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Weirdest of all: we learned that Kindergartners are now 'assessed' throughout the year as the older kids are. You know, standardized tests. And that, at the end of the year, bebe's first research paper will be due. Seriously. Research paper. Sure, it only has to be a paragraph or so and it will probably be on her favorite zoo animal. But still, I remember Kindergarten. We had books read to us. We took naps. We learned to tie our shoelaces.
We did not have research papers or homework of any kind. I could read on my own, but many of my friends couldn't (I credit my teacher-father and teacher-grandmother for that).
It's a different world. And I feel reeeeeeeaaaaaallllllyyyyyyy old saying that.
Honestly, I think it's a good thing. She knows letters, letter sounds, numbers, basic addition. Sometimes she gets the subtraction concept but, in her words, 'why would I ever want less than three apples?!?' So why shouldn't Kindergarten be a more challenging place?
As we were sitting in the waiting area for the coordinator to come and talk to us about her readiness, I hoped we'd done the right things. Turned out we did: said the coordinator, 'her foundation is solid, let's help her grow'. Yeah, I got a little teary at that.
And I started thinking about how it isn't just Kindergarten that's changed.
Publishing has changed immensely since I started writing with the intent to publish. Small presses abound, traditional publishers are trying to catch up with smaller presses. Self-publishing isn't such a naughty word any more; there are really talented authors self-pubbing and making a mint!
In Kindergarten, there are the basics that build on the advanced theories: colors, letters, numbers. If bebe doesn't know those, she'll stay right there in the Kindergarten classroom. Kind of like publishing: the basics of story structure, conflict, sexual tension and characterization haven't changed. A good character still makes the book for me and a really good red herring? Be still my heart!
So, take heart, even though Kindergarten (and publishing) are changing so fast, if you master the basics, the rest will fall into place. What do you think, readers? Has publishing changed how we write good stories? Or is publishing making it simpler to have those stories read by outsiders?