Saturday, April 01, 2006

Get moving, kid

Doesn't this picture just say it all?

You know, I feel like we expect an awful lot out of little ones in today's society. Sleep X number of hours in the row. Get weaned. Get to school. Pass the standardized test.

The above photo ran with a story in today's Chron about all Oakland schools now going to full-day kindergarten. Now, I think it's great that schools offer full-day K, because the half-day thing can be the last straw for families where both parents work. But wouldn't it be nicer to have a choice? All the talk in this article about "more time for academics" and being "academically ready for first grade" gives me the willies.

Before I had a kid, I never understood why people would give birth at home, or why they would school their kids at home either. Now I totally understand why. Not that I would do either of the above, but when the alternative is pressure over being "academically ready for first grade," bah. I see where the home-schoolers are coming from, fo sho.

And whatever happened to naptime at kindergarten? I guess it got cut to make room for social studies and science.


Moxie Mom said...

Unbelievable. We used to make fun of kids who failed Kindergarten, ya know. What could they have done? Eaten too much paste? But now…I guess the sky's the limit.

Adults have had an amazing amount of pressure put on them. I suppose you could say we are adding it to the kids plates so they get ready for it earlier and earlier. But to me that's just a bunch of crap.
You're a kid, you get too much dumped on you, you become an adult, take as much as you can, then snap - finding yourself seeking solitude in Montana. What gives?

When will the madness end? Hopefully this makes sense. I have had two glasses of wine.

Notta Wallflower said...

Unfortunately, kids "failing" kindergarten is becoming more commonplace. Standardized testing stakes have become quite high, so if a child is not performing "at standard", teachers consider kids "at risk" for retention. This is because they catch hell from the first grade teachers for sending this kid on because there is that much more progress to be made up. And in first grade, there is a big jump that kids have to make, especially in reading. Here in CA, they seem to retain a lot more than I'm used to, which I don't agree with. Retention is supposed to be a last resort and I don't see it being used that way, which is a huge disservice to the child. I don't like the things I'm seeing and I wish I could disagree with what Cpu is saying (because I work in public schools and would like to be somewhat optimistic), but it's all valid. :-/

Bert said...

When I taught kindergarten, the kids didn't have naptime. The school didn't allow it because I had to use all of my time teaching the kids in my class, most of whom hadn't ever even seen a book, to read by first grade. It was a miserable failure, by the way.