Curriculum or Caper?

in Curriculum

The other day I read about a preschool that advertised

a “specialized” curriculum

that was highly praised by professionals.

As I read through it (as I’m always curious to see if there is possibly anything new under the sun), I found that no–there wasn’t anything new under the sun and I had my usual reaction:

Oh brother!

This Preschool and its “curriculum” is packaged and marketed as something new and great and individualized for each child.

Ugh! I get so mad!

There was nothing NEW in this “specialized curriculum.” Everything that this “curriculum” touted is everything that:

  • all the other preschools claim
  • occurs in the home every day
  • young children learn through everyday activities
Let me show you a few examples:

This “specialized” program/curriculum says that:

  • Children learn through their activities, whether teacher directed or child-initiated.

Well, duh!

I’m sorry. I don’t mean to be so negative, but please!

Active learning IS HOW CHILDREN LEARN—-PERIOD! (or exclamation!) You don’t need a “specialized” school or curriculum. Your child is ACTIVELY LEARNING RIGHT NOW. Whether they are outside, inside or in the car. They are learning about their world, absorbing information through ALL their senses. You do not need to pay $200 – $800 per week to have your child learn actively.

This program/curriculum says that:

  • They promote supportive relationships between child and adult.

Well, I HOPE so!

I would hate to put my child in an environment that wasn’t supportive. Would you?

Do you have fun conversations with your child? Do you listen and play with your child?

Well, that is what this program says they will do for you.
  • Do you want to pay someone to this for you and hope they deliver?
  • Or do you want these experiences to belong to you and your child?
  • Can anyone treat your child with more support than you?

This program/curriculum says that:

They evaluate each child’s progress through observation and interaction.


How else would one “assess” and “evaluate” a child’s behavior and learning, except through observation and interaction?

I know for me, I observe my children continually. I can tell when my child has had enough of one activity. I can tell when my child is over-stimulated and needs a calming down time. I can tell when my child is totally immersed with an activity and doesn’t want to stop.

I also interact with my child. Constantly. And visa-versa. We are in a constant dialogue all day long. And all night long.

We are continually exchanging information. This is how I know my child. And how my child has a chance to know me.

We are in a relationship. Can a paid employee have an opportunity to know your child as intimately as you?

This program/curriculum says that:

  • The arrangement of the classroom is clearly defined into different play areas–block area, housekeeping area, etc.

And what else is new? Not that.

EVERY preschool or daycare that I’ve been in has the same thing.

They claim that these clearly marked areas help children learn about the world. I ask: how can they learn about the world when they spend  their days in an age-segrated room with specific rules created to keep large groups of children safe?And to keep service providers (preschool teachers) free of any legal charges that may be brought on by their clients (the parents)? In other words, in an institutional setting.

They say that labeled bins and shelves help the children learn to be independent as they can easily reach the toys they want. I ask: how can they learn to be independent when they spend their days in an age-segregated room with specific rules created to keep large groups of children safe? And to keep service providers (preschool teachers) free of any legal charges that may be brought on by their clients (the parents)? In other words, in an institutional setting.

Can your children reach toys in your house?
Does your child choose which toy he/she wants to play with?
Do they know where things belong?  (That doesn’t mean that they actually put things back all the time…)

The research is in

and clearly shows that children who spend their days at home are much more advanced and independent in their daily living skills than those who spend their days in a restricted environment.

Okay. I’ll stop. For now.

I just get really frustrated when parents are being misled; when parents are being told to pay someone else to teach their preschooler…..thus this site!  Ta-Daa!

Preschool: What is it, anyway? It’s PARENTING

with Knowledge and Skill.

Plus–parents have the extra and very important element that no preschool can provide:










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All content copyright Margaret Burkhart | 2011-2013