Monday, April 8, 2013

Understanding State Guidelines...and why not to get worked up

So, I was extremely pissed about the new changes in the guidelines of age requirements for kindergarten. It's funny that with being a kindergarten teacher for four years, I did not rally around this change. I was however, ignorant to the stipulations until today! The change in the law was that your child needed to be 5 by September 1st starting in 2014. (Me being a parent of 2 children that were born in November, and one soon to be in October; I found this incredibly unfair.) There is a wavier that can be signed that parents can sign, so I told myself that with my educational background, if I feel that our kids are ready - they are going.

I am guessing that the goal for this change was to get people to send their kids to preschool to get them ready for kindergarten. I found out today - after researching schools for my big girl, that the change was indeed to encourage parents to send their kids to preschool. *Children that were born by December 1st of that school year can be in kindergarten as long as they have had a least one year of preschool.* I understand. I taught kindergarten for 4 years in the inner-city. I know what it's like having kids come in that have had no school experience what-so-ever. I know that some of them were ready, regardless of prior school experience and others - even if they had preschool were still not ready.

I am a strong believer in giving some assessments to see if a child is ready for school or not. I do know that one assessment is not enough, and that if we want our educational system to rival other countries then we need to get serious about it. There needs to be many different assessments and show of growth from the age of 3 -5 to decide whether or not a child is ready for kindergarten. Here comes the preschool. Since preschool is not free and kindergarten is not even required in the state of Michigan how can we expect parents to take education seriously? Unless a parent is raised in a home where education was important to their parents they aren't going to understand the importance of preschool and early childhood education.

My birthday is Sept. 9, after 2 years of preschool I was more then ready for kindergarten. However, education was important in our home. I understand the changes in the guidelines now, early childhood education is very important...and if I can get this kid potty trained...her butt will be in preschool this fall!

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