Have you heard of such a thing? A prescreening for Kindergarten? I mean, of course you have! But me, as a (still) first timer, its kind of absurd to me.
I had to take Daniel in to his new school today to conduct a Kindergarten Assessment for the fall. He was required to identify as many as possible of letters, shapes, numbers, colors and sight words – from what he told me. I wasn’t allowed back there, which makes sense. From his assessment of the assessment (the redundancy is effortless), he reports that he knew everything, all the words and of course all of his colors, numbers and shapes.
This presented me with two concerns:
I joke around a lot. Its obvious, right? I was telling everyone that he was going to be enrolled in AP Kindergarten. The more I said it, I realized that, even though he didn’t know what that was and I wasn’t directly saying it to him, this is a representation of how we set these expectations on our children and in turn burn them the hell out before they even graduate from high school. I can understand wanting your children to excel, wanting them to be successful and assisting them in the achievement process. However, do we really need to place all that added pressure on our kids? I mean let’s really be honest here, most of us spent the better part of our childhood trying to please our parents or live up to their expectations. How exhausting was that? When did you realize that was what you were doing and how long did it take you to launch a revolution over your own life? Exactly! I don’t want my son going through that! Its tough, trust me, I’ve been there.
My second concern includes the standardized testing for kids. I read somewhere (God I wish I could find that article – or video – or whatever it was) that children in China do not undergo any kind of testing for the first few years in school The basis of their primary education is manners and how to treat people. My understanding is that education here in the West has a different focus. From day one, we are comparing one student to the other; rating educators on how well the students test. I honestly don’t think test scores tell a good picture and they definitely don’t define character. I also believe that test scores apply a stigma, a number and a brand to children before they can even form their own opinions of themselves. When viewed from this perspective, it sounds really sad that we are putting gout children through this.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not bashing the education systems in the West, nor am I declaring Chinese education as the best there is and was. I am just simply expressing my own personally formed opinions from both a student’s perspective and, now, that of a parent.
What do you guys think? Leave a comment below!
Note: I do not own the rights to this photo. Photo courtesy of this link here which is an article that poses a great argument about black teachers and the retention of black students.