Einstein never used flashcards and almost everyone in the student body at Harvard Law School didn’t have heavy duty academics and homework forced on them at age three!
If you are looking for preschool for your child in Salt Lake County, be more diligent than simply attending the one the neighbors go to or being enticed to the chain school that claims to teach your four year old to read. There is a whole lot more to Early Childhood Education than just the three R’s. Kids are best served when they have a very deliberately balanced preschool experience that contains the developmentally appropriate elements that science (and your instincts) say are right for a preschooler
There is cult of achievement that has sprung up in Utah that is attempting to sell you as a parent on the need for your preschooler to be plopped at a desk and drilled in an accelerated fashion to compete in this world.
The science of how children learn best concludes just the opposite… and there is a significant body of work that proves it.
Don’t get drawn in as parent by the accelerated learning industry’s advertising. It is not beneficial to “drill and kill” your preschooler to become an early reader. If you do, you run the risk of having a 1st grader that hates school. By third grade all his peers have caught up and you end up with a child that’s emotionally scarred, stressed out and has a fragile self esteem that depends on how he ranks versus his peers.
Here’s a quote from a book* written by a distinguished panel of Early Childhood Ed. scientists on the subject:
“In sum, treating children like empty vessels whose heads can be filled with knowledge because we select what they will learn and teach it directly leads to problems in two domains. First, studies show that children in these programs often learn less academically than their peers who are not being taught concepts directly but in a more playful manner. Second , these programs have the unintended social consequences of creating students who are less likely to experience empathy with their peers , more likely to show evidence of stress-induced hyperactivity , and more likely to engage in delinquent acts.”
Don’t do that to your child!
Take some time to look around, there are preschools that do have their act together and know how to properly portion out academics along with the arts and play.
*REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION OF AUTHOR
Dorothy G. Singer, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek. Play = Learning: How Play Motivates and Enhances Children's Cognitive and Social-Emotional Growth. (Oxford University Press, USA, 2006). Page 10.