Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Structured Learning Too Early

Theresa, JT, and Hedgie readingImage by brungrrl via Flickr

I came across a great article in the NY Times about how we are pushing children way to hard at a young age. The lack of play in kindergarten and even now in preschools and how this is harmful to our children.
Even though there has been so much research that this pushing of our children in harmful to their life long learning. I keep reading about getting a head start and ahead of the game, but education is a life long process, not a race that has a beginning and an ending.
This is one reason why I love Waldorf Education. They see that play is an important part of a child's day. Unstructured play is essential for a child to learn many skills that they can not learn in a structured setting. They can learn about their environment. How soil feels in their hands, what happens when they take their friends toy, and no parent makes them give it back with a forced apology. They learn how to use their imagination. All of these skills and many more are lost on children who are pushed into a structured learning environment too early.
There is so much more to it then what I am blogging here. Please think twice before sucummbing to all the outside pressure to push your child to read early, do flashcards and other early educational tools that are too often used. I see this pressure every where, on tv, in playgroups and now many states are even mandating preschool.
Let kids be kids.
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