Now that little man is 4 years old, we have started attending a kindergarten readiness class through early childhood education with him and he has started going to a pre-K class all by himself one day a week. Which will turn into 2 days a week after Christmas. He absolutely loves it. I am not sure if he likes school or riding the bus more.
It’s been a long time since I went to any kind of classes like this since my youngest is 20 and now in college. None of my children went to preschool because I didn’t really see the necessity of it since I did daycare and ran it like a preschool already. I did attend a kindergarten readiness class through early childhood classes with each of them, which we did enjoy but honestly that was more so I could actually get out of my house and talk to other adults, once a week. I made a lot of friends through this avenue and quite honestly they saved my sanity. Plus It was a place to learn parenting skills.
We started the parent child class in September. Honestly, I was a little worried because it’s been a long time since I’ve been around other parents and knew there would be a big age difference. Plus, little man had shown NO interest whatsoever in anything to do with school. We had tried to make him write his name, cut, paste…ect…the only thing he ever showed interest in and would attempt to do was painting. He refused to try any of it. I didn’t make an issue of it.
I wasn’t too worried because I had experienced this with one of my sons and various daycare children. I knew eventually he would do these things. My son did eventually learn how to write his name just fine and graduated from high school and is in his 2nd year of college.
When my kids attended this kindergarten readiness class they did things to get ready for kindergarten. like sharing, playing, music, walking in a line, some basic art things, following instructions, learning how to separate from parents…ect. All pretty basic.
Times have changed. I feel so out of it. First of all, I am like 20 years older then most of these parents. Second of all, what they expect these kids to know has definitely changed. They have to know so much more now. Just to go to kindergarten! How did I not know this? It feels like I am from the stone age or something. Thirdly, are a lot of children undisciplined and out of control or is it just me? Do parents no longer expect their children to listen, respect and have manners?
Thankfully, little man has now taken an interest in learning these things and we are working on these skills at home now. Slow but sure he is learning. Who would have known that I would be working on how to correctly hold a scissors or a pencil again? Who would have known that I would be teaching my husband how to help him with this? Such fun times. I’m not sure who frustrates me more at this point.
I’m not too concerned or panicked about this because I do believe he will eventually be able to do these things. Since this is all new for my husband, he is a little more concerned. Okay, a lot more concerned. My husbands daughter moved far away when she was very young so he never got a chance to do these things with her. He doesn’t understand the patience and practice it takes for most kids to do these skills. He also doesn’t understand that while some kids will have interest in these things, some will not.This is a whole new learning experience for him. Since I have been sick over the past few weeks, he has been attending the classes with little man. Which I think is a good thing.The first few times he came home from class he was pretty worked up about it all but I think he’s starting to calm down a bit.
My husband and I have been talking about how times have changed from when we were kids to when my now grown kids were young to the present.
My focus in raising young children has been disciplining and teaching manners, things of character development, morals, to be kind and giving, basic communication skills, reading to them and giving them a love of books and importantly the importance of playing, using their imagination and being a kid.
I am worry about the lost art of the imagination and the ability to play without parents, a tv, computer or video game or some other device entertaining them. I’m not against these things but I worry about how much these things have replaced actually playing…with an imagination and actually interacting with other children in play.
I worry a little about pushing children before they are ready. I worry about letting children be children and all that they learn from playing. I worry that in our urgency to teach children so that they will be more advanced, we have left out some important valuable components. I worry that in trying to teach children all these skills some of the important things, like listening and respecting have been left to the way side…and in the end hurts them more than helps them.
I also wonder about the seemingly lost value of discipline and teaching sharing, caring, listening, and respect…that is suppose to be taught by us parents. How even though most of these kids in little mans class could write their names, and cut with a scissors but could not sit down in a circle for 5 minutes and listen to the teacher. How disrespectful many of them are to not just the teachers but to their parents. How many don’t know how to play or to share. How is it that their parents seen the importance of teaching them writing and cutting skills but not the importance of disciplining them? Or is it something they expect the teachers to teach them?
I know there is an importance to learning how to write and to read. I know that knowing the colors and shapes and how to count and say the abc’s is of value too. I really do. I have no problem teaching those things to my little people. It’s just that I wonder where this is suppose to take us?
Does learning these things earlier mean the children of today will know more when they graduate? Does this mean that they will go from point A to point B much more advanced then those in the past? What about the absence of discipline and moral teaching? Or the absence of knowing how to play without a computer, video game or some special device? Will the absence of these things affect them on their journey from point A to point B? And what affect will this have on our world?