Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Formal Preschool

I subscribe to an e-newsletter from The Old Schoolhouse home school magazine, and I particularly liked these thoughts from Nancy Carter about preschool. Of course, some moms have situations that require them to work outside the home when their children are little. But this article deals more with the outsourcing of our responsibility as moms to daycares and preschools. I don't buy the idea that those places really provide the best 'learning environment' for young children.

Preschoolers--seems like folks are trying to force them into formal academics earlier all the time. Some homeschool moms feel pressured to put their little ones in preschool just so "they'll learn how to share" or "listen to someone besides Mama."

Hogwash, I say!

Good preschools often try to create a more home-like environment with a kitchen center and cozy reading nook. Have you heard of the Montessori method of teaching? A big part of that involves seizing those teachable moments when teaching your child practical skills. Wonder why those schools try to create a homelike environment? It's the natural place for children to learn!

And don't feel pressured into doing academics too early either. Hands-on learning is actually preferable to filling out a bunch of workbooks. If your child enjoys workbooks and coloring pages, that's great, but not all of them will, and those more active, slower learners will learn their colors, numbers, shapes, and letters without you setting them at a table and making it like "school".

If your children are home with you, you're already homeschooling them. Somehow you taught them their first words and how to walk without an official curriculum. Just keep loving on your children, creating a rich learning environment, and teaching them as you go through your day.

Don't let anyone force you into something that doesn't work for your family because they think preschoolers should be tackling bookwork like the kids in public school. Education isn't about curriculum; it's about life!

Enjoy every minute!


Anne said...

Thanks for that post, Candice! Sometimes I wonder if I need to be doing more with Tyler, but I'm finding that just giving him some one on one attention and playing with him has taught him a lot. How are things are your house? Healthy again?

agnicholl said...

Agreed! There are WAY too many children on my caseload because of their parents not doing enough at home (borderline neglect in my thoughts). It only inspires me to want to do better!

Dana said...

I agree wholeheartedly with that article! The younger children also learn so much from the older ones.