Northwest NEWS

March 27, 2000


College freshman remembers kindergarten

   I went through twelve years of schooling in the Northshore School District, and am now a freshman at Western Washington University. Last week, a writer wrote about the ineptness of the Northshore School District's academic curriculum.

   I feel it necessary to put in my two cents, since I was actually there at school in Northshore. First of all, I think that for a 5-year-old, going to school all day is really tough. Yes, lots of kids these days are in daycare and preschool, but if you think about it, those kids usually have a nap in there somewhere. You can't make someone take a nap at school. There is just too much going on to require that. And also, I'd like to see a teacher try to get 30 kindergartners to lie down and be quiet for 30 minutes. You know what? It just isn't going to happen that way.

   Second, what's wrong with painting? Why should 5-year-olds be subjected to the everyday stress that the rest of us have to endure? What's wrong with being a kid and given class time to paint?

   Painting is allowed at the high schools; why shouldn't kindergartners be allowed to paint, as well? The high school I went to even offered an art class after school for anybody who wanted to get in an extra hour of painting, drawing, or whatever it was that particular individual wanted to do.

   Besides, by the end of kindergarten, I could read and count backwards from 100. I don't remember adding or subtracting in kindergarten, but I do remember that was the first math lesson in the first grade. We didn't just paint in kindergarten; we learned things that built a foundation for what was coming. And since we did accomplish that, I don't think that anybody has the right to be barking about painting in kindergarten.

   Third, I would like to say that yes, school can be boring, especially when you are not being challenged. I am aware of that. However, when my teachers saw that I was bored, and in fact completely capable of doing the assigned work in class, they had no problem giving me more advanced work to do.

   I also think that the Northshore School District cannot be compared to private schooling. You see, the difference between the two is this: The parents of the children at the private schools pay for everything, and if you are fortunate enough to be able to afford that, great. Send your kid to private school. For everybody else who lives in the real world, they rely on public funds to support the school systems. And since there seems to be some kind of problem with the flow of money, maybe we shouldn't be getting angry with the schools and what they are able to teach, but instead we should be getting angry with the legislature, since they are the ones who set forth the money, which in turn determines the quality of the teaching, as well as the curriculum of the public school system.

Jennifer Meyers, Northshore