Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Why Can't Kids Play in Preschool?

I'm excited. Finally. We're visiting another preschool tomorrow that I'm sure uses play in their preschool. I'm sure. I hope. Well, we'll see. This is been the hope I've had in the nearly five or six preschools I've had my son enrolled in in the past year. Yes, five or six, given one or two. I've lost hundreds of dollars on deposits, sleep, and some of my sanity over choosing an appropriate preschool program for my son, Graham. I'm sure my husband and friends are completely done talking to me about it. So, I turn to you, blog and readers to vent, veg, and pass on a little.

But first, let me tell you about the kid I'm looking into preschool for. Let me tell you about Graham. He's three and a half. He loves dancing, singing, spending time with me and the rest of the family, and is really the most amazing little boy I've ever met. He'll have you laughing within minutes of meeting him, and simply put, is pure joy. His personality is easy, it's always been, and he goes with the flow of nearly anything. Graham is any teacher's dream come true kid. But I fear he's been taken advantage of.

He doesn't get nearly enough time to play the way he needs to, or laugh, or be silly, or paint, or be a boy at his preschool. And this makes me frustrated. You see, I know what my children need in order to be independent, thriving and striving young people. I know what they need to grow and learn and become self-motivated learners and thinkers through their lives. And I know that sitting in circle time rehearsing letters and numbers for 45 minutes isn't part of the curriculum that supports his growth and development.

Unfortunately, much of my community disagrees with me. And so instead of painting and jumping and walks outside and laughing, he's been sitting, and sitting, and being talked at instead of with, and then sitting some more, in a program that advertises itself as being play-based.  When the energy level of the boys gets out of control, the class then does yoga to "relax" and "calm down." Don't get me wrong, I love the benefits of yoga for adults and children alike...love it. But that's not why I send him to preschool. And I'm fearful he's learning that being a rambunctious boy is a bad thing.

Since I know what he needs, we're moving on. Chalking this up to yet another failed attempt at preschool...just as soon as I find a new one. When I do, I'll Pass It On.

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