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Are you thinking about getting a preschool homeschool curriculum? Read this article and my comments below before you do anything. You won't regret it.
Preschool Homeschooling - Is it Right For Your Child? by Jason Rodriguez
There are several companies which offer curriculum for preschool homeschooling. However, have you seriously considered whether homeschooling or any other type of formal education is right for your child? Before you make a decision which will have long term effects on your child, you should investigate carefully whether formal education is right for your child.
In his article, "Much Too Early," David Elkind, PhD., argues that studies indicate that children do not acquire "syllogistic reasoning abilities" needed for reading and math until age five. He goes on to say that studies indicate that "Children who have been enrolled in early-childhood academic programs eventually lose whatever gains they made vis-a-vis control groups." That is chilling news.
Why spend the time and money needed for homeschooling if your child is not going to retain the knowledge acquired? Would your child not benefit more from a trip to the local zoo or planetarium?
Notwithstanding his apparent rejection of formal education for preschoolers, Dr. Elkind notes that "The guiding principle of early-childhood education is, then, the matching of curriculum and instruction to the child's developing abilities, needs, and interests." He emphasizes that any teaching for preschoolers must start with the child and not the subject matter being taught.
Given that Dr. Elkind's article was written in 2001, a question arises whether his critique of formal education for pre-kindergaarten children is still valid given the modern advances in education for your children, particularly in preschool homeschooling. For instance, homeschool unit studies allow parents to craft their teaching around the interests of students and this addresses one of Elkind's biggest criticism. Further, Sonlight Homeschool is based on literature and the school requires parents to read aloud to their students. These innovative programs might very well address most, if not all, of the criticism and cautions of Dr. Elkind.
No doubt, parents should read Dr. Elkind's article as well as more recent material on this debate before they make the decision to homeschool their precious little angels.
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Have they had a curriculum up until this point? Did you go out an purchase a talking curriculum when they started babbling? Parents think they are not smart enough to guide their children past learning how to walk and talk.
Although some books and resources can be helpful in guiding a parent about what to teach their preschool child, a curriculum can be overkill. Preschool children are naturally curious. By reading to them, answering their questions and taking them to interesting places, parents can give their children almost all the instruction that they need for this age.
The book How to Homeschool Kindergarten can be very helpful in knowing what to to with children for preschool and Kindergarten. If you are not sure how to get started with homeschooling, there are plenty of articles on this site that can give you the help you need.
Here are some other helpful resources when considering preschool homeschool curriculum:
My favorite homeschool resources
Homeschool subjects - how and what to teach
10 questions to ask yourself before purchasing any homeschool materials
Everything you need to know about homeschool curriculums
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