LEFT: Caroline and Emily George doing schoolwork together
RIGHT: Caroline, Emily, and Addison George dressing in
their Aunt Becca’s clothes after she arrived from California
(Becca was kind enough to do their hair as well.)
BOTTOM: Mikey, Caroline, and Emily George reading a
Man created the public school system,
but God created the family unit.
district, in which they held one group
of children back from learning to read,
opting instead to explore hands-on
science. The other group began their
reading lessons right away, in what is
described as “extensive instruction in
reading.” The results speak for themselves. The group that waited to learn
to read eventually landed far ahead of
the group that began their lessons right
away, and they were able to learn to
read in a fraction of the time that the
early readers took. This is due not only
to readiness but also in a building of
vocabulary and life experience to draw
from to put the reading into context.
The group that waited for formal reading lessons were indeed learning about
life—about real stuff. Their vocabulary
grew, their language skills grew, and
their experiences multiplied—all without formal schooling.
In his book, Better Late Than Early,
Dr. Moore answers many questions concerning preschoolers and formal schooling. One point particularly struck me: “At
a time when every effort should be made
to keep a child’s life quiet, simple and uncluttered, preschool often complicates his
life with hurrying, daily transportation,
and overstimulation of a group when he
is not mature enough to cope with more
than a few children at a time.” While this
is clearly talking about sending a child
outside of the home, I think that those of
us who are homeschooling can take a lesson here as well.
Perhaps we want to give our preschooler some real school to do, to answer his pleas to join the other children.
Perhaps some good marketing gimmick
caught our eye. For whatever reason,
we might find ourselves tempted to begin some rigorous program with our
preschooler. The more fancy the product, the more busy work for Mom and
child—the more opportunity for simplicity to go out the window while stress
and frustration take its place. The investment made will make Mom feel that
she needs to keep things going. Let’s not
over-stimulate our preschoolers with
unnecessary clutter, no matter how attractively the pretty package is wrapped.
The excitement can wear off pretty
quickly, for Mom and child.
Dr. Beechick’s powerful, natural method takes advantage of learning moments
throughout the day. Coloring or playing
with Play-Doh can offer opportunities to
develop fine motor skills. There are many
opportunities for teaching simple math
concepts. Teaching about colors and
shapes and increasing our preschooler’s
vocabulary can all occur in day-to-day
life, right at home. Field trips or errands
provide opportunities to learn about the
world outside of the home.