Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Transformation of Kindergarten

I found this article on Simple Homeschool's Weekend Links:

I agree with everything in this article. I left the regular public school classroom in June, 2001. Two or three years prior to this the state of California (where I taught first grade) changed the kindergarten standards. All students had to be reading before they left kindergarten, including sight words, and be capable of simple spellings. The addition and subtraction facts had to be memorized up to 5 (or was it 8?). 

Teachers had to assess students individually 3 times a year, which became very time consuming. All of us in K and 1st grade assessed individually for 9 total weeks a year (3X and it took about 3 weeks to complete everything). During the assessment periods we didn't have time to teach or practice many new concepts, so it felt like we were losing 9 weeks of instruction. No Child Left Behind was the culprit then, and now, Common Core is making the same mistakes, only worse, and with indoctrination.

Several of the countries performing better than us start students on academics later (7 or 8) and they test only every 3 or 4 years. They found no benefit in assessing more often than that.

It all makes me want to scream. And it definitely makes me very, very thankful for homeschooling.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We had someone very senior in the UK only last week saying that poor children don't achieve as well as they should, so they should be beginning academic learning earlier, e.g. age 2! There is absolutely zero evidence to support this, in fact what evidence there is suggests the opposite, that children learn best through play and that they need to learn social skills before academic skills (which is what the Scandinavians do).

As my husband pointed out, there is evidence to show that the best thing to raise the attainment of poor kids is to feed them. But that doesn't sit so well with politicians whose sole focus is the god of the Economy and who don't want to be seen to be giving 'handouts' to 'scroungers'.

Also, poverty does not equal criminality but it is fair to say that the more chaotic a home life a child has, the more likely that that home life is to be poor, and poverty combined with a chaotic home life are big factors in those who end up behind bars. Given that we know this, and given the amount of money that criminality costs to the taxpayer,you'd think someone would put two and two together and see that what children need more than anything is to be well-fed and nurtured, not treated like little robots where if only you can program them correctly they'll turn out right. I'm a member of a UK group called Mothers At Home Matter (MAHM) who lobby parliament on behalf of stay-at-home mums who believe their children are their greatest responsibility, not 'contributing to the economy' which is all too prevalent here in Europe (even more so in some countries, I believe). So sad. I love being a mummy. I even wonder if when our children are grown we might be able to foster children, but that is not something we could consider while we have my illness to contend with. I also would want my children to be older as I think it is important for a foster child to have enough attention. I don't know - we'll see where God leads.

Gosh, this almost turned into a blog post of its own! I do so admire you for homeschooling. I know how hard it must be! Praying for you all :-)
Sandy x