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Kindergarten Then & Now: When Did Being A Kindergartner Become A Full Time Job

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KindergartenThen&Now

Kindergarten now is not the same as it was when we were children, entering schools with our eyes wide with curiousity. Now, we have a better understanding of how to make learning easier for most children. We have an understanding that children learn best through play, and that has been incorporated into the educational system. We can all agree that we want the best for our children, including the best schooling, the best childhood, and the best we can offer them as parents. Some of the changes from ‘Then’ to ‘Now’ are for the best. Others raise the questions, What happened to having a carefree childhood? When did being a kindergartner become a full time job?

Then
It was common to see a kid sneaking in the back corner, licking the glue. Or eating the glue. I’m not sure what it is about glue, but we all knew that one kid that loved to eat it.

Now
Organic everything. Possibly grown out of your own garden if you want those extra brownie points. It’s frowned upon to even send a dessert-like option in their lunch box, let alone the eating of the glue like previous generations.

Then
You were told to sit down, don’t move, and listen. We were given small carpets to sit on, and we were not allowed to remove our bums from that square.

Now
What desk? If you’re more comfortable sprawling out across a table to do your work, go for it! If you are unable to sit still during story time, you can have a small toy to ‘fidget’ with.

Then
The days were long. You left at 8am when your bus came to pick you up, and you didn’t get home until 4pm. The only break you had was recess. Oh how you longed for recess!

Now
If you need a break from the classroom, to burn off some energy and regrain your focus, that is an option. The Educational Assistant in the classroom will escort you out of the classroom, and down the hall to a wonderful room called the ‘Sensory Room’. In this room, the walls are padded, there is a trampoline, a multitude of yoga balls, and other various items you can use to get your wiggles out. After your 20 minute break is up, you make your way back to your classroom to rejoin the rest of your classmates.

Then
When the school day ended and the bus dropped you off down the street from your house, you would run home, throw your back pack in the door way and skeedaddle back outside to play with your neighborhood friends. Your mom would yell for you from the front door when dinner was ready and hope you were within hearing distance. You could be on the next block – she never knew for sure exactly where you were.

Now
Off the school bus and straight into the house for a healthy snack. If you eat quickly, you might get a few minutes outside in the fenced in backyard where your mom is watching you from the dinner, always know exactly where you are and what you’re up to. Then into the car and it’s off to soccer/hockey/baseball/gymnastics/modern dance/ballet/whatever activity you’re in this month that costs half the amount of your monthly mortgage.

Then
Birthday parties! The birthday invitation that was given to you by your very best of friend, that stayed in your sticky little hand all day long, and became the very first thing you showed Mom when you got off that bus was almost magical. You knew there would be games, juice, pop, cookies, and best of all; CAKE! Two whole hours away from your parents, eating candy and cake, and running at full speed for absolutely no reason. Best. Day. Ever!

Now
If you plan on sending an invitation to everyone in the classroom, you better be sure to have enough food for parents as well. It is no longer acceptable to drop your child off at a birthday party, and come back to pick them up 2 hours later. No. Now you must expect that at least 1 parent for every child in attendance to be there; possibly both. Candy? Only if it’s sugar free! Cookies? Only if they’re egg free, gluten free, and home baked. Unless you don’t mind risking the wrath of other mothers. Cake? Only a very tiny piece, a sliver. Not too much sugar now…!

What are some other differences you’ve noticed? Tell me about your kindergarten experience and how you feel kindergarten has changed. Leave me a comment and tell me about it!

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