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Curriculum Post any curriculum ideas, activites or projects that wouldbe helpful to our Daycare community. What is your teaching philosophy?

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Old 08-12-2011, 10:00 AM
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Michelle Michelle is offline
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Default Is it Bad to Just Teach Them to Read?

I have done mgt and I love the crafts.
I am planning to do it in Sep to please all the parents that want curriculum.
But I have taught these kids to read already by using good old fashion phonics and I think these curriculum kits are all fluff!
I have a 4 year old that reads at first grade level and the moms relative keep telling her to put her in "real" preschool , which makes me so mad because around here it's free and most of them are english learners, and they are "learning" the alphabet and to count... how is this going to help her? This girl is very smart and can already count to 100 and count by tens to 100 and I am starting to teach her addition. The other kids are easily following close behind her.

I guess this is turning into a gripe more than a question.
But am I missing something?
Preschools "read" about trees and flowers, we take them to the nature center and study them, touch them, see real frogs in the ponds, touch real acorns, collect leaves and paint imprint them etc. among other things.
The mom says she is not going to put her in head start but I feel I have to step it up to keep these kids... what more can I do? teach them algebra???
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:41 AM
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nannyde nannyde is offline
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Here's the preschool dilema: danged if ya do... danged if ya don't

If you don't do it then the parent thinks they are behind and need real school

If you do do it and the kid does really well the parents think they are gifted and need real school

You are most likely caught in the middle of that.
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Old 08-12-2011, 01:32 PM
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Michelle Michelle is offline
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Oh my, you are so right!!!!
If the parents could just spend one day in "real school" they will see it's not all that they think it is. It's a lot of crowd control, english learning (in our area) just basic self care,(hand washing,teeth brushing) they do have reading time but sometimes it's so loud and disruptive. There are always several problem children and the good or smart kids don't get enough attention because the disruptive ones take up so much time!
I guess for kids that don't go to a good daycare , it's a good start but why put them through it when they are thriving?
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:40 PM
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Head Start is a program specifically for kids who are struggling/at-risk/low SES. It is NOT for kids like your dcg. You ARE the real preschool she needs...and it sounds like the mom realizes this. That's a good thing. Don't change. Keep it up and don't change; you're doing the right thing.

Makes me mad when people seem to think that Head Start is for everyone...'cause it's not. Seriously. Kids who are not "at risk" have no place in Head Start. Head Start does have quite a bit of proven success...among the at-risk populations. Among not-at-risk populations, there is no discernible advantage whatsoever. Why? Because Head Start is teaching the basics to a population that otherwise would have no exposure to them. You don't learn to read by learning ABCs when you already know them. You don't learn to count to 100 when the only numbers introduced are 1-10. Head Start is for catching up kids who are behind or at risk for becoming behind...not for furthering the education of kids who are at or above level.

And to answer your original question, assuming you're still reading after the above diatribe , there is absolutely nothing wrong with, as you put it, "just teaching children to read". Nothing at all. Phonics is the best method of teaching kids to actually read, and read fluently.

Now, in defense of other 'Real preschools", they are NOT all Head Start. There are private and parochial preschool programs that are wonderful, absolutely wonderful...and you know what? They do everything you are doing with your kids. You ARE a real preschool even if you don't have that name or the teaching license or the teaching degree, and even if you do. Even if you have only 3 kids...or if you have 13. Spend one day in a GOOD real preschool and it will probably look and sound a lot like one day in your house.
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Old 08-13-2011, 09:22 AM
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sharlan sharlan is offline
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Ask the mother who she thinks taught this child what she knows. It wasn't a preschool, it was you.
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Old 08-13-2011, 10:05 AM
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I think you are doing EVERYTHING right Michelle!

I used The Home Preschool program for many years and thought it was a good curriculum kit. Easy for me, with fun learning projects and crafts for 2-5 year olds. The parents and kids loved it, but after many years, I got bored with it and recently branched off and began putting together my own program using some great websites. I absolutely LOVE Kidsoup.com. My philosophy sounds a lot like yours...lots of hands on learning.

I've had many parents thrilled with what their child is learning and keep them with me till kindergarten, while others think they need to be in an actual "classroom" environment to prepare them for school. It's frustrating!

I always have a small group...3-4 preschoolers, so the ratio makes it easy for me to give them lots of individual attention. I don't have the issues with trying to control a large group of kids and can spend more time teaching too.

All 3 of my own children, as well as many others that stayed with me till kindergarten, have all ended up in the gifted program once they started public school...so I try to reassure the parents, that there child will do fine.

They learn numbers, abc's, colors and much more, but also learn how to be a friend and get along with others...which I believe helps them excel in life!
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Old 08-15-2011, 03:38 PM
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Thank you so much everyone!!!
I feel so much better.
I have put so much into these kids, I want to to be a fly on the wall when they go into kindergarten. I really want to see how excited their teachers get when they see them read and be able to tell them the life cycle of a butterfly and how they actually saw baby chicks hatch at my house.
We get such a bad rap, and I feel a lot better now. Unfortunately, I did lose just one kid ( a little boy that I have had for 3 years ) to "real" preschool. But I will keep doing what I do and I know that the kids love me and most of the parents appreciate me and what I do.
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Old 08-15-2011, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2many View Post
I think you are doing EVERYTHING right Michelle!

I used The Home Preschool program for many years and thought it was a good curriculum kit. Easy for me, with fun learning projects and crafts for 2-5 year olds. The parents and kids loved it, but after many years, I got bored with it and recently branched off and began putting together my own program using some great websites. I absolutely LOVE Kidsoup.com. My philosophy sounds a lot like yours...lots of hands on learning.

I've had many parents thrilled with what their child is learning and keep them with me till kindergarten, while others think they need to be in an actual "classroom" environment to prepare them for school. It's frustrating!

I always have a small group...3-4 preschoolers, so the ratio makes it easy for me to give them lots of individual attention. I don't have the issues with trying to control a large group of kids and can spend more time teaching too.

All 3 of my own children, as well as many others that stayed with me till kindergarten, have all ended up in the gifted program once they started public school...so I try to reassure the parents, that there child will do fine.

They learn numbers, abc's, colors and much more, but also learn how to be a friend and get along with others...which I believe helps them excel in life!
That is so awesome!!!!
Do you ever feel you have to prove your self to these parents?
I almost want to set my little readers down in front of the doubting parents and show how they can read, but I feel it would be like I'm sorta "exploiting" them , I don't know... I know the parents believe me that the 3/ 4 year olds can read .I am just really hurt when they want to put them in preschool.
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Old 08-15-2011, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharlan View Post
Ask the mother who she thinks taught this child what she knows. It wasn't a preschool, it was you.
She knows it was me!!!
She loves what I do, it's the other relatives that are pressuring her.
We get those constant preschool commercials going on here that make it look like your kid will end up in jail if you don't put them in preschool!
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Old 08-15-2011, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverSabre25 View Post
Head Start is a program specifically for kids who are struggling/at-risk/low SES. It is NOT for kids like your dcg. You ARE the real preschool she needs...and it sounds like the mom realizes this. That's a good thing. Don't change. Keep it up and don't change; you're doing the right thing.

Makes me mad when people seem to think that Head Start is for everyone...'cause it's not. Seriously. Kids who are not "at risk" have no place in Head Start. Head Start does have quite a bit of proven success...among the at-risk populations. Among not-at-risk populations, there is no discernible advantage whatsoever. Why? Because Head Start is teaching the basics to a population that otherwise would have no exposure to them. You don't learn to read by learning ABCs when you already know them. You don't learn to count to 100 when the only numbers introduced are 1-10. Head Start is for catching up kids who are behind or at risk for becoming behind...not for furthering the education of kids who are at or above level.

And to answer your original question, assuming you're still reading after the above diatribe , there is absolutely nothing wrong with, as you put it, "just teaching children to read". Nothing at all. Phonics is the best method of teaching kids to actually read, and read fluently.

Now, in defense of other 'Real preschools", they are NOT all Head Start. There are private and parochial preschool programs that are wonderful, absolutely wonderful...and you know what? They do everything you are doing with your kids. You ARE a real preschool even if you don't have that name or the teaching license or the teaching degree, and even if you do. Even if you have only 3 kids...or if you have 13. Spend one day in a GOOD real preschool and it will probably look and sound a lot like one day in your house.
I totally agree with everything!!
Thank you so much for the encouragement .
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michelle View Post
That is so awesome!!!!
Do you ever feel you have to prove your self to these parents?
I almost want to set my little readers down in front of the doubting parents and show how they can read, but I feel it would be like I'm sorta "exploiting" them , I don't know... I know the parents believe me that the 3/ 4 year olds can read .I am just really hurt when they want to put them in preschool.
I used to feel I needed to try and prove myself. Now I just tell them what I have to offer and the advantages I see in it. Some of them are completely sold and others have their own opinions and do what they do. It is hurtful when I lose a child to preschool and they don't give me a chance though. In many cases, they are paying way more per week and the child is doing almost the same identical work in the preschool that my dcks are doing with me.
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2many View Post
I used to feel I needed to try and prove myself. Now I just tell them what I have to offer and the advantages I see in it. Some of them are completely sold and others have their own opinions and do what they do. It is hurtful when I lose a child to preschool and they don't give me a chance though. In many cases, they are paying way more per week and the child is doing almost the same identical work in the preschool that my dcks are doing with me.
They are paying more and not getting the loving warm care we provide.
They are in a institution type setting instead of a home. I just think these very young kids should still have their toddler /preschool years in a nice cozy home.
They have 13 years of school . Parents want them to grow up so fast.
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverSabre25 View Post
Head Start is a program specifically for kids who are struggling/at-risk/low SES. It is NOT for kids like your dcg. You ARE the real preschool she needs...and it sounds like the mom realizes this. That's a good thing. Don't change. Keep it up and don't change; you're doing the right thing.

Makes me mad when people seem to think that Head Start is for everyone...'cause it's not. Seriously. Kids who are not "at risk" have no place in Head Start. Head Start does have quite a bit of proven success...among the at-risk populations. Among not-at-risk populations, there is no discernible advantage whatsoever. Why? Because Head Start is teaching the basics to a population that otherwise would have no exposure to them. You don't learn to read by learning ABCs when you already know them. You don't learn to count to 100 when the only numbers introduced are 1-10. Head Start is for catching up kids who are behind or at risk for becoming behind...not for furthering the education of kids who are at or above level.

And to answer your original question, assuming you're still reading after the above diatribe , there is absolutely nothing wrong with, as you put it, "just teaching children to read". Nothing at all. Phonics is the best method of teaching kids to actually read, and read fluently.

Now, in defense of other 'Real preschools", they are NOT all Head Start. There are private and parochial preschool programs that are wonderful, absolutely wonderful...and you know what? They do everything you are doing with your kids. You ARE a real preschool even if you don't have that name or the teaching license or the teaching degree, and even if you do. Even if you have only 3 kids...or if you have 13. Spend one day in a GOOD real preschool and it will probably look and sound a lot like one day in your house.
I was an Assistant Teacher/Home Visit Spe******t for Head Start for 5 years prior to opening my own child care and Head Start is NOT solely for at-risk kids. It does focus on low income children and having any type of disability or special need (both physical and mental) will qualify you in the front of the pack but Head Start is marketed as a jump start to the academic learning world.

"Head Start is a child and family development program for income-eligible households. The program is designed to help young children, aged birth to five, and their families achieve their full potential. The Head Start program literally gives children a head start on their journey of lifelong learning."

I just wanted to clarify that but FWIW~ I am NOT a supporter of Head Start. I have alot of personal feelings about the program and would not ever recommend or suggest it to a family but the Head Start program does except a certain percentage of non low income families and it's fair share of perfectly normal kids who are no where near high risk. Both my kids attended before I actually worked there.

Last edited by Blackcat31; 08-16-2011 at 01:54 PM. Reason: for whatever weird reason it wont let me say "s p e c i a l i s t"
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Old 08-18-2011, 03:34 PM
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ok, thanks, I didn't know about that.
I observed a few classes and wasn't that impressed.
There was a lot of discipline problems with junk food fed kids, and the well behaved kids just sat there coloring or staring at the walls because the wild bunch took up so much time, but that can happen in any preschool.
I even saw a parent promise Jr. some candy bars and soda after school if he was good.
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