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Will She Be Bored in Kindergarten?
Q: My daughter turned five in February and is due to start school in August. She already counts to 100 and recognizes all her letters. She knows most of the phonic sounds and can do all of my first-grader's math homework. Adding and subtraction up to 10 is easy for her. Will she be bored in kindergarten?
A: Your daughter will not be the only child in her kindergarten class to know how to recognize her letters or count. You can expect about 65 percent of her classmates to recognize the letters, and most will be able to count at least to ten, if not much higher. It's probably true, however, that most won't be whizzes at adding and subtracting.
There is also the possibility that your daughter's kindergarten will really be a "mini" first grade stressing academics. In this case, your daughter's skills will make it easier for her to handle the work.
Remember, in even the most academic kindergartens, time is not just spent on acquiring pre-reading and math skills. Your daughter will be busy with music, art, literature, and play activities. She'll also be learning how to get along with other children and the teacher, to pay attention, to stick with a task, and to function in the school environment. At the same time, your child will be improving her speaking, listening, observation, and fine and gross motor skills.
The many activities of a kindergarten classroom should keep your child from being bored. Don't even suggest to her that boredom is a possibility -- it could be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead, emphasize how much she will enjoy all the different activities in kindergarten along with making new friends.
Kindergarten teachers are used to having children with a wide range of abilities in their classes. Hopefully, your child's teacher will provide the appropriate activities to meet the needs of each child in the classroom. If certain academic tasks are not challenging your daughter, the teacher should be able to provide enriched ones that will.
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Peggy Gisler and Marge Eberts are experienced teachers who have more than 60 educational publications to their credit. They began writing books together in 1979. Careers for Bookworms was a Book-of-the-Month Club paperback selection, and Pancakes, Crackers, and Pizza received recognition from the Children's Reading Roundtable. Gisler and Eberts taught in classrooms from kindergarten through graduate school. Both have been supervisors at the Butler University Reading Center.