Kindergarten prep for my un-parented niece.
My little neice is 4 1/2, she's turning 5 in June; which means come September she should be in kindergarten. I see her maybe once a week and try my best to help her learn, but it's very hard to teach her anything when it's not being re-inforced once she goes home to my brother and his girlfriend. They are too busy playing video games and getting high. Not too veer off topic here, but A few weekends ago she mentioned that she was scared that her parents and her mothers whole family were going to die, when I inquired why she was scared, she said because they smoke and then imitated them smoking. It literally broke my heart. She's 4 and this is the life they've chosen to give her. Anyways, I'm trying to help her learn her ABC's and 123's. She is so far behind children her own age, and when I bring this up to my brother he gets angry with me. I tried to talk him into admitting her into a pre-school program here called Head Start, which is designed to help children who are having trouble learning, it helps them get ready for kindergarten; but as usual he got angry with me and told me she wasn't stupid and didn't need to go there. I tried to explain to him that I wasn't calling her stupid, I was just suggesting ways to help prepare her for kindergarten. And most recently we got informed that she needs to be tested and registered for kindergarten by April 2nd, 2012; I mentioned this to my brother and he literally just shrugged it off. I get very frustrated because they do nothing to help prepare her for school. She has no friends her own age, they only kids she hangs out with are my best friends kids and she barely see's them. I guess I'm just looking for some advice on what to do to help her and maybe some advice on how to talk about these issues more effectively with my brother. Any advice you can give will be greatly appreciated!