It’s out of control.
It’s one of those questions that when you get asked you bristle. Here we go. This is where it starts and when it will stop is anyone’s guess.
It’s a continuous game of comparisons, and one-upmanship, of gloating parents, and others feeling like failures. It’s a sure fire way to undermine a mother’s confidence – not to mention what it is doing to our kids.
Have you felt it? Are you in the midst of it? Or are you a perpetrator?
The craziest thing about this is it isn’t starting in high school. It isn’t just over selective school entrance exams or NAPLAN scores. It isn’t just over accelerated classes. Where I have seen it starting is kindergarten, with five-year olds and it is something fierce.
What reading level is your daughter on?
Oh still on golden words.
They’ve given Jake a reader with all his sight words in it so he just memorizes it and repeats it back to me. Don’t they realise he can read?
I just have to go and talk to Clara’s teacher. I am just not sure she understands what level she is at.
I’m here to tell you mums, the teacher knows. The teacher does what teachers do for a reason – and that is, teach.
Your child has that book level for a reason – and they have those particular words or spelling list or homework sheet for a reason. And the fact is that the reason they have it is totally different to the reason your next-door neighbour’s child has it and you can’t compare the two.
Sight words are a way that schools help children learn high frequency words. In many schools they are given colour-coded words, and once they know those words at first glance they are moved up to the next level, or colour.
It’s a terrific way for the kids to know the top 100 most high rotation words – and a not-so-terrific way for parents to compete.
In a blog post called What K-2 teachers want parents to know, Education educator Kelly Pisani wrote, “It is interesting to teach Kindergarten in the first term. Not for all the obvious reasons but rather to observe the way parents use reading levels as a way of competing against each other.”