I found a beetle in the garden and put it on my arm. One by one the children wanted the beetle on their arm. We talked about the tickle feeling, the wonder they were experiencing, and the importance of being gentle with nature and her creatures. We went on to discuss the differences between a beetle and a spider and the importance of checking with an adult that it is a beetle. Next visit to the library will get some books on insects and see if we can find this one. This is real education and age-appropriate.
So I add, when other parents talk about the importance of a pre-schooler learning to read, write and know their numbers, please speak up for the children of this world and reassure them that research reveals, if children are allowed to fully explore their imagination and interests before they start Primary School, they are the ones who make the best scholars later. We are putting in all the right grounding for their primary school education when we allow them be children. Don’t take away the magic of childhood…
At Primary school they will then be interest in the 3 Rs because they are the right developmental age to read, write and count by then. There are still fairies down in my garden and if you really want to you can count them!
As a suggestion you should consider reading this book: ‘Taking Back Childhood’ by Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Ed.D. $23.95 available from firstname.lastname@example.org