For those of you that went to Kindergarten in the states, take a moment and think back on those days.
Do you remember your classroom?
Do you remember a song you were taught?
What was recess like?
Did you enjoy Kindergarten?
Some of you might not remember and that’s okay.
I have a weird memory, while I can’t remember whether I already watched a movie, I have very vivid memories of my childhood.
In the early 80s, we traced numbers and letters of the alphabet, A was for apple and ant. We sang songs and danced, we colored and practiced cutting and pasting. We were given time for free play, we actually had toys in the classroom. My classroom had Barbie dolls, baby dolls, cars, trucks, and a play kitchen area. During recess we also went outside and raced tricycles and kicked balls. Our teachers led games of duck duck goose and red light green light. We loved and enjoyed Kindergarten.
We were not sitting at our desks all day learning to read sight words or do mathematical equations. We weren’t having to move our clips down or bring sad faces home for exhibiting behaviors that are truly caused by unrealistic expectations of adults. Our teachers weren’t squeezing our only playtime into 20 minutes blocks a day. We weren’t being diagnosed with ADHD because we needed to move around. Our parents weren’t worried because we weren’t reading on grade level. We didn’t get as much homework.
As you can see there are lots of differences between the kindergarten experiences we had to the ones our kids are having.
Kids need to be kids.
So what can parents do?
- Do not join in the rat race
- Avoid overscheduling your child after school
- Review your after school routine: offer a snack and water, allow time for free play, limit screen time
- Connect with your child, they need you more than ever!
- Read to them, reading should be enjoyed, let them look at the illustrations.
- Make sure your child is well-rested (Kindergarteners need 10-12 hours of sleep)
- Do not allow them to skip breakfast, make it count.
- Pack fruits for snacks and nutritious lunches
- Encourage and recognize their effort and hard work
- Connect with other parents in the class, find out about the classroom environment
- Find out what behaviors are being measured to determine the change in color chart, the clip or the smiley face. Teach and encourage the alternative behaviors at home. Sometimes kids are told what not to do but not taught what to do instead.
- Be involved, most teachers really try to do their best with what they have, they need help too.
If you feel your child is struggling, be your child’s advocate and get them help. Early intervention is always a good idea.