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  1. #11
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    DD is 3 and a bit...will do 4 year old pre school next year and start school in 2016.

    They do play based learning...but, you need to remember things like painting...helps them learn how to hold a pencil and increases hand strength (as does playing on money bars and climbing and digging in a sandpit), taking turns and sharing are vital life skills, packing and unpacking their bags and opening food...all vital skills. Counting in books and knowing how books work (ie stories flow in order, pictures matching words, predicting endings) prepare them for reading and maths.

    What seems like play...are the foundations of all other skills.

    DD is already showing an interest in reading (like her big brother did lol) and we use alphabet story books and she has started playing on Reading Eggs (that also have a maths component) because she wants to. She knows her numbers and most of her letters and is able to recognise and write her name...but that is because she is interested so we do stuff together. She would tell you she is playing too...because it is always fun and she does it with one of us.

    Pre school's have a limited time and should focus on the the important social structure and also how to behave in a classroom environment. If your kid is ready and asking for more, do some fun learning together...but remember to make it fun as it is not essential.

    Even once they are at school, they spend way more time at home with you so if you want to support your kids make the time to help them learn.

  2. #12
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    DS1 is 3.5 and at an Early Learning Centre for 3-4 year olds. He will move into pre-school (non compulsory) next year and then start fulltime school in 2016.

    At the moment he is learning about being in a 'class' environment, sitting with the other kids waiting for story time, taking turns, interacting with other child and teachers, packing up at the end of an activity. And as they are attached to a primary school they also go to the library once a week and choose a book to bring home.

    During the day they have play activities, I'm not expecting any set 'learning activities' (IE- I dont expect them to sit them at a table and to all be learning to write their name, or work on handwriting), but I see how he is learning thru their play. His drawings are getting better and he can tell you a story thru them, he is learning his colours through paint etc. They do music and singing the alphabet is one of the many songs they sing (though hes pretty bad at it lol!).

    Its non compulsory, so I am not expecting too much from them, I am hopeful that by the time school comes he will be used to the classroom and the social environment.

    (at home we are working on things like recognising his name etc)
    Last edited by Uh-Oh; 19-02-2014 at 13:15.

  3. #13
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    My daughter's only 1, and I'm a high school teacher... so not a lot of direct experience with this.

    What I would say though, from my knowledge of education, is that I would only expect play-based learning (nothing formal) from a preschool. As others have mentioned, life skills & classroom readiness is what really matters when a child starts school. The foundations of literacy and numeracy are not usually explicitly taught, but things which are learnt through play & interaction with others. Good early childhood educators would be working these foundations into the play opportunities they offer.

    If your son enjoys formal learning, then it might be worth mentioning that to the centre. They may be willing to provide him with materials, or to simply structure their interactions with him to fulfill his expectations. You can also focus on that kind of thing with him at home.

  4. #14
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    You might be surprised at how much they actually do learn through play. I know I was! The games and activities that the teachers have set out for the day at our Kinder, have been intentionally thought out to teach certain skills.

    Learning to read starts long before learning the alphabet etc. Even games that teach the eye to go from left to right are all part of it.

    To be honest, I would be turned off a preschool that focused too much on phonics etc. There is plenty of time for that in school. I would rather the focus be on play, social skills, pre reading etc.

  5. #15
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    My sons preschool 'learning' is play based and that's how it should be imho. Gosh kids are in formal schooling for so long preschool is an opportunity for developing social skills in a fun environment. There is so much time for numbers, letters etc. I would personally be pretty unhappy if there was any formal learning at my sons preschool. He's in his second year and is learning so much, using pencils, scissors, sharing, helping to tidy away. He initiates writing, knows his alphabet, counts to 20+ but only because he has been interested. Some weeks he only wants to play with cars and that's fine because he is not being put off learning by the formality of school. I wish school could be more play based for a few years!!

  6. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Freyamum For This Useful Post:

    Ellewood  (19-02-2014),Gracie's Mum  (19-02-2014)

  7. #16
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    Plenty of time for the grown up stuff, learning through play is the best foundation and I think it's fantastic!!

  8. #17
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    Honestly? I don't expect DS to learn anything apart from school readiness stuff as described by previous poster(s).

    DS's centre has a baby room (0-2), toddler room (2-3) and pre-school room (3-5) and all I really care about is that he has fun, feels included and is nurtured/secure in his environment. Also, obviously that his natural development is supported and encouraged (using toilet, washing hands, experiencing activities, getting plenty of variety in activity and food requirements met), which his kindy does very well plus so much more.

    They do a wonderful job at DS's pre-school, and it's such a great experience for him. He's been on 2 excursions already this year and participate in cultural activities a lot too. But as for learning curriculum-type stuff, no, let them be little and have fun, that stuff is for school - 12-14 years of it!

  9. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gracie's Mum View Post
    Plenty of time for the grown up stuff, learning through play is the best foundation and I think it's fantastic!!
    Yes and I think kids do this naturally, no adult 'teaching' required really. They are very clever on their own as long as we provide the opportunity

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    btmacxxx  (20-02-2014)

  11. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1492 View Post
    I'm in NSW. DS1 attended preschool last year and has returned this year as well as we thought he was a little young to go through to kinder with it being 5 days a week. ATM he goes to preschool two days per week. I have taught him his alphabet, colours, shapes and numbers myself and initally it was my intention to send him to preschool to socialise and learn those skills; however, with the last administation having him write his name and learn months and days of the week, learning phonics etc and then the 'new' administration taking over at only focusing on social and emotional I can understand why DS1 is feeling like he isn't doing any learning at preschool. Makes me wonder if I should have sent him to kindergarten...
    I'm a teacher and haven't taught my child who just started school any of this. She has just started kindergarten and thriving. They learn all this at school.

    I wouldn't teach him more as he might also find school boring next year.

  12. The Following User Says Thank You to BigRedV For This Useful Post:

    btmacxxx  (20-02-2014)

  13. #20
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    That school is a fun and postive place to be. I just wanted my kids to have a happy start to their schooling.

  14. The Following User Says Thank You to Raising Leprechauns For This Useful Post:

    btmacxxx  (20-02-2014)


 

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