Pre-K - FamilyEducation
03/02/2010 at 01:01 AM

I have a five year old that is my world. I'm trying to do the best for her. I don't have family in this area and the only interaction that I could get for her with other children was to enroll her in pre-k at a public school. I think I made a mistake. The teachers there don't seem to care about teaching they seem to care more about keeping order and keeping up the pace. About a month ago my daughter came home with a note on her work from the teacher asking her to slow down and use different colors. I taught her to do so in a matter of a half hour sitting down with her. Since then she comes home with work from school unfinished and now, after being in pre-k for six months, she is having fits at school in the morning when I drop her off. She screams for me and doesn't want me to go until she finishes her work and then she's fine. In the five years that she's been in my world I've never had to leave a store because she had a fit, or because she didn't get what she wanted, NEVER!! Until a week ago when she didn't want me to leave. I stayed with her one day at school and waited for her to do her work. The teacher passed out the paper, gave quick instructions and then went and sat behind her desk with the other two teachers. When she felt enought time had past she got up and gave them another assinment without checking the previous one or helping them. And so went on for another two papers, then ask the ones that were done to sit on the carpet, and proceded with another lesson while three other students and my daughter sat finishing the last one. The ones that got up and put their paper on a chair next to where I was sitting, I could see papers with just scribble on them and some didn't even finish, or just colored the paper one color, like she had asked my daughter not to do. The other two teacher's aides still sitting behind the desk, only one of them doing something on the computer. Now my daughter is afraid of doing work in school unless I'm there, and when she comes home from school the first thing she wants to do is finish her school work because she's "not quick enough at school" which I'm sure is what they're teaching her to believe. I thought children her age needed to learn how to do things not to be fast at it. Is speed important at that age? How do I get my child to not be afraid of school, I'm so worried she's going to be one of those kid that sit in the back instead of participating in the class and asking questions when they need to because some lazy pre-k teachers didn't take the time to do their job!

That sort of work isn't appropriate for pre-k. At that stage, they really shouldn't be doing worksheets at all. Their "work" should still be play-based. I work for our district preschool program and we aren't allowed to use worksheets... we can't even use coloring books. It's not appropriate for preschool-aged children (unless the child just happens to love that stuff which some do) and it's poor teaching at that age. Our kids still manage to leave knowing their colors, letters, shapes, writing their name and often many other words phonetically, counting to at least 20, follow directions, sit at circle time and have a large knowledge base of the world around them. Seems like your daughter is in a low-quality program and I would pull her out. Put her in a nice developmental preschool. Both my own kids were in programs like this and LOVED them as well as entered kindergarten with above average skills.

This does not sound at all like an appropriate placement for your child. If money is an object, look into free programs at the library and playgroups that are offered in the community. Network with other parents and possibly start your own playgroup. Your daughter would be better off being taught by you at home than in this negative situation.