Why can’t I find a montessori school that has a lot of playground time during the day? In the alternative, will spending the summer at the preschool with a lot of playground time but no counting chains (or any counting really) stunt my addition obsessed child’s development?
Perhaps it’s what the parents demand in your area– they want their preschool time to be academic… that’s pretty common with preschools with part-time options. The playing part is extra on top of the academic, before or after regular preschool hours. Our Montessori was only full-time, so had playground and nap-time built in, but the other two in town are more geared towards SAHM and part-time moms who want the academic prep before K, so the playtime is before part-time dropoff and after part-time pick-up. Presumably those moms don’t want to pay for something they provide themselves.
In terms of academics, unless your child is coming from a deprived background, which seems unlikely, no, not only will a non-academic preschool not stunt your child’s development, but no preschool work at all would not stunt development. There’s still a lot of stuff to be learned across many spectrums ages 0-5 even without standard academics. And your child may pick up academics (colors, numbers, letters, etc.) without any formal learning just from being around.
However, your child may be happier (and in our case, better behaved) with some academics. A lot of mommy forums have people who say that teaching academics (before, say, age 7) is horrible and will destroy your Rousseau dream-child. That’s not true either. Academics won’t do any harm and they’re FUN for almost all kids until around 5th grade, give or take. (And some no-pressure exposure before they’re needed may help with stress later on for many kids.) By all means, indulge that love of numbers– love of math is worth encouraging! It may be a matter of if you’d rather do the academics at home or go to the playground at home, if there aren’t schools that offer both.
Btw, what can you do with preschool math? We loved playing with manipulables. The ones we had initially were stackable generic game pieces that DH picked up at a craft store when one of his hobbies was creating board games. Later we replaced them with pixel blocks. These are great because you can just explore putting groups of numbers together, to get a real feel for how counting and addition are related. You can do either guided exploration or just let DC play. (3 red pieces + 2 blue pieces = 5 pieces.) Fingers are great when you’re out and about, but prepare for nasty looks from other folks who think you’re pushing or showing off (not realizing they’d be giving nasty looks of a different kind if you weren’t keeping your child occupied).
Grumpy Nation, any explanations or suggestions for Mom2boy?