Challenging Young Minds

Education compared to the days when I was in first grade, which seemed like … wait a minute … it was ions ago, has changed drastically. 

I witness what my daughter has to contend with already with my five year old grandson, Nicholas and it astounds me the pressuring expectations our educational system places on not only young parents, but their children.

I agree that school should be a time of learning, however, whatever happened to fun?  Shouldn’t it be naturally engaging, exciting and appropriate to the degree it meets the level of such young minds and not frustrate the heck out of them?  Granted most parents nowadays start their children off in some kind of preschool program to learn socialization skills and some basics, which is great.

Have you seen first grade math lately though?  It boggles my mind when I look at work sheets that weren’t introduced to us until the later grades.  Most educators today will stand true to the ideology children who do well very early on in their elementary years more likely will graduate and live successful lives.  Well, we turned out plenty of physicists, doctors and engineers back then without overtaxing young minds.  The concept of slowly transitioning our children into learning has literally been thrown out the window with the bath water. 
According to the Common Core State Standards Initiative, it’s important our five year olds instructional time should focus on four critical areas: (1) developing understanding of addition, subtraction, and strategies for addition and subtraction within 20; (2) developing understanding of whole number relationships and place value, including grouping in tens and ones; (3) developing understanding of linear measurement and measuring lengths as iterating length units; and (4) reasoning about attributes of, and composing and decomposing geometric shapes.

Kind of makes you wonder if we’re setting our expectations way too high and laying the stress onto our children way before they need to start contending with it.


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