I've been thinking about the importance of kindergarten. There are a lot of people out there who think "Why bother? All they do is play?" Ok...here's the thing...these kids are ONLY 5 AND 6 YEARS OLD. They have only been alive for that long. In that short amount of time think of all they have had to learn! Rolling over, sitting up, crawling, standing, walking, running, using the toilet, feeding themselves, getting dressed, talking! They are learning all the time! Then kindergarten comes...BIG school...."But all they do is play". NOT true! They are learning how to write, starting to read, learning to cooperate and make friends. They are learning how to take turns, raise their hands when they want to say something, sit in a chair to do their work. They are learning how to tie shoes, zip coats, button buttons. They are learning that not everyone is going to be nice, and that saying sorry doesn't always make it better. They DO play a bit...and they learn to work together to make that awesome castle out of blocks, or how to fold the paper to make the perfect snowflake. When they DO play they are using their imaginations...something that most kids don't know how to do anymore. In kindergarten they learn how to handle disappointment, how to comfort a friend who is sad, how to make up when they have hurt someone's feelings. I'm sorry, but to me these seem like important life skills. Aren't these things that everyone needs to know? And the sooner the better? Sticking a kid into first grade before they are mentally and physically mature enough to be with kids a year older than they are is a MISTAKE! Parents need to stop pushing their kids! Maybe their child IS reading and writing. That's awesome! But how are they in social situations? Do they burst into tears every time they don't get their way? Why can't parents just let their kids be kids while they are young? Do they push for the kid, or do they push for themselves? I have found that most of the time the parent of the "child who is not challenged enough" is usually the parent who is spoon feeding the kid at lunch time in the cafeteria. Kindergarten is for those all-important basic life skills. Everyone needs them. Maybe there should be refresher courses for adults.