Kindergarten expectations

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lil96's picture
Joined: 03/27/06
Posts: 573
Kindergarten expectations

Are KiGa expectations set too high? I ask because of the other debate. If there were no expectations of Kigarteners then all kids would start at 0 and have tolearn everything. Whereas now, they say Kigarteners are expected to know certain things, a few kids can do everything and some can somethings and a few can't do anything.

Where I live, they start KiGa at 3 and kids are not expected to know anything. Throughout KiGa the kids learn sharing and society rules, but nothing like reading, writing or counting.

Starting preschool at 4 or 5 there are no real expectations, but some kids may count or read.

Starting school, ie first grade, at 6, they still have no real expectations. They are suggested to know their name and phone number or address, but that is all. They learn to read, write, do basic math stuff in first grade. In the end these kids are equally as smart as American kids, so I don't see why the push so early?

(I say equally becauseI mean both are prepared for college) On a side note of that, for an American to attend university here they have to pass a language exam and have attended 2 yrs Amrican college. Whereas for a foreign student to attend US colleges they just have to pass the Toefl(similar to what they would have to pass here too). I am sure on both sides of the ocean, there are extremely brilliant people and extremely ignorant people. But I am just talking about the averages.

Back to my original question, is there too much expected of a child starting Kindergarten?

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

They can expect whatever they want, but they cannot require it. I didn't put any of my kids in preschool but my youngest is going to a daycare where they do teach some things, he started at 4. The only reason he is there is because I couldn't find a good home daycare at the time I needed it. They knew a few things like some basic counting and maybe colors and some letters, but I didn't go out of my way to teach them all their letters or anything. I figured they would catch up and learn whatever they needed to know anyway. And they did.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

I think that is interesting too. I don't recall that anyone worked with me on reading or math or things like that prior to KG, so I have the impression that the standards have changed since I was a little kid. It's not just KG either - my friend was telling me that at her son's 3 year check up, the doctor was asking all sorts of things like "Can he spell his name?" "Can he count to 20?" I count with T (he can get to about 13 on his own before he starts missing numbers) and ever since she told me that I have been working with him a little bit on how to spell his name, but honestly I think my kid is going to "fail" at both of those questions. Oh well. He'll get it eventually. I just think it's really interesting how we have started putting the pressure on each other to get our very small children into academic pursuits. Maybe I'm just a slacker, but I honestly would rather my not quite 3 year old spend the majority of his time running around the backyard getting dirty and poking stuff with sticks and throwing the ball for the dog than getting drilled by me on his numbers and how to spell his name. I have to admit that I'm not overly dedicated to "his education" at this point in his life.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1537

I teach pre-k and as a teaching staff we know that there are not any expectations that they know any academic stuff when leaving our program. Now most if not all know all their letters and how to write their name but we do not put pressure on them to learn that stuff. Our hope is that they leave our program excited to learn.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4103

Kids entering kindergarten here are expected to be able to:

  • sit still & listen for 5 minutes
  • wipe their own noses & bottoms
  • zip and/or button their own pants & jackets
  • wash & dry their hands
  • recognize their own name
  • cut with scissors
  • trace a shape
  • follow simple instructions
  • recognize basic colors & shapes
  • stay in a line

I don't think that's too much to expect of a 5-year-old. And it's not unexpected either, that list is on the Kindergarten enrollment forms, it says, if your child can't do any of these things, please work with them over the summer. Some kids who have been in an academic preschool are far beyond that, others just barely squeak in, but they usually all catch up by the end of the year.

KathyH24's picture
Joined: 10/05/02
Posts: 28

Kids over in our school district are supposed to start kindergarten knowing how to spell their first name and write their address. They are also supposed to know their phone number and I believe how to write their numbers to 10. I think this was work that was required when I was a child in about the middle of the year in the first grade.

The cool thing to me is the children do seem to be living up to the expectations. I remember when my daughter was in kindergarten and was doing power point presentations and small word problems that required basic multiplication. This is a public school and the vast majority of the class did fine.

I do remember being shocked by the expectations though. So I guess my wordy answer is yes I think the expectations for kindergarten are very high but I believe that children in this day and age are better equipped to handle the expectations then we were at their age. I believe this has a lot to do with technology and the fact that it is much more common place for children to have attended preschool for several years before starting kindergarten.

Kathy

lil96's picture
Joined: 03/27/06
Posts: 573

"Spacers" wrote:

Kids entering kindergarten here are expected to be able to:
  • sit still & listen for 5 minutes
  • wipe their own noses & bottoms
  • zip and/or button their own pants & jackets
  • wash & dry their hands
  • recognize their own name
  • cut with scissors
  • trace a shape
  • follow simple instructions
  • recognize basic colors & shapes
  • stay in a line

I don't think that's too much to expect of a 5-year-old. And it's not unexpected either, that list is on the Kindergarten enrollment forms, it says, if your child can't do any of these things, please work with them over the summer. Some kids who have been in an academic preschool are far beyond that, others just barely squeak in, but they usually all catch up by the end of the year.

I have always heard a laundry list of things kids are expectd to do. This list seems completely doable. Reading through that other thread it seemed like so much was expected of them.

"KathyH24" wrote:

Kids over in our school district are supposed to start kindergarten knowing how to spell their first name and write their address. They are also supposed to know their phone number and I believe how to write their numbers to 10. I think this was work that was required when I was a child in about the middle of the year in the first grade.

The cool thing to me is the children do seem to be living up to the expectations. I remember when my daughter was in kindergarten and was doing power point presentations and small word problems that required basic multiplication. This is a public school and the vast majority of the class did fine.

I do remember being shocked by the expectations though. So I guess my wordy answer is yes I think the expectations for kindergarten are very high but I believe that children in this day and age are better equipped to handle the expectations then we were at their age. I believe this has a lot to do with technology and the fact that it is much more common place for children to have attended preschool for several years before starting kindergarten.

Kathy

This is more along the lines of what I have heard, but still not as much as I what I have heard. I do think technology has some to do with things, because ed tools are easier to access. But I mean why attend preschool for several years before starting KiGa? If one needs to have child care during the day, why not just a day care/free play or even structured play, why "school"? kwim?

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

"lil96" wrote:

This is more along the lines of what I have heard, but still not as much as I what I have heard. I do think technology has some to do with things, because ed tools are easier to access. But I mean why attend preschool for several years before starting KiGa? If one needs to have child care during the day, why not just a day care/free play or even structured play, why "school"? kwim?

Do you see preschool as nothing but childcare? Have you ever priced out part time daycare? Not to mention, daycare may do "free play" at the infant age, but they are doing preschool activities at the older ages (3.4) anyway. I'm not sure that we have any "free play" areas around here, it seems silly to pay for "free play" when my kids do "free play" with one another all day long! I much prefer sending my kids to a traditional preschool ~ It is affordable and filled with kids of other SAHP like me, so playdates, birthday parties etc all happen during the day hours when we can easily do such things.

Is what bothers you the semantics of calling "preschool", school? You would prefer that people take their kids to "structured play place" instead of preschool? So wordy.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

I think it's a lot, but I do think most of it's totally doable. Writing their address is kind of crazy IMO, but Stacy's list looks like what I would want my child to be able to do before going to school.

Joined: 01/01/06
Posts: 262

Stacey's list is more similar to the list my kid received at Kindergarten Orientation a few weeks ago. But they also gave them a set of "games" to play over the same...
--color matching, cutting, counting game, matching letter sounds to pictures that start with that letter, etc... Their hope is that by playing these games a lot between now and then the kids will be more ready. I noticed at the orientation that probably a third of the kids could already do all of them.

Oh, I remember they also asked that we work on having our kids write their names with a big first letter and small letters for the rest.

(I'll have to go look for the actual list...)

Anyways, I don't think these expectations are high. Kindergarten is technically not regular school and so I think that while they give guidelines, there really is no set standard. The whole point of Kindergarten was to get them ready for first grade.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4103

"lil96" wrote:

This is more along the lines of what I have heard, but still not as much as I what I have heard.

Why don't you look up what the requirements for kindergarten enrollment are where you live, instead of going by "what you've heard." It seems to me that this is one of those bragging moments, "Oh my kid was soooooooo ready for Kindergarten, and it's a good thing because he had to be able to write his address the very first day!" Yeah, I'll believe it when I see it. Kindergarten isn't even mandatory in any state, how can they possibly "require" that kind of thing at what is, essentially, the year where you learn how to go to school. I can see that list being what they need to graduate K, but not start.

Joined: 11/28/06
Posts: 848

Before starting Kindergarten my daughter was expected to be able to:

fasten/unfasten a belt
tie her shoes (or wear velcro)
recognize capital/lowercase letters and know the sounds they make
write her first and last name
count to 10

I don't think any of that is unreasonable. At my school we just expect kids to know their first and last name. Nothing like a parent dropping a kid off on the first day, asking the kid their name (so you can help them find the right class) and all they can tell you is, "My name is Boo." Seriously.

lil96's picture
Joined: 03/27/06
Posts: 573

"Spacers" wrote:

Why don't you look up what the requirements for kindergarten enrollment are where you live, instead of going by "what you've heard." It seems to me that this is one of those bragging moments, "Oh my kid was soooooooo ready for Kindergarten, and it's a good thing because he had to be able to write his address the very first day!" Yeah, I'll believe it when I see it. Kindergarten isn't even mandatory in any state, how can they possibly "require" that kind of thing at what is, essentially, the year where you learn how to go to school. I can see that list being what they need to graduate K, but not start.

I am not questioning the Kiga requirements where I live. I am questioning those in USA. From what people have told me and what I was reading in the cutoff thread, it seems to be a wide variety of requirements for them. It seems like it varies, not just state to state by school to school. It just seemed like a lot of people were saying so much is expected of their child entering Kiga. That is where my question was stemming from. I apologize for my assumptions and ignorance in the matter. I do know that Kiga is not required, but attendance in a school also isn't required(homeschooling).

Homeschooling is another big difference in our schooling systems, people are put in jail for homeschooling here. -that is a total tangent from the original question.

If I were to send my child to school in USA, I might be more inclined to look up her school districts requirements for each grade, but for the purpose of this I was merely going from what people have said.

HeatherAnn817's picture
Joined: 05/28/04
Posts: 139

We were given a very long list of questions to consider when registering our kids for Kindergarten! It was divided by catergory and we were told that the children should be able to do most, if not all, of the things on the list.

Speech and Language Skills

  • State first and last name
  • state age and birthdate
  • state address
  • express ideas to get what child wants/needs
  • speaks in complete sentences
  • forms questions properly
  • retell an event or story
  • can answer questions about a story read aloud
  • uses specific vocabulary to identify common objects
  • can stick to the topic of conversation

Attention

  • can sit to listen to a story being read aloud
  • can wait until directions are completed before following them
  • can complete a three part direction
  • stay seated during quiet activities
  • pay attention throughout entire story
  • stick with an activity until completion

Memory

  • recognize name in print
  • recognize common symbols (such as American Flag)
  • recite the alphabet
  • court orally to 20
  • repeat 3 part directions
  • recite familar nursery rhymes

Social Interactions

  • cooperate with others
  • form close relationships
  • take turns in games
  • share toys
  • play cooperatively with other children
  • appropriately play with more then one child
  • listen to care givers other than parent

Personal care

  • dress self
  • indepentantly use bathroom
  • use tissues when needed

Conceptual Development

  • display curiousity and eagerness to learn
  • recognize patterns or colors or shape
  • solve problems encountered in daily living
  • sort or classify objects
  • identify capital and lowercase letters
  • identify numbers up to 20
  • identify common shapes

Gross Motor Skills

  • control movements
  • skip
  • gallop
  • walk on a straight line
  • roll, bounce and catch a ball
  • balance on one foot
  • hop on one foot - right and left

Fine Motor Skills

  • use materials and objects to learn new ideas
  • use materials as they were intended
  • put together 24 piece puzzles
  • hold a pencil appropriately
  • cut with scissors on a straight line
  • draw objects that are recognizable
  • copy forms
  • print first and last name
  • print numbers 1-10

Emotional Maturity

  • take pride in accomplishment
  • show ability to delay gratification
  • separate from parent
  • adapt to new people and situations
  • take risks
  • handle frustration appropriately
  • comply with requests
  • make decisions when given choices
  • occupy self when playing alone

Each child had to take a test prior to the start of the school year. We were given "results" in the following catergories[LIST=1]

  • Interview
  • Gross Motor
  • Fine Motor
  • Basic Concepts
  • Writing
  • Letter Recognition
  • Counting
  • Visual Discrimination
  • Language Development
  • Vocabulary

    The Kindergarten report card, which comes out three times lists and evaluates the following things.....(some of which have to be mastered by a specific time, others by the end of the year)

    Religion

    • Say Sign of the Cross
  • Say Our Father
  • Say Prayer before and after meals
  • Say Hail Mary
  • Say The Angel of Fod
  • Say The Glory Be to the Father
  • Pray respecfully
  • Show care and concern for others

    Social and Emotional Development

    • Works and plays well with others
  • listens to others when they speak
  • raises hand to speak
  • displays self control
  • demonstrates self confidence
  • adjusts to new situations
  • participates in group activities
  • demonstrates a positive attitude
  • accepts correction
  • respects the property of others
  • adjusts to school routine

    Math

    • recognises numerals up to 100
    • writes numberals in correct form
    • identifies and recognizes patterns
    • classifies objects and pictures
    • can arrange and identify sequences
    • knows right and left
    • tells time to the hour analog and digital
    • add single digit numerals
    • subtracts ingle digit numerals
    • identifies and knows value of penny, nickel, dime and quarter
    • can add change money
    • counts to 100
    • counts by 2's to 20
    • counts by 5's to 50
    • counts by 10's to 100
    • identifies opposites
    • follows three directions in order
    • knows properties of 3 dimensional geometric shapes

      Physical/Personal Development

      • holds pencil/crayon correctly
      • manipulates scissors correctly
      • prints, traces and copies
      • prints upper and lower case letters in correct form
      • zippers/buttons
      • ties shoes
      • knows birthdate
      • knows telephone number
      • knows address
      • writes full name correctly

        Reading

        • identifies rhyming words
        • can provide rhyming word when a word is give
        • recognizes upper and lower case letters
        • recognizes same and different sounds
        • associates letters with sounds presented
        • blends sounds into words
        • recognizes 100 sight words
        • predicts story outcomes
        • recalls important information
        • uses critical thinking skills
        • works from left to right
        • uses inventive spelling
        • identifies short vowel sounds
        • can read class books
        • can read homework books

          Journal Writing

          • draws a picture and tells about it
          • uses first letter sounds in writing
          • uses last letter sounds in writing
        • uses capital letters at the beginning
        • uses punctuation
        • writes full sentences
        • uses middle letter sounds in writing
        • Kindergarten is no joke these days! I remember going to Kindergarten and learning the ABCs and playing! My kids are in K now its just amazing what is expected of them and what they are capable of! Things have really changed over the last 30 years!

          GloriaInTX's picture
          Joined: 07/29/08
          Posts: 4116

          "HeatherAnn817" wrote:

          We were given a very long list of questions to consider when registering our kids for Kindergarten! It was divided by catergory and we were told that the children should be able to do most, if not all, of the things on the list.

          Is that a public Kindergarten? Sure didn't sound like it. Private Kindergarten can require a lot of different things that a Public school can't, so they aren't really the same.

          Joined: 11/07/06
          Posts: 707

          Here they have a Peabody Test that the prefer all kids leaving pre-K going into Kinder be in the green in all areas. That said they have that "no child left behind" rule here so they rarely/ if ever keep a child from moving on to Kinder. There is a boy in DD's class who was also in her Pre-K class both yrs. They have been advancing him every yr but this yr his mom fought them to keep him in 1st again. She and I were discussing report cards and she asked how DD's grades were. Well they only have 3 classes they get "number" grades in and her's were 99,99,97..........she told me that her sons were 32, 24, 31. Both their teacher and her as a parent had to actually go even above the principals head to get them to "allow" him to be held back...

          Joined: 03/08/03
          Posts: 3189

          The requirements have definitely changed since I was a kid. When I started kindergarten the kids weren't expected to know anything. They taught us the alphabet as if no one knew it, and since I was already reading (as I shared a bedroom with my sister, who would grow up to be a teacher and was already practicing on me), they would send me to the first grade class for reading. But the other kids mostly didn't even know letters.

          Now, they expect the kids to know the letters of the alphabet, numbers, shapes, etc. They do a screening where we live. The local preschools know what the deal is and teach to that while still making sure the little kids have lots of fun and play and social activities.

          I don't know what they'd do if a kid was the right age but didn't know those things, they do send recommendations for things to work on over the summer as well.

          Prudence's picture
          Joined: 05/02/05
          Posts: 256

          I am about laughing over here from some of these 'requirements'...

          If tying your shoes was a requirement to go into Kindergarten, well, my straight A 5th grader would have been held back until about second or third grade. As far as the rest- I did not formally work on teaching my 4 year old any of these things when he entered Kindergarten this year (he turned 5 in September after school started) and he has excelled at anything tossed at him in the classroom. A lot of the things I did not expect him to know- he knew and those things he didn't know- he learned.

          He goes to a public school that is basically a charter school. We were given no list of 'expectations' going into Kindergarten.

          HeatherAnn817's picture
          Joined: 05/28/04
          Posts: 139

          "GloriaInTX" wrote:

          Is that a public Kindergarten? Sure didn't sound like it. Private Kindergarten can require a lot of different things that a Public school can't, so they aren't really the same.

          No, you are right, its a private Kindergarten. We received an admission letter that stated that the admission was granted pending the results of the test. I do know that friends whose kids go to the local public school received a very similar list though.

          At both the public and private school, the test was administered by the county intermediate unit. To my knowledge the private school used the results to determine admission status (yes or no) and also to let parents know what to work on with their kids over the summer. The public school used it to recommend to parents whether they enroll their child that year or whether the district recommended (but not required) parents to wait another year before enrolling the child. The public school is also testing a full day pilot program (most kids attend the half day program), and the results of this test determine which children are offered a spot in the full day program. They currently only offer it to students who need extra help (only 5 full day classrooms in the 10 elementary schools). From what I hear, the full day is a fantastic program and the kids who attend the program end up way ahead of their peers who were in the half day program going in to the year. I believe the goal is to eventually offer the full day to everyone, but with budget cuts, I don't know if/when that will occur.

          daniellevmt's picture
          Joined: 07/25/06
          Posts: 213

          Most of the the things I'm reading here sound like they help the child succeed in a group setting, while helping the teacher (he/she can't be expected to button/zip every coat or wipe every behind, etc)...tying shoes, knowing their name, the ability to state wants/needs, etc. I don't see a ton of things they MUST know education-wise. Also, pay attention to how these lists are worded. Most will say "suggested", not "required". I don't see a thing wrong with suggesting skills/basic knowledge to help your child succeed in kindergarten. It's a huge adjustment period and I think it's great that schools give out lists that will aid your child in making a smooth transition. It's not like if your child doesn't know every single answer on these things that they'll not be admitted to kindergarten.

          And yes, pediatricians DO ask lots of questions at wellness exams. It's not like your child HAS to know every thing on the list. It's just a general way to aid the Dr. in ensuring your child is developing on track.

          So yeah, I feel like a lot of these things are being blown out of proportion because people are mistaking them for "requirements" rather than what they really are.

          HeatherAnn817's picture
          Joined: 05/28/04
          Posts: 139

          "daniellevmt" wrote:

          Most of the the things I'm reading here sound like they help the child succeed in a group setting, while helping the teacher (he/she can't be expected to button/zip every coat or wipe every behind, etc)...tying shoes, knowing their name, the ability to state wants/needs, etc. I don't see a ton of things they MUST know education-wise. Also, pay attention to how these lists are worded. Most will say "suggested", not "required". I don't see a thing wrong with suggesting skills/basic knowledge to help your child succeed in kindergarten. It's a huge adjustment period and I think it's great that schools give out lists that will aid your child in making a smooth transition. It's not like if your child doesn't know every single answer on these things that they'll not be admitted to kindergarten.

          And yes, pediatricians DO ask lots of questions at wellness exams. It's not like your child HAS to know every thing on the list. It's just a general way to aid the Dr. in ensuring your child is developing on track.

          So yeah, I feel like a lot of these things are being blown out of proportion because people are mistaking them for "requirements" rather than what they really are.

          Agreed! Our listed specifically said they were things consider, and then suggested that kids know most or all. It did not say they HAD to know them. I also don't know of anyone who did not "get in" to Kindergarten after the test, though they made it sound like that would be the case.

          I do however, based on the Kindergarten curriculum, think that Kindergarten may/could be difficult for a child who did not know the majority of the things on the list going into Kindergarten. Its really amazing how much these kids can and do learn! I've been impressed with the capabilities of 5 and 6 year olds!

          Joined: 11/28/06
          Posts: 848

          "Prudence" wrote:

          I am about laughing over here from some of these 'requirements'...

          If tying your shoes was a requirement to go into Kindergarten, well, my straight A 5th grader would have been held back until about second or third grade. As far as the rest- I did not formally work on teaching my 4 year old any of these things when he entered Kindergarten this year (he turned 5 in September after school started) and he has excelled at anything tossed at him in the classroom. A lot of the things I did not expect him to know- he knew and those things he didn't know- he learned.

          He goes to a public school that is basically a charter school. We were given no list of 'expectations' going into Kindergarten.

          Not sure what's funny about asking that a child be able to care for their personal needs (tying their shoes, fastening their belt, etc.)? Maybe you'd like to explain how that is comical? I see it as EXTREMELY helpful for a teacher that can't be bothered by helping Johnny unbuckle his belt while she's in the middle of a math lesson.

          And how is a school "basically a charter school"? It either is or it isn't.

          AlyssaEimers's picture
          Joined: 08/22/06
          Posts: 6568

          I am only familiar with what a private kindergarten in my area requires because my daughter goes to a private school. I think the public schools take anyone. I live in TN and my sister lives in NY and the standards for the private school were about the same. Now when DD1 was about 2 I heard horror stories of what was required (count to 100 by 1, 5, and 10's, know and write their name, know all of their letters and sounds...), after that I was a wreck and worked really hard with her. She started reading simple words at 3 and was reading books at 4. Now she was able to do everything on the list by kindergarten, but only because I had the list and made sure she could. With DD2 I was much more relaxed about it. She just turned 4 and knows all of her sounds and letters and can count to about 50, but I did not teach her any of it. DD1 taught her and she learned from TV programs. Now that I am a little more experienced I do not think it was necessary to stress so much. They will all learn it eventually and by working so hard in the beginning DD1 was board while all the other kids caught up.

          Prudence's picture
          Joined: 05/02/05
          Posts: 256

          "Alana*sMommy" wrote:

          Not sure what's funny about asking that a child be able to care for their personal needs (tying their shoes, fastening their belt, etc.)? Maybe you'd like to explain how that is comical? I see it as EXTREMELY helpful for a teacher that can't be bothered by helping Johnny unbuckle his belt while she's in the middle of a math lesson.

          I think I explained why I found it funny- in fact, I was pretty detailed- but perhaps you'd like me to reiterate. My straight A student wasn't tying her shoes in kindergarten. Did it affect her in class? Um, no- as a PARENT, I sent her to school with shoes that did not tie. Pretty sure that didn't hinder the classroom environment.

          So yeah, I find it hilarious the requirements that need to be sent home for kids to attend kindergarten. Perhaps it's because I see it as my responsibility to ensure my child isn't a disruption in the classroom, but some of these things are common sense. If your kid can't tie his shoes- don't send him in shoes that need to be tied. If your kid can't buckle a belt- buy him pants that fit and don't send him to school in a belt.

          I think it was hit on the head that most of these 'requirements' (at least in regard to public schools in the United States) are suggestions and not true requirements.

          Joined: 11/28/06
          Posts: 848

          "Prudence" wrote:

          I think I explained why I found it funny- in fact, I was pretty detailed- but perhaps you'd like me to reiterate. My straight A student wasn't tying her shoes in kindergarten. Did it affect her in class? Um, no- as a PARENT, I sent her to school with shoes that did not tie. Pretty sure that didn't hinder the classroom environment.

          So yeah, I find it hilarious the requirements that need to be sent home for kids to attend kindergarten. Perhaps it's because I see it as my responsibility to ensure my child isn't a disruption in the classroom, but some of these things are common sense. If your kid can't tie his shoes- don't send him in shoes that need to be tied. If your kid can't buckle a belt- buy him pants that fit and don't send him to school in a belt.

          I think it was hit on the head that most of these 'requirements' (at least in regard to public schools in the United States) are suggestions and not true requirements.

          Our district requires that students wear a uniform, and that uniform includes a belt. You'd be surprised how many children have never worn a belt before the first day of Kindergarten and have no idea how to work one. Before the school started requiring that children be able to fasten/unfasten their own belt there were LOTS of potty accidents. If you think that is funny, or isn't a disruption to the educational process then perhaps you are the one with the problem and not the school.

          Prudence's picture
          Joined: 05/02/05
          Posts: 256

          "Alana*sMommy" wrote:

          Our district requires that students wear a uniform, and that uniform includes a belt. You'd be surprised how many children have never worn a belt before the first day of Kindergarten and have no idea how to work one. Before the school started requiring that children be able to fasten/unfasten their own belt there were LOTS of potty accidents. If you think that is funny, or isn't a disruption to the educational process then perhaps you are the one with the problem and not the school.

          Sounds like the SCHOOL DISTRICT is the one with the problem here. Our state has many schools that require school uniforms and nope, a belt is not included in the uniform. If an article of clothing within the uniform is causing kindergarten children to have potty accidents- it is the uniform itself that is the problem, not the children.

          Do you always debate with a complete attitude or is there something about this issue that gets you riled up?

          Joined: 03/08/03
          Posts: 3189

          "Alana*sMommy" wrote:

          Our district requires that students wear a uniform, and that uniform includes a belt. You'd be surprised how many children have never worn a belt before the first day of Kindergarten and have no idea how to work one. Before the school started requiring that children be able to fasten/unfasten their own belt there were LOTS of potty accidents. If you think that is funny, or isn't a disruption to the educational process then perhaps you are the one with the problem and not the school.

          My children are 7 and 3 and have never worn belts. Why would they? I wouldn't be surprised at all.

          Also my 7-year-old is still not very good at tying his shoes, although he can do it. Most of the time. With difficulty. Sometimes not so well. In kindergarten, forget it! Those requirement made me laugh a little too.

          It has never been an issue at our school.

          mommytoMR.FACE's picture
          Joined: 04/10/09
          Posts: 781

          I just want to say that Jace has never worn a belt either, and none of his shoes tie. Jace and I love slip on shoes or shoes with velcros Smile

          Joined: 11/28/06
          Posts: 848

          "Prudence" wrote:

          Sounds like the SCHOOL DISTRICT is the one with the problem here. Our state has many schools that require school uniforms and nope, a belt is not included in the uniform. If an article of clothing within the uniform is causing kindergarten children to have potty accidents- it is the uniform itself that is the problem, not the children.

          Do you always debate with a complete attitude or is there something about this issue that gets you riled up?

          Why not have a child practice wearing a belt instead of changing the entire dress code? Do you really think so little of your child that you can't ask them to learn to manipulate simple fasteners? Really?

          I'm still failing to see how it is humorous to ask a 5 y.o. to be able to dress themselves without assistance. Belts aren't rocket science, and if they can't tie yet then buy them velcro.

          Joined: 11/28/06
          Posts: 848

          "freddieflounder101" wrote:

          My children are 7 and 3 and have never worn belts. Why would they? I wouldn't be surprised at all.

          Also my 7-year-old is still not very good at tying his shoes, although he can do it. Most of the time. With difficulty. Sometimes not so well. In kindergarten, forget it! Those requirement made me laugh a little too.

          It has never been an issue at our school.

          Mine have worn belts occasionally, but I understand that most kids don't. However, many parents don't think to have their child practice fastening/unfastening the belt and send them off to the first day of school only to have them struggle with it in the bathroom and end up wetting themselves. It happens. It really isn't a big deal to remind parents that they need to work on this with their child before sending them to school where they are expected to be independent in the restroom. No different than requiring that they wipe their own butts.

          And did you send your child to school in kindergarten with laces knowing that he couldn't tie them himself? Did you expect the teacher to tie them knowing that she has a million other more important things to do?

          mommytoMR.FACE's picture
          Joined: 04/10/09
          Posts: 781

          "Alana*sMommy" wrote:

          And did you send your child to school in kindergarten with laces knowing that he couldn't tie them himself? Did you expect the teacher to tie them knowing that she has a million other more important things to do?

          Tying a child's shoes is pretty important. Prevents tripping and falling and potentially hurting themselves.

          Joined: 11/28/06
          Posts: 848

          "mommytoMR.FACE" wrote:

          Tying a child's shoes is pretty important. Prevents tripping and falling and potentially hurting themselves.

          Which is exactly why, as a parent, if my child couldn't tie their shoes I'd buy them velcro before sending them to school.

          Rivergallery's picture
          Joined: 05/23/03
          Posts: 1301

          What happens in such cases where as a parent you refuse to make them wear the belt?

          HeatherAnn817's picture
          Joined: 05/28/04
          Posts: 139

          My kids are at a private school and there is a belt with the boys uniform. They do give the Kindergarten boys a year to learn the belts, so they are optional for that first year. Starting in first grade, its mandatory.

          I don't think its a big deal to send a list home to parents. Personally, I thought it was great and allowed me to see what would be expected of my children when they arrived at school or soon after.

          My kids also had required reading going in to Kindergarten (could be parent or child read), and will for each grade. Since the shoe tying and belts are surprising people, that one will be a real shocker! I was very surprised as well since I never had summer reading until High School!

          Rivergallery's picture
          Joined: 05/23/03
          Posts: 1301

          I am assuming that the admins of schools would have a waiver if they are special needs children.. if this was ever in a public school.. right?

          Joined: 11/28/06
          Posts: 848

          "Rivergallery" wrote:

          What happens in such cases where as a parent you refuse to make them wear the belt?

          Why would a parent refuse to put a belt on their child? Honestly, I've never seen that happen. I've seen cases where a parent can't afford a belt (or school uniforms) and there are typically enough donations to provide students with those. In the case of a child forgetting a belt the school office usually has "loner belts."

          I teach ESE and don't require my students to wear belts. Honestly, most of them have enough physical issues that I don't want to bother them with an extra issue in the bathroom. I practice fasteners (buttons, zippers, tying laces, etc.) with all of my students. I'm pretty sure that isn't done in the reg ed classroom.

          Joined: 03/08/03
          Posts: 3189

          "Alana*sMommy" wrote:

          Mine have worn belts occasionally, but I understand that most kids don't. However, many parents don't think to have their child practice fastening/unfastening the belt and send them off to the first day of school only to have them struggle with it in the bathroom and end up wetting themselves. It happens. It really isn't a big deal to remind parents that they need to work on this with their child before sending them to school where they are expected to be independent in the restroom. No different than requiring that they wipe their own butts.

          And did you send your child to school in kindergarten with laces knowing that he couldn't tie them himself? Did you expect the teacher to tie them knowing that she has a million other more important things to do?

          Yes, I did send him to school in shoes with laces knowing he couldn't tie them himself. But my kid doesn't take his shoes off during the day, so it hasn't been an issue. I'm sure if the laces came loose, the teacher tied them for him. It never came up as a problem, I've never heard any of the teachers or parents talk about it.

          The kindergarten teacher we had was a lovely person and a fantastic teacher and I think spending a little time close up with a kid tying his or her shoes would not really have been a problem. But like I said, they didn't take their shoes off during the day anyway.

          Maybe our school is just more relaxed. We don't have uniforms either. And the only shoe rules have to do with safety, like no open-backed shoes (flip flops, open sandals, etc.) on the playground.

          I have never heard a teacher tell me she/he had "more important things to do" about anything.

          mommytoMR.FACE's picture
          Joined: 04/10/09
          Posts: 781

          "freddieflounder101" wrote:

          Yes, I did send him to school in shoes with laces knowing he couldn't tie them himself. But my kid doesn't take his shoes off during the day, so it hasn't been an issue. I'm sure if the laces came loose, the teacher tied them for him. It never came up as a problem, I've never heard any of the teachers or parents talk about it.

          The kindergarten teacher we had was a lovely person and a fantastic teacher and I think spending a little time close up with a kid tying his or her shoes would not really have been a problem. But like I said, they didn't take their shoes off during the day anyway.

          Maybe our school is just more relaxed. We don't have uniforms either. And the only shoe rules have to do with safety, like no open-backed shoes (flip flops, open sandals, etc.) on the playground.

          I have never heard a teacher tell me she/he had "more important things to do" about anything.

          Yep. If my kid's teacher said they have more important things to do rather than xyz for my child, she/he wouldn't be my kid's teacher anymore.

          Joined: 11/28/06
          Posts: 848

          "mommytoMR.FACE" wrote:

          Yep. If my kid's teacher said they have more important things to do rather than xyz for my child, she/he wouldn't be my kid's teacher anymore.

          Do you realize that Kindergarten classes have 18+ students and each student has 2 shoes? If every child's shoes came untied at least once during the day (and they almost always do, trust me) the teacher would be tying 36 shoes which would take approximately 10 minutes total? You don't think that 10 minutes would be better spent helping a child with their math work or differentiating instruction for a group of low readers? Why not have some common courtesy and help the teacher out by not making her tie a bajillion shoes and constantly fasten/unfasten belts throughout the day? Teach your child some personal responsibility so they can be independent! You know, if I'm going to leave my child in the care of someone else for 7 or so hours a day 5 days a week I'm going to try to help that person out, comply with some simple requests, and teach my kid some self-help skills. Geez.

          Alissa_Sal's picture
          Joined: 06/29/06
          Posts: 6427

          "Alana*sMommy" wrote:

          Do you realize that Kindergarten classes have 18+ students and each student has 2 shoes? If every child's shoes came untied at least once during the day (and they almost always do, trust me) the teacher would be tying 36 shoes which would take approximately 10 minutes total? You don't think that 10 minutes would be better spent helping a child with their math work or differentiating instruction for a group of low readers? Why not have some common courtesy and help the teacher out by not making her tie a bajillion shoes and constantly fasten/unfasten belts throughout the day? Teach your child some personal responsibility so they can be independent! You know, if I'm going to leave my child in the care of someone else for 7 or so hours a day 5 days a week I'm going to try to help that person out, comply with some simple requests, and teach my kid some self-help skills. Geez.

          I agree with this with the caveat that I don't think that if school uniforms are in place, they should include mandatory belts and mandatory tie shoes for young elementary schoolers. The "being reasonable and helping each other out" mentality has to go both ways. If my KG or 1st grader is still struggling with tying his own shoes, let me send him to school with velcro shoes until we get it worked out. Ditto belts.

          ClairesMommy's picture
          Joined: 08/15/06
          Posts: 2299

          Here's our provincial kindy requirements (that is, not stuff kids need to know prior to entry into kindy, but what they should be able to do for Grade 1 entry):
          http://education.alberta.ca/media/312892/kindergarten.pdf
          I like this curriculum, very much. I can't imagine the curriculum would vary much from province to province.

          Joined: 11/28/06
          Posts: 848

          "Alissa_Sal" wrote:

          I agree with this with the caveat that I don't think that if school uniforms are in place, they should include mandatory belts and mandatory tie shoes for young elementary schoolers. The "being reasonable and helping each other out" mentality has to go both ways. If my KG or 1st grader is still struggling with tying his own shoes, let me send him to school with velcro shoes until we get it worked out. Ditto belts.

          I've never heard of a school requiring shoes with laces. It seems pretty common sense that if a child can't tie their shoes yet then send them to school with velcro. As for belts, if a child has legitimate issues with fine motor skills exceptions are always made. Otherwise, the kid just needs to learn to work a belt. It is a part of life.

          Alissa_Sal's picture
          Joined: 06/29/06
          Posts: 6427

          "Alana*sMommy" wrote:

          I've never heard of a school requiring shoes with laces. It seems pretty common sense that if a child can't tie their shoes yet then send them to school with velcro. As for belts, if a child has legitimate issues with fine motor skills exceptions are always made. Otherwise, the kid just needs to learn to work a belt. It is a part of life.

          If being a mom has taught me anything at all, it is that despite our best efforts, kids don't always learn/do things on our schedules. I agree that if I knew my son was required to wear a belt, I would work with him on it, but I can still see a situation where a parent is working with their child on shoe tying or belt wearing and the child takes a little while longer than expected to master the skill.

          I think that a belt is a pretty non-essential article of clothing, so it would irk me if the school was insisting that my young elementary school child wear one, and yet the teacher was complaining that it was a "waste of her time" to help him with it if he still needed help. In that case, just let me send him to school without a belt (until he has gotten good at buckling and unbucking) and save everyone the hassle. KWIM?

          Joined: 11/28/06
          Posts: 848

          "Alissa_Sal" wrote:

          If being a mom has taught me anything at all, it is that despite our best efforts, kids don't always learn/do things on our schedules. I agree that if I knew my son was required to wear a belt, I would work with him on it, but I can still see a situation where a parent is working with their child on shoe tying or belt wearing and the child takes a little while longer than expected to master the skill.

          I think that a belt is a pretty non-essential article of clothing, so it would irk me if the school was insisting that my young elementary school child wear one, and yet the teacher was complaining that it was a "waste of her time" to help him with it if he still needed help. In that case, just let me send him to school without a belt (until he has gotten good at buckling and unbucking) and save everyone the hassle. KWIM?

          No, I don't know what you mean. Parents are given information about the dress code months in advance, giving them plenty of time to practice fasteners with their child. If a child works for months and still can't master a belt then he/she likely has some serious issues with FMS and should be evaluated for OT. In that case an exception would be made.

          I just don't get being "irked" by the dress code or by kindergarten entry requirements in general. It seems that everyone thinks that their child is an exception to the rule and that rules and requirements are pointless and stupid. It is for that reason that rules and requirements are necessary, making me thankful that my child attends a charter school where they are easily enforced. I'm not calling you out or anything Alissa. This is just a general opinion I've formed after working in a public school and participating on this board.

          Alissa_Sal's picture
          Joined: 06/29/06
          Posts: 6427

          "Alana*sMommy" wrote:

          No, I don't know what you mean. Parents are given information about the dress code months in advance, giving them plenty of time to practice fasteners with their child. If a child works for months and still can't master a belt then he/she likely has some serious issues with FMS and should be evaluated for OT. In that case an exception would be made.

          I just don't get being "irked" by the dress code or by kindergarten entry requirements in general. It seems that everyone thinks that their child is an exception to the rule and that rules and requirements are pointless and stupid. It is for that reason that rules and requirements are necessary, making me thankful that my child attends a charter school where they are easily enforced. I'm not calling you out or anything Alissa. This is just a general opinion I've formed after working in a public school and participating on this board.

          Well, I would say that the requirement of a belt for a young child *is* pointless and stupid, particularly if, as you said, you encounter so many young children that cannot work them. It just seems like it is setting the kid and the teacher up for pointless hassles. I'm not against a dress code per se, but I am against a dress code that creates more problems than it solves for the students and teachers. I would put belts for young children in that category.

          The funny part is that I feel like I'm on the teacher's side on this. I don't want a teacher to have to take time messing around with my kid's belt or shoes if he is not yet completely able to take care of them himself. As a parent, I would problem solve that situation by sending him to school in velcro shoes or without a belt to save the teacher from having to deal with it. But if the school takes away that option, I honestly kind of put that on the school.

          It makes me thankful that my son will be attending public school where he's allowed to come to school without a belt if belts are a problem for him at 5. Smile

          GloriaInTX's picture
          Joined: 07/29/08
          Posts: 4116

          Belts are part of the uniform at the charter school my kids go to but they don't enforce it for the lower grades.

          Spacers's picture
          Joined: 12/29/03
          Posts: 4103

          "Alissa_Sal" wrote:

          Well, I would say that the requirement of a belt for a young child *is* pointless and stupid, particularly if, as you said, you encounter so many young children that cannot work them. It just seems like it is setting the kid and the teacher up for pointless hassles. I'm not against a dress code per se, but I am against a dress code that creates more problems than it solves for the students and teachers. I would put belts for young children in that category.

          The funny part is that I feel like I'm on the teacher's side on this. I don't want a teacher to have to take time messing around with my kid's belt or shoes if he is not yet completely able to take care of them himself. As a parent, I would problem solve that situation by sending him to school in velcro shoes or without a belt to save the teacher from having to deal with it. But if the school takes away that option, I honestly kind of put that on the school.

          It makes me thankful that my son will be attending public school where he's allowed to come to school without a belt if belts are a problem for him at 5. Smile

          Yep, ITA with this. But I'm absolutely against school uniforms so my solution would be to not send my child to a school with a uniform, or if it were a public charter school then I'd demand a uniform waiver.

          HeatherAnn817's picture
          Joined: 05/28/04
          Posts: 139

          "Alana*sMommy" wrote:

          I've never heard of a school requiring shoes with laces. It seems pretty common sense that if a child can't tie their shoes yet then send them to school with velcro. As for belts, if a child has legitimate issues with fine motor skills exceptions are always made. Otherwise, the kid just needs to learn to work a belt. It is a part of life.

          Actually my kids school does require shoes that tie - https://www.floccos.com/cgi/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=3001 - these ugly things! LOL The laces on them are aweful and constantly come undone! (perhaps they choose them so the kids get lots of practice Smile ) They are also required to wear sneakers that tie for gym day.

          If a child cannot tie their own shoes, they are told at the beginning of the year to ask their "neighbor" to tie them, which has been great for the kids helping one another to learn. I have spent a great deal of time in my kids classrooms. I have seen kids tie their own shoes (my daughter can, but my son isn't great at it, and usually doens't get it right), have seen kids help one another, and have also seen the teachers tie many shoes. Heck, I have even seen the Principal and the Pastor tying shoes! I have never seen my kids teachers tell them no if they asked for help with their shoes.

          I think its a great thing for kids to know how to do and to work on, but I haven't noticed it being a big deal for those kids who don't "get it" yet even though it is one of the things listed on the Kindergarten report card that they should know by the end of the year.

          Joined: 03/08/03
          Posts: 3189

          Am I the only one who isn't dismayed by the thought of a kindergarten teacher tying a kid's shoes? It's not like the teacher has to stop everything to do it, it gives him/her an opportunity to have a smaller moment with an individual kid, it can happen at the same time as teaching a concept to that child, I just don't get what the big deal is. If even half the kids can already tie their shoes then it's even less time.

          I get asking parents to teach their kids to tie their own shoes but I don't get requiring it. And I don't get having a uniform that includes belts, it just sounds unnecessary.

          HeatherAnn817's picture
          Joined: 05/28/04
          Posts: 139

          "freddieflounder101" wrote:

          Am I the only one who isn't dismayed by the thought of a kindergarten teacher tying a kid's shoes? It's not like the teacher has to stop everything to do it, it gives him/her an opportunity to have a smaller moment with an individual kid, it can happen at the same time as teaching a concept to that child, I just don't get what the big deal is. If even half the kids can already tie their shoes then it's even less time.

          I get asking parents to teach their kids to tie their own shoes but I don't get requiring it. And I don't get having a uniform that includes belts, it just sounds unnecessary.

          I don't think its a problem. I think it could be if none of the kids knew how to tie and the teacher spent a great deal of time doing it. But, at least in my kids classroom, that is not the case. Many kids can do it, and the teacher and those other kids are teaching those who cannot yet do it.

          I also, don't think having the expectation of kids to learn how is a problem either though. Why not teach the kids at home and in school. Like I said, my 5 year old daughter has no problem and learned quickly. Her twin brother can do it on occasion but often needs help. Its a good skill for him to work on though!

          Joined: 11/28/06
          Posts: 848

          "Alissa_Sal" wrote:

          Well, I would say that the requirement of a belt for a young child *is* pointless and stupid, particularly if, as you said, you encounter so many young children that cannot work them. It just seems like it is setting the kid and the teacher up for pointless hassles. I'm not against a dress code per se, but I am against a dress code that creates more problems than it solves for the students and teachers. I would put belts for young children in that category.

          The funny part is that I feel like I'm on the teacher's side on this. I don't want a teacher to have to take time messing around with my kid's belt or shoes if he is not yet completely able to take care of them himself. As a parent, I would problem solve that situation by sending him to school in velcro shoes or without a belt to save the teacher from having to deal with it. But if the school takes away that option, I honestly kind of put that on the school.

          It makes me thankful that my son will be attending public school where he's allowed to come to school without a belt if belts are a problem for him at 5. Smile

          How is it setting kids and teachers up for pointless hassles if the parents take a little time to show their child how to dress themselves? As parents we should be doing that anyway.

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