As an adult, kindergarten may not seem like a very challenging point in our lives. Your kindergartener has a very different perspective. All kids begin their educational journey at different places in their development.
Some kids are just ready to handle the social, mental, and physical challenges of a day of kindergarten, but there are some less-obvious challenges faced by children in their first year of school.
Parents and teachers should both be familiar with the world of a 5 year old starting kindergarten to provide a more effective learning environment. Start by educating yourself, and read through a few short summaries of some of the major challenges faced by our nation’s kindergarteners today.
Common developmental challenges
The U.S. is seeing a great wave of developmentally challenged children. Over the past 20 years, the instances of Autism and ADHD have skyrocketed, and the nation’s educational system has not kept up with the influx of special needs. A child with ADHD communicates on a different wavelength than a child on the Autism spectrum.
The public school system is not designed to cater to each student’s individual learning styles and needs, so kindergarten can be a very challenging adjustment for children who perceive the world through a different sort of reality.
The growing pains of the nuclear family
The present generation and the one before have become the victims of an augmentation in the family unit. The definition of a nuclear family is changing, and for some, the breakdown of the nuclear family presents insurmountable challenges for children.
When a five-year-old gets dinner at 10 o’clock and doesn’t get into bed until 11pm, it can be challenging to be ready to focus and learn. It can be challenging to stay awake, and even more challenging to remain positive.
Poverty runs rampant in public education
Poverty is a large influencing factor in the lives of a great portion of our nation’s kindergarteners. As an educator or a parent, the child’s home life should be of great concern and interest in accordance with their education.
If a kid does not have a warm or cool place to rest at night, or their parents are up arguing all night, they may not be raring and ready to go when it comes time to learn their ABCs.
Social skills are a new development
Social skills are still in their early development for children starting kindergarten. They are still unsure of their place among the crowd, and the social environment of school can be challenging to manage.
The typical development of a child at age five also means that their self control is still very fragile. Kindergarten is the beginning of a long journey through the educational system, and every adult involved in this step should be well informed of the student’s challenge.