Kindergarten and the Ugly Math Test

Kindergarten and the Ugly Math Test

Yazan: Jacqui

That’s right…. MATH test!  I couldn’t believe it.  I was so surprised when on Friday; Rowan brings home his math test from class that day.  He passed the test, which was a good thing, but I was curious and a little worried as to this new practice of testing.

In Rowan’s Kindergarten class they will be studying math chapters and at the end of each one there will be a test. Ok, this is expected, knowing your 1,2,3s and shapes is what you what your child to learn in kindergarten. However, this particular test was on geometry.  Yes, in simple terms of course, but nonetheless they are being taught and expected to draw a line from vertex to vertex (corner to corner), coloring shapes with three vertices and three sides, and trying to draw a hexagon etc.

I know you are thinking the same thing at this point…. We will all have to dig out and dust off our math from the archives of time in order to help our children with their homework. It is a thought that makes me groan a just little, ugly yes!

So in view of this, I wanted to know more!  I found some interesting debates and topics regarding learning math and its concepts. Research suggests that math skills among kindergarteners turn out to be a key predictor for future academic success.  Everyone seems to think that reading is most important, and if a child can read by third grade, the chance of dropping out of school is so much lower. However, it is math that stood out as serving the kids best in promoting later achievement. Reading is the next most important, and then attention skills are the third most important.

Kindergartners are learning what used to be learned in first grade; some even argue that pre-school is becoming too academic.  Some childhood advocates warn that instructional time is edging out playtime and putting unnecessary pressure and stress on kids. The children are being taught to master material beyond their developmental level while being deprived of playtime to help them cope with the stress.

This is very concerning on several points.  Yes, I want my child to learn the most he can and do well, but who is driving this crazy train of expectation and demand?  What has happened to those social skills and playing nice in the sandbox days?

If you suspect and/or see signs your child is suffering from anxiety due to over testing, talk to the teacher and discuss ways in which you can alleviate some of the test-related stress. In addition to eating right, getting enough sleep, playtime is also very important to the well-being of children. If these things are not enough, why not consider NOT TESTING YOUR KINDERGARTNER! There will be plenty of time for that in the future.

Lastly, I am not afraid to say that as a parent of a Kindergartner, PTA member, knowing what I do now about the risks of excessive testing, I will be more vigil, proactive, and protective of my children.

Read this post in Turkish.



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