NOw, I am no expert when it comes to preschool education, but I do know a few things. Plus there has been something just tugging at my heart. There is a message that has just been bugging me to get out.
Here it is: Did you know that IQ is a test of vocabulary?
Do you know HOW to boost your child's vocabulary? Here is a hint: It is NOT flashcards.
It's experience. That's right, you build vocabulary by letting your child experience different situations.
Now I don't mean everyday, or even, every week, has to be a field trip through a museum. Take your child to the grocery store, and talk, talk, talk, to them through out the whole thing. Let them touch (appropriate) things, pick out the oranges in the produce, weigh them. Let them help you pick out what to buy. Talk about why you bought those potatoes instead of the other ones. Don't talk over their heads, but don't talk beneath them either.
When you go check the mail, bring them with you and talk about what you are doing. Count things along the way.
Talk to them as you cook dinner. Let them help you measure the ingredients, set the oven temperature, stir the (not cooking) food. When you're cooking, give them a pan, some dry cereal and a lid and spoon, and talk to them about stirring, dicing, slicing, blending, boiling, etc. Give them the vocabulary they need to be able to do what you are doing.
Don't expect them to learn everything all at once. Expect to repeat yourself. Expect things to take more time than if you just "did" them. Expect things to be messier, and "different" than if you just did them. The time that you are spending with your kids will be so much richer and will make up for what you consider to be flaws in what you created together.
Also, when you are driving, talk to your kids about what you are doing.
"We're stopping, because we have come to a stop sign."
"We're turning left at the next street.:
"We are letting that pedestrian go in front of us because that's the right thing to do."
Ask your kids questions, including their opinions. Ask questions that start with "What do you think (about)....?" "How do you think we should...? "Is it a good or bad idea to......Why?"
Anyway, this has really been on my heart lately. Please, please, please include your kids in you day-to-day errands. And I mean not just letting them ride along. But I bet you knew that, in fact, I bet a lot of you already do this.
So now, maybe I can move on.