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High-Pressure Kindergarten

It was years ago that I was playing with my now 9-year-old son on a community playground right by our house that we frequented several days per week. He was not quite 2 at the time.

Another mother befriended me and we began talking. I started to look forward to our visits. Our children were the same age, born just weeks apart, and we were pretty close in age as well. We got along well and always had lots to talk about.

However, a few weeks into our playground friendship, she asked me a few questions that completely stunned me,

“What are you doing to get him ready for kindergarten? What schools will you guys be applying to?”

She then proceeded to tell what their first, second, and third choices were. I sat there with my mouth open.

I told her nothing. We were letting him play and be a kid. And we were having a lot of fun with him.

She then told me how they were doing flashcards daily with their child, that they sat him at the piano regularly, and about how he even took Spanish lessons. As I looked at her son eating dirt and my son laughing at him eating dirt, I thought to myself, “Why do we push our kids that hard?”

Then I read an article called Pressure-cooker Kindergarten. I am amazed at how much we are pushing our children from the moment that they enter school. And it’s not just the parents. The educational system is pushing our children as well. When are they supposed to be kids? Where is the playtime that is so crucial for kids to learn?

That mother may have had it right. She was just getting her child ready for a lifetime of being pushed too hard, in my opinion.

My son is doing just fine and we never really pushed him that hard, but he managed to make it through kindergarten just fine.

WHAT DID YOU DO TO GET YOUR CHILD READY FOR KINDERGARTEN?

Read more from Stacie on her blog: The Divine Miss Mommy

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