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USA to UK Pre-School Comparison

USA to UK Pre-School Comparison

Old May 17th 2011, 8:40 am
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Default USA to UK Pre-School Comparison

I will start with an apology as I am sure this has already been asked, but I cannot find it.

Can anyone supply me with a comparison on US to UK curriculums for 3 to 6 year olds. I am moving to the US for 3 years and want to make sure that my kids (ages 3 and 5) enter the right level.

My son (aged 3) is due to start pre-school in the UK, but pre-k starts at 4 in the US and I am not sure if these are the same level or not. My big worry is that he may be behind the UK system when we return.
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Old May 17th 2011, 11:01 am
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Default Re: USA to UK Pre-School Comparison

At a younger age there will be considerable pressure to put your child in an "age appropriate" class rather than a "grade appropriate" class given their previous schooling. You should read our WIKI about schools, paying close attention to the thread we had a year ago in which a parent had to move their child back a year (i.e back to age appropriate) as they were not fitting in with those slightly older.

http://britishexpats.com/wiki/What_d...s_in_school%3F

and

http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=643985

The curriculum plans vary from school district to school district as there is no national curriculum. It will depend on the state you live in and then the city, all the way down to the street in some cases. Your best bet will be to contact the school once you have found the one you'll be attending and see what their plans are for that school year.

I would also recommend bringing along the curriculum / syllabus for your older student so that when you come to the US school you can use it as a comparison as they try to assess where to put your child. Some schools are rigid about age breakdowns, some are more flexible. It really varies greatly.

When are you going back? A year? Two? Ten?
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Old May 17th 2011, 11:08 am
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Default Re: USA to UK Pre-School Comparison

Thanks for the reply. I will take some time and go through the links, but the info looks really usefull.

I am relocating to DE and would be there for around 3 years.
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Old May 17th 2011, 11:41 am
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Default Re: USA to UK Pre-School Comparison

If you are interested, the issue of "when to start kindergarten" is hotly debated and discussed. At earlier years there are statistics that show older kids do better than younger kids.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpag...3&pagewanted=1

The UK education reform community often discusses raising the start age in the UK from 4 to 6 but don't know if we'll see anything like that for a few more years.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/e...on/8309153.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/e...on/7234578.stm

Last edited by penguinsix; May 17th 2011 at 11:50 am.
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Old May 17th 2011, 1:52 pm
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Default Re: USA to UK Pre-School Comparison

pre-school, at 3...pretty much hand painting and baby sitting....but depending on where in the country can cost a bit, down my way it's $1200-1500 a month full time, but a bit closer to Boston where we were living and the going rate was $1500 for 3 half days a week. Where cousins live up in Maine, it's $400 a month full time.
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Old May 17th 2011, 2:53 pm
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Default Re: USA to UK Pre-School Comparison

Originally Posted by Pollockm View Post
I will start with an apology as I am sure this has already been asked, but I cannot find it.

Can anyone supply me with a comparison on US to UK curriculums for 3 to 6 year olds. I am moving to the US for 3 years and want to make sure that my kids (ages 3 and 5) enter the right level.

My son (aged 3) is due to start pre-school in the UK, but pre-k starts at 4 in the US and I am not sure if these are the same level or not. My big worry is that he may be behind the UK system when we return.
IN GR public kindergarten entry is done by age and there is no give in the rule (my daughter missed the cut off date by 21 days so had to wait another year). Kindergarten here also is seldom full time, the school we use is half day every day, others have mon, wed and every other fri. My daughter was certainly ready for kindergarten before she started, I used to print all kinds of home schooling stuff in the year before she started school, there is lots of stuff out their on the web.
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Old May 17th 2011, 3:47 pm
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Default Re: USA to UK Pre-School Comparison

Same here in Katy, Texas. My 4 year old would have started primary school in Scotland this year but she misses the cut off (Sep 1st) by 10 days, so she has to wait another whole year. She can already read and has started to write because she was in state funded nursery school for a whole year in Scotland. A year in what is called Pre-K costs $1000 a month.

My older son entered 4th grade last August and then turned 9 a few days later. I wish I had placed in in 3rd grade (the school should have given me that option). He has found the transfer very hard school-wise. School days in Tx are long and very intense, with lot and lot and lots of homework.

I assumes my son would be miles ahead of his peers. He has had to catch up all year.

Having said all that, I am impressed with the school system here generally. Parents are very much encouraed to be involved and volunteer in the schools.

You may want to consider the British School system, if that's available where you will be going. We have loads of ex pats and it is a popular option for families who are only here for a shorter time.
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Old May 17th 2011, 8:41 pm
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Default Re: USA to UK Pre-School Comparison

My daughter is finishing her final year of preschool (she turns five in June). They teach the alphabet and numbers. The year before they didn't do as much, but the same thing really. She did three half days per week, $130 per month since it is a church school, it is double that for secular preschools. I'm a bit uncomfortable with the way religion is presented, but my wife wants her to have a decent grounding in Christianity.

After one particular day, several other parents told us that their kids expected God to clear up their toys because He does good things. Shows how much that kind of thing is completely misunderstood at such a young age.

At Kindergarten in my area, they are expected to be able to read sentences by the end of the year. Despite being the youngest in her class, my daughter appears to be well ahead of all but one other child when it comes to reading so she has been recommended for advanced placement in the year above as soon as possible.
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Old May 18th 2011, 4:52 pm
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Default Re: USA to UK Pre-School Comparison

There are lots of different kinds of preschools over here, some are play based, a few are are more educational. My daughter was in a play-based one. Some schools and centers do offer Pre-K classes, we don't have Pre-K in our school district. My daughter went to Kindergarten at 5 and a half and thrived. Most kids in her kindergarten were 5 going on 6.
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