My children are growing up in a generation that believes that rushing your child to learn as fast as they can is more important than exploring ones younger self and enjoying childhood. Many children are raised through day cares, quickly moving into two year preschool programs and then onward to basic elementary school. I understand that many parents do not have the option but to place their children into an early daycare and preschool programs but I fear that the rush to education is not for everyone. Why not take a step back allowing kids to discover their imaginations and personalities while in these programs?
My kids did not grow up attending daycares or preschools. The only education they received besides what was done at home or at the grandparents house was a half day, 3 day a week preschool program when they were five. Its primary objective was for socialization and introduction into how a school worked. If I was aware of the new standards that were soon to be integrated I might have reconsidered this.
I have come to learn the new education system that is sweeping across America – Common Core. I believe that setting a standard, generalizing lesson plans and creating common goals in all schools make it convenient for kids that relocate to other states. Common Core also increases what is expected to be learned each year by children. This is greatly in response to children who are in daycares and preschools most of or all of their childhood. They are trying to cater to the needs of kids who have been forced to practice abc’s, counting and reading since they were babies. In short every grade is a grade sooner. Kindergarten is now what was the normal standards of first grade. My children went from minimal preschool hours jumping to a first grade curriculum.
Considering the circumstances my children have done moderately well in school. I have one twin who is top ten percent of her class leaving the other in the wind at bottom 20 percent. My top ten percent loves to share with the world the new knowledge she gains. Her motivation comes from showing us her new skills and teaching them to thing. We as parents incite this in her because this is what she needs. On the other hand there’s my bottom twenty percenter. I believe that her personality plays a huge part in this. She is kind, outgoing and the sun on a cloudy day. She recognizes classmates who are upset because they are unable to grasp a new lesson being taught and she will stop what she is doing to offer comforting support and encouragement. She rather bring a smile to her friends faces even if it means sacrificing a little of her own education. I hate that this brilliance in her has caused her to struggle in her own studies, but couldn’t the world use more souls like this?
Today was the end of month long discussions on what to do with my sunshine child. I have been working consistently with the teacher in order to help her get back on track. We do extra work at home, on weekends, on holidays and breaks because education does not end when the school bell rings. Her frustrations are apparent. She wants to learn and thrives on the competition offered by her twin, but loses focus as soon as thing needs a friend. My husband and I believe that she just does not have the maturity or focus developed yet. She has developed skills of caring, self sacrifice and good will that many adults cannot even achieve. What she took from school was different than most, maybe better. She stands out from the pact. With her teacher we have decided that the best option for her is retention. It is not that we do not believe that she is not smart, but that we believe she needs to gain a stronger foundation before entering the next level. We have selected a new teacher who offers a more advance curriculum for next year to keep both the girls satisfied. They want to stay together. They are best friends afterall.