The Times They Are A-Changin’,

4 1/2 year olds in school? Who thought that one up? When my kids were 4 1/2 years old, they were home with me. They each made it to pre-school for a fraction of the day, 3 days a week, but they were not in a traditional academic setting at that tender age. Why? Well this is what we have come to. I worked in one school that had, what was referred to as “Jr. K”. This was a program offering a 4-something to enter his/her own classroom complete with his/her own teacher, and learn from a curriculum designed for people who were just born four years prior. Why? Mommy and daddy
are at work? I stayed home with my kids when they were that age. Did we have discretionary income for exotic vacations, new cars, designer clothes, evenings out at expensive restaurants? We did not. In fact we were broke. Broke, with two kids who did not answer to an aunt, a grandparent, the lady down the street, or institutionalized day care.  And , by the way, this program designed to answer the academic needs (largely debatable) of a four- year old, came with a price tag as this setting took place in a private school–$$$.

As a teacher to the 4 1/2 year-old brigade I found it impossible to do much more than make sure shoes were tied, pencils and crayons were picked up off the floor, hands were washed, noses wiped, students were seated properly in their seats, and that the mystery over why a student was crying, was solved before my time with them had ended for the day…on to the following day where everything began all over again.  Sigh.

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