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    Throw away those stultifying Pre-school worksheets!

    There seems a proliferation of people telling us that pre-school children need to write, read, do maths and worksheets before they are 5 years old... And people who keep 3 year olds at a table saying ‘what colour is that?’ and ‘what shape is that?’

    Misguided and anti-educational...obviously they would need to be people who have never actually studied child development.

    I don’t think this can be said enough: Pre-school children learn through play and by using all their senses, their whole bodies, communicating with others, being loved and loving in return.

    And the most important of all for learning and becoming a useful, resilient and emotionally well citizen is the loving, containing relationship their have with their parents or guardians.

    It is so important that children learn at their own pace. And we have plenty of research that proves this to be true. Yes, we do need to be there and to provide the possibility of new learning, to open new doors into their minds and increase their understanding of things they are interested in. So when a child is looking at a beetle that is the time to look too and to call it an insect and count it’s legs and see if it has wings or not and maybe even find out its name. (And if the little person in the making wants to call it Sam, so be it). Or commenting on the colour they are wearing: ‘I like you bright red jersey!’ or when playing brainy blocks, ‘do you think that green triangle might fit there?’

    Puzzles and games are a pre-schoolers maths, drawing and painting their pre-writing and being read to their pre-reading. (My daughter could read a little at 4 years but NOT because I taught her to – she was just insatiable about being read to and I read to her a LOT).

    So throw away the worksheets, the colouring books and other aids to destroying children’s creativity, imagination and self- confidence and bring out the story books, paints, games, dolls, cars and blocks...
    And love and make real relationships with the children in your care!

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