I love reading other Preschool Blogs or Childcare Blogs, because I usually find that they are thinking or worrying about the same things as I am. I got on the computer this morning and saw Teacher Tom's new post and smiled. Last night, as I lay in bed, I was thinking about the 3 children in my care that are going off to Kindergarten... are they ready?? Please go over to Teacher Tom's and take a look. Also, Deborah at Excellence in Early Childhood Education, has sooo much insight and information for both Parents and Teachers... and Deborah has so many great links... pop over and take a look!!!
On Friday a sibling came in at pick up time, we began talking about Homework... She asked me why I didn't send home "homework" for her brother. This is something I have spent a long time thinking about. I know the kids sometimes want to "do homework" when their siblings are doing theirs... but this is what I said, "Well, I think that we do sooo much learning during the day, and they have 12 years of homework in front of them, I wanted to save all that wonderful anticipation they have for homework for their Kindergarten Teacher and the homework she will need to send home :)" She shook her head, but it was her Mom who smiled and said, "Yeah."
I have had Parent's ask for homework, but I feel that the kids need play, running, and the anticipation of school. I send home little books for the kids to "read" to their families, or if we are doing a special color or letter I send home a note asking them to go on a scavenger hunt at home for something to go with the color or letter. Other than that I don't feel it is necessary for me to do more than that.
I want the children in my care to be able to experience being a kid. Introducing them to the "academic" part of it is great, but ultimately they will learn all they need to in Kindergarten. Having an environment that provides for learning in a playful style is the key for me. We can have a great time, and we learn in the process. Providing them with a place to experiment and make mistakes, learn when to sit still and when to run and jump, to problem solve, question, and be happy.
When the children go off to Kindergarten, I am confident that they will be happy, smart, and well adjusted kids. They will leave knowing what they need to know, and if they don't know it they will have the skills to figure it out, and the confidence to ask for help if they need it.