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  1. #1
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    What skills are teachers looking for when a child starts Junior Kindergarten?

    Hey Ladies!
    I'm not originally from Ontario so Junior Kindergarten and Senior Kindergarten are foreign to me. Where I'm from Kindergarten starts at age 5 and there is no JK or SK.
    I'm wondering if any of you guys know what skills teachers are looking for when a 4 year old starts Junior Kindergarten?

    The reason I ask is that I have 2 children in my care (one 3yo and the 3.5yo) and one boy has no language skills (literally not a word) and the other has minimal language skills (can kind of understand him but it's probably more because I've learned his language after being with me for so long). The other thing is both of these boys aren't even close to being potty trained and both have struggles with self care (can't dress themselves - like pull up their pants, put on socks/shoes/coats, wipe their nose, dry their hands, etc).

    I understand that a lot can happen in a year with their learning curve but what would happen if they aren't self sustaining when that time comes? Honestly, I'm not even sure if that is 'normal' behaviour for a 3yo (minus the language as I know they are behind). I only have my own 2yo, the other children I watch, and family/friends children to compare to so maybe I'm just being concerned for no reason.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
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    There are several threads on this very subject already .... You can try searching them but in a nut shell yes they must be toilet trained, must be able to dress/undress them selves for going outside, it is helpful if they know how to hold a pencil, know how to cut, can recognize their name, know which way a book goes, can count to 5, knows abc's ...... These are just a few.
    A lot can change in the next 11 months when they are scheduled to enter school but In all honesty if these children don't talk and are not trained and the parents are not working on these issues ..... It's not your problem.

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  4. #3
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    Keep in mind that in Ontario children do not have to go to school until they are 6. Sure some kids just aren't ready but a lot can happen in a year though. Just be consistent in presenting learning opportunities to the children and encourage them to be as independent as they can be. Make sure that if they can do something for themselves that they do it. I tell my kids to give it 3 good tries before asking for help.

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  6. #4
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    I feel that if a child is potty trained, can dress themselves independently and are comfortable being away from mom and dad and ready to socalize with other children, then they are ready for kindergarten. Sure, knowing the alphabet and numbers (by this I mean recognizing the numbers and letters) etc are great for a child to know before hand, but I don't think they are necessary. Many children are not ready to learn before then, however, that changes once they are among their peers.
    With that being said, it sounds like your two boys are not prepared at this time, however a lot can change in a year. I would suggest to the parents to start working on independence at home with dressing themselves etc. Maybe they need to be referred for their speech delays as well. The thing is, you only can do much without the parents involvement as it sounds like they might have some developmental delays that need looking into.
    Last edited by Bookworm; 09-19-2013 at 10:02 AM. Reason: typo

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  8. #5
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    Potty training, dressing themselves are very important. Teachers do not change diapers under any circumstance...and dressing 15-20 kids is quite a lot of work for them so the more independent they are the better. The kids I have sent off to school could count to twenty in French and English, could write their first names, knew the abc song and could recognize a few letters and numbers.

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  10. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by godsgirl View Post
    Hey Ladies!
    I'm not originally from Ontario so Junior Kindergarten and Senior Kindergarten are foreign to me. Where I'm from Kindergarten starts at age 5 and there is no JK or SK.
    I'm wondering if any of you guys know what skills teachers are looking for when a 4 year old starts Junior Kindergarten?

    The reason I ask is that I have 2 children in my care (one 3yo and the 3.5yo) and one boy has no language skills (literally not a word) and the other has minimal language skills (can kind of understand him but it's probably more because I've learned his language after being with me for so long). The other thing is both of these boys aren't even close to being potty trained and both have struggles with self care (can't dress themselves - like pull up their pants, put on socks/shoes/coats, wipe their nose, dry their hands, etc).

    I understand that a lot can happen in a year with their learning curve but what would happen if they aren't self sustaining when that time comes? Honestly, I'm not even sure if that is 'normal' behaviour for a 3yo (minus the language as I know they are behind). I only have my own 2yo, the other children I watch, and family/friends children to compare to so maybe I'm just being concerned for no reason.

    Thanks in advance

    Children do master these sorts of skills at different ages to some extent, but in all honesty, if these boys at 3 and 3.5 can not talk at all, or do things like wipe their nose or dry their hands? These sound like developmental delays and deserve intervention. Have their parents looked into anything, even speech therapists to start... and are they seeing a family doctor?

    The speech deficit on its own is not necessarily indicative of a larger issue, but combined with all the other things you mentioned, I would try to talk to the parents about whether each of those boys have been assessed by professionals.

    Do the parents (and you) try to teach them these skills and stand back while they attempt things like drying hands, pulling up pants, etc)... or do the parents baby them and do everything for them without giving them the opportunity to learn?

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  12. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by godsgirl View Post

    The reason I ask is that I have 2 children in my care (one 3yo and the 3.5yo) and one boy has no language skills (literally not a word) and the other has minimal language skills (can kind of understand him but it's probably more because I've learned his language after being with me for so long). The other thing is both of these boys aren't even close to being potty trained and both have struggles with self care (can't dress themselves - like pull up their pants, put on socks/shoes/coats, wipe their nose, dry their hands, etc).
    Agree with Jammie's, this sounds like a developmental delay.

    I'd do some probing to see if thy are capable of the self help issues, or if they are just so used to someone doing it for them, that they simply don't. Start by doing the majority of the task for them, then stop and see if they'll continue it on their own (you pull pants up to 2-3 inches below waist, you put socks on to just past the heel, hand them the towel and Kleenex and see if they'll dry/wipe). If they do it, scale back your help, see how much they can do.

    The speech issue is a definite sign to me of a delay. It's one of the easiest skill for kids to "pick up" without being formally taught, and while there is a range of skills for 3 year olds, having completely indecipherable or no language at all is a huge red flag. Encourage them to look at you while you are talking (especially the one with his own language), a lot of forming words is learned visually, so if he doesn't look at you, it , might be really impacting his pronunciation.

    Either way, I'd ask the parents to take him to the dr and have an assessment done. I don't think it's your responsibility to teach them everything they need, but if they need intervention, earlier is always better. I know I'd sleep better at night knowing that I attempted to make his parents aware.

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  14. #8
    I don't think you should worry about that because they're just kids, and teachers in kindergarten should be ready for everything. And don't fret about the lack of language skills, it takes time to learn everything. I even had to look for online Chinese tutors https://livexp.com/skills/chinese when my son was in school since Chinese there was the second language, and we managed to solve that problem as well.

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