Pre-school children generally do not need any formal education; they simply need to be with mom at home. Shopping, cleaning, baking, gardening – whatever needs to be done, let your little ones do something alongside you and they will learn. As you chat, they are learning language skills incidentally as well as more about the subject of your conversation. None of this needs any planning or forethought; simply living is education in itself. A child’s tendency, though, is to play. What a relief! While the sandpit holds your child’s attention you can quickly deal with the household correspondence and filing without having to give a thousand answers!
Reading aloud, playing games together, doing a few crafts according to your child’s ability, taking a walk in the park or the zoo – all these constitute a fun-filled, informal learning experience that will help your child acquire new skills and knowledge in preparation for future formal education. More important than the skills he acquires, your child is busy building a firm relationship with you. He finds you reliable, warm and loving – a person who he can respond to and learn from easily.
What about counting and phonics? There is time aplenty later on for learning these skills formally. If he learns them anyway as he plays some educational games, well and good, but rather leave any formal teaching until you are sure he is ready to learn. Read Raymond and Dorothy Moore’s book Better Late than Early for more on starting the formal lessons at the right time.
Recommended pre-school curriculum: your company, fun and games. Enjoy!