Kindergarten Has Gotten Way Too Intense

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kindergarten too intense
Ready to Succeed
My most vivid memory from kindergarten involves me throwing up on my Valentine's Day art project. While that may not be a universal experience, I'm guessing most of you who grew up in the '70s and '80s have halcyon and occasionally terrifying memories of that first year of school as well. You know, that year where everybody is still struggling with dressing themselves and remembering to ask when they need to go potty. But those days are long gone my friends.

Something has changed inside the kindergarten classroom, and it's not just the lack of chalk boards.

Considering I just received a pitch declaring that kindergarten teachers think kids are not properly prepared for their entrance into the lower grade, I'm thinking it's not just so-called "helicopter parents" that are pushing their 5-year-olds to succeed. In fact, the email I received said teachers felt too many students were beginning kindergarten not knowing their ABCs and thus, not prepared "academically."

The last time I checked, kindergartners were all about eating paste and learning how to tie their shoes, and if there is time left over -- learning their ABCs. Okay, so maybe not tying their shoes, since we all have the magic of Velcro on our footwear, but since when did you need to prep for kindergarten?

As a mother to a daughter who goes to an all-day kindergarten (which is great for working parents, don't get me wrong), I also wonder when the half-day kindergarten model was abandoned. Perhaps right around the time when parents started jockeying for a spot at the "best" kindergarten in town, rather than walking your kid to your local public school. How to find the best kindergarten? Hire a "Kindergarten Concierge" as someone in my son's pre-school just did. I'm serious.

Allow me to channel Andy Rooney (may he rest in peace) here, but what in the hell is going on that we need to hire someone to tell us where to send our child to kindergarten? They're still using snub-nosed scissors and mispronouncing "dump truck."

I realize by sending my daughter to a private school, I'm also part of the "regular school isn't good enough!" movement. But I hope we do enough at home to stunt her excelled education so she doesn't think kindergarten is all work, and no fun. I think we'll start by throwing out the homework. I kid, it's a progressive school which focuses on community -- there's no homework. Just incredibly lofty expectations for tiny children.

Is your child's kindergarten too intense?

back to school, education, kindergarten

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Doomy234 Doomy234

I remember that I learned my alphabet and numbers in kindergarten. Sure my mom used to sing me my abc's and 123's but to me, before kindergarten, it was just another colorful childhood song.

The only things that I really remember about kindergarten is that my teacher had it out for me. She got impatient when I didnt make it to the bathroom in time, telling me to "stop bawling" when I got particularly frustrated with a math problem I couldnt figure out, and scolding me (and my mother) because we didnt bring the right snack for Snack Day. These are the only things that stood out to me from kindergarten, but I must have been successfully anyways because I passed it.

hanna... hannahsmom238

My daughter is in an all day private kindergarten. It is intense but, the state of Indiana changed it's standards this year so it kind of has to be. We did pre k and it definitely prepared her.

nonmember avatar Rob M

If you want your child to learn to eat paste and mispronounce the word dump truck then send your child to public school, not a private one.

nonmember avatar Nikiya

When I was in kindergarten, which was like in 97, I had already known my ABCs and 123s. I could add simple numbers. Also, my kindergarten teacher wanted me to go to firs grade instead of being in her class. But that's because I had two years of head start. Now where I live kids are suppose to go to Pre-K before they go to kindergarten.

calash calash

I would have to say my daughter's kindergarten is more intense than I thought, she is having trouble keeping up so she now is attending the "after school" program. Even her teacher told me that times have changed not too long ago kindergarten was more like an advanced preschool and it's not that way anymore, we have homework everyweek, fundraiser's, testing, read 6hrs worth of books thingy going on and so forth......I didn't even know how to write my name when I was my daughters age and I did great in school, my daughter is expected to "sign in" everymorning starting since the first day of school......she goes to a public half day kindergarten, which I know of a few people who didn't live in the right neighborhood fought to get thier kids in her school, it's an awesome public school, and even if she is struggling, she LOVES going, my mom had to drag me kicking and screaming!!! =)

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

My son's K experience was far easier than mine. They just need to know their numbers and letters, be able to sound out words and guess at spelling by sounding out the word and writing down letters that pretty much correspond. When I was in K we had weekly spelling tests and if you missed a word you write it twenty times. We were expected to know our numbers and letters going in and be able to spell and do both addition and subtraction by the end. We had to write short essays of 3-4 sentences and use out weekly vocal words (the ones from our spelling tests) in a sentence for homework each night.



As for eating paste, we had one kid that ate crayons and he was sent to the headmasters office on a near daily basis. Chowing down on classroom supplies is not normal behavior in any decade. K was full day in my day too, half day was only the first couple of weeks to allow kids to adjust to being in school, and I would love it if all schools would do that now because between snack and recess and specialists there is barely a moment in the K schedule for actual education.

Thelmama Thelmama

at  Rob M....my children go to a number 1, A rated school.  They are definitly not learning to eat paste or mispronounce words.  


My kindergartner is already reading and learning stuff well beyond what K used to be.  All of my children, one 5th grader, one 2nd grader, and one Kindergartner, work above grade level in every subject because they are getting a great education. Yes Kindergarten has changed, but so have all grade levels.  Our state has moved all grade level requirements down a grade, starting last year. Yes it is challenging but my kids are able and are doing quite well.


My kids love school and are challenged and growing.

Linsala Linsala

I'm so nervous for Kindergarten, next year. We are choosing not to "red shirt" our son who has a late July birthday. He's by far the youngest in his preschool and will be that way in elementary also, I suppose. We had planned to send him to all-day private Kindergarten, but due to my husband's job loss he'll be attending public half-day unless our financial situation changes. I figure he's in year two of preschool, I had zero preschool and started Kindergarten at 4 (as did my husband). He knows more than we did. I just hope it's enough.

momto... momto2babyboys

I completely agree!! They are kids for crying out loud and in the state of Texas not everyone can get into pre-k. I was told 2 years ago that pre-k and kindergarten aren't even required here but they wanted my son to go back to kindergarten cuz he couldn't read level 4 books!! ughhhh! There is too much pressure on these kids. My 1st grader doesn't get time to play cuz he is too busy doing 4 hours of hw!!

Maias... MaiasMommy619

When I was in KDG, we learned letters,numbers and trust me NO ONE knew how to read...but when my DD entered KDG in 2009 it was a whole slew of changes...she was considered behind because she didnt know how to read or do her times tables up to the number 5! I mean come on...I think they are pushing them wayy to far...When your 5 yr old comes to you and tells you that she needs to do a research paper and project there is an issue there... o.O

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