As soon as my daughter approached her third birthday, everyone seemed to have the same question (and opinions about it, too!): “When is she starting preschool?” or simply assuming “Where is she going to preschool?” This burning question seemed to be extremely important to everyone, like they were somehow involved in my husband and I’s decision of if we were going to send her to a preschool program.
Over the last few years, there has been more and more of a push to send kids to preschool and have them learn basic academic skills such as their letters, numbers and even how to read earlier and earlier, deciding Kindergarten is no longer the place to teach such things. But, what happened to letting kids learn through play, explore their world, and let their imaginations grow?
Children learn through play.
My daughter spends her day playing and exploring the world around her. She continues to impress me as she masters concepts like letters, numbers, and shapes. Sometimes she even amazes me with the concepts that she seems to have grasped this young; the other day, she told me that her cup was a cylinder shape. I definitely don’t think I knew what a cylinder was at the age of 3!
I want her to have as much time as she can to simply play, enjoy her toys and explore things that interest her without the pressures of having to follow a rigid schedule or complete worksheets. We enjoy our days getting to have some days full of adventures as we meet up with friends and explore new places, but we also have quiet, simple days at home snuggled on the couch reading books or watching a show. I can’t get enough of those moments and am not ready for them to end.
If I do answer the question and continue the conversation stating that we are waiting and doing preschool at home, I am often hammered with questions like, “How will she be social? Is she around other kids? How will she make friends?”
My daughter still has experiences to make friends and play with others throughout the week.
Our weeks are full of library story time, church play groups, and scheduled meet-ups to parks and museums with friends and family. She’s learning to share, communicate her wants and feelings, and learning how to have empathy towards others.
“When is your daughter starting preschool?”
Well, if you must know, she’s already started and she’s thriving. She’s always learning, exploring and growing, and I love having a front row seat to watch it unfold.