"Helping kids learn the way letters look & sound helps prepare them for school."
I heard that quote this morning on a commercial for Sesame Street, while Elmo was holding the letter "B". Why did it ruffle my feathers so much?
It completely frustrates me that people want to "compartmentalize" school learning vs. everything else in life. Is learning your alphabet & letter sounds not an important life skill? Wouldn't knowing how letters look prepare you for life? It would have made much more sense to say "Helping kids learn the way letters look & sound helps prepare them for LIFE!"
There are so many things to be learned from just living, and doing, and being. Why must a 4 year old sit down daily and do workbook pages, or be told it's time to do Playdough, or that you must eat lunch in this little time frame, or that you can only nap for this particular hour of the day, or the hundred other things that a school setting controls?
Our un-school day follows the flow of life at that moment. Some days naps are 1 hour, some days they last 3 hours. Sometimes we wake up, feel like going to the zoo, and we DO IT! If we want to take a trip, we go for it. There's always something to be learned wherever you go, & we take full advantage of those opportunities.
It's sad that so many parents miss the boat, and assume that unless Johnny is in school, he's not learning. Bummer for Johnny! Learning isn't something that happens from 8-5 on Monday-Friday. What a misleading message we give our children. Learning is something we do every waking hour of every day. Just because it can't be measured with a worksheet, test, or assessment, that does not mean that an experience has not been educational.
Take for instance a visit to the grocery store with a 4 year old. In the hour we're together, we work on counting, reading scales & units of measurement, nutrition, following a list, colors, price comparison, manners, geography related to food, sources of food (bread from wheat, etc), prioritizing, time management, and a multitude of other "subjects."
But evaluating those things on an assessment would not provide a clear picture of just how much was gained.
I doubt schools will ever view skills relating to life the way that we do. You cannot single out "school" skills and "life" skills. Life should be your set of skills, and living should teach you your set of skills...
So get out, and live and do and experience life with your children!!!