Monday, January 14, 2008

Ain't No Child Gonna Be Left Behind in These Parts.

Alex started attending public school at 4 years old when I entered her into the free at-risk preschool offered at her school. I had thought about homeschooling in the past but with Dominic being so much more "work" I really didn't feel we could give her the attention she needed for school and I didn't know if I could handle doing it. After the first month I'd say, I knew we made the right decision. She was learning so much each day and it was amazing.

I'd say it was kindergarten when I started hearing from other parents and teachers about "no child left behind." When Alex started coming home and reading books I knew things were a bit different from when I was in school but learning to read at the beginning of the school year in Kindergarten? Then I was quickly introduced into the Accelerated Reader program that quizzed the 5 yr olds on books they were reading that alot of schools push to reach higher reading standards. I have been giving the tests to Alex's classmates for 3 yrs now and just stopped in October. Then one day Alex came home talking about the new salad bar and how they had to take at least one fresh veggie even if they don't eat it. I chat with her principal all the time so I asked him one day, "hey what's this new salad bar thing where the kids have to take at least one thing, even if they don't eat it." He told me it was part of the new standards of "No Child Left Behind" and they still follow the FDA guidelines but had to add a few more things to follow NCLB. Interesting eh? Also Kindergarten and 1st Grade they had snacks before leaving school in conjunction with NCLB standards.

So fast forward to 2nd Grade. Alex is a master at decoding phonics, learning simple multiplication, does reads at a 4th grade level, eating a variety of fresh veggies (if she wants to lol) and learning to write in cursive. Yes 7 years old and learning to write now in cursive. Now I know we want our kiddos to excel, I get the NCLB act, but isn't this going a bit fast for these little ones? I must have been a 5th grader before I learned anything about cursive.

I didn't even mention either that the past two years she's brought home some sort of homework everyday. Is this a bit much to you? Are they going to start Sex Ed for us next year? lol


Mommy In The Know said...

Utah opted out of the NCLB program. I don't know why.
It sounds great but i agree a little much. I hate when kids go to school for eight hours and then have an hour or more of homework. The salad bar is a cool thing. I remember in school that the only veggies we had were canned and they would fill us up on white bread and butter. Boy do things change. :)

Jess said...

I agree Sabrina- I do think the kids are being pushed too hard too early. I am a proponent of the philosophy that little kids learn best through play and modeling of adults and through real world activities, like baking, gardening, etc. It is amazing the vocabulary, mathematics, etc. that can be incorporated into everyday activities.

I'm not sure what we are going to do with Ella when she is school age. I am pretty sure that I am not up for homeschooling yet I am not sure I am sold on public ed the way it is currently being taught in the US. We'll see, I guess.

I also was in 5th grade before I learned cursive!

Adam's Mom said...

I think kids are given too much too soon now and really need to have some fun school time. BUT saying thing - here in BC (not sure about the rest of Canada) cursive writing isn't even taught in our schools now!! Can you believe that? some kids graduate and can not write!!!!

Mrs Marcos said...

Ok, I graduated from college almost 7 years ago and granted, I never actually taught other than student teaching...but I seem to remember learning that children don't have the motor skills to accomplish "cursive" handwriting until around age 9 or 10. It looks like Alex is doing pretty well but I would wonder (like you are) if they are pushing too hard too fast.

Kristi Ann said...

I was FLOORED when I went to Bugs orientation and his teacher told me he would be learning to read and write, and had to pass a test in order to go to 1st grade. I understand teaching kids....but MAN....arent they allowed to be kids at 5? Bug has 4 pages of homework a week...and he is in kindergarten (not to mention the readers you spoke of). On the up side though....MAN...he is so smart and is already reading! :) So..I have to give props to the teachers and schools.
I LOVE the idea about the veggies...GOOOOOO School!!! :)
Take care!~