Lately I have been seeing a lot of "Preschool Workbooks" in the stores. It makes my skin crawl. Sometimes I even say swear words... I know, hard to believe that I would say a bad word... lol. I know that many parents think that they need to get their kids "ready" for school. WHICH ISN'T TRUE!! But even if it was... THESE BOOKS JUST AREN'T GOING TO DO IT!!!!!!!!!!
There are many things that you can do to get your child "ready for school." Start with these ideas:
- Spend time together... radical idea, I know.
- GET YOUR HANDS DIRTY
- Play with Play-Doh
- Give them opportunities to play with other kids... preferably annoying, whiney ones... those ones will teach them the most about patience, forgiveness and graciousness.
- Give them "school" supplies and let them go to town with them. Creative exploration will take them further in life than all of the letter recognition in the world.
- TALK to your child.... another crazy idea.
- LISTEN to them too... now THIS is getting out of hand
- READ, READ, READ... and then read some more!!!
- Ok... this one is going to ruffle some feathers... PUT YOUR CELL PHONE AWAY (and other distractions) for most of the time. So often I see parents (I am guilty of this too) that could be interacting with their kids, but instead they are being a text-a-saurus while their kids are being "shushed." Put the electronics away, turn the TV off and TUNE IN TO YOUR CHILD. Even if it's only 30 minutes per day... they deserve it.
- Let them spend time AWAY from you... it's healthy for both of you... and gives them a new perspective.
- Playgrounds, rocks, back alleys... OUTDOOR ADVENTURES. Slather on the sunscreen, squirt on some bug spray and head outside.
- STOP doing "Kill and Drill" activities (like worksheets, flash cards and "learning" digital games)... even if it were important for your child to know their letters, sounds, numbers, opposites, shapes, etc, etc, etc before Kindergarten... WHICH IT IS NOT.... there is a better way to teach these concepts. Let learning be fun! And I don't care how many stickers and colorful pictures you put into those workbooks... they will NEVER be FUN!
OK... rant over. Try setting up some activities like those shown below for you and your child to explore together. The learning is disguised as FUN... PLAY IS LEARNING... PLAY IS FUN!!
Enjoy your kids. Enjoy learning. If it feels like "work," just stop it. Kids weren't meant to "work," they were meant to PLAY!!