Dear PIC Families and Friends,
I’ve been thinking recently about how we view children in our society and how it differs so dramatically in countries throughout the world.
In the US, there is always much talk about “preparing” children for their next experience. Programs such as Ready to Learn
, Success by Six
, and even Head Start
are designed to get children “ready” for the next stage of their lives. Often, acquiring academic skills is the area of greatest focus.
I worked with a wonderful Head of School who spoke often of young children needing to have “lives fully lived.” For me, this means children should have the opportunity to be deeply rooted in the present and fully engaged in each of the developmental stages of their early childhood years.
Let's not prepare children for the next phase of their lives, but assure that their current stage of development is rich and interesting, challenging and fun, and age appropriate.
But, this is not at the expense of appropriate preparation for elementary school. Literacy, numeracy, and science are all important at PIC, but academic preparation does not drive our curriculum. Our goal is to follow the interests of the children, develop projects and activities that relate to those interests, and to weave developmentally appropriate academic learning throughout daily experiences.
I believe that if we focus on the present and allow children to experience each unique stage of development during their early years, it will surely set the stage for years of lives fully lived. I suggest that, regardless of age, this is a wonderful goal to take with us as we begin 2014.
Happy New Year!