When I hear someone say that about kindergarten I cringe…and to tell you the truth, I want to shout, “These are just little kids!! Give them a break!!! Do you actually think pushing and shoving standards down their throats is going to make them smarter in the long run? PLEASE! Let them be children!”
You know I believe in challenging children and giving them meaningful experiences, but you need to balance it with the natural needs and instincts of a young child. They need to work and try hard, but they also need to move and play and have fun!
Here’s another phrase that rattles me – “Kindergarteners need to master skills in order to compete.” Do little children really need to “compete”? They are going to be burned out by the time they hit middle school. They are going to be so tired of “competing” they won’t even want to play the game any more.
I will adapt a quote from Jim Trelease THE READ-ALOUD HANDBOOK:
“The primary purpose of being four is to enjoy being four.
Of secondary importance is to prepare for being five.”
The primary purpose of being a kindergartener should be to enjoy kindergarten.
Of secondary importance should be to prepare for first grade.
At the end of the day if children don’t enjoy learning…or know how to get along with others…or feel worthy…what’s the point? A test score is just a number, but childhood is something to be cherished and respected!
Childhood is something worth fighting for. I know you can’t sing and dance and play all day, but SHUT YOUR DOOR a few minutes every day and give children something to smile about! Maybe we should start a movement for RIGOROUS play!!!