As I prepare for next week's lessons for my three year old preschool class, I am somewhat surprised. The things they are expected to know at the age of 3 is concerning. Yes, I think it is important they know their ABC's, etc. But, the intensity of vocabulary, phonics, math, science, etc. being pushed is somewhat unreal. I do not remember that amount of academics at that age. Then again, I don't remember that age at all, but still. When did it become so important to start them sooner and sooner into the world of standardized assessments? It seems that we are starting school sooner than before, and making childhoods seem shorter. Is it because more moms work now? Is it because more parents have higher expectations? What ever happened to afternoon naps and barbie tea parties with your teddy bear and friends? Now, you need to know about life cycles of animals, measuring length, and knowing plane shapes, as well as knowing your letters, phonemic awareness, and how many syllables are in a word. I get that all of this is very important, but at three?
I try very hard to make each lesson as fun as possible for the kids. They are in school from 8:30-3:15 daily. Yes, it is an all-day preschool - 5 days a week. I'm glad I have a job, but so often, I leave work utterly dumbfounded at what lies ahead. All I can do is try to keep it as active and enjoyable as possible.