The New Kindergarten


Lately I’ve been noticing something…

Kindergarten is not what it used to be.

My memories of Kindergarten looked quite differently.  Recess two or three times a school day.  Centers where we played house, built castles with blocks, or stacked those plastic cubes.  Gluing noodles to every letter in the alphabet. Lots and lots of coloring. Learning to read was not on the kindergarten lesson plan and was reserved for first grade.  Long naps every day.  No homework.

Now before I go any further, I must make one thing clear.  I without a doubt, love our school district.  I respect and look up to the teachers and administration.  In fact, they are awesome.  And I feel very blessed to be at our school.  Because if this was a problem, I am the parent and have endless choices to make a change.  That is not what this post is about by any means.  

Kindergarten for my daughter looks a little different than it did in my days.  One recess a school day.  Math lessons with phrases such as, “compare by matching.” Phonics lessons with sight words, breves, and easy readers.  Homework in those subjects most nights of the week.  Days with naps. Days without.

The differences haven’t really taken me by surprise.  My mom has worked at a school, specifically with Kindergarten, for the past several years.  In fact, she warned me and told me how much had changed. 

So why is the “New Kindergarten” on my mind so often?  We are twelve weeks into the school year.  I am absolutely amazed at what my daughter has learned in such a brief time.  I am blown away by how far she has advanced in learning to read.  It’s exciting. It’s been an adjustment. (It makes me worry…at this rate, at what grade will I not be able to help with the homework anymore?!)  We’re making it and making the best of it.  We focus on the positives and feel proud of how much we’re learning.

But I wouldn’t be completely honest if I didn’t mention that sometimes it breaks my heart just a little.  What was so wrong with letting our kids be little a tad bit longer?  What was so wrong with the old Kindergarten? 

Though I refuse to let the broken part of my heart overshadow the excitement and positivity my little one needs from me to thrive this school year, I still can’t stop feeling a bit saddened.  

Have you noticed the striking difference with your kids? What are your thoughts on the new Kindergarten?



  1. So much this!! My daughter rarely gets time to even play at night between supper, bath, reading, and homework time. I wish she could be a kid just a little more…

  2. This is only new to public school. I went to a private school for kindergarten, and we did all of what they do now. This was in the late 80’s. The public schools just finally caught up. When I went to public school for first grade, I was miles ahead of my peers that had come from that school’s kindergarten.

  3. I went to Private school in 80’s as well and Kindergarten was just as you described. Playing, coloring, crafting, PLAYING! School’s now are ridiculous. It broke my heart the amount of work that was expected from my 5 year old son. They are still babies!! Let them be young! There will be time later for high-pressure learning. They won’t have to “catch-up”. They will naturally progress to were they are developmentally ready to be without this push to turn our Kindergarten into first grade. This is one of the reasons we Homeschool. Best decision we have ever made!!!

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