The case for making Kindergarten mandatory in New York State has been hotly debated. Groups both for and against have made convincing arguments. However, I wanted to call your attention to some details that an insider can present. Think about this, 40 years ago Kindergarten was finger-paint and blocks and we all turned out okay. But Kindergarten is not like you remember. It’s Reading, ‘Riting and ‘Rithmetic. Seriously, what was the curriculum for First Grade, maybe even Second Grade, is now presented in Kindergarten.
Most schools expect Kindergarten children to be reading by January. For some children this is no problem. But what about the child who hadn’t picked up a book until he/she walked into the classroom in September? Before he/she can even begin to learn to read what is on the page, he/she has to be taught that when you pick up a book, the spine goes to the left; words go from top to bottom and left to right. Then, what about the alphabet? Are the words on the page just symbols to him/her? These children are already at a disadvantage.
If Kindergarten is not mandatory, then some children do not have to come to school until age or 何文田幼稚園 First Grade. Most, if not all of their classmates are already reading. By the end of First Grade, they’ll be reading books that have 300 to 400 words with no predictable pattern to them. They’ll be expected to retell these stories independently. A child who does not walk into school for the first time until age six is already a whole year behind the rest of the class. When does he/she catch up? Even if children are lucky enough to have support systems at home, they have long roads ahead of them. (For more information on what children are expected to learn and
Consider the flip side. What if that child started school in Pre-Kindergarten? He/she would have been exposed to books and the alphabet. He/she would have had a chance to play and explore. He/she would have had a chance to have a positive experience at school rather than feeling always behind and never be able to learn.