Too many parents have the misconception that early institutional education is the best for their child. I say it’s hands on time you spend w/ them.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging parents who put their kids into preschool or prepreschool, or daycare the minute they’re born. I understand that people can’t afford staying home and others have jobs to pay the bills. What I do encourage, from experience is parents being actively involved in their children’s early education rather than soley administering the responsibility to a daycare/school.
I had one mother who had a child in the same grade as my daughter, come up to me and ask me how Emma is at reading. I told her that she’s in a higher reading level. She started complaining that her child was in a lower reading level even though she took her child to an after school learning center twice a week. She asked me what I did with Emma to foster her reading and I simply replied, “I read WITH her everyday.” Yes, I was there to supervise her reading. And for the record, Emma isn’t naturally the strongest reader. She really works hard to progress to each reading level. But if I waited to let school, or her teacher teach her how to read and progress, I doubt she would be where she is now because the teacher to student ratio won’t provide the same attention as one parent to his/her child.
Time is always a challenge, and it’s because as parents, we have to give up that time to ourselves, that time that we’ve been used all our lives that used to be dovoted soley to ourselves and not to someone else. Working parents as well as stay and home parents have to give up their time to be educationally productive and proactive about their child’s learning. After all chores and taking care of the kids, I admit the last thing I want to do with my free time is arduously read with my budding reader, asking questions, going through phonetics, or going through a word problem or going to the extra mile and teaching my kids advanced skills. The same goes for the working parent who has to commute to work, deal with people, and then come home tired and worn. It’s tough, but the sacrifice is worth it…the time you spend with your children, to teach, to talk, to love.
They learn so much.
And one of the most important lessons they’ll remember is that you stopped time for them.