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Preschool in the US, what will be different?

(12 Posts)
cockles Wed 23-Sep-09 10:41:08

I'm putting my nearly-five year old into pre-school in the US - just looking for one now. Can anyone help me out with some ideas about the different expectations of children of this age in the US? One place I looked at has them all napping after lunch, is this usual? Will they be less focused on literacy (good!) or more than uk nurseries? expect better behaviour or be more tolerant of bad - or what? I know it depends on the place but any thoughts would be really helpful. It's on the east coast, by the way. Thanks!

LionstarBigPants Wed 23-Sep-09 10:44:33

Napping after lunch for 5 year olds seems a bit extreme (our nursery in uk doesn't do this routinely after age 3)

Anecdotally I've heard that it if food is supplied it tends to be more of the junk variety than you might expect over here (but I can't back that up with any hard facts)

CarmenSanDiego Wed 23-Sep-09 10:49:37

My younger daughter started kindergarten last year here when she'd just turned 5.

The answer to pretty much all your questions is that it really varies - in my area, a lot of people delay sending their kids to school so she was a whole year younger than most in her class.

The napping after lunch isn't usual but at both schools I've been involved with, there's been 'quiet time' in the afternoons which can involve sleeping but generally seems to be more for reading, relaxing (or general pissing about in the case of previous school.)

Behaviour entirely depends on the school. Focus on literacy is quite high and so far, I've found expectations high in kindergarten, but perhaps a little lower further up the school - but again, depends on the school and area. I'm in California so East Coast may be very different.

In my area, there's a big focus on healthy eating and the children have to have fruit or veg at break times. But this will definitely vary.

Sorry, not very helpful

howdoo Fri 25-Sep-09 00:11:58

Well the preschool that mine goes to does "quiet time" after lunch every day - which means they make them lie down in a darkened room for TWO HOURS. Of course they all fall asleep - it is completely ridiculous for 4 year olds, and has caused me quite a few headaches! However, it is the only one round us that does full days.
You also won't get the governmental financial assistance for over 3s that you got in the UK (can't remember what it was called)
They may also watch TV which surprised me, as our UK nursery would never have done that.
On the other hand, they're really friendly, they take any comments/complaints on board and the children are happy and confident (apart from mine hating quiet time). Which is what you want at the end of the day!

kickassangel Fri 25-Sep-09 01:29:02

lots of parents, even SAHM seem to use pre school round here, as an 'activity' for the kids. dd went into K last year. They only did half days but worked hard during that time. A lot of places also have 'young 5s' where the youngest batch of the year group can either go into K, or do young fives, which is less about learning academic stuff, more about playing & having fun.

however, those that do young 5s go to K the next year, so are always a year behind. the cut off date for determining which year group a child is in also varies state by state, as does whether K is whole day or half.

Whereabouts are you going? (if you don't mind) we may be able to give more details.

oh, and round here, they expect children to be children & are far more accomodating about their behaviour.

cockles Fri 25-Sep-09 19:12:39

Thank you, those are really helpful. It's Baltimore we're going to btw. He is in full day daycare 3 days a week here (in uk) atm, but I think there we'll put him in Younger Fives in the mornings only (barely anywhere seems to do more than 9-12 or 9-2). It 'll be a big jump into reception when he gets back, but I'm imagining cultural adjustment means he might do better with the younger bunch of kids.
Oh, and my other worry is everywhere seems to be church-based, and we are totally irreligious, will we be out of place?

catepilarr Sat 26-Sep-09 00:01:26

i know its not relevant, but in my country (CZ) all nursery children go for a nap after lunch for about an hour. and that is until they start school, which is at the age of six or seven.

tadjennyp Sat 26-Sep-09 17:34:44

Yes, quiet time here in Oregon is also 2 hours after lunch. They do lots of stuff though and my dd (31/2)loves it, but that could be that it's in-home daycare and therefore more personal. Good luck in Baltimore!

tadjennyp Sat 26-Sep-09 17:35:09

Yes, quiet time here in Oregon is also 2 hours after lunch. They do lots of stuff though and my dd (31/2)loves it, but that could be that it's in-home daycare and therefore more personal. Good luck in Baltimore!

tadjennyp Sat 26-Sep-09 17:35:46

Whoops, sorry about that! Food cooked for breakfast and lunch is really good though, no junk at all.

rapidrashers Wed 19-Oct-11 21:13:11

When I suggested that my 4 yr-old take in his favourite book to read during the 45 minute quiet time (so as to avoid the frequent nonsmiley face on his daily report for not lying still) I was told that he couldn't do this as it would be unfair to the others and that quiet time was part of the national curriculum. Anyone else experienced anything similar?

nicobean Mon 24-Oct-11 19:57:08

Hi all, in a bit of a tizz over this myself.
Might be off to B'more myself by end of year (hi Cockles!) with DDs 5, 2 and DS 9 mths.

DD1 LOVES her reception class and having to take her out of it is giving me sleepless nights. It seems like it'll take her backwards to return to preschool. She certainly wouldn't sleep!! Anyone else had to do this?

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