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Old 08-29-2008, 10:01 AM
 
Location: mass
2,905 posts, read 4,572,301 times
Reputation: 4895

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I don't know about other states, but apparently kindergarten is not required by the state of Massachusetts therefore its 300-some odd communities all have different policies regarding kindergarten.

My son went to full day free kindergarten and the town where we now live has changed its previously fee/lottery based kindergarten to full day free for all. So I am lucky in this regard.

My brother lives in Agawam , Ma and they have some type of lottery or fee based kindergarten there.

My issue is this: Kindergarten is now what 1st grade used to be. There is a lot of pressure on schools now that we have the MCAS, and they are putting more on kindergarteners than ever. Preschool is now what kindergarten used to be (where the kids play and learn to listen tot he teacher, etc....)

My son simply would not have been successful in 1st grade had he not have gone to kindergarten. There is no way he would have passed it. And he is a typical student, not an idiot. Therefore, in my opinion, kids that do not go to kindergarten are severely disadvantaged, unless the parents are basically providing them with a kindergarten education at home, which leads me to believe that kindergarten is a necessity, and all cities and towns should be bearing the burden of offering kindergarten for all students for FREE.

The point is, these towns are saying that they dont offer it universally because it is not required by the state. But, the way I see it is it should be a requirement in this day and age.

Are there any first grade teachers out there that want to chime in? Have you had any first graders with no prior education and how did they fare?

Anybody else have a problem with this?
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Old 08-29-2008, 10:47 AM
 
Location: The Big D
14,874 posts, read 23,643,589 times
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In the State of Texas kindergarten is not required either. However, every school district offers it FREE to every child that meets the age requirements (must be 5 years old by September 1). Some people hold their kids back a year and start kindergarten at 6. In the past though our kindergarten classes were either all-day or half-day. Every district was different. Then some of the newer schools were built to accomodate all of the all-day kindergartners. Several years ago the state mandated by a certain year ALL school districts MUST have all-day kindergarten. That is now in place across the board. You still are not required to send your child to kindergarten but if you do it will be all-day. There is no lottery or fee attached or associated with it.

When I was growing up if your parents wanted you to attend kindergarten you had to go to private school. There was no kindergarten offered in the public schools at all. I knew several kids thru school that never went to kindergarten.
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Old 08-29-2008, 11:32 AM
 
1,628 posts, read 4,320,155 times
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It's not required in most states. Many cities also don't allow goats to walk down main street. There are lots of things on the books which don't have much to do with the way things really work these days.

Obviously most people send their kids to K, but if they want they really don't have to send them at any age. They can homeschool.
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Old 08-29-2008, 12:24 PM
 
2,839 posts, read 6,572,435 times
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In CT, it's not required that you educate your child until they are 7. (And by educate your child, I mean either send him/her to school or homeschool.) I'd say that the vast majority of people send their kids to school when they're 5, to kindergarten, and the rest homeschool. I suppose there might be a few people who keep their kids home and don't do anything.

It's the parent's choice... your son went to K and it worked out, but for some kids, they might just be too young to be away from mom all day. I do'nt see a problem.
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Old 08-29-2008, 12:30 PM
Status: "Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!" (set 13 hours ago)
 
Location: Massachusetts
4,163 posts, read 6,088,181 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommytotwo View Post
I don't know about other states, but apparently kindergarten is not required by the state of Massachusetts therefore its 300-some odd communities all have different policies regarding kindergarten.

My son went to full day free kindergarten and the town where we now live has changed its previously fee/lottery based kindergarten to full day free for all. So I am lucky in this regard.

My brother lives in Agawam , Ma and they have some type of lottery or fee based kindergarten there.

My issue is this: Kindergarten is now what 1st grade used to be. There is a lot of pressure on schools now that we have the MCAS, and they are putting more on kindergarteners than ever. Preschool is now what kindergarten used to be (where the kids play and learn to listen tot he teacher, etc....)

My son simply would not have been successful in 1st grade had he not have gone to kindergarten. There is no way he would have passed it. And he is a typical student, not an idiot. Therefore, in my opinion, kids that do not go to kindergarten are severely disadvantaged, unless the parents are basically providing them with a kindergarten education at home, which leads me to believe that kindergarten is a necessity, and all cities and towns should be bearing the burden of offering kindergarten for all students for FREE.

The point is, these towns are saying that they dont offer it universally because it is not required by the state. But, the way I see it is it should be a requirement in this day and age.

Are there any first grade teachers out there that want to chime in? Have you had any first graders with no prior education and how did they fare?

Anybody else have a problem with this?

I'm confused by your question. As far as I know, every city and town in Mass. is required to provide free kindergarten. On the other hand, as a parent, you can choose not to send your child and wait until 1st grade to enroll them.
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Old 08-29-2008, 12:38 PM
 
3,075 posts, read 7,111,313 times
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I don't know of anyone who sends their child to 1st but didn't sent in K. It is on the books, but I have yet to find someone (other than a homeschooler) who observes this.

Dawn
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Old 08-29-2008, 01:15 PM
 
2,839 posts, read 6,572,435 times
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I also want to point out that by 5th or 6th grade, you don't know who learned to read at age 5 and who learned to read at age 8, who went to preschool and who didn't, etc. It's really not all that important in the grand scheme of things. No university is going to deny a child who didn't attend kindergarten, and no one will ace the AP English test in high school because they DID go to kindergarten. While the schools might force-feed information into very small children, it really does no good... they all catch up anyway, barring any learning difficulties, etc. My current 5-year-old would probably do okay in a kindergarten class, but my son was not ready at 5 to be trained to sit down and be quiet. If we did send our kids to school, I might have opted to keep him home the extra year.
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Old 08-29-2008, 02:56 PM
 
Location: mass
2,905 posts, read 4,572,301 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaseyB View Post
I'm confused by your question. As far as I know, every city and town in Mass. is required to provide free kindergarten. On the other hand, as a parent, you can choose not to send your child and wait until 1st grade to enroll them.
OK, take it easy everyone! Sorry, I guess the title was a little misleading! What I meant was:

Why are cities and towns not required to offer free Kindergarten?

But, never mind..........................

Apparently, as Casey B, stated, schools in Mass are now required to have a free kindergarten program, even if it is only 1/2 day. Maybe I misunderstood my friend, and her kid attended the 1/2 day for FREE, and the full day kids parents had to pay a fee. That is likely the case, after doing a little research on the net, it seems like everyone has to offer at least 1/2 day kindy, and the ones that offer full day either offer it universally, offer it for a fee, offer it to some by lottery, etc....

Anyway, this is a relief to find out Casey B. Because it really irks me when I think something is obviously needed and is not offered, except for a fee. Some people cannot afford such fees. But it is good to know that at least 1/2 day is available. Frankly I was pissed to find out that preschool was by lottery and not all kids could go, when my son was that age, in another town.

I am going to call my brother and tell him this. His wife was also complaining that they were going to have to pay for kindergarden in agawam, but it looks like its free there (maybe they do the full day---fee program or something)
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Old 08-29-2008, 03:01 PM
 
10,118 posts, read 11,396,373 times
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I think that there are many states where it is required that K be offered, but not mandatory that children attend. I think there are only 12 states that require children to attend kindergarden. As far as I know Mass is required to offer K.
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Old 08-29-2008, 03:52 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
1,206 posts, read 2,718,033 times
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Where I am in Colorado, kindergarten is not required, however it is 1/2 day where the other half is covered by an 'enrichment' program. You can choose to pay for the enrichment program and thereby essentially extending the kindergarten experience to be a full day. The actual kindergarten portion is free. It really varies even across districts in the same state.
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