Since it is kindergarten registration time everywhere, I’ll give my two cents on kindergarten readiness. When I was little, kindergarten was where children went to learn how to be students. Teachers respected the high energy of children and children were taught based on their different learning styles. Somewhere along the way, schools began teaching children how to perform better on standardized testing. Children are now expected to conform to the style of teaching. Kindergarten now requires children to stand in lines silently and wait. Sitting still and doing pencil and paper work is a major part of their day. Children prone to outbursts of energy, happiness or impulsiveness are punished. They are punished two-fold. First, the teacher punishes the student with elaborate tiered behavioral consequences systems. “You are on level yellow, so you can’t have free time.” Second, the student is punished by classmates, because the behavior systems deliberately have an element built in that has the entire class rewarded or punished for overall behavior. There are lots of readiness checklists on the Internet (try this one or that one) and you’ll be given one when you go to sign your child up for school, but here’s a three question readiness quiz for your child.
Can your child sit quietly, unsupervised with a pencil and paper for extended periods of time?
Can your child stand silently in line without touching the children around them and wait?
Can your child use the bathroom and eat meals unassisted?
Here’s a readiness quiz you really need. Can you hand your child over to people you really know nothing about to spend their day with children you’ve never met and not spend the day weeping and peeking in the classroom window?