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Do you have a toddler or preschooler? Hmm, we even label kids in the context of school. Your young child needs to grow and learn. But, Does that mean he needs school? As parents, we want the best for our children. We want them to succeed and thrive. In recent decades, more and more emphasis has been put on achievement and testing. What was taught in second or third grade is now taught in kindergarten. Preschool programs are now academic. Many include homework, assessments, and academic classes.
So, how do we keep up? What SHOULD a four-year-old know? What should you be doing in your homeschool? First, we need to look at what school is. It is a system, not an education. People have been learning since time began. However, schools, as we know them, began a little over 100 years ago. Children still learned before school was invented. In fact, the highest level of literacy in American history was before public schools began.
Why Young Children Don’t Need School
School is a system to get children from point A to point B in the most efficient means possible. It is not designed for individual education. Now, education is important. Every child deserves the right to an education. Public schools began during the industrial revolution. The government wanted to keep children out of factories. That is why we have compulsory school ages. So, this was a positive development. However, schools are also designed to train workers, not individuals.
Lego is a popular toy for children. They are also leaders in education research. Surprisingly, Lego has confirmed that children should learn through play through age eight. Can you believe that?? Where does that leave preschool curriculum and academic kindergarten programs? The truth is, children are meant to play. Maria Montessori believed that play is the work of children. That is just as true today as it was in the 19th century. In fact, play teaches the STEM skills everyone is chasing today.
Want to know more? Click over to With the Huddlestons and read my article about learning in the early years.