Amanda Spalliero didn't realize standards for kindergarteners had been raised. "If i recall, Ididn't start addition and subtraction like they are now until I was at the end of 2nd grade, beginning of 3rd grade."
She's a little overwhelmed by what her daughter is having to learn in kindergarten at Mickey Cox elementary. "She needs to write 3 paragraphs by the end of the year. I'm like, write 3 paragraphs? I didn't know what a paragraph was in kindergarten."
Clovis Unified's curriculum standards for kindergarten seem a little rough on the surface. Students are to have an understanding of science and history, in addition to math and language arts... Take a breath, it's not the Ivy League, but they could get there with this kind of foundation.
Kids are learning through interaction and sometimes play. Amanda's daughter maddi tells us it's actually pretty basic. "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6... Six!"
Amanda says these standards kind of threw her a curve in getting Maddi ready for kindergarten. "I'm learning about humpty dumpty too."
After a couple of months, she's already starting to see the benefits.
"They say children are sponges and we don't teach them enough early enough, that they can learn so much more than what they are. So I was anxious to see where it's going."
Alma Major is the site director for child development programs at Fresno State. She says kids are naturally primed for learning, and that one way kids are able to absorb what may seem difficult to us for that age is by playing. With the kindergarten standards that are in place now, playing may be the best preparation for preschoolers. "We need to remember that play is children's work. So we have parents that say well, all they do is play. That's right, but while they're playing, they are learning."