February 27, 2004

Preschool for Parents... Interesting program just opened in a Florida school district. It is essentially an open classroom for preschoolers (defined birth-6 years) and their parents. It is a drop in center where parents can play with their kids and learn about how to teach them.

I have mixed feelings - it is good that they are involving parents and trying to help give them strategies to play with and teach their child. I am always for parental involvement. However, certain phrases in the article send up warning flags to me. Consider:

"District officials hope to target parents who don't send their children to preschool. More than half of the state's nearly 1.2 million children ages 3 to 5 are not enrolled in preschool or child care, according to a new report released by the California Research Bureau."


" The center is called LISTOS, which means "ready" in Spanish and stands for Linking Individual Students to Oceanside Schools. "

Granted I may be sensitive to certain things - but the way I read it - this program helps get kids "linked" into the system as early as birth if possible. It also seems to be critical of the fact that half of the children ages 3-5 are not in either day-care or preschool. A good thing in many cases I would contend.

I know that this program can help many families, I am just cautious about it due to some of the language in the article. However, I do support helping parents learn how to play and teach their young children.

Another quote from the article that jumped out at me was "By age 5 a child can easily sit through a 10-minute story." Perhaps my perception is completely skewed but my 3 year old can sit through longer stories than that. I guess it is a good goal to have a 5 year old sit through a 10 minute book at a minimum, but I think our kids can and want to do more. Why is it accepted that a child as young as 2 should be able to sit through 30 minutes to an hour of television but we struggle to get our 5 year olds to listen to 10 minutes of a story? _sigh_

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