I’m really tired of the school districts, government, non-profits and even businesses now telling us they’re all going to close the achievement gap from their end and then they don’t. It might be just the right time to focus on what we can do ourselves, as parents, because once learning opportunities are missed in those years, it’s very hard if not impossible to get them back.
The early bird definitely gets the worm when it comes to learning. Young kids are simply sponges for learning and their brains develop (and need to develop) exponentially during these years. It’s a use it or lose it situation.
So, what’s the fix?
Well, Arianna Huffington likes to say that the government is good for some things, like sewers. That has a lot of truth to it and sometimes they are good for sewers, but when it comes to things like compensating for a lack of early childhood learning, they are largely unsuccessful because while you can home school, you can’t school home.
As a parent, I believe most of us want to prepare our kids for school and given the information we need to do that, we would adjust our practices accordingly, so where’s the play card? Where exactly is the information we need? It should be everywhere, but it seems to be nowhere. That’s a shame because so much depends on those early years.
Kids who reach kindergarten adequately literate and emotionally and socially prepared for school are happier and more likely to be able to read proficiently at 3rd grade. Being able to read proficiently at 3rd grade allows kids to transition from learning to read to reading to learn.
If we have the foundational basics, we can and do teach ourselves much of what we need to know as we go through life, but it’s often very difficult and sometimes impossible to self-manage and self-educate if we don’t.
Let’s daylight more informational resources to help us to get our kids ready for kindergarten and all that follows.