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TN.Mom
TN.Mom asks:
Q:

Is my kindergartner really that behind?

    My daughter started kindergarten 4 weeks ago.  She can say and recognize the alphabet, knows the sounds of all letters, can write all letters uppercase and most lowercase (they are just learning lowers), counts and recognizes numbers to 30+, knows all her shapes, colors, spells and writes first and last name.  She's just beginning to put sounds together to begin reading.  
    Today I received a generic letter stating that my daughter has been recommended for 'Kindergarten Intervention' which would extend her school day to 7.5 hours because she doesn't read yet.  
    Prior to the start of kindergarten, the district gave all parents a "things my child should know before kindergarten" list.  She met every requirement.  Is my daughter really considered a remedial student because she's not reading 4 weeks into kindergarten?? It seems a bit outrageous to me as I thought that's what kindergarten is for.  
    I think a 7.5 hour day is entirely too long for a 5 year old. Can anyone please give advice on this? Is she really this far behind? Thanks in advance for any help.
In Topics: School and Academics, Kindergarten readiness
> 60 days ago

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Expert

ChildSpeechLanguage
Sep 16, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

It is important that you set up a meeting with your daughter's teacher as soon as possible. Bring any information you have on your daughter's current skill level as well as the list that you received from the district.

Some children do enter kindergarten as readers, but many do not. Just because your daughter is not reading does not in itself mean she needs remedial help. Let the teacher know about your concerns and make sure she explains her expectations clearly. Ask her what you can do to help your daughter so that she continues to remain on target with her pre-reading skills.

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Additional Answers (4)

loring
loring writes:
I am not a teacher, but it seems your daughter is on task and would not allow the school to place her in the Intervention program.  However, I feel kindergarten should be a full day program.  My daughter went to a half day program and if you take away the breaks and snack/lunch, there was about 45 minutes of actual learning.  When I moved her to a full day program, she grew academically by leaps and bounds and she adjusted to the 8 - 3 schedule just fine.  Good luck! I would look into another school with a full day kindergarten so she won't feel different from the other kids.
> 60 days ago

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sweetbabyjames
sweetbabyja... writes:
Hello,

I read your email and could totally understand as the same thing happened to me.  When my daughter started school, I was shocked at all the requirements she was expected to already have before even starting school such as printing all the letters (lower and upper case) and reading.  And because she was not yet reading, she was labeled "below level" in her reading.  Then, the next year in 1st grade I volunteered and saw total chaos in the school.  They expected all the kids to read at a high level, but did not care if they spelled the words correctly.  Yes, I had two teachers tell me "Oh, the spelling does not matter as long as they sound out the words and write them the way they sound."  So, the teachers were taking no time to teach spelling properly.  Silly me, I thought reading and spelling should be learned together and were both equally important.  I had many "parent - teacher talks" but all they talked about was reading and the SATs, as if nothing else was of any importance.  Education today is horrible.  And all the teachers ever did was tell me what I needed to do to better teach my daughter.  So, what were they being paid to do?  

They had my daughter in an "after school program" that did not help at all.  It tired her out and then we had very little time (or energy) for her homework.  We were up way too late trying to get it all accomplished, and we both were stressed.  

So, what did I do??  I am now homeschooling both my girls, ages 6 and 9.  This only made sense since the teachers were expecting me to teache her anyway.  So, now instead of cramming a whole night of homework into my schedule, I now have the whole day, mostly the mornings, to teach her.  And now she can read well and can read what she wants (the teachers said she could  not read certain books because she was not at that reading level yet--AUG!!!)  

If I should have to get a full time job, I don't know what I would do but save every cent I have for tutoring or private schooling.  I am in the process of deciding to get a part time job so I can still have time to homeschool.  I am sorry if this does not help, but I have so many friends now who are having to take this route, unfortunately.  Oh, and by the way, I never intended on homeschooling, but this is what I have had to do in order to help my children.  So sad.....

All I can say is this,  there is nothing wrong with your child.  She is not delayed or developmentally challenged or below level or any of the horrible labels they use.  The problem is with the schools and the education they provide today.  Please, believe me about this.

If I can help in any way, please, let me know.  Take care--and give your child lots of hugs telling her she is bright and wonderful!!
> 60 days ago

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christinarey
christinarey writes:
I understand your frustration. My son is 5 ans also just started kindergarten. Every night he is required to read 10 min. I got a note home saying he is not reading at a kindergarten level so they thought he might need to see the school counselor. They are just kids and from what you write yours is most likely a head of other kids in her grade. I wouldn't worry she sounds like she is well a head of the game the school system sets their expectations too too high.
> 60 days ago

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LittlePeopleTeach
LittlePeopl... writes:
In NJ, reading is a first grade expectation. Anyone can read..."I can run,  I can skip,  I can jump" books. What level is she "expected " to be reading? Harry Potter????It is too bad that your district puts such a weight on reading in kindergarten. The building blocks...High Frequency Words, rhymes, beginning/ending sounds, syllables...need to be explored.
> 60 days ago

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