Today I am delighted to welcome Emma from Our Whimiscal Days. Emma writes about life with a preschooler and her blog is full of wonderful activities that parents can enjoy with their children. It is well worth a visit. And now….
I am a recovering perfectionist. I did the whole High Honors, accept-nothing-but-straight-A’s thing. By age 16, I was burnt out and had quit school.
So I’m not too big on pushing academics on children too early. My daughter Kay is 4-years-old and decidedly “average.” I say this with pride. She’s not stressed about learning her letters or learning to read. In fact, she cares very little. And while I incorporate letters and numbers and such into playtime, you will never find us sitting down with flashcards, or me standing over her insisting on completing a worksheet. I obviously don’t want her to struggle in school, but I also believe that a friendly, caring personality will take you far in life.
Kay will go to kindergarten next September. I don’t feel confident enough to homeschool her. My goal is to teach her to love learning, to find out things because she’s curious, not just because they’ll be on a test. I didn’t learn that soon enough. And I’ve probably learned more and been more interested in things “just because” since I’ve left school. My hope is for Kay to keep her insatiable curiosity and her free-spirit (though it’s trying at times!).
Sometimes I will doubt my stance. I will see 2-year-olds knowing their letters and 3-year-olds taking violin and language classes and wonder if I’m putting Kay at a disadvantage. People ask me if she’s in preschool and seem shocked when I say no. I get the message that Kay is going to be behind, that she should be reading by the time she starts kindergarten, that she’s going to miss out. I hope not. One of my biggest fears is that she will miss out on something. But I believe she has plenty of time in the future for classes and languages and formal education without me pushing her. For now, she’s going to just be a 4-year-old. She’s going to play, and pretend, and get messy.
My girl is ‘average,’ and I couldn’t be prouder.
A word from Sharon
I really like the way that Emma accepts her daughter just as she is right now. I understand the desire to encourage your children to succeed, but as Emma points out there is plenty of time for formal learning once children start school. I truly believe that children will not miss out if their curiosity is engaged and their free spirit is celebrated. Right now Emma is building a strong connection with her daughter and that is a wonderful thing to see.
What do you think? Please leave a comment below.
If you are interested Emma has published a guest post from me on her blog.