Common Preschool Myths Debunked, Part 3
Posted by homeschoolmentormom on April 11, 2010
Myth #5: Waiting for children to develop “readiness” is the same as withholding academics from them.
Truth: Waiting for readiness is not the same as withholding academics/learning from your children. Don’t think that being careful not to push early academics means that you are holding your children back or not exposing them to academics at all. (I don’t believe in holding children back if they truly are ready; nor do I believe in pushing….I believe in balance.) Preschoolers are learning all the time, whether we are aware of it or not. If you provide your preschoolers with a print rich, stimulating home environment and read aloud to them everyday (preferably several times a day), your children will learn. These developmentally appropriate activities are “teaching” your child more than you can imagine. The goal of my approach is balance. A balanced approach addresses not only your child’s academic needs, but his spiritual, physical, and emotional needs as well.
The thing to do is watch your children for signs of readiness, interest, or natural learning. When you see those signs–when your children begin to ask you about letters and numbers–-that’s the time to begin short, play based lessons in the form of hands-on activities and games. You can use store bought or home-made games like Memory or Lotto games, High-ho Cheerio, Leap-In-A-Line or Leap Frog Letter Factory Game and so on. You can find all kinds of file folder games for free online, or make up your own “Bingo” games/card games. Your children will be having so much fun that they won’t even realize they are learning. No expensive “curriculum” required, no pressure; just have fun together and your children will learn. For more information about early academics, be sure to see the post, “The Truth About Early Academics” for more information. Also see the tab, “Readiness” for more links and resources.
Myth #6: If my preschooler/Kindergartener has learned her letters and letter sounds…so that means she is ready to learn to read, right?
Truth: Maybe, maybe not. How do we decide that our children are ready for the next step? As I said above, we need to “watch for the signs.” There are many signs we need to look for before we decide that our children are ready for formal reading lessons. For a detailed list of readiness skills, many of which might be new to you, read my article, “Preschool or Kindergarten?” Just remember, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning or wisdom…NOT phonics.” (Mary Schoalfield.)
© 2010 Susan Lemons all rights reserved.