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PLEASE LET THEM BE

Filed at 10:24 am under by dcobranchi

PLEASE LET THEM BE BABIES for a while longer. The testing craze has gone completely overboard (sorry, Kim). We’re now subjecting kindergartners to tough academic standards. Why? Who the heck knows?

Many school districts have adopted policies, either formal or unwritten, that kindergartners should be reading by school year’s end, a goal early childhood experts said is within the grasp of some, but not all, children. The goal needlessly sets up more children for failure, experts said, because no research indicates that reading earlier leads to higher academic achievement in later years…

One Chicago public school kindergarten teacher recently quit her job in part because of what she considered unrealistic demands of administrators, who expected kindergartners to sit all day at desks, go without recess and learn to read by year’s end. The centers the teacher envisioned creating for science, art and dramatic play were prohibited.

Five-year-olds should not be expected to sit at a desk for an extended period of time. They need to be running around, exploring their world, playing for goodness’ sake. Our 5-year-old (who is reading) does a maximum of 1 1/2 hours of “academic” work each day. She can take a break when she needs to and has access to lots of educational “toys” including software. Just another in the apparently endless list of reasons to homeschool.

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