Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Kindergarten Readiness

Ack! Sputter. Clang! Crash! Oh, hello there. I was just reading an article about Kindergarten readiness and it was reminding me of where I lived and what it was like. Let me just have one of these nice homeopathic calmness pills, some of my imported Russian tea (in my lovely paper-white china cup) while sitting at my imported-wood breakfast table and ... ah, there we are. Well good morning everyone! Have you seen the San Jose Mercury today? There is a lovely article about whether or not children are ready for Kindergarten. I just read it and was struck by something: Hey! That sounds normal! In the article, they talk about how, in order to attend Kindergarten, your child should be able to resolve conflicts, know the letters of the alphabet, and be able to sit, among other things. Buttons too. Wow. That's a difference. Forgive me, but I was under the impression that, in order to "keep up" with the "aggressive pressures" of local kindergartens, children (especially those pesky, irritating, constantly-moving boy children) had to be able to:
  • Know all of the letters of the alphabet, including their sounds.
  • Be able to write them all.
  • Be able to do rudimentary reading.
  • Sit quietly during all of the circle times.
  • Line up like little darlings.
  • Be quiet.
  • Be able to act interested when the wall of your kindergarten is filled with scintillating letter combinations, like ng.
  • Be able to add and probably subtract.
  • Be ready and willing to be tossed into an language immersion program.
  • If they're in a language immersion program, be prepared to take the alternate school's language offerings, say, after school or during recess.
  • Be pliant and pleasant if their parents enrolled them in yet a third language program, since, after all, the age of 5 is one of the best ages for shoving language knowledge into little brains (think foi gras).
  • Sit quietly.
  • Wait their turn calmly.
  • Start their day at 7 AM with before-school time (so mommy and daddy can work), go to school for 6 hours, and then go into a 3-hour after-school program (so that mommy and daddy can work). Here are the results of the joint assessment of kindergarten readiness for San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. After reading about what you need I think I'll drop the "reading drill" for today and we'll just go to the park!

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