As we progress through summer and prepare for Andy to go into kindergarden (already???) and Joey into second grade, I being to wonder about schools and systems and how kids are expected to learn. I've been carefully "reminded" how much more "serious" second grade will be, as we near that all-important SOL year of Third Grade.
Joey's kindergarden was just wonderful. He had wonderfully talented teachers, and really bounded forward in development and learning. This past year we made strides, but nothing like kindergarden. Its a amazing what a little support and a loving, caring environment can do, an active and engaging environment.
Why can't all the rest of the grades be like kindergarden?
Why can they be active, making information hands-on and providing context and relevancy? Teach the math, then get the kids to "play store" in "centers" (maybe even have a real class shop as they get older!) Why sit behind a desk all day? They'll have time for that when they are grown and working. Get them up, get them pretending to be caterpillars, get them thinking about history and what it was like to live in the past (and appreciate our progress forward!), get them doing things outside the box!
How much more fun would everybody have at school if the abstract things were then immediately put to use?
I bet there are schools like that. I'll be happy to hear all about them in the comments. Too many kids spend too much time sitting at desks not understanding why what they are supposed to be learning is in any way important to them.