In Defense of Ryder

No preschool teachers, my son isn’t wayward or delayed. He isn’t acting out and he isn’t distracted.

He just turned four years old and frankly, he doesn’t need to know 50 sight words before he finishes preschool. I prefer he understands the importance of saying “Thank You,” “Please,” and “Excuse me,” than rattling off arbitrarily chosen words on index cards.

Ryder is four years old, and he will still be this age when he finishes preschool in May 2010. As such, it is likely he will be the youngest in his Kindergarten class (he just made the cut-off date) next year.

In regard to motor skills, emotional maturity and capacity to reason, there is a vast developmental difference between children aged 4 and 5. Yet, these children are required to meet the same academic goals. Moreover, the formula used by preschools doesn’t account for the nuances of age that young children face in the classroom.

I prefer Ryder spends the first four years of his life without these preschool hindrances. There will be plenty of time for school and its inherent pressure. By my count, I fully expect he will rigorously study for the next 17 to 21+ years of his life (that’s right Ryder!).

Of course he will learn to write and read. Right now I prefer he masters the monkey bars, coloring within the lines, finger paints and social skills – which by my measure, we’ve found evidence that suggests we have a nascent genius in our hands.

Can’t a kid be four years old anymore?  


November 14, 2009