Friday, June 12, 2009

Play Based Learning

June 12, 2009

This year we have spent a lot of time playing and learning for preschool. I have to admit I have truly enjoyed spending quality time with Meara teaching her academics like letters, sounds, numbers, vocabulary etc... But, I have REALLY enjoyed teaching her how to separate laundry, put it in the washing machine w/ laundry detergent and softener, washing the windows with a squirt bottle and a squeegy, cooking, hanging a mock clothesline and pinning up baby clothes, playing with all types of magnets and metal, water play, and LOTS of art/crafts.

It has become clear to me that the public school system is increasingly pushing the envelope with kindergarten requirements. We have friends whose children are a year or two older and attend public school. I have been shocked by what is expected out of kindergarteners in public school. I am only 34-years-old(I can remember a time when I thought that was old). When I was in kindergarten we had lots of art, playing in the pretend kitchen with empty spice bottles(I can still remember the brings back wonderful memories) and empty cardboard cereal boxes. We also spent time in the sandbox and water table, crawling through the pop up tunnel, being read to and PUPPETS, and finger plays. We weren't required to be able to read. We didn't even start that process until first grade. I feel I have accomplished so much in my life in spite of the lower expectations of my generation. I am a college graduate, a good person with morals and values, a christian, a good wife and mother and have a big heart for others. So the wheels have been turning helping me realize that just because society and our government say that kindergarteners must be more academic doesn't mean they know what's best. My mission is to create a kindergarten program in our home that allows for play based learning. Although, I have to admit that this morning I spent about an hour searching for ideas but felt a little overwhelmed sorting through the websites. So far I haven't found exactly what I am looking for but the quest has begun.

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