Friday, April 27, 2007

Early education

My daughter sent me a link to Prep courses ready kids for kindergarten, and I think I began to see why so many parents come to our homeschooling booths at different conventions all in a tizzy about their 2- and 3- and 4-year-olds needing quality education.

We have always shaken our heads in wonder: have they never read Better Late Than Early by Raymond & Dorothy Moore?

Read the article, however, and things begin to become clear. Just one snippet:

Being kindergarten-ready means more than it did even a decade ago. In the 1990s, states began drafting "learning standards" setting out expectations for their schools, including prekindergarten classes. At the same time, new brain research linked children's early exposure to language, books and music to their later success in school. And by levying embarrassing sanctions on schools failing to produce fluent readers by third grade, President Bush's No Child Left Behind program pushed districts to require more from younger pupils.

As a result, in many districts, skills once thought appropriate for first or second graders are being taught in kindergarten, while kindergarten skills have been bumped down to preschool. . . .

Amy Barnes, who is the mother of four-year-old Sylvan pupil Hank . . . "panicked" last winter, she says, when Hank's preschool teacher reported that he couldn't write his name, identify his letters, count to 30 or wield his scissors -- skills that the local school district tells parents it would like to see in incoming kindergartners.

"I feel we read all the time, but whatever I was doing at home wasn't working," says Ms. Barnes, who enrolled Hank for two reading lessons a week. . . .

Ms. Barnes, who is paying $4,000 for 10 months of tutoring, says that after six months, Hank is kindergarten-ready. "We're being proactive," she adds. "I don't want my child to be the one who always struggles."
Click the article link to learn more horrors. . . .

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