Goals of Homepreschool
Are you overlooking the forest for the trees? Many parents of preschoolers concentrate so much of their time and energy on formal academics that they overlook other experiences which are vital to normal child development. These activities will translate into a richer, fuller life—now and later:
* Developing relationships: Children need both quality and quanitity time with their parents. Most of what preschoolers need to learn can be taught simply through good parenting. Once this relationship is in its proper place, we can teach our children about the most important relationship of all–a personal relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.
*Growing a base of simple knowledge about the world, which lays the foundation later learning. This is built through conversation, real life experiences, and reading aloud.
*Vocabulary development, which is essential not only for early learning, but for reading comprehension later on. (Learning to read is not enough; children must be able to understand what they are reading!)
*Helping our children develop their attention span and self-control.
*Art, music and play activities: Many parents consider these to be simply extra-curricular, “for fun”, and unimportant to “real” learning. That is unfortunate, because all these activities are in fact learning experiences that are vitally important to young children. I can’t over emphasize their importance!
* Art experiences build pre-writing skills in a natural, fun way, as well as teaching shapes, colors, eye-hand coordination, small muscle control, and more.
*Music experiences teach musical skills and help our children develop an ear for music; music also builds thinking and mathematical skills, and seems to help children do better in every subject.
*Play: Besides being a JOY, play teaches social skills, spatial skills, physical skills and coordination. Play allows children to work out their emotions while building their thinking skills. Parents who take the time to play with their children build close relationships with them, and parents who are familiar with their children’s play can even use it to gauge their children’s physical and emotional well being. .
*Bible and character training, which should be our highest priority!
These are the things preschoolers should be learning and doing instead of academics. These allow our children to fulfill the primary goals of early childhood education, which are:
1). To teach our children about the Lord, and help them develop a personal relationship with Him.
2). To help our children develop Godly character.
3). To nurture our children’s curiosity and love for learning.
4). To help our child develop his/her attention span and self-control.
These preschool goals should be provided within the “framework” of the Four R’s. The Four R’s lay the foundation these goals are laid upon.
Don’t let pressure from friends, family, or society at large convince you to turn your child’s preschool years into a “to do” list of academic goals. Take a more balanced approach instead; an approach that addresses your whole child, body, mind, and spirit. Give your child what he really needs–and make the main thing the main thing.
Excerpts from Homepreschool and Beyond: A Comprehensive Guide to Early Home Education, used with permission.
© 2010 Susan Lemons all rights reserved.