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#301898 - 03/23/07 11:22 PM Transition to Kindergarten - Special Needs
SNC_Editor_Pam Offline

BellaOnline Editor
Chipmunk

Registered: 06/11/05
Posts: 1429
Loc: SE of Seattle
There was a notice in our local weekly that
'kindergarten roundup' is going to be held
in our school district for four and five
year olds who will be attending kindergarten
in the Fall.

Sometimes families of children with developmental
disabilities or delays are not invited to mainstream
events for incoming students, and miss out on learning
helpful information about their school district and
options available to all children.

I know that many children in special education
preschool are already scheduled for IEP or IEP
planning meetings in Spring, but they may be
missing kindergarten preparation activities
like touring buildings and meeting teachers.

Do you have any advice for families of four year
olds who have special needs? How does your local
district register incoming kindergartners? Does the
special education preschool have transition activities?

Thanks!

Pam W
SE of Seattle

Kindergarten Transition
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Pamela Wilson - Children with Special Needs Editor
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#312874 - 05/12/07 10:42 AM Re: Kindergarten Transition [Re: SNC_Editor_Pam]
SNC_Editor_Pam Offline

BellaOnline Editor
Chipmunk

Registered: 06/11/05
Posts: 1429
Loc: SE of Seattle
Hello All!

Do you have recommendations for children's
books, DVDs, etc about starting kindergarten?


I am especially interested in any that feature inclusive classrooms.

Thanks!

Pam W
SE of Seattle

Elementary School Transition
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#320349 - 06/07/07 08:43 PM Re: Kindergarten Transition [Re: SNC_Editor_Pam]
Special Needs Mom Offline
Newbie

Registered: 04/11/07
Posts: 25
Loc: Canada
My 5 yr old started kindergarten this year and it was far more stressful than we had anticipated.

We were caught off guard since he had no behaviour problems in his daycare. And, since he had been in daycare since his 1st birthday, he was used to the routine of the day and so on.

But, in my highly biased opinion, :-) I think in retrospect that he may have had problems due to two avoidable factors. One is teacher training. At the daycare, virtually all staff had ECE (Early Childhood Education) certificates or degrees. And the entire program was well structured to meet the needs of the students at that age.

In the school environment, overstressed teachers are required to follow a strict curriculum that dictates what kids do, what they learn, when and how. Faced with that task, and too many kids, compliance and conformity end up being the teacher's primary goals if they have any hope of an orderly classroom.

For special need kids who take a bit longer to thing things through, or just think in a different manner, the notion of conformity to a wrongly paced curriculum is bound to be defiance. And then, when they are punished for not being compliant, they only behave worse, because their need for emotional support is greater than usual.

Can you tell I'm feeling a tad frustrated with "the system" at the moment? :-(

I don't think blaming the teachers is the answer either. They are certainly not well supported either.

Homeschooling is becoming more appealling all the time....

Anna
_________________________
Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans.... John Lennon

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#320374 - 06/07/07 11:55 PM Re: Kindergarten Transition [Re: Special Needs Mom]
JanZeiger Offline
Parakeet

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 977
Loc: Central Florida
Anna,

As I was reading your post, I was thinking, "Why isn't she homeschooling?"

Then I saw the end of your message! smile

Let me know if you need any help getting started (should you decide to do it). It's wonderful!! smile

Jan
Former public school teacher turned homeschooling mom
_________________________
Jan Zeiger, MA

Visit Me on SQUIDOO
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#320378 - 06/08/07 12:10 AM Re: Kindergarten Transition [Re: JanZeiger]
Special Needs Mom Offline
Newbie

Registered: 04/11/07
Posts: 25
Loc: Canada
Hi Jan!

Thanks for the offer of help. I may just take you up on it down the road.

For now, I see mega impediments to my taking the homeschooling route:

1) income... can't sort out how I could find time to homeschool when I also need to work

2) expenses... having special need kids means additional expenses as it is.. homeschooling will only add to that -unfairly I might add. You'd think that the Ministry of Education would provide direct financial support of some kind for homeschooling - not to mention supplies

3) time... my day is already time stressed. Can't figure out how I could add homeschooling to the existing mix (although avoiding stressful teacher and IEP meetings would be lovely)

4) respite.... okay, okay, I admit it. I'm a better mom when I don't spend 24 /7 with my kids. School is currently both my work time and my down time.

5) experience... I've never trained as a teacher, although I've done lots of adult training. Not sure I know how to go about it.

No doubt these are the same impediments that all parents face when considering homeschooling. However, in my research to date, I haven't really seen how parents have specifically addressed these issues. Maybe it's just because it would be too personal, but I'd love to hear the voices of experience on these issues.

Jan?

Not that I'm putting you on the spot or anything.... :-)

Anna
_________________________
Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans.... John Lennon

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#324661 - 06/25/07 08:39 AM Re: Kindergarten Transition [Re: Special Needs Mom]
SNC_Editor_Pam Offline

BellaOnline Editor
Chipmunk

Registered: 06/11/05
Posts: 1429
Loc: SE of Seattle
Originally Posted By: Special Needs Mom
My 5 yr old started kindergarten this year and it was far more stressful than we had anticipated.

...For special need kids who take a bit longer to thing things through, or just think in a different manner, the notion of conformity to a wrongly paced curriculum is bound to be defiance. And then, when they are punished for not being compliant, they only behave worse, because their need for emotional support is greater than usual.

Can you tell I'm feeling a tad frustrated with "the system" at the moment? :-(

I don't think blaming the teachers is the answer either. They are certainly not well supported either.

Homeschooling is becoming more appealling all the time....



We were fortunate in that we had several kindergarten classes in each of our local schools; the difference each teacher made as well as the assortment of students enrolled made each classroom unique and sometimes not so wonderful.

My son had a great experience in his mainstream classroom in part because his outstanding teacher welcomed parent volunteers, and in part because she structured their hours there so that it would have been an inclusive classroom even if he had not been enrolled.

These days it seems as though more 'mainstream' kindergartners have extra needs that must challenge the most experienced, well-trained and centered teachers, while they find less support and more distractions from administrators.

I had to laugh when I read your concerns and perceived drawbacks to homeschooling - those are some that are covered in most introductory homeschool information meetings, web pages and email discussion groups. Many homeschooling moms would have expected to be voted 'least likely to homeschool' right up to the time they made that decision.

Wishing you all the best,

Pam W
SE of Seattle

Kindergarten Transition
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#338282 - 09/04/07 11:14 AM Re: Kindergarten Transition [Re: SNC_Editor_Pam]
SNC_Editor_Pam Offline

BellaOnline Editor
Chipmunk

Registered: 06/11/05
Posts: 1429
Loc: SE of Seattle
I have added links to recommended books and DVDs - thanks!

Now, another question about kindergarten - does your district offer full day kindergarten, or half days; if half days, and did you have a choice between morning and afternoon sessions? Also, did your child have the option of going to a special ed session and an additional mainstream kindergarten session? I have heard that options vary from district to district, and even among elementary schools within the same district.

Pam W
SE of Seattle

Universal Design for Learning - Access
to General Education Curriculum
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