Kindergarten: Why aren’t they playing more?

The new state of Kindergarten is very disturbing as this article written by Wendy Lecker, columnist for Hearst Connecticut Media Group and is senior attorney for the Campaign for Fiscal Equity Project at the Education Law Center, maintains.

Remember when Kindergarten used to be playing with friends, listening to a good story, creating an art project, eating snack, and taking a short nap? And all this in a half day before going home to play some more. Didn’t we all turn out pretty well with this schedule in Kindergarten. That was my daily routine, and I was able to learn to read and write well enough to earn a Master’s Degree in Education and have a successful teaching career.

So, why has education changed so much over the years? Is it a push by parents wanting their kids to be reading earlier and earlier? Is it a government issue so that teachers can be assessed based on student assessments? Is it thinking that kids can learn things even before they are developmentally appropriate? No matter the reason, this article makes some really good points as to why pushing Kindergartners to do things that are not age appropriate is not really good for kids, nor is it working very well.

Here are the three points that I think Wendy Lecker makes best in this article:

  1. “If we teach reading, writing, subtraction and addition before children are ready, they might memorize these skills, but will they will not learn or understand them. And it will not help their achievement later on.”
  2. “If they are going to push our Kindergarten children to move faster, what does that say for the push for “educating” Pre-K?”
  3. “Two major studies confirmed the value of play vs. teaching reading skills to young children. Both compared children who learned to read at 5 with those who learned at 7 and spent their early years in play-based activities. Those who read at 5 had no advantage. Those who learned to read later had better comprehension by age 11, because their early play experiences improved their language development.”

Let’s get those Kindergarteners moving, exploring, experiencing, and playing more!






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