Losing Our Grip On Realistic Expectations in Kindergarten?

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November 3, 2015 by themommahen

I came across this article today on my news feed and read it with interest, as I have a child with whom we work on fine motor skills. As I read, I felt anger bubbling up inside me. Not at the article. It’s just stating facts about kids’ fine motor skills and where they fall in today’s expectations of performance. And yes, I’m sure there may be some correlation between technology use at young ages and fine motor skills. But maybe also it could have something to do with the fact that WE DIDN’T USED TO HAVE TO KNOW HOW TO USE SCISSORS, WRITE LETTERS (AND SENTENCES), AND GLUE CLASS PROJECTS IN KINDERGARTEN!!!

No, we learned how to share, and play nicely, and use our manners. We learned about the letters or the alphabet (remember the blow-up alphabet people?) and the sounds they made, and we used fat pencils and fat crayons for our little hands and learned to write our name and individual letters. We didn’t talk about sight words, we didn’t take home books to read out loud to our parents, the only books cracked open were by the teacher during story time and WE LOVED STORY TIME. We sat criss-cross during circle time and we watched film strips and we sang songs and we WENT OUTSIDE TWICE A DAY. And during nap time we rested on those crazy little fold-up mats that were wiped off with Pine-Sol every week. And we were okay. And we didn’t worry so much about fine motor skills, because guess what? They’re still developing in children of kindergarten age.

I have since read the letter of resignation that has gone viral from Wendy Bradshaw, a former teacher in Polk County, Fla. She seems to make a lot of good points about unrealistic developmental expectations and pairing in today’s school curriculum. Personally, my family is extremely lucky to be at the school we’re at with caring and dedicated teachers and administration. It just makes no sense to me how we’re pushing things to a younger and younger age with developmentally inappropriate matches.

What do you think based on what you’re seeing in your local schools?

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One thought on “Losing Our Grip On Realistic Expectations in Kindergarten?

  1. aviets says:

    I totally agree. When I was a kindergarten teacher it was a constant frustration. The wide range of developmental levels, which were totally age-appropriate, were impossible to individualize for. Quite a few kids were nowhere near ready to do the things the standards called for, while others were bored silly with learning letter sounds when they were already doing basic reading.

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