Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cutting, Pasting, Coloring and...Geometry?

Remember the good old days of Kindergarten? We sang our ABCs, counted to about 20 or so, then stopped to rest and have a snack. Afterwards, maybe we practiced cutting a straight line with scissors, or perhaps coloring inside the lines with crayons. We frequently dropped everything for free-play time, when we worked on the all-important skills of "sharing" and "taking turns". After our rigorous morning, our school day wrapped up by noon, so we could go home for lunch and an afternoon nap. Life was so easy, and so carefree.

My, how times have changed. Those cushy half-days are a thing of the past, since the Kindergarten curriculum now includes: reading groups, math instruction, science experiments, social studies lessons, cultural assemblies, art/music/phys ed...oh, and lunch and recess too! The little darlings don't even get to pause for juice and graham crackers anymore in their go-go-go day! My 5-year old son seems to take the schedule in stride, but sometimes the subject matter he brings home throws me for a loop. For example, one night he was sharing his homework book titled Firefighters. One page described a tanker truck. He paused in his reading and matter-of-factly said, "If you wanted to know how much the tanker holds, that's capacity." Apparently, the Kindergartener of the new millenium must understand geometry measure how much dirt to use in their mudpies? To fill their dumptruck without overflowing?

I need to curl up with some milk and cookies, and an old classic like "The Cat in the Hat"!

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