Let Them Talk and Play

Author, Freelance writer, and educator - Margie Gelbwasser

Author, Freelance writer, and educator – Margie Gelbwasser

Today, I have a special guest. Margie Gelbwasser is the mother of SJ’s best friend (which counts for a lot in my house). She is also a real live successful author in addition to being a freelance writer and teacher.

Margie has written for a variety of magazines including SELF, Ladies’ Home Journal, Writer’s Digest, The Parent Paper, and Parents. She is also the author of two young adult novels. INCONVENIENT and PIECES OF US. You can find out more about Margie and her projects on her website, www.margiewrites.com

This is what my son was able to do by the end of kindergarten:

  • -explain the difference between square, rectangles, hexagons, and octagons
  • -read a pie chart and bar graph and make his own bar graph
  • -survey people and record their responses with tally marks
  • -read and explain main idea and main characters and draw connections to his life and the world from the stories
  • -write simple sentences

This is what I did when I was in kindergarten:

  • -napped
  • -played Pop Goes the Weasel
  • -rode around on those plastic sticks with a pony head at the end
  • -built picture frames out of popsicle sticks
  • – learned letters and numbers too

It’s a different world today, isn’t it? And while my kid had an awesome year with a fantastic teacher, the differences in what kindergarten is today compared to what it was makes me sad. The intense academic push starts so early. Kids should be socializing and building with blocks and playing, but with the push for more and more testing, all that stuff falls by the wayside. And what happens to the kids who are not ready to distinguish between hexagons and such at 5? There’s no data that shows feeding them so much so soon creates brighter kids. In fact, studies show the opposite (here’s a link to one such study: http://hepg.org/hel/article/479).

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