Friday, October 28, 2011

All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten

by Robert Fulghum
Most of what I really need
To know about how to live
And what to do and how to be
I learned in kindergarten.
Wisdom was not at the top
Of the graduate school mountain,
But there in the sandpile at Sunday school.

These are the things I learned:

Share everything.
Play fair.
Don't hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don't take things that aren't yours.
Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life -
Learn some and think some
And draw and paint and sing and dance
And play and work everyday some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world,
Watch out for traffic,
Hold hands and stick together.
Be aware of wonder.
I love this poem, because I feel it describes a well-rounded person.  It also implies that the foundation for future success is laid in early childhood.  It also represents the importance of early childhood education.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Testing Children

I feel it is very important for children to be tested for intelligence, giftedness, and their understanding of a subject.  In my case, I feel very strongly about children being tested in order to participate in a G/T program .  My son, who is 11 and in the 5th grade, has been in the gifted and talented program since 1st grade.  In G/T he is challenged and given the freedom to learn in his own way.  He is bored in the regular classroom.  He finishes his work quickly and easily.   He spends much of his time waiting for the rest of the class to finish.  In the third grade, he had so much free time he read Moby Dick, Swiss Family Robinson, Treasure Island, Tom Sawyer, and Huckleberry Finn.  These are a few of the books I read in high school!  He says that he still has free time in class every day.  In this free time, he often works on G/T assignments.  He has been tested every few years by the school district to re qualify for services and will be tested one more time this year to qualify for services for 6th - 12th grades in the areas of math and English.

In Australia, children who are gifted are allowed to attend school earlier than other who are not gifted.  It is required that these children complete an IQ test given by a psychologist.  Most children in Australia are tested for giftedness by a licensed psychologist at the parents expense.  In some cased insurance companies may pay for the testing.  Some children are tested within their school.

Gifted & Talented Children's Association of South Australia

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Growing up during the depression

My grandmother was a young girl during the great depression.  She has told me stories about what it was like back then. She said they were fortunate because her father was able to keep his general store open.  They ended up having to take in most of their family because they had lost their homes.  She said it got really crowded and she shared her room with all of her cousins.  She said she remembered how hard it was to have a store at that time.  People would come in and not be able to pay.  It was hard turning them away, but they had make a living.  She said that she holds onto everything because she lived through the great depression.   

Since I have special affinity for my country and I wanted to know more about what my grandmother lived through, I chose to research the great depression and how it affected children.  I learned that many families crowded into one room shacks, lived in caves, or on the streets.  Many men deserted their families resulting in more than 200,00 vagrant children.  To save money, many families went without medical or dental care.  They couldn't afford milk or meat which led to nutrient deficiencies.  Many children were not able to attend school.

I can only imagine how difficult life must have been for children at this time.  They were forced to grow up quickly and were not able to develop like a typical child.  Due to malnourishment, brain growth and learning were affected.  The constant stress would have affected every aspect of their development.

Source:  Digital History.