Parenting: Wishes for my Preschooler

As a marker for 5 weeks since Jordan has started preschool, I find myself asking "how was your day?" as soon as the dismissal bell rings when picking her up. I'm just as anxious and curious as she is every morning getting ready for school. 

We bought practice workbooks to work on over the summer, specializing in pre-k curriculum. We bought flash cards with numbers, shapes, letters, and more on them. We bought every type of marker, crayon, sticker, colored pencil, notebook, etc. We wanted Jordan to thrive.

I pay extra attention to the school announcements that come home. I read the whiteboard every morning, or every evening to see what she is going to do in class or what she has done. I scan the classroom for what she could have done throughout her day.

I think it's great for a preschooler, to know their ABCs and 123s, and even write their name! But I believe the importance of preschool is to not get them ready educational and curriculum wise for school but emotionally and socially aware for school.

Children are way smarter than you think. They get bored really easy. So when we do the workbooks, the drills, etc. we are stopping them from reaching their full potential.

How much do you talk to your child on a daily basis? How often do you engage in a conversation and let it just naturally flow?

I'm reading a book called "The Importance of Being Little , What Preschoolers Really Need from GrownUps" by Erika Christakis and it is amazing. (I'll do a book talk on it when I'm finished.)

What I wish for my preschooler to really get out of school is:

  • Social Skills: She needs to learn to communicate effectively to others, not just to me or to Johnathan. She needs to learn to make friends and develop relationships.
  • Emotional Skills: She needs to understand her emotions and to understand the emotions of others as well as learning what's best to control them.
  • Humor: It's okay to laugh at a situation. It's okay to turn a situation into a funny experience to gain something out of it. Why so serious?
  • Structure: You can't do whatever you want whenever you want. Unfortunately that's not how the world works. So I do want her to understand routines, understand when conforming is okay and when to break away.
  • Research: I want her to look things up. I want her to ask questions and then find the answers to them. I should not have to automatically give her the answer. Sometimes I should not give her the answer at all. With proper guidance and resources she should be able to find the answer to any question she may have and then we can discuss it. 

I do not want to hinder my child with the drills and workbook pages. I want her to understand herself, understand those around her and her environment and if she doesn't understand, then learn to. Children have so much potential, so much power, and it is our job as parents to encourage it, empower it, nourish it, not diminish it.

As I read more through the book, I'm sure I'll have more to say on the matter. Until then just some food for thought.