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Is Your Child Kindergarten-Ready? Ad Places High Expectations

Identify 30+ Letters...!

Is Your Child Kindergarten-Ready? Ad Places High Expectations |

It used to be that kindergarten was all about story time and making mud pies. Nowadays - if this Tennessee nursery is anything to go by - the expectations come thick and fast.

The nursery teacher posted a long list of prerequisite skills little tots are expected to have by the time they enter kindergarten - including "holding a pencil the correct way" and being able to identify "30+ letters."

No wonder parents are stressed. (Notwithstanding the fact that many of us only learned 26 letters... I kid, of course - it's assumed the 30+ refers to both upper- and lowercase letters.)

Still, the fact that "kindergarten-ready" is even a thing points to a wider societal problem. Small wonder this list prompted at least one person to comment: "I feel sorry for the kids nowadays."

That's a pretty intense barrage of expectation for a five year-old.

When I was that age, my skill set didn't extend far beyond the following:

  • Hold onto the rope so you don't get lost at the mall
  • Recognize your name on a cubby
  • Try not to pee your pants... and speaking of pee, why does that boy have something different down there?
  • Sand doesn't taste half as good as it looks

A solid science experiment in my day consisted of breaking a worm in two to see what would happen...

Letters and numbers. Pah! They just didn't figure, and I turned out alright - more or less. OK, so that last point is debatable. Nevermind...

Most learning that happens in kindergarten tends to be incidental, and there's plenty of time. Besides, kindergarten is where the teacher is paid to TEACH kids these things.

As some expert-type people have already pointed out, the biggest, most valuable kind of intelligence needed in kindergarten is rooted in the social and emotional, e.g. listening, playing nice, sharing, turn taking, etc.  

Parents, time to burn the flash cards, get down on the rug, and play.

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