How much is too much for a four year old?

@ravinskye (8242)
United States
January 14, 2010 3:13pm CST
My daughter is in preschool. Since she started school things there have changed. They are trying to change to an "private academic academy". They keep sending notes home reminding us that they are not a daycare, that the kids are there for education. I get that. I'm fine with that. But I think this teacher is taking it to far. She claims she is getting them ready for Kindergarten, but they are doing stuff the first graders are doing. These kids are four years old and this week she started giving them spelling words and tests. They had 5 words they had to practice on flash cards, and right five times every night and then she tests them at the end of the week. I think it is too much. They have to write them in school too. She only let them play 20 minutes and they go a full day. She doesn't even let them go out for recess like the kids in grades Kindergarten through 6th get to do. I'm thinking about removing my daughter. She knows all of what she needs to know to get into Kindergarten and I can work with her at home. Do you think I'm wrong? What would you do? She hates going to school now and she's only 4. You can see it on all the kids faces that they are burnt out.
7 people like this
16 responses
@dreamr802 (987)
• United States
15 Jan 10
I don't have any children yet, but I think preschool should be more fun and a way for kids to socialize with other kids. yes there has to be an educational part to the day, like learning colors or shapes or something to that effect...but writing words and having tests every week is going a little overboard. Before pulling your child out of the school, I would talk to the person who is running the school (principle or something). Plus I would see what other parents are thinking about this change as well. Maybe all the parents can meet with the teacher? I don't know if any of those will work. But good luck.
1 person likes this
@ravinskye (8242)
• United States
15 Jan 10
Thanks. It feels good to know that I'm not just being over protective. I'm going to call the directors that are in charge of the preschool and talk to them in the morning. Some of the other parents had been complaining long before this.
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
14 Jan 10
That does seem like a lot for a 4 year old. I am thinking your right about the teacher going a bit overboard. Maybe you should have a meeting with the teacher to let her know how you feel. Or better yet..talk to a few other parents and get a feel on what they think about the curriculum. maybe you could speak to her as a group. It would be a shame to have to take her out of school..it's a bigger shame that she already doesn't like it though.
1 person likes this
@ravinskye (8242)
• United States
14 Jan 10
The teacher insists this is getting them ready for kindergarten that they won't get in without it. But there are only 10 kids in this class, so is she saying the other 30 kids that are coming into kindergarten next year won't get in? She liked school when she started and it breaks my heart to see her so upset about it already. Some of the other parents had issues before just reading to their child a few minutes each night, so i'm sure they really have issues with this.
@barehugs (8986)
• Canada
14 Jan 10
You are so right! This teacher is going out on her own! She needs to see a psychologist for counseling. Little kids need time to play! She's trying to put a feather in her cap, and stressing the kids out in the process. This could effect their future education, or even their lives! I'd get my child out of there yesterday.
1 person likes this
@ravinskye (8242)
• United States
14 Jan 10
That's what I'm thinking. It just doesn't feel right. She is used to teaching older kids, I guess that is part of it.
@walijo2008 (4648)
• United States
14 Jan 10
Well its easy for kids to get burned out, especially at that young age, and if she already hates going to school. I think the teacher is being too hard on them and making them do things they might not be ready for, I don't know just what the kids need to know to be able to go on to kindergarten but most kindergartners don't know how to read, spell or write, I think they learn all that in the first grade, I know I didn't learn to read or write till then, and they need recess time, thats when they're able to get a break from the classroom, you know how energetic they are. I don't know if your wrong or right, but I would probably ask other parents what they think about it, and see if anyone else is thinking about taking their children out of that school, then I'd make my decision on what I'm going to do.
1 person likes this
@ravinskye (8242)
• United States
14 Jan 10
Since the beginning of school there have been issues. There are less kids in there then when they started. Even the assistant is saying she is pushing them too hard. I'm going to call the director tomorrow and see what she says.
@katsmeow1213 (29047)
• United States
14 Jan 10
I'd probably look into a new school, or request a new teacher or something. That does seem extreme for preschool. When my kids were in preschool it was all about teaching them how to write their names, and getting them recognizing letters and numbers, and the teachers read them stories. That was about the extent of their learning. I don't think they really started spelling tests until like 1st grade. I don't remember if they did it in Kindergarten. I was actually really surprised that by the middle of the year in Kindergarten that they could actually write full sentances!
1 person likes this
@ravinskye (8242)
• United States
14 Jan 10
I'm going to call the directors tomorrow. They taught the kids how to write their names and do the alphabet and she learned that stuff. She hates going now though and it make sad. she brought home her spelling test today and she missed every one of the five words. 3 of them she didn't write anything, one she wrote the s in she but not the rest of the letters and when they said an she wrote am. Our oldest is in first grade and she just started doing spelling. In kindergarten they still did the letters and stuff and towards the middle of the year did sight words, but no tests on them.
@dawnald (84147)
• Shingle Springs, California
15 Jan 10
I think you answered your own question! She hates it, the other kids are burned out, so it is too much.
1 person likes this
@sedel1027 (17855)
• United States
15 Jan 10
I think that is a bit much. When my son was 4 he was in what they call Pre-K4, which is Kindergarten prep. They went almost a full day, but there were breaks, naps and snacks built in, but no homework or tests. There days were filled with education & fun. Since he had been in an advanced daycare a lot of things that he learned that year were repetitive - writing the alphabet, how to write his name, ect - but he got a lot out of the social interaction and being in a school setting. Sounds like to me that this teacher needs to find a healthy balance,. Where is your daughter going to Kindergarten? Is it at this school? Do you know if what they teacher is doing is part of the Kindergarten curriculum?
1 person likes this
• Grand Junction, Colorado
25 Jan 10
Hello rav, It sounds to me like she is in a special kind of preschool and not a regular preschool. I don't know if quiting is the right thing either and here is why. My youngest was enrolled into preschool and hated it for months I listened to her cry and complain about going to school. The preschool required them to all lay down for nap time, my daughter had quit taking naps at the age of 2 entirely. I spoke to the director and the teacher and the best they would do was she had to lay down but could look at books. It didn't help so we took her out. My daughter still tells people that she "dropped out" of preschool. I don't know where you live and what's required to enter into kindergarten, but my little one had spelling test in kindergarten and now 1st grade they have to write stories, granted they are only about a paragraph long but it's part of the curiculum at
• Grand Junction, Colorado
25 Jan 10
So sorry, my lap sometimes has a mind of it's own and uploads without authorization. her school. I should mention that my daughter attends a private school and there are only 11 kids in her 1st grade class. Her spelling lists each week are 16 words. For example words on list this week are think, bring, thank, grand, and young. Don't even get me started on math. I'm not saying that I agree with your child's school teachings I'm just saying it may not be a match for you and your child. I think before I made any decision I would speak to the teacher and the director as you said some changes were made had you known about them upfront you may have made a different chose for your child. Good luck would be interested to hear what they had to say. Just my two cents worth.
• United States
31 Dec 10
That seems very stringent for a daycare. I think they are trying to appeal to parents who want to put their kids on the fast track for entry into a high end prestigious school academy. Many of the academies, even for kindergarten and first grade have very high educational standards. But, none of these places focus on the mental or emotional welfare of the child. If you feel your child is being stressed with the work involved in 'preschool', then it might be good to investigate your other daycare options. Most of the things she is 'learning' at preschool could easily be learned from playing free games online. My daughter learned many things that way and was way ahead when it was time to start her real school studies.
• Pamplona, Spain
9 Sep 10
Hiya ravinskye, Only Four years old that is too much for a Child of her age they need to be able to play for a good amount of hours a Day it´s vital and it´s vital for them to let steam off too. I don´t think you are wrong at all she is going to get the wrong impression about going to School altogether. No fun for a small Child that is not good at all. They will have enough to cope with just growing up let alone having their playtime taken away from them.
@ladym33 (11008)
• United States
22 Aug 10
That sounds like way to much for 4 year olds to me. You are right that is more like things first graders do, maybe a little in Kindergarden, but that is just color words and connecting words. A 4 year old's job is to play and be happy. What she is doing is teaching kids to hate school and that is a very bad thing indeed. This is more likely to hurt their futures rather than help them. We have to work hard the rest of our lives after we become adults. Kids should be allowed to be kids.
• India
18 Aug 10
Hello it is certainly too much for a four year young kid, sort of exploitation and harrasment, if this is with my kid i would remove him/her from that school and put some where else, because filing written or verbal complaint has no value.. Thanks for sharing. Welcome always. Cheers. Professor
@Hatley (164654)
• Garden Grove, California
21 Jan 10
hi ravenskye is this by any chance a Montessori school, they rare very advanced and really should only take gifted children as their programs are really advanced for nursery age children. I think this teacher is trying to make gifted kids out of ordinary'children, and killing their desire to learn by doing this. most children will be eager to learn by kindergarten or the first grade. unless your daughter is very gifted this does not sound like the place for her at all. Whatever is that teacher's hurry, at four they should be playing more and working less so they will be eager to go to kindergarten or first grade.
@Thoroughrob (11750)
• United States
15 Jan 10
It does sound like alot. Most of the time it is teachers that are not doing their job. It sounds like this one is going a bit overboard. I would talk to someone higher up than her.
@ongtina (1232)
• Singapore
15 Jan 10
Only 4 . There's still so many years to go so it's not going to benefit if your kid start hating studying now. You can point that out to the teacher. Remember to also let her know your appreciation of how dedicated she is to her work. Many parents spend time coaching their kids cos they don't feel the children are prepared enough under others' hands. For you, you can actually just have fun with your kid and still know you don't have to worry as she will be ready under her teacher. Just having fun will build so much love between you and your child and you may have to thank your teacher for enabling that ( no stress having to teach kid and souring relationship because of study ). Balance your child by letting her have fun, don't do anything related to study might just do the trick.
@samire (55)
• China
15 Jan 10
ravinskye,you can't think it.You may think the children is more clever than our.Now the children is living environment is relatively good,better nutrition,it should be at this time to develop their brains,although the perception is that lost their innocence,things are always double-edged.