Monday, October 31, 2011

How Times Have Changed

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 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.


  1. For me, preschool isnt free babysitting, I worried about the age difference in my kids. I wanted her to have little ones her age to play with. There isnt a large population of kids at church.

    I miss her when she isnt with me. I start watching the clock about 11:30.

    Now, where the teen is concerned, yes I enjoy those 7 hours. I like having a conversation that isnt "monitored" and the freedom to choose for myself how my day is going to go.

    I think it is wonderful the way you enjoy your kids. Because of that, they will feel confident to pursue their dreams. I hope to give that to my girls.

  2. Stephanie-you always make it so clear how much you love that little girl! :) No question. And yes, when they are teenagers, they need that independence. I am sure your girls will turn out wonderfully.

  3. Hey, Jeannette...guess what? Kindergarten is STILL optional in GA! True story!
    My oldest child was in school from 3K to 2nd grade, but now I honestly cannot imagine sending my 6 yr old off for 30 hours a week!
    People often ask where my kids go to school, even when we're out and about during nonschool hours. I think it's because they see there is something "different" about them and they are trying to put their finger on what it is. Hmm...maybe it's because they aren't surrounded by children all day that they know how to talk to adults and are respectful to their mother. "Socialization!" lol!
    Lisa W