Being a kid isn’t what it used to be…

I remember my report cards from back in the day; it was one piece of paper folded. That was it. There was information written on all four sides. We had sections for math, science, social studies, reading, gym, art and music . There were sub-sections for elaboration on said topics. The grades were (U, N, S, E) That meant unsatisfactory, needs improvement, satisfactory and excellent. We also had space on the back for comments. Where my teachers would sometimes write — I talk too much. My grades were good though. That was pretty much it.

It is so different these days. This is my first experience with the school thing. I went to my daughter’s parent-teacher conference today and I was given an 11 page report card; this is the second one so far. I am just surprised. My daughter is 5 and in kindergarten.  When I first saw the report card, I thought, what are they writing on all these pages?

This is some of the things she should know before completing kindergarten:

  • With support able to explore a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing — Really?
  • Participates in shared research and writing projects — Research?
  • With support identify the reason the author gives to support points in text — Break it down like that?
  • Decompose numbers less than or equal to 10 into pairs in more than one way — Yea?
  • Identify shapes and two-dimensional  or three-dimensional — I thought they just needed to know the shape, lol.
  • Understands the effects of the activity on the body, the risks associated with inactivity, and the basic components of health related fitness (cardio vascular, muscle strength, muscle endurance, flexibility, and body composition) — I am dead serious!
  • Can name words that begin with MOST Hebrew letters — She is learning Hebrew as a second language *LOVE THIS* 
  • Read and follow musical notation; song lyrics — They are just learning to read.
  • Aurally identify repertoire and supporting detail — Excuse me? Can I even do this? LOL

This is a real list — I am not exaggerating. I listed things my daughter did not know. All of the things on the list have not been taught yet. She is actually doing exceptionally well. They have benchmarks and she has passed all of them. She knows more than she “has to” in every category that has been taught. Smart kid. If I could get her to stop talking and pay more attention, I will have achieved something great.

I am thinking, “are they really supposed to know all of this by the end of the year?” Yep. I am dying to see how much more she learns. I think it is great they are pushing the kids. I am just surprised how much they are “required” to know.

They start doing state tests in 3rd grade and I am nervous. I don’t remember ever being scared of those state tests and I never failed one. Now, they start telling us about the tests in kindergarten.  I don’t know about other states, but this is how they do it in NYC. I always felt NYC pushed the kids further than other places. I moved to Long Island in Junior High School and I knew more than every single person in my class. I passed every test with flying colors and the teachers and the kids were getting tired of my ass in class. I kept answering all the questions and raising my hands all damn day. I had learned everything the year before. The teacher started skipping over me. They said “lets give the other students a chance to answer.” When the other kids didn’t know shit, they came back to me. They pretty much rolled their eyes at this Brooklyn girl. What ever. There were only like 2 or 3 black kids in the class; maybe 20 in the school. I was not about to look like a dummy — Sorry JACK.

They are using computers in her school too. I have actually been keeping my computers away from my children, lol. As much as I love it, I was kinda thinking, lets not rush. I have not bought them any video games either. I just don’t want them to be too hooked on electronics too soon. But, I realized that I may be putting her at a disadvantage. I had to jump on the bandwagon. She goes to the computer lab in school and they have sites. They have sent home the sites with the log-in information. I didn’t pay it much attention at first. I just didn’t want to do the computer thing. But, if all the other kids are doing it, I don’t want her to be behind. Plus, all the kids have their own “accounts” that include their books, math and spelling. I started to think, if the teacher is monitoring the kids that use the site, my child my seem like she doesn’t even own a computer. So, i am getting with the program.

Is this how it is in most places?

Does this seem like a lot?

I would love some thoughts.

8 Comments

  1. Times have changed! When I was in elementary (primary) school, our subjects were the basics: reading, handwriting, mathematics, spelling, music, library, physical education. These days, children need to be taught to use computers at that stage. Hell. There are some schools that are giving students iPads to do their work. Your daughter (and all children at her age) needs to be computer literate as much as we needed to just be able to read and write! It’s crazy, I know. This is the way it is though.

    I have to say that I agree with you in limiting your children’s use of electronics. They do need to get practice for school, as with other subjects, but only with your supervision. And for a specified period of time. I have a major issue with parents who leave their children free to play games and explore the internet on their own, and for unlimited periods of time. I think you’ve got the right idea. Keep it up!

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    1. Thanks @ Lovely. Times really have changed girl. Forget reading books, they are reading “e-books.” I wonder if libraries will go out of business. I know they have closed some due to the economy. Are they going to be extinct? Hmmm

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  2. It was even more different when I went to elementary school, when the grades went from A to F and they used numbers for the developmental things. By the time my kids got going good in school, I found myself reading reams of paper on each other them and covering stuff that I didn’t they couldn’t possibly learn in the 180+ days they’d be in school.

    It seems like a lot – and maybe it is – but given how much the world has changed since either of us were back in elementary school, the kids have to learn stuff that most of us never had to bother with until we were out of school (in some cases).

    And the further along they go in school, the more stuff they’re gonna have to learn and excel in and I don’t envision this getting any “better” in that sense. It’s tough on parents; like, my kids learned math in a way I never did so helping them with their homework was quite interesting.

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  3. Good post! I definitely agree on the computer thing. I mean… isn’t it scary to see how little kids know more about computers than most adults???

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  4. Talk about stress LB!! I think I get happier than the kids do when it’s time to get out for any type of school break. LOL!! It’s like that everywhere. I’m in NC and the EOG’s actually hit the headlines because it was putting so much stress on the kids and the parents. At least those that actually sit down and help their kids with homework and are really involved with their studies. Some schools are actually teaching college curriculums and they are even giving the options for some students to have completed their first 2 years of college by the time they graduate high school.

    My son is 7 but he has been playing around on the computer since he was 2. I had online college classes and I would hold him the entire time I was doing my work. When I would sit the mouse down to rest, I would show him how to explore and do things. He was recognizing words but didn’t know how to read but eventually learned on his own *shrugs* The child is special LOL!!! They have their computer time in the classrooms and even take AR test on the computer at these given times.

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