Monday, November 25, 2013

SCHOOL BREAKS, PUSHING KIDS TOO HARD AND OTHER UNPOPULAR OPINIONS

Today is the beginning of the school week - a short school week. The kids go to class Monday and Tuesday and then have Wednesday and Thursday off. I'm trying hard to understand why my kids are even going to school at all this week.  They will not do any learning. They will have parties and 'fun centers'. They will have no homework. They will basically do nothing, except enjoy the holidays - in the school environment. In the long run I believe that can be counter productive.  I like how they do Halloween - parade and party the last forty five minutes of the day but before and after that it is business as usual. I can not tell you how many 'fun' things they will have to do over the next month and then in there somewhere is two or more weeks of standardized testing. So basically my kids aren't learning until after Christmas Break.

So hey, why not give them the whole week of Thanksgiving off and let families have the time to travel to see the loved ones they are thankful for. Then they can start fresh after Christmas break.

~~~~~DREAM SEQUENCE~~~~~

I remember the days when I was a little kid. We did all of our fun stuff leading up to holiday's during our music/art/drama sections of class. The rest however was business as usual. Then about halfway through the last day of class before break, we finally put our books away and had a party to end all parties.  They were always so much fun. Hours of food, games, family visits and just plain fun!  This is how it was with all of the major holidays. And kids loved it, but we still learned something WHILE having fun. We had something to look forward to, but still knew that School was about learning.  The kids in our schools here, get lax and start to feel relaxed at the holidays and are hit hard with testing and intensive learning (to get caught up) after the Holidays become just a memory.

WARNING!!! UNPOPULAR OPINION COMING ;)

Maybe I'm just old school and like how things were done in the 'good ol' days' but hey, I think it worked better.  Did you know that I read an article shortly after Miss Crazy started Kindergarten, that said because of the intensity of pre-school/kindergarten and the 'non-learning' phases of school, that most kids, even the very bright ones will start to struggle by second grade. And you know what?  She is in second grade now and there are areas where she was advanced before, that she is now starting to struggle in. She is burning out - in second grade.  :/

Until Next Time...Society says push your kids hard, make sure they can read by the time they are three etc...but studies are starting to show that this might not be the best course of action. I am a prime example. I was put into an advanced learner program as a child and although I don't fault my parent's for it, I literally struggled to the point of suicidal thoughts just to get B's and a couple of C's in high school and college. Kids brains are ripe for learning when they are young, but ONLY if they do it at THEIR pace. If it is forced upon them (even if they seem to be having fun), it could, and many times does end in disaster.  i.e. instead of making them sit down everyday and making them learn, how about getting them involved in activities that teach them without them knowing it. Videos, book, or even when you talk to them say 'I like your green dress' or 'bring mommy the yellow book'. They will learn their colors much faster than if you sit down daily and grill them on it by just pointing them out  on a chart. (Kid tested, this mom approved.)

NOTE:  I did before and am now trying to participate in studies to prove/disprove all of this, and truthfully I am so excited!!!

DID YOU KNOW: We standardize test all of our students from special ed to super advanced, where a majority of the countries that we want to be so much like in education, only test their upper level students - The ones bound for college...Maybe that's why we don't compare???? ( So glad I took cultural studies.) :)
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