Tuesday, January 22, 2008

What is the Purpose of Preschool?

Tonight, I started going through what articles "bloglines" had for me. I, of course, am interested in things about preschool. I saw several people wondering about preschool, it's purpose, and any damage it can do. I am going to give my opinion.

First of all, preschool's purpose is to prepare young children for life, not school. It is supposed to help them build character, a sense of self, a inner barometer of right and wrong. Essentially, if a child were a house, preschool is the foundation. It is below the surface, but still holding up the house.

Developmentally appropriate preschool doesn't mean every child is reading before kindergarten. It means that if a child is interested in reading, and in the right developmental stage, teaching reading is great. But pushing them into it to be "prepared for kindergarten", before they are ready isn't right.
Preschool teachers (and parents, for that matter) are just feeling the pressure to prepare their kids for the dog-eat-dog world out there. But I feel the preparation we need for life is play, fun, getting messy, splashing in puddles.... Good preschool celebrates childhood, doesn't kill it.

Okay, I am stepping off the soap box now.......


PlanningQueen said...

Completely agree. The push down of curriculm to preschool is rushing children too much.

Anonymous said...

Yes,yes & yes!!! However,from where I come from, most of the preschool teachers who disagree. Very frustrating!!!

Anonymous said...

I like the way you think.

Sharon said...

Can't kids do all that at home and in playgroups? More than any one person or anything else, parents build the foundation for children and prepare them for life! I quit my job to stay at home and spend more time with my kids, but I'm feeling an unexpected PRESSURE to send them off to preschool because it's what other mothers do. They'll have 18 years to socialize and get used to school, but only a few precious years with mommy!

Kimberley said...

If you had read my blog, the whole thing, you would see I AM doing exactly that. My kids don't go to preschool. They stay home with me. I,too, quit my job to stay home with them and have made great sacrifices to do so. I believe that as mother I am my child's best teacher. And as such, I home school preschool and supplement with play groups, classes at museums and such. That is what is right for me. For some moms it is sending them to preschool, some have to work.
My post is about the purpose of preschool, and preschool will be different for each mother/ child(ren). For me it is being at home with my kids, teaching them myself. Other situations dictate flexibility. I am sorry you are feeling pressure. I hope you find a good support system with other moms that respect your personal choices. Although most of my friends send their kids to preschool, I am lucky they respect my choice to home school.
Good Luck,

Anonymous said...

You can read my take on the purpose of preschool on my blog, www.susanlemons.wordpress.com --look under the tab, "preschool goals."

Susan Lemons

Latorya said...

Thank you for this.