To average 5 year olds, the world extends approximately to the playground on the other side of town. Possibly to Grandma's house a couple of hours away. The people in it are what people are like. Whichever holidays they celebrate are the ones everybody celebrates.
You've probably already been teaching the lesson at home, but it's in kindergarten that it really starts to hit home. In science, they learn in simple terms the size and scope of the country, the world, the universe. They see pictures of the pyramids in Egypt and of astronauts on the moon, learn about the animals and plants they'd find in the rainforests of Brazil, watch videos of polar bears in the Arctic and discover that Thanksgiving is only Thanksgiving in the U.S.
Perhaps most incredibly, these discoveries at the age of 5 can sow the seeds of a better world, fostering early the traits of acceptance, open-mindedness and kindness to people who are different from you.
Combine that with introductions to reading, writing, math, interpersonal skills and countless other life lessons encountered in the very first year of formal school, and you've got the makings of a year that can change everything.
And set the stage for first grade, the next great adventure ...
For more information on kindergarten and to learn about what awaits in first grade, check out the links below.
Author's Note: 5 Incredible Things You'll Learn in Kindergarten
As a mom writing about kindergarten readiness and curriculum, I found myself constantly surprised in the course of my research. With a toddler at home, we have several years before we'll start school, and yet, in gathering all of this information, I found that some kindergarten skills are ones my child already has -- and others are ones I can scarcely imagine her possessing. For me, this article reinforces the idea that every child really does develop at a different pace -- that whether he or she measures "ahead" or "behind" or "just right" seems more a matter for textbooks than for practice. As with almost everything else in parenting, the kindergarten experience varies from child to child and can be exciting, stressful and/or a huge surprise -- hopefully somewhat less the latter after reading this.
More Great Links
- Grade-by-Grade Learning: Kindergarten. PBS Parents. (May 28, 2012) http://www.pbs.org/parents/goingtoschool/what_kinder.html
- How They Grow in Kindergarten. Family Education. (May 28, 2012) http://life.familyeducation.com/kindergarten/child-development/29538.html
- Kindergarten: What Will They Learn? Family Education. (May 28, 2012) http://school.familyeducation.com/kindergarten/parents-and-school/38484.html
- Perrone, Vito. "The Kindergarten Curriculum." Family Education. (May 28, 2012) http://school.familyeducation.com/kindergarten/curriculum-planning/38485.html
- Preparing for Kindergarten. Scholastic Parents. (May 28, 2012) http://www.scholastic.com/resources/article/preparing-for-kindergarten/
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