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Early Childhood Education
May 09, 2013 | 556 views | 0 0 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Editor:

“Kindergarten was the beginning of the ruination of Germany”

That’s what my grandmother Ripps said when the subject arose about school or day care for kids younger than 6. This daughter of Germany immigrants believed that taking small children away from their parents and homes paved the way for Hitler and National Socialism.

In the interest of full disclosure, I attended a church kindergarten for a few months, but my widowed grandmother reared my dad and his five siblings without recourse to pre-school. Times have changed; still grandmother Ripps was on to something. Authoritarians from early times realized the value of taking children from homes and families at an early age, keeping them with others of the same age, and setting them above them a new authority figure that replaces parent or older sibling. From a dictator’s point of view, the longer the period of separation, the better, and the younger the child, the better.

Now I am not suggesting that government pre-school employees are conspiring to undermine parental authority and indoctrinate children. Nevertheless, they are limited as to what values they can impart, and they do interject into impressionable young lives a new authority figure who is also a provider. The tykes inevitably learn that here are values other than those their family holds and that someone other than the family can give them what they think they need.

Consequently, those of us who must avail ourselves of government pre-school or school for any age child - must supplement and even contradict the lessons learned there.

These are things to think bout as some politicians push unprecedented government involvement in “early childhood education.” No doubt they have considered the possible consequences and they like them.

Greg Ripps

San Antonio
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