Where did the time go? If you’re reading this post, then you’re probably in the same situation I am. My little girl is going to Kindergarten in exactly one month from today. I blinked and the little baby I held and rocked and examined from head to toe (just to make sure everything was there!) is about to leave the nest for the first time and fly off to Kindergarten by herself! How is this possible? What can I do to prepare her? Perhaps more urgently, what can I do to prepare myself? I’ve done my homework on the matter, and apparently, this is what you (and I) should do in order to make the transition to Kindergarten as enjoyable as possible.
What’s the first word that comes to mind when you think of homeschooling? Depending on your perspective, your answer might range from “quirky” to “trendy” or maybe even “brave,” but the word “rare” is probably much further down the list than it would be had I asked you the question a few decades ago.
It’s true—homeschooling is on the rise. According to the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), there are now more than 2 million homeschooled children in the United States, and this percentage is continuing to climb at an estimated 2 to 4 percent per year.
As you may be well aware of, the state of public education in America paints a grim picture of our children’s futures in a global marketplace. Despite continual efforts by the federal government, school organizations, and of course, the blood, sweat, and tears of the many talented and dedicated teachers who instruct our youngsters day after day, our country is falling dangerously behind when it comes to academics. Need proof? The facts speak for themselves.
It’s July and summer is in full swing for many families: vacation, pool time, BBQs, beach trips, summer movies, keeping pests out of the garden (or is it just me?). But I was surprised when a Facebook teacher friend posted about going back to work this week, with students starting school on July 5th. Seriously? Summer has just begun! My curiosity got the best of me and I decided to do a little research.
I noticed in the newspaper the other day that registration for kindergarten is beginning next month in a nearby school district. Apparently students now have to be 5 years old by September 1st if enrolling for the 2012-2013 school year. So, it looks like the Kindergarten Readiness Act of 2010 is finally taking affect for the coming school year in California. When I checked to see what the kindergarten cut-off dates were in other states, I found that a majority of U.S. states appear to already have birth date requirements in August and September. It surprised me that California hadn’t done this sooner.
What will No Child Left Behind’s legacy be?
o A focus on testing at all costs.
o Forget a well-rounded education – just teach reading and math.
o Schools who can’t reach an impossible goal are failures.
o A flawed attempt at education reform.
o Children left behind… end of story.
Those of you who know me may already know the story, or at least part of it, but I thought it would be appropriate to start this blog with a back-story, so you know where I am coming from. I have no intention, however, to make this blog about me and my experiences – who wants to read that? My hope is that it will develop into a place of sharing for educators and parents alike, a place where questions can be asked and answered, information can be shared, and positive vibes can emanate.