“Hey, I’m ready for you…I hope you’re ready for me..” muddy waters
Kindergarten/early childhood has been under siege since the Back to Basics trend in the late 70’s and early 80’s. The common core thrust is particularly lethal, and has finally gotten some attention…but early childhood (birth to age 8) educators have been advocating for kids and pushing back for decades…
Half day programs, if they can be found, work okay for most, especially for nappers…but going home for dreaming, dancing, running, hanging upside down, is very good for brain development and competence that leads to confidence .
Unfortunately, many full day k’s are not great at being ready for real people. These programs tend to be schedule driven and teacher directed… and what we know about the way young people learn is that they need free time to explore, move about, experiment, solve problems of a social and academic nature, ..and dig very deep holes. Climbing is important for the brain too.
We also know that kids learn best within the context of a familiar setting… music and art should be happening in the classroom, woven throughout the day instead of pulling all the kids up stairs or across the universe (that is how it can often feel to kids) to go to a specialized class.. This is a taxing transition that makes little sense-and can make someone (true story) eat a worm.
Testing at this age is pretty silly too. If child development is truly understood, a school needs to reflect that knowledge by translating it into ongoing and reflective practice.
Good places for kids say what they do and do what they say. Good places are courageous and full of brave learners from young to old and back again.
I have to point out (again) that Finland is pretty much on it. Formal schooling does not begin until age 7 .
This is not just “an opinion”. This is not even a radical opinion. This is current and relevant research based practice based on what we know about human development.
Yes they all mostly survive- I have seen them (they listen) – but that is not what I want. I want thrive. I have seen them too. (They glisten)