What are they teaching my kid(s)?

May 23, 2004

For the past two weeks, my son — and his entire kindergarten class — has been counting down the days until May 25th. That’s not the last day of school. No, that’s the day an incubator full of eggs will hatch live chicks in their classroom. According to the “Egg Countdown Calendar” on our fridge, tomorrow they may be able to see the chicks pecking at the inside of the egg as they try to start getting out. Oh, and it also tells us that the eggs sit inside the incubator at a temperature of 100-degrees, and that the incubator must stay closed these last few days in order to keep the humidity high enough to soften up the shells so the chicks can get out.

Meanwhile, in other kindergarten news, the entire class has already been taught the differences between the various types of clouds — cirrus, nimbus, stratus, etc. Oh, and Sean has recently passed his first Advanced Reading test which says he’s reading at least at the 2nd grade level.

When I was in kindergarten, we didn’t have Advanced Reading tests. We didn’t learn about clouds until 2nd or 3rd grade, and we sure as hell didn’t incubate eggs for the purposes of watching chicks hatch in front of our eyes. When I was in kindergarten, we learned about colors. We learned simple addition, like 2+2 and 3+3, and even 4+5. We learned how to tie our shoes and button our jackets. We learned, most importantly, how to get along with one another. We learned to share and take turns. We even (gasp!) took naps.

They don’t have time for naps in the 21st century kindergarten. They might sleep right through the chicks cracking their shells. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy with what Sean’s learning. This isn’t a complaint. It’s more of a documentation, a “is this really how much things have changed?” post. I just can’t believe what they’re teaching in kindergarten….

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