My 8-year-old son entered kindergarten at the ripe old age of 4 and 3 months. That’s a bit early, for US standards. We’d consider that pre-school age in the US, but it’s when Kindergarten starts in Switzerland. Now, granted, he’s the youngest in his class (cut off date was one day before his birthday and we successfully petitioned to have him enter early), but there are lots of other four-year-olds who cross the threshold of the Swiss kindergarten.
You know what he did there? Pounded nails. Went into the forest. Painted. Learned two new languages. Mostly, however, he played. The teachers are loath to intervene in a kindergarten squabble. Unless there is blood, the kids work most things out themselves. A teacher will step in to stop ongoing bullying, but when a child is being picked on, they encourage that child to fight back.
There was no discussion of the alphabet. The kindergarten classroom had no alphabet around the wall, like most kindergarten classrooms. While the teachers read to the students daily, there’s zero expectation that the kids will learn to read themselves.
To keep reading, click here: Why My Child Is Better off Than Your Child