Sunday, August 26, 2007

Another Reason They NEED Preschool

Today's article in The Sun really backs up my frustration with what I found out last week about public pre-school.

Longer Day, But Less Time For Play

With full day kindergarten now a state mandate (Thanks to the wonderful No Child Left Behind Act - thanks a lot Mr. Bush) the fact that a child attends preschool is much more important. In many ways, kindergarten has become the new first grade (according to this article) and it says that it's valuable that most children attend preschool now.

Um, well, yeah. Preschool is now mandated to be available at all public schools, however it is not guaranteed. Spots go first to children with learning problems/delays and then to children of a disadvantaged background. So the chances of Caroline and Bryce getting into the public preschool are very slim. Particularly in the area we live in. So the assumption would be that they attend a private preschool. We would be okay with that but the problem with private preschools is that you have to be able to transport your children to and from the usual half day program and lots of classroom interaction by the parent is required as well. And therein lies the problem when both parents work - something that over 60% of American families do so I know I'm hardly the only one with this predicament.

I guess my whole frustration with this is that if kindergarten were the "old" half day kindergarten without all this increased stress on academics, I wouldn't be worried at all. But now that it's the beginning of the test scores rat race, I feel that preschool is much more important and necessary to prepare a child for a whole day of academics. (And for the record, I do believe that both my children will be ready for kindergarten academically when the time comes since we spend plenty of time reading to them and working on letters/numbers/colors/etc, I'm more worried about the shock of going into this new learning environment for a whole day when a year of 1/2 day preschool could make the transition so much easier by getting them into the classroom learning mode.) So why is whole day kindergarten mandated and preschool is still optional? I just don't get it. Seems like a complete disconnect to me.

1 comment:

bracken said...

I second your frustration! We have been discussing this because of Sydney trying to figure out what we can do for her.