Sunday, September 03, 2006

academics in toddlerhood????

oh my goodness! i just stumbled upon a children's class detailed on a website (i won't say where or who it is) that just really had me aghast. their toddler class...1-2yr olds...tyren qualifies age-wise but he's not walking yet and that is one of the requirements i think...but he's very very close to walking now...been stumbling around lately a LOT...so basically this would be tyren's age class. they have in their description for their 1-2yr old class that they have a "letter of the week" and have activities that revolve around the letter of the week! WHY??? why would a toddler, probably most of them can't even talk, or not more than a couple words or signs (some more, some less)...why would they need to be even introduced to letters yet, much less working with them on it?

OH-MY-GOD!! what is wrong with people these days? why is there such a hurry to cram information into their children? why can't you just let them enjoy being children? lordy lordy!! i don't care if this is very low-key letter introduction, i DON'T think its appropriate...at all! they're still working on animal sounds at this age, for pete's sake!

i just don't see why people don't get how inappropriate pushing this stuff so young is! i have to say that this particular program, though, it doesn't surprise me because i took maeven there awhile back and was completely unimpressed. they had all really crappy activities...lots of photocopied garbage...and it was all way too contrived. i heard one of the teachers talking about the curriculum...it was a boxed set that in my opinion was basically garbage. very developmentally IN-appropriate. but then, there are many who like it. parents who don't understand child development and think this is quality. they've obviously never been to one of my classes...makes me want to do my classes again just to have an alternative out there for the parents who do realize that photocopied "art" projects is not art! and the activities that are pushing concepts to kids in a very forced way is just not truly helping them learn. and again, what's the hurry? we're talking about preschool aged children!

now granted...our public school system is so screwed up, pushing way too many concepts at kindergartners these days...they're learning things in kindergarten now, that back in my childhood wasn't introduced til 1st or 2nd grade! and they wonder why the children aren't fully retaining all this info??? its because they're too young for it and there's too much! not to mention the butt-boring way they introduce it! there's just SOOO many fun ways to learn out there that are not even touched upon by most public school teachers. (NOT all, mind you...i KNOW there are some excellent teachers out there and its not really the teachers' faults anyway...the system itself is messed up). so in order to be "ready" for kindergarten...yes, i suppose you would have to put your child into one of these preschools that push all these ridiculous concepts to children that are too young to hold onto the info. because they have to at least try to get them ready.

thank god i don't have to deal with that. i thank my lucky stars every day that i discovered the joys of homeschooling.

now i don't have a problem with introducing letters and concepts surrounding them...for fun...in the preschool years...what i'm venting here today is introducing them to TODDLERS! please! what the heck are they thinking?

anyway, there is a time and a way that is developmentally appropriate to introduce academic topics to children...it seems like its so hard these days to find anyone that has even a clue as to how to do this, appropriately. then again...so much of it is so subjective. i mean, if you go by enki philosophy you could actually be damaging your children by starting too soon....i don't know if i personally would go so far as to suggest that...but i do agree that in early childhood (through kindergarten and even beyond), creative play is THE most important thing for them. and photocopied worksheets and pre-cut art projects is NOT the way to introduce anything to any child. BLECH.

i've done work with maeven that would be considered academic...i was teaching her how to read (just got sidetracked...and now that i have the enki curriculum i've stopped because its not on the agenda for now) but i've never really pushed it...i just follow her lead. she wanted to learn to read, so i got a book to help me teach her. she loved it, so we did it. when it wasn't fun, we stopped. (then we both forgot about it, lol) and maeven has been identifying letters and their sounds for years now...she's always been interested in that sort of stuff...so i don't see the harm if she's initiating...i know enki and waldorf philosophy would differ...but you gotta take what you like and leave the rest in any curriculum. i choose to not stress over the things that she feels drawn to and are right FOR HER. i'll follow the curriculum and philosophy for most all of it, but just not worry about the things that don't worry me.

i don't even know where i was going with this train of thought anymore...i just am still aghast that someone would even THINK that it might be appropriate to write a curriculum for TODDLERS (1 and 2yr olds!) that including introducing them to letter concepts! come on!!! how about reading up on some child development! sheesh!

3 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:20 AM

    Hi Tina, It's Pam again. Just had to post again. I just finished reading "Overachievers" by Alexandra Robbins. It speaks to this very issue. It is insane how we want to cram learning and knowledge into our kids faster and faster without realizing that developmentally they need play, imagination and freedom so much. One of the stats I saw said that 40%of schools are doing away with recess, and so many new schoosl are being built without playgrounds. All I can say is Thank God for homeschooling. I have no guarantee where my kids will end up when they are grown but I am doing everything in my power to insure that they have a pleasant and fruitful journey.

    ReplyDelete
  2. here here pam. very well said!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Don't get me started on the school system. There are so many flaws. The problem with me is that I'm a single mom. So....when it's time for me to work, what do I do with Seren? If she doesn't go to school, where does she go? It sucks!

    ReplyDelete