Child Cutting Paper

What is Your GOAL for Teaching Your Children?

by Tondi King on 10/10/2022

I'm not talking about the end-game goal here. Yes, we want our kids to be successful in life. We want them to know how to read and write. We want them to meet all the high school math requirements. Maybe we dream about our kids going to college! And while all those things are great, I want to discuss more immediate goals.

Why do you teach your preschooler to count? Why do you teach them to write? Why do you expand their vocabulary?

Maybe your only reason is meeting the arbitrary grade-leveled requirements. And if that's your reason, that's ok! That was my reason when I started teaching preschool ten years ago.

But gradually, my reason changed. As my teaching methods have refined over the years, I've started watching children learn math concepts early and start reading early. And then I've reflected. How early do kids need to know math? How early do they need to read? The answer is they don't.

Preschoolers don't need to read, write, or calculate addition equations.

They need time to play. They need a hug after they fall. They need a smile. They need a positive relationship with the important adults in their life. They need to be loved.

Does this mean I stopped teaching preschool? No. Now I teach preschool with a different purpose.

When teaching a child to count, I take time to talk to them. My actions say they matter to me. I'm building a relationship with that child.

We celebrate together when they reach a new level. But if they stay on the same level for two months, that is ok. We spend a little time each day and practice. They will learn. There is no reason to rush to an arbitrary finish line. The relationship I'm building with that child is more important than the educational goal!

But if your child does learn numbers early or if they learn to read early, remember to enjoy it!

Celebrate it with their play! Buy the toy cash register and play money for your 4-year-old, who can accurately make change. Get more story books for that young reader. And take the time to let them read to you!

And when the day is done, tuck them in and kiss them good night! They are growing up fast. But for today, at least, they are still little!

Tondi King

Tondi King is a passionate educator with over 10 years of experience studying child development. She is fascinated by how the brain works and how it affects learning, and is always looking for new and innovative ways to help students succeed. In addition to homeschooling her two elementary-aged children, Tondi is writing curriculum and creating resources for homeschoolers.

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