Charlie - posted on 11/06/2009 ( 17 moms have responded )
Children as young as month old babies are being pressured by government imposed curriculum to achieve a standard set for them by adults , as many as 69 "learning goals " are being pushed on small children These cover writing simple sentences using punctuation, using the "phonics" system to attempt to read complex words and beginning to grasp addition and subtraction.
Children will be checked against more than 500 development milestones before they are five, including whether they babble and gurgle as babies.
As an early childhood teacher i have worked in a less traditional center that promotes creative thinking not compliance to achieve , to "tick all the right boxes ".
Pushing young children often results in them becoming frustrated or anxious and for those children who do strive to over achieve (yes there are over achievers even at 3 ) they often find themselves bored at school level as they have been pushed past the level of education being presented .
A strict curriculum cannot work as each child is different and learn in different ways you cannot pigeon hole everyone .
The bigger issue is that while children are being pushed to achieve they are missing a vital part of their childhood , play .
Remember we are talking about under 5 's .
And i know Ive heard parents say " we don't send our children to school to play we send them to learn "
Yes that's right you send them to learn , what they don't realize is that their children ARE learning through play .
Jimmy isn't JUST building with blocks he is using math skills by grouping, adding, subtracting and eventually multiplying with blocks , he is developing skills in design, representation, balance and stability.
He is also making early experiments with gravity, balance, and geometry as well as enhancing his creative and physical development not to mention allowing opportunity to work as a team and develop those social skills .
Amy isnt JUST painting pictures she is developing the needed motor skills that will help prepare them for the writing skills that they will need once they reach school , she is expanding her vocabulary by naming all the colours used and describing the way she paints eg:" i use big swishes " as well as having great effect on the aesthetic development , creativity, and self-expression.
My point is EVERY SINGLE time your child " plays " they are using and developing the skills they require without being pushed , prodded and pigeon holed .
All of the children we nurtured through creative thinking and allowing them to learn "outside the box " have gone on to excel at school and continue to have a passion for learning on their own free will , because learning to them doesn't have to a " task " or "ticking the right boxes" or repeating A is for apple like a parrot , learning is fun , its exciting .
Personally i am appalled at this push to make children smarter , faster , stronger before their time to me its a stolen childhood .
What are your opinions ?