What happened to teaching the fundamentals?

Yes... we are in for the long haul. Five whole months with only spring break and a few three day weekends for good measure. 

So...


Spring semester is the semester that we teach life science which is my favorite topic. We get to plant seeds, propagate plants from root cuttings, learn about composting, raise tadpoles, and hatch butterfly larvae and chicken eggs. Woohoo!! What's not to love about that, right?

But...

It's also field trip time (last year's field trip I was on the phone to a parent before we even walked through the zoo entrance), field day time (uck... poke me in the eye with a sharp object please), general spring fever (children and teachers), and that dreaded four letter word season. TESTing. 

Okay that's a seven letter word, but in my book the words 'test' + 'data' = 'suck'. And, those are all four letter words.

Check this out:

Photo courtesy of Katie Brower, Florida Unschoolers; Share via TimberNook Miami

I came across this little jewel a few days ago, and couldn't help but be amazed at the difference in the expectations we have for our little ones now. I personally think that this report card from 1954 is genius. Why? Because these are basic life skills that our little ones need. I have second graders that have difficulty with quite a few of these skills. Our educational system has become so focused on getting our children "college ready" (barf) that they are missing so much of these meaningful and developmentally appropriate learning activities.

I have to stop for a minute and tell you that when I sat down to type this blog post, I was actually planning to write about concept sorts. I have completely veered off course, but that's how it goes when you get on a roll. In fact, typing the above paragraph has gotten my blood boiling a bit, so I'm going to go get a cup of coffee.


I'm back. I really did go get some coffee. I also ate a grilled cheese sandwich and chatted with my son a bit about acne control and shaving. 

Anyways, back to what I was discussing. It's just my opinion that if we helped our little ones accomplish these very basic life skills then they will be so much more successful when they enter first grade. Is there room for more on the 1954 kinder report card? Of course there is. I just happen to see so many kiddos beginning school with a deficit. For whatever reason, they aren't ready even for kindergarten and yet we want them "college ready".

It just seems that we are putting the cart before the horse if you know what I mean.

Isn't it common sense that if we can get these little people developmentally (not to mention socially) ready then we teachers can actually...I don't know....teach? I mean, wouldn't the time spent with our students be more meaningful and productive in the long run?

Now, I realize that there are all sorts of societal issues that drive educational reform. I know that this isn't 1954, and I know that there are many sides (some quite valid) to this issue. 

But, something must give. 

Teachers deserve it, and more importantly...

our children deserve it.



I'd love to hear your feedback..

Y'all have a great weekend!

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