I was shocked to learn recently that all elementary school students here, including kindergartners, get only 15-20 minutes of recess for the whole day. That's a LONG time for a 5-year-old to be sitting down doing worksheets.
I realize there are academic standards that must be met in school, but all the research shows that young children, particularly kindergartners, should be engaged in play, not academic assessment and instruction. It may seem progressive to have kindergartners forgo fingerpainting, pretend play, singing, and playing outdoors in order to focus on academic standards, but the research shows this is developmentally inappropriate and ultimately backfires.
I know kindergarten won't go back to being kindergarten overnight... but young children should at least be allowed a good hour or two of play time. Who decided this 15-20 minutes of recess thing? Can our state legislature change this or is it a nation-wide federal directive?