Sunday, September 2, 2007

Kindergarten vs. Preschool

Well, we have some answers as to why a child who was so well-behaved in preschool is apparently so awful in kindergarten.

A letter was sent home about her misbehaviors. She hums frequently. (Little Girl said, "But a song was stuck in my head and it wanted to get out!") She talks frequently. And she "squeezes" other children. (Um, we call it hugging...) She chews on her shirt (probably in an effort to keep from talking!) She told Miss Brenda, who whispered to her to stop, "If I had some food to eat, I wouldn't have to chew my shirt!"

The director at Little Girl's preschool heard about her behavior issues in kindergarten (small town... everyone knows everyone... won't even go into the circuitous route that this information took to get to her...) and is aghast. She said, "We always encouraged hugging!! We wanted the children to love each other and be affectionate! We never expected children to sit quietly, they're too little!! We encouraged them to express their ideas and feelings, and we love to sing in preschool! If she hummed a song, we'd all join in and sing together! Why stifle their creativity and interest in learning by making them sit and be quiet all the time? Little Girl was NEVER a problem at all in preschool, we LOVED having her and she was always very cooperative and did whatever she was told."

Wow, I like that approach so much better than this kindergarten stuff. I've also learned they get NO nap. They get ONE recess period, for twenty minutes. They are FIVE YEARS OLD, for pity's sake!! I haven't taught for three years, and I can't believe the vast changes that have been made. I keep hearing, "Kindergarten is the new first grade, and preschool is the new kindergarten", but I didn't realize it was really as true as it apparently is. Just three years ago, I taught in a primary school, and our kindergarteners got an hour naptime, a morning recess for 20 minutes, an after lunch recess of 30 minutes, and if the weather was nice, they often went outside to play for another half hour before school let out! And they still managed to be reading by the end of the year. Why must kindergarten be SO academic now? They're stressing these little children out and turning them against school from the beginning. Don't they realize small children NEED rest and play to be ABLE to learn effectively?

Apparently not.

Oh, and the "hitting another child" she got in trouble for? Little Girl's explanation of that: "I LIKE that boy, I want him to be my boyfriend. I didn't hit him, I just patted him gently on the head." I absolutely believe that, because she is always patting Baby Boy on the head like that.

So Little Girl is not the horribly misbehaved child we were led to believe she was. Her teacher also has taught second grade for years, and Grandma suspects she may be expecting second grade behavior from kindergarteners...

Poor Little Girl stated on several occasions this weekend that she misses preschool and wants to go back. When asked if she likes kindergarten, she always says yes, but then when asked WHAT she likes, she answers, "Lunch and swings."

Sigh... I hope she survives the year.


Maria said...

Poor poor Little Girl! I feel so sorry for her :( I hope she survives too.

Everyday Housewife said...

I wish you could have a school and she could go to it.
You could make your own rules.
There are better schools where the kids are treated better, surely.