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    Joined: Feb 2012
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    An interesting article (pdf) on early childhood education.

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    Interesting indeed! I wonder how this applies to gifted children who seek those tidbits of information usually associated with "academics".

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    My public preschool is quite different; it is all about curiosity-directed learning. (It's a full-on Reggio Emilia program). Certainly, it does also teach following directions, etc, but in an age-appropriate way, not in a "you must learn to conform" way. Luckily, all this means that a child, like my DD, who was interested in academic endeavors, was encouraged. When she expressed interest in cursive, the teacher borrowed a book from the third grade teacher to let her work on it during their journal time (which is normally drawing/doodling quiet time in the beginning of the day). And they were suitably impressed when she brought in her homemade multiplication chart to show and tell.

    It worked out that my DD, despite those interests, was perfectly happy to do more free unstructured play with her friends and mostly wanted to do the academic learning all at home. But those teachers were aware of her capabilities and supported her whenever she showed an interest. The only negative to the public school aspect of it was that she wanted to start using iRead, the public school's adaptive learning computer program, but the preschool was denied the account information because it was only budgeted for K and up, no exceptions.

    This year in K, as I have mentioned in other places, it's still play-based but the academic portion and state standards have come into play as well. She seems still to be very happy; I as mom am fretting more because it's more clear how advanced she is compared to her peers.

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    The NZ early childhood curriculum is basically free play with a bunch of activity stations, a large sandpit and a playground. The teachers will guide a kid to/from certain activities but not force it. They do expect a couple of brief mat times though and generally have a short bit for nearly school age kids which might involve a learning game or tracing stuff. The kids go to school able to hold a pencil, some know the alphabet and some can write their name. They start school on their fifth birthday and learn academics then.

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    A phrase from the report linked in the OP, which really stood out in my mind, was "what people around them do to contribute to their well-being".

    Unfortunately in some homes and families this is sorely lacking. frown


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