Research shows kids shouldn’t be forced to read until second grade, and that countries who begin reading instruction at age eight have a 100% literacy rate. Could be correlation, but it could be that waiting helps more children learn. That homework and formal instruction in kindergarten are counter-productive. But public schools aren’t listening. Maybe they can’t, given how many layers of legislation governments pile on the how, why, what, and when of teaching.
I want play-based kindergarten. I don’t want formal reading education until second grade (that’s what public school was when I was a kid) or homework until middle school.
I want choices.
But paying a high price for the kind of schools we went to as children versus public subsidized pressure cookers for small children isn’t really a choice. A five-year-old who is struck by fits of noise, movement, and lack of focus isn’t disordered. They’re normal.
Why isn’t there an option for elementary school that honors a child’s developmental needs? Why doesn’t my area have charter schools that are trying out ideas based on research rather than legislation? Why is there no play-based option for kindergarten? Why am I not thinking seriously about homeschooling or unschooling when that makes more sense than cramming 20 five-year-olds into small chairs and insisting that they sit still for hours on end? How can I disagree with the way government runs schools without sounding like I believe science is a theory?