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Kindergarten used to be a place to introduce five year olds to the school system, while allowing them to act their age. No more. Now schools are using kindergarten as an educational experience instead of introducing them to the world that they are going to experience for the next thirteen years of their lives.
The idea that 5 year olds should start their first year with a bunch of skills that they may not have the ability to master is a bit ludicrous. Certainly teachers say that they have children show up who don’t have much education beforehand. However, it seems that more and more school systems are expecting children to come equipped with information that is beyond them at five years of age.
It is still the norm for many school districts to require that a child have learned specific information in order to move onto first grade. However, if parents don’t push back against the idea that a child needs to come to kindergarten with the information in place, they will find their child burned out before they finish their first year of school.
Too much emphasis is placed on ensuring that children measure up to a set of standards by certain ages. These standards do not take individual learning curves into account, and can label an intelligent child as slow for their age. Therefore the idea starts that this child needs to work harder in order to test better the next time around.
Parents need to let their children be children and expect that the school system will as well.