Monday, August 06, 2012

What Happened to Kindergarten?

Ashley at the science center
My daughter Ashley is about to turn five in September.  Although my kids are homeschooled they go to an enrichment school on Mondays.  Well, Ashley has looked forward to this for a looooong time. She always looked out the window when her siblings left and asked when she could go.  I always assured her that her time was coming and now that it's here, she can't go.  The reason why?  Her birthday is two weeks after the cutoff and even though all the other schools around them have a cutoff in December, this school's cuttoff is in August.  It's not even a regular school!  Awww, she is gonna be so sad.

I'm a strict James Dobson girl and believe that kids should be kids before the age of five and schools get a hold of them.  It seems like it's pushed earlier and earlier to learn.  I know some people like to start really young but I just don't.  They are to play and just not have those kinds of pressures.  However, because of daycare, what used to be first grade is now Kindergarten.  They even told me since kids learn all their letters, numbers, and shapes in daycare, they immediately start learning how to read once they start Kindergarten.  Whoa!  Whatever happened to the Kindergarten I knew?  We had playtime, naptime, fed the fish, reading time, snack time, and that's where we learned our letters and numbers.  No wonder why Ivy struggled when she went into Kindergarten.  She would just break down and have a hard time participating.  She was already behind.  What in the world?  This makes me sad because now I have to start PreK with them at home and break my strict rule on not starting them early.

I found this article about Arizona and their school standards.  This is exactly what I'm talking about... Arizona's new kindergarten standards tougher

Ivy and Juliet
Yes, I could start them all a year late but like I said, I'm a James Dobson girl.  He always said with boys it's good to either start them a year late or have them repeat either Kindergarten or first grade.  I've always opted to have them repeat first grade because I knew that was an important grade.  My mom had me repeat that grade knowing that it's important to grasp the basics.  Well, I guess I have to change that to Kindergarten since the expectations have changed.  Ivy still struggles because she was thrown into Kindergarten was expected to start reading. On top of that, she had poor eyesight the whole year.  I'm still playing catch up with Ivy and am desperately trying to help her.  She often wants to just throw in the towel and I try to tell her there are no pressures.  I wish I would've never put her in public school for her first year because they really made her feel bad about already being behind when she barely started.

I read this quote in the article.  "In our community, parents are working and most of them have their kids in day care. The kids are already used to structure. They want to do more, and they are ready."

Sorry, but I don't put my kid in daycare.  Not everyone has their kids in daycare.  Please don't base standards off of that. What happened to Kindergarten?  That is just so weird.


Karen said...

That's how it is here too...but I understood it's because of government expectations/mandates, not daycare. Our kids go to a small private school where kindergarten is still kindergarten...but they are starting to move a bit faster then when my son started school 8 years ago.

Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

I started reading when I was four. BUT I was made to feel stupid in school because I can't get those written puzzles (I am an itch in your nose etc. etc. and you are supposed to guess "sneeze" and stuff like that).

Kerrie McLoughlin said...

This is so timely b/c just this morning my 9 yo was asking about grades. I told him they should TECHNICALLY be in 2nd, 4th and 6th but that we have gotten behind on certain subjects since having babies and all that. I told him how some parents start their kids a year "late." So this year we are making sure we have 1st, 3rd and 5th covered in all subjects before moving on. I told him how he might be doing math like a 12-year-old but that his sister isn't quite reading yet at age 7 so there are things we have "catch up on." Let 'em be kids! I agree! AND it's amazing how fast they learn stuff when they are really ready and you give them some extra time!