My kindergartner seems to lack interest in schoolwork. She was always excited about learning new things in preschool, so this change worries me. Do you think it is because so much is expected of her at an early age? We try not to push, but they expect a lot out of the class.
There is a great deal of pressure at both state and national levels to have children achieve certain pre-academic skills by the end of kindergarten, so it is quite likely that the school is pushing too hard.
For years I was a major advocate of putting more formal learning into the preschool years, but now we seem to have gone too far. Perhaps after this spurt of heavy academic emphasis we will learn how to strike the proper balance between encouraging pre-academic skills and allowing children more time for play and relaxation in kindergarten. But somehow, deeply embedded in the American psyche, is the conviction that playing and learning are enemies. For young children, playing is learning, and a good kindergarten will allow plenty of time for it.
I wouldn’t worry unless your daughter starts saying that she doesn’t want to go to school. In my opinion, kindergartners should not be given any homework, a fact that allows you to remain somewhat aloof to her seeming lack of interest. Just continue to read to her and make reading a joyful time for both of you, and ensure that she has plenty of appropriate play and learning materials. And I would schedule an appointment with her teacher in order to get a good handle on exactly what is happening at school that makes you think she is losing interest. She may not demonstrate such behaviour at school as much as the does at home.
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