One of the most distressing characteristics of education reformers is that they are hyper-focused on how students perform, but they ignore how students learn. Nowhere is this misplaced emphasis more apparent, and more damaging, than in kindergarten.
A new University of Virginia study found that kindergarten changed in disturbing ways from 1999-2006. There was a marked decline in exposure to social studies, science, music, art and physical education and an increased emphasis on reading instruction. Teachers reported spending as much time on reading as all other subjects combined.
So what do we have to show for all this 'fiddlin'?
A bunch of stressed out kids, who can't share, won't think and don't care.
In the article it cites a study where children who learn to read earlier have no advantage. I have two children who taught themselves to read, one of who was reading at (beyond) a 1st grade leave by 5. Not really that impressive - she simply loved books and we let her persue her passion. (People who follow their passion almost always shine at it!)
What I can see now is that that child is no more 'intelligent' than the one who did not start reading until 9. By the way, the 9 year old's first book was 'Coraline' By Neil Gaiman. That was impressive.
Take your kids out, let them have their sunshine and pound of dirt. They'll be happier and so will you. But more importantly, when they mature, they'll catch up...what ever that means.
You can read the article here The Disturbing Transformation of Kindergarten.