A mother from Hamilton County, Ohio, took to Reddit to share the demanding kindergarten readiness list she received for her child. She wrote that “Hamilton County schools have unrealistic expectations,” and if anything, that’s an understatement. Check it out:
The perplexed mother thinks her son is mostly ready. “He knows most of this stuff,” she says, “but no idea how to [teach] him all 30 letters.”
Commenters are speculating on how this school came up with “30+ letters” to identify. Some thought maybe they meant upper- and lowercase letters, while others suggested maybe they were including some German: “The kid should know german – ö ä ü ß are all additional letters, that makes 30.” Sure, why not. Or maybe they’re expected to have a working knowledge of emoji before they begin kindergarten. With all the screentime kids get these days, most probably could nail this part of the exam.
I’m old enough to remember the days when kindergarten was actually fun. When I was in Mrs. Liptak’s kindergarten class at Central School (eleventy million years ago), we had a pretend post office, did finger painting, learned to skip, played games with balls, had story time, and learned our letters and numbers. The kids who didn’t know how to tie their shoes learned how and we even found time (during the half day we were there) for a snack and a short nap. Reading was delayed until first grade and miraculously, we all turned out fine and became literate in short order.
Now it seems that kindergarten is all about the academics – and preparing kids for the high-stakes testing at the end of the year. Children who may not be developmentally ready are pushed to learn to read by the end of the school year so they can perform well on state achievement tests, and many kids are having trouble coping with the stress. See the article below to find out what’s currently required of kindergartners.
I’m not against teaching your kids to do the things on this list the mom shared if they’re developmentally ready for them (except for the 30+ letters…?!?!?). In fact, both of my boys were able to do all of these things when they were 5 years old. What I do object to is pressuring kids to perform skills they’re not physically able to complete. A lot of 5-year-olds, for example, are not physically able to cut with scissors and they’re not going to be able to do it, no matter how many times you shove their stubby little fingers into the righty or lefty scissors. And I’m vehemently opposed to high-stakes testing for little kids who should have nothing more to worry about in life than choosing between graham crackers and goldfish crackers for their snack during their school day.