Early education and kindergarten are stressful for parents

Early education and kindergarten are stressful for parents
Chicago Tribune photo rights

Preschool and kindergarten are the best time to build a strong foundation.  Help ensure kids get support they need to meet their full potential.

Early education seems too early to expect all kids to stay focused through long periods of desk work. A play based program shouldn't require admission tests. Unrealistic expectations and complicated admission processes can create pressure that may almost suffocate parents.

Other countries such as Finland and Norway seem to simplify the process to achieve the best outcome for students. They delay reading, unless kids are ready, and standardized test pressure. They focus on the joy of learning in early education.

Those countries have some of the best education ratings in the world and low rates of poverty. Those are examples of how systemic educational change is necessary in the United States.

We want our boys to play, explore and wonder. It's exciting to see their leadership skills emerge.

Our play school Jewish Council Youth Services' director Debbie Porter reminds us how much kids learn as they experience joy and learn through play. That is the secret to life long learning. Debbie's conviction is based on years of higher education and decades of experience.

Thanks to JCYS, our two-year-old understands counting and is starting to read. Every child's unique talents and needs are supported. We do the same at home.

We're grateful their JCYS Big City Day Camp will help transition our oldest out of naps in the classroom. Kids will swim and practice Martial Arts.

Debbie gently says parents' grade school decisions don't have to be permanent. Kindergarten placement testing and parent interviews are not the right fit for our family right now. We support everyone who explores that.

We're so thankful for the unconditional support and love the JCYS administration, teachers and parents provide. They've calmed our fears with their wise perspective. When I've cried, they make practical solutions and give me a needed hug.

JCYS knows the best early education and kindergarten should correlate with five-year-old kids' attention span. They help keep this complicated time as simple as possible.

This New York Times post by Cara Paiuk reveals how some kindergarten admissions ask about birthing details. GASP! Happy that smart mama chose not to respond.

Scary Mommy references how all the data supports kids need a lot of time to play and be active. Why not opt out of kindergarten homework? Is that necessary for all families?

Experienced parents at the "best Chicago grade schools", according to Chicago Magazine ratings, warn against schools that start homework in kindergarten. I agree!

Information is power. I may someday book mark the website  CPS obsessed. CPS stands for Chicago public schools.

Chicago public schools allow parents to apply for up to 20 schools for their schools in the "lottery." That helps explain why some parents say kindergarten admission seems harder than collegiate admission. We all want the best for our children.

Complete strangers recommend I tutor my oldest so he scores a 99% like their kids. I'm delighted for their kids and proud of my boys. Every one must choose their path.

My husband and I stress learning in everything we do. We focus on imaginative play and incorporate reading out loud and numbers. There's a lot of learning with super heroes.

We're grateful for local public school options that smart and down-to-Earth parents tout. We're fortunate to have reasonably priced and excellent private school options that offer financial aide to families in need.

We respect how some parents find the suburbs' education options better fit for their kids.

It's daunting for parents to navigate something so personal as their child's education that often begins before kindergarten. I wish everyone the best and get the stress. We hope every parent follows their gut to pursue what's best for their family.

Please share this to help other families who struggle through this daunting time.

From my archive: What you need to know about the South Side of ChicagoLife skills for kids to thrive start pre-kingergartenStop the daycare stigma and Why city living is better than suburban living

From the Internet: The Joyful Illiterate Kindergarteners of Finland and Why So Many Kids Can't Sit Still Today

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Filed under: parenting, wellness, women

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