Here is a list of the top 10 things that the parent of a kindergarten age child is now told before beginning kindergarten. I’m pretty sure my parents were not told any of these messages when I began kindergarten:
- It is important to break crayons into short pieces so kids learn to use the three finger claw grip on their crayons and pencils. Yes, break their crayons for them.
- You should not be teaching your kids to write in block letters (skip the CAPS lock). The kids need to learn how to write in lowercase letters.
- Kids need to know how to lose. This may come as a surprise to all those people who like to go on and on about how all kids get a ribbon for participating, but the reality is, kids will face defeat. Yes, all kids.
- Kids must bring and keep a complete change of clothes (including underwear) to school with them in case of accidents
- Kids are outside learning and playing for at least an hour a day or more, no matter what the weather is.
- When dropping kids off it is important for the parents to not cry. Say your goodbyes outside of the classroom and just move along. Apparently it upsets kids to see their parents crying.
- Parents must not try to look in the classroom window to see what their kids are doing. The windows have a coating on them making it difficult to see in from the outside. However, the kids inside the room can clearly see you. And people look like freaks as they are trying to see in. Save your kid the humiliation. Don’t try to look in the classroom window.
- Kids need to be able to take home and return notices from school. This requires remembering to remove the notices from the bottom of the backpack, presenting that notice to parents and then returning it to the school in a timely fashion.
- Parents must be sure to label their kid’s lunches and recess snacks so that their kids don’t eat all their food during first break. Or like my friend from when I was a kid, eat their recess snack, lunch and their little brother’s snack on the bus on the way to school. This is called learning self-regulation.
- Kids must be able to pee and poo and dress and undress themselves before they should be coming to school. This message was repeated several times; “we will not be toileting your child.”
And perhaps the most important message parents are given; “you can trust us with your kids. We have not lost any Kindies yet.” I was a little concerned that they did say “yet”.