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This viral photo of kindergarten expectations in 1954 is making parents angry

Posted August 30

Kindergarten criteria vary from school to school, but one photo from the 1950s shows the significant changes in expectations for our little ones between then and now.

Apparently, kindergarten curriculums were much less strict back in the mid twentieth century. A photo of the list of expectations is going viral on Facebook as parents and school administrators are quick to point out the contrast between old-school and current kindergarten. The post has over 5,000 reactions and over 4,600 shares.

The “Kindergarten Report” dated June 24, 1954, lists a variety of expectations for young students, including activities like coloring and painting, knowledge such as colors and days of the week, and personal habits such as coming to school clean and tying shoelaces.

Though the list is actually pretty long, many people dispute it’s nothing compared to lists their young children bring home today.

“This is what it should be at the age of 5,” commented Sarah Harrell. “Today the children are expected to know too much, being pushed too hard and forced to grow up too fast. They have many more years in school to learn so children should be children and it should be this way now! I'm a preschool - kindergarten teacher and see many 'failing' kindergarteners, when really they are right on track for their age!”

“I am a pre-k3 teacher, most of these checked items are on our report card to move up to pre-kindergarten,” commented Taryn Scarborough. I sure wish kids had more time to be kids and not just little people groomed into being test takers. 😔”

“I think these should still be the standards for kindergarten,” commented Ruthie Hummel Mohney. “We are expecting children to perform way beyond their developmental ages. It's sad. I'm not saying kids aren't capable, but is it really necessary this early in life?”

But some people think the 60-year-old list is outdated.

“This generation has absolutely nothing to do with the generation of '54,” commented Росица Русева. “Children nowadays are developing faster and they are ready to learn much more without being pushed. I am also a preschool - kg teacher and it is normal for a 5 y.o to read. Pardon me, but what makes you think the kids of the new age are forced to learn things not suitable for their age?”

“I think the kindergarten students are being well prepared,” commented Charlotte Milton. “The Academia Structure has really changed. Parents would be surprised by how much the children are capable of learning. We as adults need to understand that little children have very advanced levels of learning if given a chance to develop strategies and skill when given the opportunity to learn new things.”

Shelly Zolotas, a teacher from New York, commented on the post with a picture of an up-to-date kindergarten report that she currently uses for her students.

The expectations are more numerous and more demanding, including producing rhyming words, using strategies to decode unknown words, writing to communicate ideas across genres, solving addition and subtraction problems and using new vocabulary to explain science concepts.

What do you think? Should kindergarten simplify to resemble old school expectations, or is it good to progress and push our little ones?

McKenna Park is a staff writer at FamilyShare. She's a happy wife, puppy mama, ice cream addict and film nerd. Contact her at mpark@deseretdigital.com.

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