8/03/2011

PreK vs K


I'm sitting and looking at the calendar and realizing that the school year is nearly upon us. Now, this doesn't really have a huge impact on us as yet - the doodle being only 3.5. But I have decided that this year I'm going to be more intentional about the whole school thing as I've chosen not to seek out a pre-school for him to attend or anything like that. (This is predicated primarily on the fact that we're pretty sure we're going to home school in the long run, so really, why start him out in pre-school when we would then just pull him out of that environment in order to do school at home?)

So, since I'm a bit of a nerd, I started with looking at the standards of learning (SOLs) that the state has for Kindy. And...that was kind of what I had planned on covering this year because it seemed to me that that would be what they do in Pre-K. So now I'm wondering if I ought to just wait a year before doing anything intentional (though I don't really want to do that as he's very clearly ready to be learning and it's good to focus the sponge-like nature of his brain so that it doesn't fill completely with Phineas and Ferb, leaving no room for anything else.) 
It's not that I have a problem with him being ahead for kids his age...I guess it just seems odd to consider that, essentially, I'm going to be putting my 3.5 year old in Kindergarten. That just seems...obnoxious. And a bit like I'm pushing him to grow up too fast or something like that. Especially since given his birthday, he wouldn't be going to public school for 2 more years (he'd be 5.5 by the time they'd take him - and if I was putting him in a classroom with 25 other kids, I'd probably agree that that is a good plan, because of maturity development, not because of anything having to do with learning readiness.)

I suppose we could consider splitting the difference and doing a year of pre-K/K this year and another of K next year at home. Though realistically it would likely be K/1st next year. But then you end up with him being at weird grade levels and I don't want to end up like my friend who had to decide what grade her son was in, and the determination was fairly arbitrary. Though I guess in the overall scheme of things, that doesn't matter overly.

All that to say, it's time to put some loose lesson plans together and I'm actually really looking forward to that process. I think he's really going to enjoy having some school-time each day - I know I'm going to enjoy watching his brain soak up knowledge.

2 comments:

Jen said...

My long-standing homeschooling friends (20+ years) told me not to bother until the kids were closer to 5. They said to let them be kids, that they'll (he'll) learn stuff just by hanging with you. Teach him his letters, numbers, and maybe basic math like counting (how many M&Ms is that? before letting him actually eat them). Maybe starting on some early phonics. Otherwise, wait.

Jen said...

One other thing - PBS runs educational programming early in the morning.

Super Why
Word World

These two shows are great and engaging for the little ones. Molly loves Word World.

The LeapFrog DVDs are good - Letter Factory/Word Factory are two I can think of that both of our kids watched (still do) quite a bit.