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Kindergarten redshirting is popular, but is it necessary?

KindergartenA 60 Minutes segment this week focused on “redshirting.” That’s the practice of not starting a child in kindergarten until after his or her sixth birthday. It isn’t because of school-district rules, but is something that parents do to give their child an advantage from kindergarten and beyond.

The segment has generated a lot of conversation both online and in neighborhoods and preschools. Including the one my kids attend. As the mom of a boy with an August birthday and a September 1 cutoff in our school system, I was torn about the potential advantages of an extra year of preschool. (My husband was not.)

I had the opportunity to discuss this issue with Ann Densmore, EdD, an expert in language and social communication skills in children and co-author of Your Successful Preschooler. While the 60 Minutes piece suggested that some parents hold children back from kindergarten to gain competitive advantages, Dr. Densmore pointed out that many parents are responding to the shift in what kindergarten is. “Standardized tests and other pressures have changed the trajectory of elementary education. This isn’t your mother’s kindergarten! Gone are the days when kindergarten teachers hold up a letter and ask the class to name it. Today, kindergarten is drawing, writing, literacy, reading, and science and math and all those subjects that kids didn’t used to get until first or second grade.”

What’s a parent to do?

Dr. Densmore doesn’t believe that holding kids back from kindergarten entry is the total solution. It isn’t necessarily better to have kindergarten classes full of 6- and 7-year-olds. One way parents can help prepare their children is to ensure that there is adequate facilitated play in preschool. That means adults engaging with children during play to help them develop negotiation skills or to share complex ideas. “Research shows that play actually leads to improved academic skills. In this fast-track world, it may be hard to believe that play is critical for brain development, but it is. Play, which is really a child’s ‘work, ’ contributes to cognitive, physical, social, and emotional growth. And it is the cornerstone of a child’s well-being, ” Densmore told me. The National Association for the Education of Young Children offers lots of information about the benefits of play and how parents and teachers can help facilitate it.

Source: www.health.harvard.edu

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Brietbart....still as dead as all his hoaxes

2012-03-08 16:38:48 by dr_lapin3

Breitbart’s supposedly shocking 1991 video of Obama has been unleashed. It turns out that there’s no need for a leash. This little puppy isn’t going to bite anybody. In the video, Obama is seen speaking on behalf of granting tenure to more minority and female professors at Harvard. Anybody who could be even remotely disturbed by this video is already severely disturbed. Unfortunately, that includes a sizeable chunk of the rightwing.
There is absolutely nothing in this video of a young Barack Obama that is embarrassing to Obama. Nothing! Even his clothing and haircut are tasteful. How many of us can say that about pictures of ourselves at that age? I mean really, it was the early 90’s

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