A few days ago this article came up in my Facebook feed – How ‘twisted’ early childhood education has become — from a child development expert.
I had heard here and there that students are now being “taught the test” creating a lot of stress for students to do well so their teachers and school look good. I didn’t realize though that this testing starts with children as young as four.
I’m sure not all schools are like those talked about in this article, but it makes me sad to think that there are any schools like those described where little ones hate school and by extension learning.
I have a little boy who’s four so this article was particularly interesting to me. I was nearly in tears by the time I finished reading. Consider this:
Stress levels are up among young kids. Parents and teachers tell me: children worry that they don’t know the right answers; they have nightmares, they pull out their eyelashes, they cry because they don’t want to go to school.
Four-year-olds should not be worrying about school. When you’re four, school should be fun. Children should look forward to school, and this is one reason why I homeschool.
Let me tell you a little about my little guy. Mondays to Thursdays he goes downstairs to Grandma’s kitchen and spend a half hour with her. Grandma teaches him letters, reading, printing and they read books together. In the five months since school started spending a total of one and a half to two hours a week in “school” he has learned to read short words that have a short vowel sound in the middle.
He loves going down to school with Grandma and eagerly waits for her call that she’s ready for him. Some mornings when he comes back upstairs to me we work on some pre-school workbooks if I have time. We stop when it is no longer fun, but we can do several pages before he tires of it.
The rest of his day is spent playing with his brothers, baking with his big sister, occasionally cleaning his bedroom, making Lego creations, asking for another snack, giving out hugs and kisses and just generally letting us enjoy his sweet, annoying, fun, silly, loving self.
I’m pretty sure that a four year old is still very close to being a baby (even though they would never admit it). I know mine is. He still needs me for comfort, nourishment and sometimes entertainment.
The lady giving the speech shared this memory…
Most of the children looked scared or disengaged, and one little boy was sitting alone. He was quietly crying.
Is this not heartbreaking? I don’t know about you, but when my children are crying I want to comfort them, make their world right even if I know they’re crying out of naughtiness. I don’t want them to just sit in a corner crying.
Our little ones should be playing AND learning. The two are not mutually exclusive. I want my little guy to grow believing that learning if fun not some form of torture. I love when he’s looking at a book and turns to be with big sparkling eyes to point out a word that he recognizes. He also enjoys sitting with a paper and pencil and having me spell out words for him to write down.
After reading the above article I was happy once again to know that my little ones are home with me learning and having fun.