It turns out that August is Kindergarten Readiness month. To protest the absurdity of this, I am including in this post a photo of my son turning cartwheels in Las Vegas, which is what he did last year instead of going to school.
Here are some totally annoying links on the topic:
Dreambox tells parents to celebrate Kindergarten Readiness Month by playing math games with the kids. Not because playing with kids is nice, but to give kids a head start on the official kindergarten topics.
Surf the Net with Kids tells parents that they can use the Internet in August to help their four and five year-olds get a jump on learning to pass tests. Because kindergarten is a competition, of course.
Nevada County makes it clear that their program is about teaching kids to follow directions. Because no teacher wants to walk in the first day of school with a bunch of kids who have not learned how to sit and stand and walk on command.
Kindergarten is the first time that kids will have their creativity crushed in the name of following along with the group. Kindergarten will be the first time they will be part of a group of twenty-five or more kids who are supervised by only one or two adults. It’s a different story with that ratio: kids need to fall into step to make things manageable. This is really what kindergarten teaches you.
Once kids know how to follow the rules, kindergarten is about learning what the other kids are learning. It’s about understanding how to look for the right answer. As if all questions have right answers.
I sent both my kids to kindergarten. My oldest son is a very independent learner, and he was thrilled to not have to go to school any more. My younger son is a rule follower. He likes rules, he likes to be part of the group. He is a people pleaser and he liked that he was great at pleasing his teacher. I spent the first six months of homeschooling helping my son to be okay without the rules of kindergarten. I had to deprogram his kindergarten readiness.
It was a lot of work to deprogram him, so I can appreciate how concerned people are about kindergarten readiness: there is a lot to indoctrinate kids with in order to get them to sit still and follow directions and pay attention to what the teacher says is interesting. This August I am celebrating kindergarten unreadiness. Because we spent the year unlearning all that stuff.