The article I read over my oatmeal this morning was titled, “Pre-K is gaining favor.” The headline (above the fold in the “Local” section, and in large, all-caps font) really took the shine off my brown-sugared breakfast. As is usual with writing short missives (150-word limit for our paper), which of course I did, it took a long time, and I included links for the newspaper editor to check, to buttress my point of view. It’s now supper time and I’m finally getting off the computer.
- Kansas City Star, Kansas City, Missouri, 15 June 2006, Pre-K is gaining favor
They dont have the self-control to wait in line or take turns, and dont get on well with other children. Although its just kindergarten, theres evidence that children who are behind before they get to school tend to spend a lifetime lagging.
Now a potential solution is gaining traction across the country. Its known as universal pre-kindergarten. The idea is to provide high-quality preschool, free, for every 4- and possibly 3-year-old, with the goal of getting the children better prepared for formal schooling.
Note the change in terminology concerning the schooling of young children. No longer does the newspaper speak of “pre … school,” now the terminology is “Pre … K.” With school being integral to the enterprise, continuing to call the children’s time in the institution pre “school” would be a misnomer. But including the “pre” prefix, links the two in the public mind, and the switch will be made from calling the schooling of little children “preschool” to calling it “pre-kay,” just as “preschool” replaced “nursery school” in our national speech.
Preschool isn’t something that homeschoolers usually concern themselves about. Often, our children are past the ‘before school’ age, and so the decisions made for that age group no longer affect us. But just as the work done by pioneering homeschoolers benefits contemporary homeschoolers now, our support for the social expectation that young children stay home will benefit those who follow us — our very own grandchildren perhaps.
The legislation for compulsory attendance followed the development of children attending schools. As more and more young children attend preschools, the mind-set seems to be developing that all young children should attend preschools. For homeschooling families this would make the age-of-compliance lower than it is today.
What is voluntary today may become compulsory tomorrow.