Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told CNSNews.com on Wednesday that the administration’s new $500 million early learning initiative is designed to deal with children from birth onward to prevent such problems as 5-year olds who “can’t sit still” in a kindergarten classroom.
Maybe many, if not all, five year olds weren’t meant to sit still in a classroom. Maybe we should modify the curriculum or the environment rather than trying to modify the five year olds.
I had one child who was quite ready to sit and learn to read and do math at age five. I had several children who weren’t. Why are we trying to make five year old “fit” into our own particular cultural and educational jigsaw puzzle instead of working with them as individuals with their own needs and gifts? And who is most qualified to see each child as an individual with his/her own timetable and learning channels?
Hint: I homeschool, and although I don’t believe that homeschooling is the best choice, or even possible, for everyone, I do think that young children are better off and learn more freely and appropriately in their own homes with their own parents teaching and encouraging them. At least they don’t have to be taught to “sit still” as soon as they hit their fifth birthday. And If I did want to teach them to settle down and listen, it wouldn’t cost the federal government, or me, a cent.