I get a lot of educational information via the ever-present Internet. Some of it I don’t even know how I came to receive it. I suspect that I was not paying attention while reading an article and inadvertently indicated that I wanted to receive someone else’s information!
A lot of it – I just delete. Some are thought provoking; others are annoying; and still others just plain maddening. I probably should take some time and delete some of these . . .
As the end of the school year rapidly approaches, I suspect that these authors fear losing their audience because I have been bombarded with new articles the past couple of weeks. The majority of these have a very similar theme – “CRISIS.”
In several of my blogs I have suggested that we, as a people and a country, seemed to have managed to accomplish quite a bit over the course of a relatively short time period when compared to the rest of the world. And we did this without preschool or Baby Einstein CDs played in utero.
In the 21st century kindergarten curriculum has become what first grade used to be. Parents who don’t or can’t send their children to pre-school suddenly find themselves and their child way behind the learning curve. Of course, the educators don’t tell you that by the upper elementary grades, any advantage that was gained by this earlier learning has largely evened out. Unfortunately in the meantime many children – and their parents – suffer the embarrassment of “not knowing” their letters or numbers, etc.
A crisis is determined and the parents and school charge into “save” mode.
We recently had a delightful young kindergartener who had not gone to preschool. He was behind. He also was allowed to spend way too much time playing video games (and THAT is a subject where I could spend hours!). He has older siblings who both excel in school. Mother enrolled him for both math and reading, four sessions a week.
I thought this was too much for a five year old, but Mother insisted that he had to catch up. One of his major problems was that he was used to being able to “reset” everything whenever the correct response was not immediately noted. The mother’s recommendation was that I make everything a game! After a lot of work, we were able to move past this, but we still had a long way to go.
After nine months, he was finally reading and was obviously proud of himself. Mother removed him because it was not fast enough. The school had indicated that he was still behind.
I do not know if this mother sees or hears one-tenth of the educational information I receive, but I suspect if she does, she believes that there is some type of formula for educating young children. All one has to do is follow the specific regimen as determined by the educational academics, and magically the child will learn!!
One of the blogs I received this week was entitled “5 Strategies to Improve Executive Function.” This was not about helping young adults excel or even improve in the workplace. This was directed to the teachers of five, six and seven year old children! The blog’s purpose was to help teachers instruct in a manner that would help children understand how to recognize and use these executive functions.
The article made my head hurt!
Another point that I probably state too often, but feel that it needs to be stated again – young children develop at very different speeds. The same child does not equally develop both math and reading skills. At this very early age development is all over the map! No two children develop at the same rate.
Our former student will eventually catch up unless the pressure on him is so great that he just quits because of it.
Children need room to grow and develop at their own speed. They all want to learn, and they will. They may not do it when the curriculum states that they should, but they will.
Granted they need direction and some structure, but too much of anything is TOO MUCH!