5 Things Children Learn at Preschool That Are a Waste of Time and Not Developmentally Appropriate


Every parent wants the best for their child, and often, this means giving them the best start to life through early education. Preschool is not an integral part of early learning, and parents believe that their children will grow into the brightest minds if they start here. However, recent research shows otherwise, and it is time to start questioning the necessity of preschool programs. If you have a paper on this topic and need assignment help online, this article offers in-depth insight on why preschool is a waste of time.

A recent study by Vanderbilt University shows kids who attended the preschool program scored better in third grade than those who didn’t. However, the same report also shows that children who didn’t attend preschool caught up with the others by the end of kindergarten.
Worse still, learners who went to pre-K had poorer work skills and more negative feelings about school. This is just one of the studies which question the necessity of preschool and the programs used by teachers at this level.
Below are some of the things your children learn in preschool that are not helpful for their development:
  1. Teacher-Directed Lessons
In a bid to show the importance of preschool, teachers have taken over what originally used to be playtime and socializing time for kids. Preschool has become like any other classroom teaching program where the child is not the center of attention.
Teachers are no longer facilitators but directors of the activities at this level and this is not developmentally appropriate. At this level, a child’s mind is not ready for academic activities but would rather play and learn more about their surroundings.
  1. Circle time
Circle time is an established part of the learning programs in pre-k and it is the highlight of a teacher’s day.  Some of the activities carried out during circle time include listening to stories, counting on the calendar, and doing show and tell.
While this used to be an innovative way to socialize, it also introduces competition in education at a very young age.  Worse still, it takes attention from the child to the teacher. Research shows kids learn better in small groups rather than in intimidating large groups.
  1. Paper-Pencil Tasks
Parents and teachers love workbooks and they believe it is a mark of excellence when a child writes something sensible.  Traditionally, painting, drawing and other random tasks were the hallmarks of preschool but today, teachers direct paper-pencil tasks which kids have to complete.
There’s so much pressure to impress parents thus losing the main goal of early learning in the process. Psychologists say that children are at best when exploring and learning new things at their own pace at this stage of development. This means the workbook has no place in a child’s life at this stage.
To support this theory, researchers cite the Finnish education system where children don’t start formal education until they're 7 years. However, by age 15, Finnish students dominate in global tests of math and science.
  1. Calendar Time
One of the main activities in a normal preschool class is calendar time. There’s always a large calendar which kids have to memorize in a bid to learn the days of the week and months. Truth is that children at this level have no concept of time and while they might get the correct order of days, they don’t understand anything about time. At this level, such abstract concepts are not developmentally appropriate and are a waste of time.
  1. Letter of the week
Letter of the week activity seems like a creative way to learn the alphabet but it is ineffective.  It takes a long time to cover the alphabet and it is better to integrate alphabet learning into the day’s activities.

There’s no doubt preschool offers a good start to children but it only works if the activities are child-centered and developmentally appropriate.  

3 comments

  1. This is a really interesting post and makes a lot of sense. Some of these things I always thought were pointless.

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  2. In our homeschool preschool I just focus on letting them play and discover and we read lots of books together.

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