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Marcola

Child development

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Marcola

Hi everyone

Hoping some of you will feel comfortable talking openly about this topic... My daughter is 3 and is in a day(well home) care. While she knows all her ABCs, can sing a dozen nursery rhymes and can count (to 20 - skipping a few here and there) her caregiving mentioned that she is a smart girl "but". Seems she is behind the other 3 year old who can read all the alphabets and numbers as well as write her name in full. I'm wondering if this is a Canadian thing (as in other South Africans have experienced this)? So here I am sittind with flash cards, obviously not wanting my child to be behind? Maybe I needed to spend less time playing all along?

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Nelline

If it helps, my kid could do none of the things mentioned by your caregiver, at that age. In fact he struggled more or less with many things like writing and parts of Maths (but was streets ahead in reading) until Grade 3 when he suddenly shot ahead of everyone in his class/ year, on many levels (writing, Maths etc). Relax. It will  be fine. Your child should be playing. They're only young for such a short time.

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Marcola

Thanks Nelline. I have been feeling down since she spoke to me. Feeling like i let my child down. I even googled milestones but nowhere did it say she needed to be able to read and write. So i am going to relax... this shouldn't be me spending the weekend pushing her:( Even my hubby said "shes 3, this isnt even school as yet." I guess I will make learning fun and stick to my thinking of let them play, they will be in school for the next 14 plus years anyways!! 

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MaryJane

I’m no expert but will say that I have two daughters, who developed very differently when they were young. When the second one came, I used to compare her growth to her big sister. “When #1 was this age, she was already doing this and that, etc.” Until one day, a teacher I met on vacation, pointed out that even with the same genes, kids are different. They’ll all get there, but not at the same speed.

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M-N

Your caregiver should know better than to tell you that.  As mentioned above, kids delvelop on their own pace.  Ofcourse there are times where concern will kick in but I think the signs would be very obvious. My girl is almost a year and she does way more than the kids in our play groups her age or older for that matter do. I would never expect anyone to tell the moms they're kids are behind because they don't do what my daughter does, in fact, I see my daughter as the odd one out, cute but a weirdo. 😂 

I guess bottom line is if you're comfortable with her progression then I wouldn't worry.  

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Nelline

I'm going to stick my neck out and say, either find another caregiver or grin and bear it until your daughter can start JK. Whatever works for you. But I believe play-based learning IS the way to go.

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Marcola

Thanks Nelline, Mary Jane and M-N. I actually considered moving her but then I thought shes been through so much change that i will rather work with this caregiver, who does care for my daughter, and teach her at a good pace.  I showed her the alphabet yesterday and she said "look mamma Aah (phonic sound) is for Apple, Buh is for Ball, Kuh is for Cat....she went all the way to G before she got stuck. I paused and thought is this what makes this caregiver worry?! Honestly?! I felt so bad for my little girl because she felt so defeated. I asked her write her name and she could do the first two letters...i then started to push her to learn the others, before I stopped. Her caregiver had actually changed my view of my little girl which is so sad:(. Yet there is nothing wrong here.  

When we were in SA my daughter was ahead of some of the kids her age or sometimes the same or sometimes there was a kid who knew more...Does this mean each of these kids need to be judged? Her caregiver also once told me that her vocab was so advanced and that she was concerned about another child..Its not fair that she compares them and also discusses them (with other parents too). When I was 3 Im pretty sure i didnt even know my phonics. And here I am lol. So conclusion, I think that yes a better education is one of the reasons we moved here, but I'm definitely not going to push a toddler. And I will speak to her caregiver (gently) to not compare them...

Edited by Marcola

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Nelline

Seriously, if your child is "feeling defeated" at not being able to master what many older children can't do, then I'd consider changing her to another provider, even if it means an upheaval. That feeling of defeat does not stem from anything you've done, it seems, my bet would be elsewhere... Just my opinion. Once they start "proper"  Kindergarten" you will see. In fact, here's an idea. Ask the local school (which your child is likely going to attend) if you can meet with one of the JK teachers, just to talk to someone and set our mind at rest. They are usually super helpful at requests like that.

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Willem sing

In my support of the other feedback above: the key to reading readiness during the toddler years is indirect guidance - get her excited about stories. She is not supposed to worry about alphabet letters at three. Pushing your child to read before she is ready can get in the way of your child's interest in learning. Some basic concept of the printed words/number is ok, but stressing about a three year old not being able to name all 26 letters is ridiculous. What she should hear is how fantastic she is and how much you love her and what a joy it is to play. A positive child approaching school with confidence will thrive and fly through developmental phases at the proper time. So your hubby might not always be right, but this time he nails it! ;) 

Edited by Willem sing
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Marcola
10 hours ago, Nelline said:

Seriously, if your child is "feeling defeated" at not being able to master what many older children can't do, then I'd consider changing her to another provider, even if it means an upheaval. That feeling of defeat does not stem from anything you've done, it seems, my bet would be elsewhere... Just my opinion. Once they start "proper"  Kindergarten" you will see. In fact, here's an idea. Ask the local school (which your child is likely going to attend) if you can meet with one of the JK teachers, just to talk to someone and set our mind at rest. They are usually super helpful at requests like that.

That is an excellent idea @Nelline! I have been meaning to call them anyways regarding enrolement for next year so that will be perfect. I can meet the JK teacher and chat. Her defeat was what her caregiver described (although she had cried there coz the other child could do it and she couldnt), she got frustrated and I had to calm her and say its ok and look how smart you are. 

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Marcola
7 hours ago, Willem sing said:

In my support of the other feedback above: the key to reading readiness during the toddler years is indirect guidance - get her excited about stories. She is not supposed to worry about alphabet letters at three. Pushing your child to read before she is ready can get in the way of your child's interest in learning. Some basic concept of the printed words/number is ok, but stressing about a three year old not being able to name all 26 letters is ridiculous. What she should hear is how fantastic she is and how much you love her and what a joy it is to play. A positive child approaching school with confidence will thrive and fly through developmental phases at the proper time. So your hubby might not always be right, but this time he nails it! ;) 

Lol i'll accept that he is right for once :P. 

Willem thats exactly what Ive always believed...that at this age they will rather learn words from books. And I mean vocabulary more than being able to identify them. When we read to her every night shes excited and for some of the regular stories, she can tell it to us based on where we are in the book. And new books are just as exciting to her...thats what it should be. Not me sitting down and teaching her meaningless letters. Pointing to alphabets while we are out walking is far more exciting than pushing her to learn all 26 like you have mentioned. 

And you're so right...I want her to feel positive and confident and ready to learn when she approaches JK almost a year from now. Shes just turned 3! We spent the summer outdoors amazed at how she loves even the biggest jungle gym/slide and how brave and confident she is and now this...

Once I speak to the JK teacher I will know how to approach her caregiver. 

Edited by Marcola

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JanSalJanNat

When we arrived my daughter was 4 and my son 2.  They started a home daycare as soon as we found jobs & settled in.  The teacher told me that my daughter knows the alphabet but she can't recognise the letters yet.  I was a bit shocked that they expected a 4 year old to read already but I did not let that bother me. We decided that we won't put emphasis on what she can't do but rather encourage her to learn new things. My daughter started kindergarten in September and she can already write her name 😊   you don't have to worry they learn really quickly, if the daycare teacher teaches them to read & write she will be up to speed before you know it.  

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Marcola
22 hours ago, JanSalJanNat said:

When we arrived my daughter was 4 and my son 2.  They started a home daycare as soon as we found jobs & settled in.  The teacher told me that my daughter knows the alphabet but she can't recognise the letters yet.  I was a bit shocked that they expected a 4 year old to read already but I did not let that bother me. We decided that we won't put emphasis on what she can't do but rather encourage her to learn new things. My daughter started kindergarten in September and she can already write her name 😊   you don't have to worry they learn really quickly, if the daycare teacher teaches them to read & write she will be up to speed before you know it.  

Thank you @JanSalJanNat. Because of all of you I was able to stop focusing on this and once again show her how smart she really is. You're spot on that we should just focus on the many things they are good at and let the rest fall into place. I'm not going to kill her excitement for when school does start (in almost a whole year) and I'm going to teach her the way I would...while she is playing, while I am reading to her etc. 

Annnd!!! @Nelline, I called the school yesterday...the JK teacher was ofcourse teaching so she called me back when they had a break.  I asked if there were any requirements for JK/if there are things that I should be focusing on that may be different here and she said that there isn't a requirement for them to be able to read and write and that JK is play based learning which will teach them those things. She said that it doesn't hurt to introduce them to reading/writing but that most kids only develop these skills in JK/SK and that even if a child has a head start now, it doesnt mean they will when school starts.

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Nelline
7 hours ago, Marcola said:

Thank you @JanSalJanNat. Because of all of you I was able to stop focusing on this and once again show her how smart she really is. You're spot on that we should just focus on the many things they are good at and let the rest fall into place. I'm not going to kill her excitement for when school does start (in almost a whole year) and I'm going to teach her the way I would...while she is playing, while I am reading to her etc. 

Annnd!!! @Nelline, I called the school yesterday...the JK teacher was ofcourse teaching so she called me back when they had a break.  I asked if there were any requirements for JK/if there are things that I should be focusing on that may be different here and she said that there isn't a requirement for them to be able to read and write and that JK is play based learning which will teach them those things. She said that it doesn't hurt to introduce them to reading/writing but that most kids only develop these skills in JK/SK and that even if a child has a head start now, it doesnt mean they will when school starts.

Well, there you go!

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NW18

I feel relaxed reading the above. I have a son who turns 3 in December. He is able to read all alphabets and numbers up to 20. Introduced him to play based learning. He was a a private daycare in Durban but often fell sick. Currently I work from home so I take care of him and try my best to spend time and teach him what he would learn at daycare for his age group. Youtube, blogs etc. and the more you read the more pressurized you feel. I guess we all want to see our children do their best but I guess we as parents need to realize that at this tender age they should be getting exposure to behavioral and social skills as the rest will be taught in school with time. I am sure that behavior and social interaction will blossom at school but its good to teach them good exposure to those earlier! :)

@Marcola you shouldn't pay heed to what your child care giver said to you. There is time for all of that!

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Marcola

Update: We bought a chart and made it a sing and point exercise at home, and then a guess the letter game and my 3 year old can read most alphabets now and gets so excited about it. I'm saying most because I want to be honest. I took a video of all her excitement to share with her grandparents. I also took it to show it to her caregiver, who immediately (not even a second in) stopped me and said  "Oh wait, xxx (the other 3 year old child she compared mine to in the first place), can spell her name out loud and she learnt it in two days! To say I was hurt, is an understatement. My response: "I was talking about (my daughter), not the other child. We shouldn't be comparing two kids, and especially when they are in front of us - it is not good for their confidence/self esteem building."  I also said that my little girl is great at so many other things. I told her I spoke to a kindergarten teacher and was about to tell her about how the JK teacher told me that if a child has a head start now, it doesn't mean they will always at school, but before getting to that she stopped me and said "Well I know a teacher of 15 years and they are not even allowed to provide feedback to parents these days." She went on to talk about how the schooling system is here and how they don't even fail kids. She talked about how her daughter is a doctor because she pushed her etc and I realised, this is all trumpet blowing. She was even telling me that the 16 month old boy in the homecare cant walk as yet and that his parents baby him and shower him with expensive clothes etc, yet they should focus on making him strong. I am still in shock.  

If she wants to compare, why isnt she saying that the other child bites mine? I'm certainly not going to compare two innocent children, especially for even something like biting which changes as they grow up, but I've decided to move my daughter to a daycare. Sadly as much as her caregiver does for her and I know there is love in her environment and my heart says leave her there,  my gut is telling me otherwise:(

Edited to add: Maybe I will be less angry/hurt tomorrow when I sleep on it.

Edited by Marcola
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NW18
5 hours ago, Marcola said:

Update: We bought a chart and made it a sing and point exercise at home, and then a guess the letter game and my 3 year old can read most alphabets now and gets so excited about it. I'm saying most because I want to be honest. I took a video of all her excitement to share with her grandparents. I also took it to show it to her caregiver, who immediately (not even a second in) stopped me and said  "Oh wait, xxx (the other 3 year old child she compared mine to in the first place), can spell her name out loud and she learnt it in two days! To say I was hurt, is an understatement. My response: "I was talking about (my daughter), not the other child. We shouldn't be comparing two kids, and especially when they are in front of us - it is not good for their confidence/self esteem building."  I also said that my little girl is great at so many other things. I told her I spoke to a kindergarten teacher and was about to tell her about how the JK teacher told me that if a child has a head start now, it doesn't mean they will always at school, but before getting to that she stopped me and said "Well I know a teacher of 15 years and they are not even allowed to provide feedback to parents these days." She went on to talk about how the schooling system is here and how they don't even fail kids. She talked about how her daughter is a doctor because she pushed her etc and I realised, this is all trumpet blowing. She was even telling me that the 16 month old boy in the homecare cant walk as yet and that his parents baby him and shower him with expensive clothes etc, yet they should focus on making him strong. I am still in shock.  

If she wants to compare, why isnt she saying that the other child bites mine? I'm certainly not going to compare two innocent children, especially for even something like biting which changes as they grow up, but I've decided to move my daughter to a daycare. Sadly as much as her caregiver does for her and I know there is love in her environment and my heart says leave her there,  my gut is telling me otherwise:(

Edited to add: Maybe I will be less angry/hurt tomorrow when I sleep on it.

Oh @Marcola based on what you say I think you need to find a more caring and encouraging atmosphere for your little one. I am quick to judge but if I were you I would do that. The last thing you want is worry if ur child is getting all the love and attendtion deserved!

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Marcola

I called her caregiver when i got home because on the way home my daughter said she is sad because she doesnt know the alphabet like xxx does. So she obviously a)either overheard mine and her caregivers conversation this morning or b)this continued today, because she said she didnt get an apple coz she didnt win. I was so nice and professional and said I had a concern and that it hurt me because affected my daughter. I said we can't compare children and it is not good for them. I told her that my daugter is smart at so many other things. Her caregivers response to my call was that she doesn't even tell me all the things she could. She was so defensive and said that my daughter is spoilt. She crossed the line there. She once told me i hug my daughter too many times when we say bye in the mornings and she mentioned it again. I cried. I asked why instead of telling me to work on the things that i should work on with my child that she can judge children and their families that way. I said "so if I love my child because we are all she has in a new country, you have a concern about that too?"

So that is that. Tomorrow I will look for a new caregiver...sigh just when we were feeling a bit more settled...

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Marcola
1 hour ago, NW18 said:

Oh @Marcola based on what you say I think you need to find a more caring and encouraging atmosphere for your little one. I am quick to judge but if I were you I would do that. The last thing you want is worry if ur child is getting all the love and attendtion deserved!

Yep...shes out now. I feel sad yet relieved. 

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AnelleR2008

WOAH!   She is so way out of line! 

There is plenty research that shows that this whole pushing academics early really doesn't benefit them in the long run.   Learning should be play based at that age and like Willem said:   It should be about cultivating a love for learning - and that isn't something that is going to happen with that attitude.

 

I hope you find a wonderful, warm caregiver, who will shower your daughter with hugs, read her great books and play plenty of games with her.... all without feeling like she has to push academics.
 

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Amy G

Oh my goodness @Marcola I don’t think I could have held it together like you did. What a lovely ‘care’giver! Sorry you had to go through this and hope you find a more positive environment for your little girl. 

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Nettie
On 10/15/2018 at 6:52 AM, Marcola said:

........... Her defeat was what her caregiver described (although she had cried there coz the other child could do it and she couldnt), she got frustrated and I had to calm her and say its ok and look how smart you are. 

The school year has just begun. I would definitely move her. It sounds like she is being put into situations for which she isn't emotionally ready, like the one you mentioned: Being openly compared to other children.

I'm actually appalled at this teacher/caregiver's actions and wouldn't think twice about moving my child if I was in such a situation. 

 

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Jules

All children do not develop at the same pace. My eldest son developed slowly in the early years and may have been considered as behind the pace. Today he is in 3rd year BComm degree and scoring over 90% and he is exceptionally bright. 

I have never been a fan of pushing kids too hard when they are young. They only have one chance to be innocent and carefree. Let them play! We place way too much burden on kids who are barely past the toddler stage. It’s ridiculous.  

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Marcola

Thanks everyone. Just wanted to provide an update. I called the programme the night of all the issues to let them know what had happened and they were appalled! They had called me at 10pm with a solution and we had her in a new daycare the next morning. Within a few days my hubby and I could see a difference!  Our confident 3 year old was back. So glad I trusted my gut! Her new caregiver strongly believes in play based learning and they do activities in science and maths etc -  all play based...All the kids in her daycare (about 6 of them) are all the same age and my poor 3 year old is the only one who knows how to recognise alphabets in upper case! I have to undo all the wrong teaching as it should only be phonics and lower case based. 

So atleast all sorted now. Thanks everyone for all your help during this process!

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