Tuesday, August 16, 2016

What in the Merry Hell Are These Parents Thinking? You Be the Judge...

LA Times California section, 8/16/16

"Boot Camp for Kids - At (name, place) students get prepared for the rigors of kindergarten - especially at elite private schools"

What "rigors"?  Do you remember kindergarten being onerous?  Extremely difficult scholastically?  In my day, it was more or less structured play with an 11 a.m. container of milk, a couple of saltines and a nap!  And we all went home at noon.    

Today it is different.  Parents clearly have more money than the parents did in my day because the affluent now pay $1,000 for a week of KinderPrep for children ages 3 1/2 to 5 to be led through such as having a book read to them - the students the day the reporter visited had successfully plowed through the make-up of a book:  front cover, back cover and book spine.      The teacher was reading the story which involved stuffed animals and each child had to take a corresponding stuffed animal and hold it up.

Some of these poor kids' parents had also signed them up for one-on-one with  a teacher at a cost of  $120 - $200/hour. 

The reporter noted that parents and au pairs dropped the kids off for class. 

During class, the students get to "practice transitions" which in this case means marching single file to the cafeteria, sitting in a booth with three other students and a teacher and doing lessons - counting, drawing, and then packing up their stuff and walking single file to the next star-studded event.  The instructor said that packing up their things teaches them responsibility while walking single file teaches them to follow instructions. 

A parent said there is no play time; kindergarten is serious.  Since play time is a wonderful chance for a child to develop imagination, I think this borders on child abuse.  I hope these parents are setting aside a substantial amount for the future - not college, but intensive work with a psychologist.  They'll have been through the equivalent of college anyhow by the time they hit 8th grade. 

Snacks include organic fruit or gummies and aloe water or food brought from home due to allergies.  A teacher said that she'd once seen a kid packing pate. 

An interested parent should have already taught their kid all of the above and a great deal more.  Am sure that in many cases, the au pair picks the kid up and takes it "home" where said kid may or probably not have a brief phone conversation with a parent. 

This is one time that I can say with deeply-felt gratitude, "It wasn't like that in my day!"

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