Guest post: Is kindergarten the new first grade?

Guest post by Nichole at Just Another Blogger Mom
 



Do you remember when you were in kindergarten?  Although I don't remember every detail of it, I do remember that I loved my teacher, I loved music class and learning my ABC's and how to count. Show and tell was always a fun time too!  I remember getting to spend 1/2 the day with my teacher and classmates, and 1/2 the day home with my mom and younger brother.  You may have similar memories from kindergarten.

Sadly though, most of our children won't have those same memories.  There are so many more expectations put on our children BEFORE they ever even entered kindergarten!!  I mean, have you seen the list of all the stuff they are expected to know and do before they can be considered ready!?  It's huge!  

At this time last year, my son's preschool was talking big time about making sure he was ready for kindergarten.  I remember thinking, 'yeah ok?  How much does he really have to know to be ready?'  until they handed me the list... 'for real?  he has to know ALL this!?' Panic hit!  How was I going to teach him all of this stuff in that short of time and not make him hate learning!?

Finally, I calmed myself down, took a step back and decided that I would do what I could to help him be prepared in time... that was all I could do.  I was not going to put pressure on my then four year old.  I didn't want him to have to stress about being tested or being ready.

The day of testing came and despite my sons preschool teachers telling me he was prepared, I was advised that I might want to hold him back due to his fine motor skills.  He'd already gone to preschool for two years, I didn't feel another year would help him, so I decided to proceed with the Kindergarten enrollment.  I got a call from the principal.  He asked if I was prepared to make my son repeat kindergarten again a 2nd time since he would probably not be ready after just one year. 

My son is now 1/2 way through kindergarten and is testing higher than most kids at his age {according  the standardized testing that they just completed a month ago}.  He will not have to repeat kindergarten, but I worry when the time comes for my youngest to enter kindergarten..how much more will HE have to know to enter?  Or to go onto first grade? 

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