Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Full Day of Kindergarten good for 4 and 5 year olds?

Although we homeschool, it is always interesting following the changes going on in the public school system. With recent research into unschooling I have to wonder if society is wrong in believing that it's a good thing to put kids in school all day in Kindergarten. Most of the Moms I chatted with on local forums are happy about it because they don't want to pay for daycare on other days and want to or feel they need to work out of the home. They also believe it's a good thing academically and it prepares them for school (why not start when they are a day old? I mean won't it just keep getting younger?).

According to the news they have two reports to prove that this move is necessary. Premier Dalton McGuinty states,"I've always said from the beginning, a strong start makes for a strong finish". I tried to look up the details of the Pascal Report and the Unicef Report but I'm having a hard time finding the most current reports. I also must mention that the older reports that I did find were clearly typed up by the government complete with their logo. I can't help but think that this is for their benefit only. Who is thinking of the children? They make it sound like they are but this action seems like it's not for the children to me. Parents just trust the news and the government so easily without research. I'm glad my kids aren't in school because my research would be much deeper than this.

I know from many of the studies coming out of the United States this sort of move seems to make matters worse. Our system isn't working... let's do the same thing but start the kids earlier... let's keep them there longer... let's give them more work... let's give more tests... let's pressure the poor teachers etc... I wish I still had the books I borrowed from the library in the past year. I could have quoted some numbers from the studies conducted and who did them.

I'm pretty sure that what the government is thinking about is only education. They still are not providing for the whole child in school. If only they had options for parents and custom teaching methods to each child. Less focus on testing would be nice too. But to force 4 and 5 year olds to be in school so young. They are missing out on so much. Don't parents see this? What does sitting in a room with kids of the same age ALL DAY LONG provide them so young?

I would be interested in learning what other homeschoolers think of this from other areas of the world.

Here is one news channel:
"You cannot teach a person anything; you can only help him find it within himself." ~Galileo

"It is... nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom; without this it goes to wreak and ruin. It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty." ~Albert Einstein 


Wendy said...

This is not anti-public school sentiment, but rather a critique of parenting philosophy: Many (not necessarily all) parents seem to look at public school as free babysitting; so many are relieved to get their children out of the house, and I find that incredibly sad!

A week or two ago, my son (who is 7) said he wanted to go to school.

It was noon, so I said to him, "Well, we can practice school here, so you can see what it would be like. You need to sit at this table until 2:30. No moving, no playing, no video games, no TV. We have to find a way to spend ALL DAY on our usual 1 or 1 1/2 hours of school work. You have to spend the rest of the time sitting quietly or standing in line, waiting for other children to behave. You have to raise your hand if you want my attention, or want to go to the bathroom."

He changed his mind after that.

Considering the fact that 4 and 5 years olds learn by doing and exploring, I don't see how making them sit at a desk for 6 hours is good for them. It goes against the nature of children.

Well, I'm the same way about people who want to diagnose their children with ADD/ADHD, etc. I feel like maybe they're just overlooking the fact that this is just who their child is or perhaps what they have raised them to be; but ohhh no, they have to label them with a disorder. Gah!

Sorry. I'm ranting. :) And probably preaching to the choir. I totally agree about parents just trusting the government so easily without really considering what is best for their children.

I don't see how putting children into school for longer hours at younger ages will improve the system anywhere.

Here in Korea, I have observed that parents are VERY involved in their children's education. So I don't think it is about public school versus homeschool, so much as how the PARENTS actually, um, PARENT (after all, it is a verb as well as a noun!) their children.

Our Pace said...

What a great comment!!! So true!


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