Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I saw a link about how British Columbia has initiated the full-day kindergarten. Curious, since more and more schools here are doing it, I decided to read the article. My mouth literally dropped open when I read this:

Angela Pellicia said her daughter will become more independent with better social and language skills.
“Two and a half hours isn’t long enough for kids to be away from their parents,” she said.
The girl is, what, 5? I don't know what appalls me more: that the mother has believed that her daughter can't develop social skills with her family and less intense activities, that the mother doesn't think well enough of herself that she can help her daughter develop good language skills, or that she actually thinks her 5yo ought to be away from her mother for more than 2.5 hours a day. How does a 5yo need to be away from their parents on a daily basis???? That's going to develop independence? My 2yo niece is highly independent, and it's not because she is away from her parents all day. It'd be interesting to see this mother's reaction if we were speaking face-to-face and I told her that my almost 10yo and 13yo are rarely away from their parents that long. ;) Honestly, other than a few sleepovers at their cousins' place and maybe a birthday party, I'm not sure my son has otherwise been away from both parents that long.

Better numeracy and literacy because of full-day kindergarten? This is sad. It just goes to show how many parents rely on the school system to teach their kids. My husband sees it all the time--parents who seem to expect the school to take care of more than they really ought to. And honestly, how much numeracy is covered in kindergarten? I mean, really? (Not in a Montessori, just a regular kindergarten.) I just looked up my provincial program of study for kindergarten math, which is almost identical to BC's, if not identical. "Say the number sequence from 1 to 10 by 1s, and from 10 to 1." "Recognize at a glance and name familiar arrangements of 1-5 objects or dots." Etc. for numbers up to 10. Stuff on patterns (no numbers), comparing size and weight of objects (no numbers)... Full day kindergarten makes that much of a difference? And then they are trying to say that full-day kindergarten has an effect on graduation rates. EXCUSE ME????? Correlation is not causation and I doubt very much that kindergarten has anything whatsoever to do with graduation rates. It'll be the quality of relationships and learning in later years.

The really ironic thing in all this is that kindergarten is still optional. Governments are paying more, touting all kinds of benefits from the full-day kindergarten but it is optional. Parents enjoy paying less childcare, so they don't seem to notice or care that the switch to full-day kindergarten actually means more taxpayer money being used for it.

Of course, don't get me started on the whole "school builds better social skills" topic... ;D

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