Thursday, July 21, 2011

The New First Grade

Help! My kindergartner can’t read. Should they be able to read? Some say yes, some say no. No matter what the answer, keep in mind that kindergarten should not be the new first grade. It seems the focus has shifted from social to cognitive or academic learning. Some push kids too hard and too fast to become little first graders while they are still in kindergarten. Sometimes online kindergarten curriculum is too difficult for students to independently work with. Either there is too much text, a busy background, or too much chaos happening on the page. The child can’t always decipher what is meant to be important and what is meant to make the page look fun and interesting. Try to make sure the online resource you use strikes a balance between words and pictures. Ideally, the page will have few words so it can be easily interpreted by a typical student with basic computer skills. You as the learning coach will model and supervise. Show your child the importance of computer skills, and emphasize that literacy isn't necessary to understand, enjoy and learn from the Internet.

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