Having been out of Canada for more than five years and out of preschool for more than thirty five (sigh), my knowledge of kindergarten is limited to what we are experiencing here in Cancun with my almost four year old son Max. He started going to school at 18 months old and yes, I mean school with uniforms, books and homework. He's in his third year, in the class called "Kinder 1" with ten other three-going-on-four year old kids. He has homework everyday in math, English and Spanish and has exams about once a month. The exams also have a "cultura" component where the kids must be able to identify the significant event or events of the current month. Yesterday we received the list of things he will be tested on next week so we can study and practice all weekend. My parents were shocked by what is expected of these still very young kids but since I have no idea what goes on anywhere else, it just seems "normal" (I hate that word) to me. So, tell me what you think, are they asking too much? Pushing too hard? Or is Max going to be behind his Canadian peers? Here's what we will be cramming for over the next few days:
-count out loud from 1-30
-recognize numbers 1-5
-recognize this month's new shapes, "oval, star, diamond"
-recognize faces expressing "happy, sad, angry, surprised, thirsty and scared"
-demonstrate understanding of the prepositions "in, out, on, under"
-identify "bedroom, bathroom, living room, dining room, kitchen"
-identify "corn, peas, onion, lettuce, potato, spinach, carrot, tomato"
-identify Christmas vocabulary "Santa Claus, snowman, bell, Christmas balls"
-identify hygiene vocabulary "soap, towel, toothpaste, toothbrush"
-child must know their birthday
-demonstrate this month's new verbs "eat, drink, clean, play, stop, dance, listen"
-reconocer todas las vocales mayusculas y minusculas (recognize all the vowels, upper and lower case)
-escritura de las vocales mayusculas y minusculas (write all vowels, upper and lower case)
-relacionar los vocales con su dibujo (relate the vowels to a picture)
-dictado de las vocales (take dictation of the vowels)
-reconocer la letra "M, m" (recognize the letter "M, m")
Math Exam (in Spanish)
-contar en voz alta del 1 al 60 (count out loud from 1 to 60)
-dictado de los numeros del 1 al 10 (take dictation of the numbers 1 to 10)
-identificar las siguientes figuras: circulo, cuadrado, rectangulo y triangulo (identify circle, square, rectangle and triangle)
-trazar el triangulo, cuadrado, circulo (trace a triangle, square, circle)
-identificar lineas inclinada, quebrada, horizontal, vertical (identify diagonal lines, zig zag, horizontal and vertical)
-identificar concepto "muchos/pocos" (identify the concepts of a lot and a little)
Culture Exam (in Spanish)
-identificar lo que celebramos en diciembre y enero (identify what we celebrate in December and January) (Christmas, New Year and Three Kings Day)
I know that Max will ace his English exam, that's "kid's stuff" to him as a native speaker (though he always misses the number 13 when counting, perhaps he's a tad superstitious?). I'm more worried about Spanish and Math, he struggles a bit with his writing though he did produce some beautiful upper case vowels today. He's left handed (obvious from the day he was born) so I have a bit of trouble helping him, I'm not sure if it's a lefty problem or if he just isn't ready to embrace writing yet. He's apparently not the only one in the class struggling with the writing, we've spoken to other parents who are also feeling their kids' frustrations.
So, I'm really looking for feedback from those in the know, is this curriculum in line with what is happening in other countries at this age? Should I stop stressing about the writing or should I pull out the bull whip? (Um, yeah, just kidding about the whip of course, you know what I mean). Is it too early to be looking for a Mensa membership?
I'm currently sitting in my Cancun apartment, staving off the Covid 19 panic and using all my Jungle Kelly powers to maintain my cal...
Happy Mother's Day, Feliz dia de las Mamas! It's one of those odd years where the Mexican Mother's Day falls on the same day as...
Lost Mayan Kingdom Mahahual Our recent Mother/Son Road Trip was such a blast and a big part of it was our day at Lost Mayan Kingd...
If you are a regular in the Mexican blogosphere, you know that Rivergirl wrote of this topic today and Gabatcha shared her thoughts on this ...