Its not all child’s play in kindergarten… April 3, 2006Posted by scan man in Life in India, Misc.
Sunday was a big day. My daughter got admitted into a new school. Thank goodness.
It was the culmination of an exhausting process: searching for the right school…arguments & decisions…checking out the facilities available in schools that we thought were suitable…arguments & decisions (2)…inquiring about admission procedures, applying to the 'right' schools, waiting…arguing (2 1/2)…attending interviews*…waiting…arguments and decisions (3)… & finally…. acceptance.
A big source of worry for me and my wife has, hopefully, been laid to rest. I say hopefully because we don't dare to be complacent about this till our daughter starts starts school in June and settles in. We don't know if there are any more 'arguments and decisions' in store.
Our daughter has been pretty cool throughout. In fact, she has remained blissfully ignorant of all of the above. The only input from her was to ask if she will have nice teachers and friends in the new school. She seems excited about the prospect of going to a new school.
Readers who know me may well wonder what all the fuss is about. After all, she's only six and going into first standard. Hah. If only they knew…
Most of the stress began after we started comparing schools. We realized that there is a glaring disparity in the standard of education among kindergartens.
My daughter has been to playschool and kindergarten (KG) – three years – in the same place. At the end of her second year in KG, she knows the alphabets in three languages – English (the medium of education), Tamil and Hindi. She also knows a lot of three-letter words in English. All her written work in English is in cursive script. She can count to one hundred and can write the words for the numbers from one to twenty. She knows a good number of nursery rhymes. Her school – which I believed was one of the best in town – has a lot of extracurricular activities: elementary gardening – they water plants that they had planted at the beginning of the year; dance; painting; cookery class – they are just introduced to the mysteries of the kitchen. They have various games and sports – including an introduction to gymnastics. It is mandatory for all children to participate in the School's Annual Day Show. Her schools motto is 'I see, I do, I learn'.
I believed it was a good school. Though I have no recollection of my own KG days, I don't think I knew so much when I was 5 years old.
It was only when I started comparing schools did I get an inkling that her education may have been inadequate (?). I found that there are schools which have taught four and five-letter words at KG level. There were kids in the second year of KG who could count up to one thousand and write the words for the numbers up to five hundred.
Both the schools which called us for an intreview seemed to have achieved a better standard of education than my daughter's current school. It was disheartening. The interviewer at one school – a first standard teacher – could barely contain her disdain when she learnt that both the parents were doctors! It seems doctors are not good parents!! They don't spend enough time with their children. They don't put in the effort that non-doctor parents put in to get their children up to speed in kindergarten. I wanted to scream at her.
My parents put me in KG when I was 2 1/2 years old. I completed high school at 17. I was a qualified doctor by 24 (really). I am now forced to question their judgement 😦
Are we pushing our kids too hard…
Aren't childhood and school supposed to be enjoyed…