We’ve been working with the kids on the alphabet. They are doing well, watching us and repeating what we say and watching the way our mouths move when we say them. It makes me proud to see how hard they try and how fun they think it is.
Today being the day after Thanksgiving and all, my cousin and I went and did a little shopping. Not much, H and a bunch of our friends did the whole “Black Friday” 4am thing – so my cousin and I didn’t HAVE to shop, we just wanted to get out of the house. We were standing in line at K.ohls with a few items when we looked over and saw yet another Se.same Street item. My cousin went over to look at it, and it was unfortunately a little too old for the twins. 3 years and up. I asked her what it was specifically, and she told me that it was an ABC learning/flash card set.
Out of my mouth flew this statement, “Yes, because we should wait to teach them the alphabet until they are 3.” It was said with plenty of sarcasm, and my cousin laughed, knowing exactly how I meant it.
The woman in front of me chimed in, “Yes, please. I work in a preschool and we have a sign that says ‘preschool isn’t boot camp for kindergarten.’ At my preschool we still do finger paints and play-doh.”
I realized that this woman was serious. Granted, I don’t believe that preschool should be boot camp for kindergarten, but I do believe that things like numbers and letters can be taught to children before they are 3 years old. I was reading by the time I was in kindergarten. I believe that children can be taught basics through fun, play, and basic parent/child interaction. But to think that a preschool teacher finds teaching the alphabet something that is beyond the scope of her employment — I find that incredibly disappointing. I can only hope that this woman was an anomaly among preschool teachers.
Because how can you deny yourself the chance to watch a 19 month-old get through the whole alphabet (repeating of course) and they way his face lights up when you cheer for him when he’s done. Because it will make tears fill your eyes.