BIG FISH IN LITTLE PONDS….This subject happened to come up in conversation the other day, and today Linda Williamson confirms that it’s true:
During a talk at our son’s preschool, visiting kindergarten teachers talked up the benefits of having children wait until age 6 to begin kindergarten, rather than enrolling them as soon as they become eligible at 5. “They’ll be really ready, they’ll have the advantage of being the oldest in the class, and when they get to high school, they’ll be the first ones to drive.” And in response to my queries about the rigorous academics we found in kindergarten, my son’s teacher explained that the current kindergarten curriculum was, until five years ago, the first-grade curriculum.
So if we are being advised to wait until age 6 to begin school, and the first-grade curriculum is now taught in kindergarten, the kindergarten I once knew has effectively been eliminated. No wonder there is a drive for universal preschool. Preschool is the new kindergarten.
I wish I had an intelligent reaction to this, but basically it’s just “Huh?” Apparently parents are increasingly buying into the notion that holding back their kids for a year is a good idea because it gives them a better chance of being tops in their class. It’s a competitive advantage, you see. And teachers are encouraging this belief.
This strikes me as nuts. Please tell me there’s something I’m just not getting about this.