well. Firstly its important to focus on the child where they are at, what they need to develop. If they are avoiding areas, you find out why, it maybe that they are just not ready. If they are a child developing normally you wait awhile focus on something else; if you feel they need help in this area you find a way fo motivating them; that maybe chalking or painting on the playground floor or writing in the homecorner.
    Please please don't limit learning to maths and reading and writing - your child also needs to learn to be independent; to get on with others; to question; to think; to create; to imagine etc etc.
    I hope this makes sense, enjoy this lovely time before your child is all to soon stressed out with sats etc etc!
     
  9. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    1 | Posted by: ginnyweeze at 08 Dec 2007 19:35


    "OK, call me old-fashioned, but isn't it called pre-SCHOOL. "

    Sorry to inform you that you got your capitals in the wrong place it is called PRE-school because it's the bit that comes PRE (before) school and as such your child will be learning the important things they need to know before school, such as self care, socialization, how to share and take turns which will make learning to read and write and all the other things easier to learn when the time comes.
     
  10. My daughter's four and well ready to move on a bit.

    I pay for this through my taxes, so I think I deserve a say. As it is, I've found an independent setting where I will pay more but will get what I want and what she needs.

    As for being independent, forming relationships, practical skills etc, this is where she already excels. Now she needs the academic stuff too.
     
  11. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Are there no nursery schools or nursery classes in your area rather than Pre-school?
     
  12. Good luck to you, you have to do what you think is right for your child. I'm just glad that my own teenage sons who had such fun playing, creating, socialising and learning at nursery and no never learnt to read till they went to big school are doing so well at secondary school, sorry but I can't help bragging are predicted to get 10 A*s at GCSEs Sorry but you drove me to it!! Tax worth spending I think and they are very good at socialising too!!
     
  13. Just be cautious as to whether what you want and what she needs are both the same thing. Presumably, if she is 4 she will start school in September, it isn't that far away, and if she is doing as well as you say, she shouldn't have any difficulties once she gets there, whereas there has to be a possibility that if you push her now you could (not will, but could) turn her off. She has a lot of years of formal learning ahead of her as it is. If it was me, I'd talk to the pre-school and really try to get to the bottom of what they are doing, then think about saving the extra money a different setting will cost you to buy something else for your daughter!
     
  14. Same as grasmere. My 2 did 'nothing' before starting school - they 'messed around' doing play.
    It was wonderful - when they did start they were like little sponges, having got all the right stuff in place to enable them to learn efficiently.
    Both are at uni now, so I don't think it did them much harm.
     
  15. I hate to tell you, but when she gets to big school and is in reception she will get more of the same! Even in year 1 there is still some play.

    Seriously I don't know why you are worrying when she is ONLY four years old. A lot of countries start formal schooling at seven years old and they do better academically than we do!
     
  16. And sorry I've thought of something is this a Pre - school run like the old playgroups? If it is these people are paid a pittance and are having to do more and more. In the old days playgroups were just that and the kids seem to do ok Please don't take it out on these poor hard working people, I expect parents to challenge me but I am paid a darn sight more!
     
  17. Yur childs activities sound parent initiated TBH. Be wary - she won't let you do that when shes a teenager.
     
  18. I totally agree with Frances and Grasmere. In my school the children in year 2 onwards have huge amount of homework, and the teachers really make them work and work. My class (reception) love school and they tell me so and that is the attitude they should have. They LOVE being creative and imaginative and I think that becomes less and less as they go up the school because of curriculum pressures and tests. It gives me a huge buzz that these young children are being highly creative and thinking for themselves rather than being stuffed with workbooks etc. I am not a parent yet, but when I am a parent, my main concern for my child at 4 years of age, is their attitude and respect for others, their ability to be creative and the freedom to enjoy learning.
     
  19. ginnyweaze

    If you don't like it move to another country.

    You might however find it hard to find somewhere successful that agrees with you?? Scandinavia start even later, though there is always Af?????????????????? whoops better stop
     

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