I posted several days ago about my early school memories, and had a comment about how funny it was that my first grade teacher was shocked I could read, that nowadays kids are supposed to read in K4 or Kindergarten at the earliest.
What's REALLY funny is when I was a kid...and I am showing my age here, I had half day Kindergarten. And as far as I know, Kindergarten was OPTIONAL at that time. *GASP*
The only thing I remember about Kindergarten was coloring, cookies and milk, and maybe counting and adding.
The reading, I learned at home. My mother was always great about reading bedtime stories. Every night, until I was about 10 or so, I got a bedtime story. We also had tons of books. Wow. No 'reading curriculum', no tests...just 'Look, here's a book! Let's see what it says!"
Today, moms are pressured to put their babies in preschool when they are two years old. So they won't get 'behind'. Funny, I didn't spend a full day in school until I was 6 years old and I was advanced. Hmm.
We studied crows for our Poe unit studies. Crows and ravens are one of the most intelligent creatures in nature, right up there with chimps. They are amazing problem solvers. And scientists believe that is partly due to the amount of time the mother crow or raven spends with her offspring. She spends years with her babies, nurturing them. The scientists found when the offspring are not having to form neural pathways dedicated solely to survival, it 'frees up' the brain to form pathways for other skills like problem solving, etc.
Of course, I am remembering a time when it was socially acceptable for moms to just stay home with their kids. Mention that you are a stay at home mom today and you get The Look, the one that says "Hmmm...she must be crazy to not have any ambition to be anything else. Poor thing." Schools today, particularly K4 in public schools, are largely used as free babysitting...even when the mom is a stay at home mom.
There is something just sad to me when I hear moms say things about their children like 'I don't see how you can homeschool-I couldn't stand to be around my kids all day!' Or, ' I need that 7 hours away from my kids.' Wow. I happen to think my kids are some pretty cool little people, and I feel blessed to spend my time with them. Don't get me wrong...an afternoon every so often on my own is wonderful. But I can't imagine feeling actual despair over having my kids home for a week during a school holiday or Heaven forbid...Summer Vacation!
So, there you have it. I am decidely old enough to remember the Good Old Days. Days when kids had the option of Kindergarten and stay at home moms were unapologetic about being such.