I received a letter from my son’s Pre K teacher because she’s concerned that he’s not learning his site words fast enough so she’s encouraging us to work with him more on these words.
Let start by telling you about my son. He’s 4 years old. He’s a beautiful blonde hair, brown eyed, high energy, mischievous boy. He’s 4 years old. He is a very stereotypical boy – he wants to always be outside playing, he loves tractors, trucks, balls, and mud. He’s 4! He loves Paw Patrol, Blaze and the Monster Machines, Dora the Explorer, Letter Factory, and Lightening McQueen. He can name every piece of construction equipment and what they do. I made the mistake of accidentally calling the ‘boom’ an ‘arm’ and he corrected me immediately. He’s a 4 year old boy who loves to terrorize our 2 guinea pigs, 2 dogs, and his big sister. He absolutely idolizes his big brother. Did I mention he’s 4 years old?
Do I really need to give up our play time so we can work on site words? He is my baby! My other children are 21 years old and 6 years old. This is the last time I’ll ever have a 4 year old. I’m painfully aware that our days of playing cars on the floor, building with legos and snowmen together are numbered. In the blink of an eye, he’s going to be grown and off living his life – just like my other son is. I’m sorry Pre-K, I’m just not ready to start worrying about his reading skills just yet. His father and I agree – we are not going to force this stuff on him right now. Granted, the site words are not complicated words, but still!
I’m 42 years old with 3 college degrees, including a Master’s of Science degree. His dad is a 44 year old army veteran and a journeyman electrician who went through a rigorous apprenticeship program. Neither one of us knew how to read in Pre K. Yes, we got through school. In fact, both of us had just average grades in elementary/high school. It wasn’t until after high school that we really hit our stride, found our motivation, and excelled at what we were pursuing. I’m not using that as an excuse to not work more with him – I’m using that as justification to not worry as much about site words at 4 years old. I never went to Pre K, I started school in Kindergarten, like most people my age. In Kindergarten we learned the alphabet, and that’s about it, we certainly weren’t reading then. Why the rush? Why can’t our little kids stay little kids?
I absolutely love my children’s school, and my son’s teacher, and I respect her beyond measure. But, it both saddens and angers me that after only being in school for 6 months, he’s being labeled as ‘behind’. Give the boy a chance!
I know that there are plenty of parent who may disagree with me, who believe that they are capable of learning these things at younger ages. They may be right. I just want to savoir these days and enjoy my precious baby boy a little longer – before we need to start carving out tons of homework time for him to get ‘caught up’ with his classmates. He’s happy, he’s healthy, he’s 4, he loves his school – I choose to believe that he’ll learn in his own time – I’m just not going to worry about his reading skills just yet.