Does your 3-year-old have a hard time sitting still? You might start questioning—is it ADD? Poor parenting? Do other moms have this problem? Join Vicki Bentley and host Mike Smith, for insights on preschoolers—that’s today on Home School Heartbeat.
Vicki, what do you say to parents of preschoolers who are worried that their child doesn’t have the attention span to do school?
I’ve had moms tell me, “My two-year-old and three-year-old doesn’t want to sit still and read a book…they just want to play with toys and pretend.” I tell them: “They are little; let them play with toys and pretend! But you pick the toys, so you shape the play.” Their play is their work—their early learning—it looks easy to us, but it’s not all easy to them, and it is developing their thinking, providing life experiences—sort of like hooks on which they can hang their future learning. So provide them with stimulating, age-appropriate, developmental toys like Duplos or Legos or building blocks, thinking skills puzzles, art supplies, life-skills imaginary play. Even your music can be educational and inspirational. And everyday activities can be helpful for their brain and skills development. Like working puzzles—that’s a pre-reading skill. Helping Mom set the table is a math skill (one-to-one correspondence). Tidying up includes classification and organization—basic science, math, and English skills. So in the context of everyday living and their everyday play, it’s much easier to move at the child’s natural pace and in his learning style. And in only a few 15-minute sessions a day!
Vicki, thanks for that good word to let preschoolers develop at their own pace. And until next time, I’m Mike Smith.