People keep asking me if Joe will be going to preschool in the fall. I tell them that I’ll be teaching him at home. Honestly, I feel like we’ve been pre-schooling him for some time now…since birth really. We’ve been reading, counting, identifying animals, plants, fruits, veggies…all manner of objects and things.
He’s really been showing an interest in reading and he counts all the time. He loves tracing letters and shapes, and he’s started to write and draw them on his own.
“Look Mommy, a triangle.”
Look Mommy, an H!”
He sees shapes everywhere: indents in the carpet from furniture, boxes, laundry baskets that have sat for weeks. He picks up books and interprets the pictures.
“This says the duck swam in the pond.”
So, the big question now is…what does he need to know by the end of preschool? My answer? There is no limit to what I can teach him.
It’s hard to stop thinking about “grades” as the progression. Why relegate learning to Pre-school, Kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd, 3rd…and so on. Sure there are milestones to reach, but I don’t want to just stop and shapes, numbers and letters by the end of preschool.
Most sites say that by the end of pre-school, kids need to know the following:
- Full sentences, ask questions
- Pposition and direction (left, right, under, over, in, out, etc.)
- Explore, observe and talk about the world around us
- Help with simple chores
- Work with others
- Work independently and ask for help when needed
- Learn how to play with friends of all ages
- Listen, share, and take turns
- Perform tasks on their own (potty, eat, wash hands, etc)
- Safety (Don’t touch the stove, stay away from strangers, etc)
- Sing songs
- Enjoy books
- Explore rhymes, same and different, big and small, light and heavy
- Tell stories
- Recognize and remember letters, numbers, shapes, sounds, etc
- Begin to read and trace words, letters, shapes, etc
- Develop fine motor skills
- Understand real and pretend, alive and not alive
- Jumping, swinging, catching, throwing, tricycle riding, games
- Play well with others
These are all things I can teach him at home. Play dates, playtime, field trips to the park, zoo, museum, store, bank, post office…everyday places. There are co-ops where other families get together and share teach together.
I can do all of this and include other adults in my community to teach and model good behavior
So no, my little guy will not be attending a formal pre-school. Learning is ongoing. It’s life-long. It shouldn’t be a race to the finish. As an adult, I’m still learning. New words, communication skills, writing skills…the world. is an on-going, life-long process; not a race. I am fortunate enough to be able to provide a relaxed, no pressure environment for learning.
No formal testing and no labels because, at this age, the best way of learning is through play and observation.